And last of all, it’s way too hard to hold grudges and hatred in your heart. Just let things go and enjoy the beauty of the world around you, both in manmade objects or nature.
Aimee Sherwood never dreamed that following her fiancé into the witness protection pro-gram would land her in a haunted house in a town that’s downright creepy. She’d have laughed if she had been told the guy who lives down the road might be her soul mate, not the man whose ring she’s wearing. Life in West Virginia is nothing like life in Los Angeles, but between bean ball battles with Marilyn Monroe, remodeling a crumbling farmhouse, and starting a new online business, life in the country is anything but boring.
Cade held out his arm to Aimee. “Ma’am, I would be delighted to show you the gazebo. Do take my arm. The ground is rather uneven.”
“Why, thank you, sir.”
As they strolled toward the gazebo, Aimee allowed the setting to mesmerize her and capture her imagination. What would it have been like to attend this party in the year 1860? Would the threat of war have lent a spice of excitement to the festivities that made ordinary activities like visiting the gazebo seem new and romantic?
Cade indicated a built-in bench, which circled the inside of the gazebo. “Would you like to sit down?”
Aimee sat and gathered her skirts around her, admiring the rustle of her long, crinoline petticoat. She patted the space beside her. “Sit beside me.”
Cade bowed. “You honor me, Miss Sherwood.”
“You may call me Miss Aimee, sir.”
“Miss Aimee, then.” He raised her hand to his lips and kissed it.
Aimee’s heart took off in a mad gallop. She felt heat rising from her chest and knew it colored her face an inconvenient shade of red. Oh! My! Goodness! All he’d done was kiss her hand, and she was melting. If only she hadn’t left her fan at Miss Gladys’ table.
Cade kept hold of her hand even though she’d expected him to let go of it. His calloused fingers felt so male, so strong, so warm that another wave of heat washed over her and almost took her breath away.
“You look beautiful tonight, Miss Aimee. There’s not a woman at the party who can touch you.”
Was it her imagination or had he moved a bit closer to her?
“Your eyes sparkle like blue diamonds, and I love those curls of yours. You’ve captured the sunshine.” He reached for her ponytail and bounced her curls in the palm of his hand.
Breathe. She mustn’t forget to breathe.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.
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