"I'm enjoying this spinoff of the Honeywilde series. This author does a great job developing interesting characters and writing fresh intriguing stories. This book is no exception and I'm looking forward to more! I highly recommend this one. "- Bette, Goodreads
Published: October 30th, 2018
In the quaint mountain town of Windamere, North Carolina, the three Sargent sisters are determined to make their hotel and winery, Chateau Jolie, a success. And one by one, they’re finding that nothing pairs better with new beginnings than unexpected love…
The downside of living in a charming small town is that it’s impossible for Brooke Sargent to avoid anyone. Especially someone as big, handsome, and friendly as Trevor Bradley. At his brother’s wedding, they flirted and danced…before Brooke recalled that she’s not ready to trust any man after her divorce, let alone one who’s the competition. Her family’s struggling chateau is planning to host the local senior prom—without the Bradley family’s renowned Honeywilde Inn muscling in and stealing the glory.
Trevor has thought of no one else since the night he and Brooke connected. Even though she shot him down—hard—he’s seen the warmth beneath her guarded facade. Working together, they could give the high school students a spectacular prom. Navigating the rough terrain of Brooke’s business, while proving himself to his own siblings, won’t be easy. But Trevor loves a challenge—especially one that could win him the woman he can’t stop wanting . . .
Brooke clung to her menu like it was a full skirt on a windy day. “Coffee,” she said to the Honeywilde waiter.
Her hands cramped, palms sweaty, and the pinching start of a headache worked its way up both temples.
Meeting with Roark Bradley shouldn’t set her on edge like this. Roark was professional and pleasant. All of the Bradleys were nice people.
Trevor Bradley in particular.
Nice looking too, though that was beside the point.
Since Devlin’s wedding in August, she’d seen Trevor only in passing. In town, she’d see him maybe shopping or walking down the sidewalk, but the glimpses were enough to confirm what she already knew—he was still as wickedly handsome as ever.
Her muscles tensed, ready to jump out of her skin, but her nerves couldn’t be because of Trevor.
“I’m back. Sorry to keep you waiting.” Roark took the seat across from her and motioned for coffee. “Anyway, as I was saying, the high school needs Chateau Jolie’s help with their prom.”
Ding, ding, ding.
That would be the source of her anxiety.
Didn’t matter that she and her sisters had been running Chateau Jolie for almost a year, the prospect of being the location for the school’s emergency prom had her more wound up than a set of novelty chattering teeth. Brooke unclenched her jaw. “I believe you were about to ask if we could host the prom at Jolie.” Both a blessing and a curse that couldn’t come at a more inopportune time.
“Yes. The venue they were going to use went out of business last week.
With no notification to the school, their prom is just…gone.”
“No place to have it, no backup plans. Nothing.”
“Those poor kids.”
Taking this project on wasn’t ideal, but how could she say no to a bunch of sad teenagers who would get all dressed up and have no place to go?
Roark sipped his coffee and shook his head. “They lost their money too. That event place in Newton went bankrupt. All of the juniors and seniors had bought tickets, so that’s their hard-earned cash gone. Which means they’ve got no budget.”
Her stomach dropped. “Well, that—” Sucks. “That’s awful.”
And she couldn’t help them without a budget. Chateau Jolie certainly didn’t have the spare cash to fork over.
“The assistant principal came to me yesterday asking—actually, pleading is more accurate—to use Honeywilde. But we’re booked solid for the whole season.”
Of course they were.
Honeywilde was always booked. This season, next season. Every season two years from now. Honeywilde’s success was one of the reasons for Jolie’s lackluster couple of years.
But she wasn’t about to tell Roark Bradley that.
“Then Sophie thought of Chateau Jolie. Thank goodness your ballroom is available.”
She pasted on a smile. “Yes. Thank goodness.”
“That is, if you can host the event. It’s in two and a half weeks.”
Her eyes almost popped out of her skull.
“I know, I know. It’s not much time, but we’re still going to help,” he rushed to add. “You wouldn’t be doing this alone. I’m ready to offer up a donation for food, décor, and other expenses. And some added manpower for the event itself, since Jolie is…well, we have a larger staff here.”
He was understating to be polite. Honeywilde had the money and people to spare. Chateau Jolie did not.
The throb in her skull got a little bit worse. “I think…”
She didn’t have the luxury of thinking. Chateau Jolie needed to catch a break, especially now that she had to shell out thousands of dollars to keep from losing part of Jolie to an evil a-hole of a man.
Not only was hosting the school’s prom the right thing to do, but a community event and charity might give the hotel the kind of promotion and PR it needed to spark off their slumping reservation rates and make some much needed money.
“We wouldn’t throw all of this on you to deal with alone.” Roark leaned forward, his coffee mug cradled between his hands. “We plan to help out as much as we can. But what the school needs most is a location.”
Brooke flexed her fingers to get some blood into them. Chateau Jolie could easily be the location, but they didn’t have Honeywilde’s financial resources to fund a party.
She wasn’t about to tell Roark Bradley that either.
“We’d love for the school to use our ballroom,” she said instead.
But she couldn’t only offer up a location.
If all she provided was a room, then yet again, Honeywilde would be the hero of the day. They’d swoop in, save the town, and hog all the glory. Again. Chateau Jolie would be the little stepsister who got dragged along to the dance.
Her family’s business couldn’t afford to be the stepsister anymore.
Brooke stiffened her spine. “We’d want to do more than provide a location though. We have resources of our own.” Pitifully few, but potay-toe, po-tah-toe. “If the prom is at our hotel, I’d prefer to be the one in charge of coordinating with the prom’s committee chair.”
Roark nodded. “Absolutely. I agree.”
Proms weren’t in her wheelhouse, but she knew enough about parties to handle one for teenagers.
Roark took another sip of his coffee, looking proud as a peacock. “That works out perfectly for us too. With the Blueberry Festival coming up, and peak season, we don’t need to commit to managing more than we can handle.”
Peak season. Must be nice.
She shook off the resentment to concentrate on the possibilities. This prom could be the very thing Jolie needed, and if she could run the show with a Honeywilde income, even better.
She could make this the goodwill event of the year, get on every social media platform, and prove her family’s hotel was every bit as charitable and wonderful as Honeywilde, and she might be able to redeem herself. No, she would redeem herself.
“Hey.” A deep voice interrupted her pep talk.
Brooke looked up, into striking blue eyes and dimples that ought to be outlawed.
About the author:
Heather McGovern writes contemporary romance in swoony, southern settings. While her love of travel and adventure takes her far, there is no place quite like home. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and son, and a collection of Legos that's threatening to take over the house. When she isn't writing, she's working out, or binging on books and Netflix.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as Carolina Romance Writers, and she's represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.
Connect with Heather on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or her group blog. She'd love to hear from you!
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