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Some curses arent meant to be broken . . .


Excerpt of Southern Comforts by Nan Dixon

Purchase


Fitzgerald House #1
Harlequin Superromance
December 2014
On Sale: December 2, 2014
Featuring: Abigail Fitzgerald; Grayson Smythe
384 pages
ISBN: 0373608918
EAN: 9780373608911
Kindle: B00L0XGA8M
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Romance

Also by Nan Dixon:

Invest In Me, October 2020
e-Book
To Catch a Thief, March 2018
e-Book
Undercover with the Heiress, August 2017
e-Book
The Other Twin, January 2017
e-Book
Through A Magnolia Filter, August 2016
Paperback / e-Book
A Savannah Christmas Wish, December 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Southern Comforts, December 2014
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book

Excerpt of Southern Comforts by Nan Dixon

CHAPTER ONE

Rule #1—The guests are always right, even when they’re wrong. ~ Mamie Fitzgerald

“SCORE ONE FOR Team Fitzgerald.” Abby tapped the occupancy permit against the porch railing and waved to her contractor as he headed for his truck. The final room on the second floor could be used.

She propped open the bed-and-breakfast’s bright blue doors. For February 1, the day was gorgeous, with temperatures hitting the mid 70s. Sunlight streamed through the leaded-glass side windows and sparkled on the foyer’s crystal chandelier. The gold streaks in the green-marble entry floor gleamed.

Abby wanted all of Fitzgerald House to sparkle like the entry.

That meant renovating the rest of the third floor, and finally the carriage house. They just needed a reasonable bid, money and a whole lot of luck.

Her hand brushed the brass plaque set inside the door.

Fitzgerald House—1837

Savannah, Georgia

Bed & Breakfast opened

March 1, 1998—Mamie Fitzgerald

Owners—Abigail, Bess and Dolley Fitzgerald

As always, she made a wish. Let the renovation costs be reasonable.

A fresh floral arrangement graced the console table. The tang of lemon wax mingled with the warm scent of the foyer’s sandalwood candles. While she’d been with her contractor, the cleaning crew had performed their magic.

With no one in the entry, she held out her arms and twirled, tipping her head up, grinning. The sparkling prisms were all she could see.

Dizzy, she stopped. Whoa. Hadn’t done that since she’d been young.

She’d call Mamma and her sisters later. Let them know they were one room closer to finishing the main house restoration. And she was one room closer to opening her restaurant in the carriage house. She gave herself a hug. One step at a time.

Abby walked over to the Queen Anne secretary they used for a reception desk. The front door opened as she logged on to the computer, and she glanced up. “Welcome to Fitzgerald House. How can I help you?”

A man stalked toward her. Black brows framed laser-blue eyes. He was tall and lean. My, my. Some days God took pity on working women and gave them something to dream about. She indulged in a quick fantasy of running her fingers through his thick black hair. Too bad he had a frown on his face and a cell phone glued to his ear.

Mr. Fantasy dropped his bag, smiled and pointed to the phone, holding up one finger. He patted his pockets.

She handed him a pen and a piece of paper.

He mouthed a thank-you.

“Severn,” he said. “What was the contracted completion date?”

He wrote down the date in bold slashes.

“What’s the remaining payout?” Again the hand-scrawled numbers on the paper.

Abby tried not to look, but the number was big. With that kind of money, she and her sisters could finish off the third-floor rooms and still have enough left over for new linens.

“So what’s the problem?” the man growled.

Abby stepped back, giving him privacy. She wouldn’t want to be the person failing to meet this man’s expectations.

“The only way I’ll extend the deadline is if we recontract,” he stated. “You have options. Overtime, more crew. Think about it and get back to me.” He switched off his phone without so much as a goodbye.

Apparently Mr. Fantasy hadn’t gone to the same customer- service seminars Abby had.

She stepped back up to the desk. “May I help you?”

“Grayson Smythe. S-m-y-t-h-e.” The man’s voice was as rich and smooth as bourbon, and his smile was just as intoxicating.

Abby searched the reservation system. Nothing. She tried incorrect spellings of the man’s name. Nada. She tried his first name as his last. Still nothing. Her fingers tapped the desktop in a staccato beat.

The man’s intense gaze weakened her knees. His dark eyebrows came together over his bright blue eyes.

Had the system eaten another reservation? She forced a smile. “Do you have a confirmation number?”

“No, I don’t. My assistant confirmed the details yesterday.” He leaned over the desk, staring at the computer screen. The temperature in the room seemed to climb ten degrees.

Abby kept smiling, but her mouth wanted to droop into a frown. She couldn’t. She had a guest in front of her.

A quick patter of feet turned her attention to the open door.

“I told you, Mama.” A blond boy, maybe four or five years old, darted into the entry. “I’ll catch you a rainbow.”

Catch a rainbow?

Sure enough, the sunbeams were now hitting the chandelier, and rainbows danced over her head. She hadn’t noticed, too caught up in their guest. But she really hadn’t noticed the rainbows since she’d been young. Since her dad had died.

Mr. Smythe whipped around at the noise.

“Joshua!” A thin young woman entered behind the boy. “Come back.”

The boy jumped up and down, his hand outstretched. His clothes were clean, but the knees were patched. “I can’t reach them!”

Mr. Smythe knelt in front of the boy. The little boy’s eyes widened and he stepped back.

Abby moved out from behind the desk. She didn’t want her guest snarling at this cute kid the way he had on the phone.

Before she could rescue the child, Mr. Smythe said, “Would you like me to lift you up?”

The boy held up his arms. “Yes, please.”

Abby’s eyebrows popped up as Mr. Smythe held him in the air. Joshua’s hands waved, trying to grab hold of the colors.

“Hold still and the rainbow will shine on your fingers,” Mr. Smythe said.

“I’m sorry.” The woman leaned a hand against the desk, catching her breath. “He’s so fast.”

“Are you looking for a room?” Abby shouldn’t judge the woman, but her clothes were...worn.

“Oh, no.” Color washed over the woman’s pale face. “I’m here about the help-wanted ad.”

Abby nodded. “The housekeeping position?”

Both the man and the boy had rainbows coloring their palms. Mr. Smythe whispered to the little boy and Joshua giggled.

Excerpt from Southern Comforts by Nan Dixon
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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