Delighting in Your Company by Blair McDowell

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  • When Amalie Ansett visits her elderly cousin on the Caribbean island of St. Clements, the last thing she's looking for is romance. Just out of a disastrous marriage, she's ready to swear off romance forever. That is until she meets local plantation owner Jonathan Evans—tall, good-looking, and incredibly sexy. What more could a girl ask for?

    Then Amalie discovers the man she loves is a ghost. He was murdered two hundred years ago. Only she can see and hear him.

    To save Jonathan, Amalie agrees to return with him to the 1800's—to a time when the sugar trade reigned supreme, and the slave trade was making fortunes for wealthy planters and ship owners.  During a slave uprising their love is put to a test, and when murder and deceit rear their ugly heads, Amalie wonders if taking a journey to the past is worth losing her life.  

    Rating:Spicy
    Page Count: 248
    Word Count: 63054
    978-1-5092-2446-3 Paperback
    978-1-5092-2447-0 Digital

    Excerpt

    Amalie walked through the house. The walls were bare, the wall paper faded, its old-fashioned pattern bright only where familiar pictures had once hung. Pallid light came through windows now starkly bare and streaked with dirt. She shook her head. It was depressing to see this house where once laughter and love had reigned, now so empty.

    Well, what did she expect? The house had been a major bone of contention in the divorce. Brett had brought nothing to the marriage, but, thanks to California community property laws, the court had awarded him half of everything, including the house she had inherited from her mother. More fool she for having added his name to the title when they were married.

    She tried, Lord how she had tried, to get a mortgage to buy out Brett’s half, but houses in the Hollywood Hills, even small houses like hers, were priced in the millions now. Her income from the ad agency didn’t begin to qualify her for the size mortgage she’d have needed to keep the house. She’d been forced to put it on the market. And her lawyer, to put it as kindly as possible, was incompetent when faced with the shark her husband had hired.

    The house was empty now except for some things in what used to be her mother’s sewing room. Amalie had already moved the few pieces of furniture she wanted to keep to her small rented condo. Her ex-husband had taken all the rest. Indeed, Brett had taken and taken and taken, she thought as she climbed the stairs and walked down the hallway, her footsteps echoing in the silence. It was what he did best. How could she have been so naive?

    She paused in the doorway of the small room at the back of the house. It had been her mother’s favorite room. Amalie could still see her there, busy at her old Pfaff sewing machine, making curtains for the kitchen, designing slip covers, or putting the finishing touches on a dress. Her mother loved to sew. And Amalie had loved to sit in the rocking chair beside the small dormer window and watch her. They always talked as her mother worked. She had felt she could talk to her mother about anything.

    But that was long ago, and she must get on with going through these remaining shelves and storage boxes, deciding what to keep and what to dispose of. A job she hadn’t been able to face when her mother died five years ago.

    Pulling a moving box toward the wall of built-in shelving, Amalie began to sort through fabrics, silks and cottons and wools. Some neatly folded, others in bolts. All in the jewel tones her mother had so loved. She smoothed her hand over a particularly beautiful red damask. What had her mother intended for this piece? Perhaps a cover for a footstool? Her father had always teased her mother sewing was simply an excuse for collecting fabrics. Amalie smiled as she thought about her father, always laughing, bigger than life. He had died a year before her mother, who had never recovered from his death. She seemed to just fade away after he was gone.

    That’s what Amalie had expected from marriage, a lifetime of devotion. How could she have gotten it so wrong?

    Amalie brought her mind back to the task at hand. She started placing the fabrics into one of the larger boxes to take to the local Goodwill shop. They’d make good use of them.

    An hour later she’d emptied the shelves of everything but one small cardboard box appearing to contain old correspondence. As Amalie rifled through the envelopes, she saw most were letters of condolence on her father’s death. Clearly her mother had been unable to dispose of them. She was about to put the box in a pile of trash for burning when an unopened one caught her eye. The return address, in spidery handwriting, read “J. Ansett, St. Clements, Windward Islands, Caribbean.”

    She studied the envelope with curiosity. Ansett? Her family name? As far as she knew they had no relatives in the Caribbean. Who could have been writing to her mother from…where? St. Clements? She had never even heard of St. Clements.

    Carefully, Amalie opened the envelope and pulled out the thin tissue-like blue airmail paper.

    My dear Mrs. Ansett,

    Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Josephina Ansett.

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Delighting in Your Company

Delighting in Your Company

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