Helena Fairfax is an author whose blog I enjoy immensely. She posts interesting content and often prompts me to think about my reading experiences! Helena has visited my blog before, chatting about her novels and today I’m sharing an excerpt from her latest novel, Felicity at the Cross Hotel.
Felicity at the Cross Hotel is a feel-good summer romance and set in an old Tudor hotel in the Lake District. Here’s more information:
A quaint hotel in a romantic landscape. The Lake District is the perfect getaway. Or is it?
Felicity Everdene needs a break from the family business. Driving through the Lake District to the Cross Hotel, past the shining lake and the mountains, everything seems perfect. But Felicity soon discovers all is not well at the Cross Hotel …
Patrick Cross left the village of Emmside years ago never intending to return, but his father has left him the family’s hotel in his will, and now he’s forced to come back. With a missing barmaid, a grumpy chef, and the hotel losing money, the arrival of Felicity Everdene from the notorious Everdene family only adds to Patrick’s troubles.
With so much to overcome, can Felicity and Patrick bring happiness to the Cross Hotel … and find happiness for themselves?
‘Oh, for goodness’ sake. I’m perfectly capable of ordering a taxi.’
‘It’s no problem.’ Patrick reached into his pocket for his car key.
Fliss would have loved nothing better than to dig in her heels and insist on taking a cab, but unfortunately Patrick’s mother had been hanging on to every word of the conversation.
‘Patrick’s right, Fliss, darling. You don’t want to be waiting here for a taxi. There’s only Doug who drives one in the village, and he could be ages at this time of night. Let Patrick take you.’
Fliss tried to think of a way of refusing that wouldn’t appear childish and stubborn, and failed. She forced out a stiff, ‘Thank you.’
Patrick nodded equally stiffly. There was nothing for Fliss to do except bid Jilly a civil good evening and make her way out in as dignified a fashion as possible. But as she pushed open the hotel door, and the fresh night air enveloped her, her chagrin dissipated. The sight outside swept everything else from her mind, and she gave a gasp of wonder. The night sky was clear above the trees, and to the west, where the fellside dipped down to the valley, the heavens fell away in a sheet of black, sprinkled with a thousand stars, so close, she could be walking through them.
‘Will you take a look at that?’ She stepped forwards over the gravel and made her way to the terrace, where the stars swung down. The sky was deepest black, and the Milky Way floated high, high above them, in a swirl of fabulous glory. Fliss rested her hands on the railing, her head tilted up to the sky.
Patrick moved to stand beside her. The starlight cast a white glow over his features, deepening the lines on his face. His mouth was a straight line, and his eyes glittered. Fliss turned her head to look at him. His gaze was fixed on the firmament. Then his eyes met hers.
‘It’s even more spectacular in the Caribbean,’ he said. ‘On a calm night, when you come up from a dive, you could be alone in the universe, floating along, with the stars a golden cloak above you.’
‘That sounds amazing. I can see how you must miss it.’
He hesitated, before saying, ‘I don’t miss it as much as I did.’
The breeze in the trees stilled. Fliss heard the sound of Patrick’s breathing. Then an owl broke the silence, bursting out of the wood on the hillside below them with a great sweep of its wings. Fliss gave a startled gasp. Patrick placed his hand on her arm, his breath quickening with hers. At his touch, Fliss’s heart leapt. His eyes were bright on hers, his lips parted. For a wild moment she thought he was about to kiss her. She waited, heart thudding, a thousand emotions clamouring within her. He bent his head to hers, and for a couple of seconds they stood perfectly still, their quick breath intermingling.
Did the kiss happen? Or were they interrupted … I want to know 🙂
Helena Fairfax is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now which is just as well, since these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. Helena walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings. Subscribers to Helena’s newsletter receive news of free stuff, competitions with prizes, gossip, and links to cool websites she’s been looking at when she should have been writing.
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