Today I am delighted to feature an extract from Karen King’s latest feel-good romantic novel One Summer in Cornwall.
Escape to Cornwall this
A gorgeous feel-good read, perfect for fans of CATHY BRAMLEY and PHILLIPA ASHLEY.
Sunlight streaming through her window woke Hattie up the next morning. And it sounded as though the seagulls were having a party on the roof. She sat up for a moment, hugging her knees, thinking how drastically her life had changed in the past few days. On Monday, she’d had a home and a job, now, five days later, she had neither. She shook her head. She wasn’t thinking about that now – this was a chance for her to sort out her life, and she was going to grab it with both hands.
She threw back the sheet, ran over to the window and looked out, just as she used to do when she was a child on holiday here, eager to see the shimmering ribbon of sea over the rooftops. The cottage was just a few minutes’ walk from the picturesque harbour, and when she was younger she had often opened the window and inhaled the sea air, with her mother anxiously warning her not to lean out. She wasn’t going to do that now, not until she was dressed, anyway, so contented herself with kneeling down, so only her head was visible, and peering at the sparkling turquoise ocean just a stone’s throw away. She couldn’t wait to walk along the beach and have a paddle. She almost felt as though she was on holiday! I’m going to take a few days to relax and have a good look around, she decided, then I’ll start tidying up the house. She and her father had agreed to put the cottage on the market as soon as they could, so she would probably only be here for the summer, but at least it gave her some time to sort out the shambles that her life had become.
First, though, she needed a cup of milky coffee to wake her up. She’d put a box of three-in-one sachets in her right saddlebag, in case there were no supplies in the house. She carefully negotiated the first set of narrow stairs to stop off at the bathroom to go to the loo and splash some water on her face, then cautiously descended the other staircase to the kitchen.
‘Who is it? Who is it?’ Buddy screeched as she walked in.
‘Morning, Buddy. It’s me, Hattie!’ she called. She filled up the electric kettle, glad that the old stove kettle she remembered, with the high-pitched whistle that let you know when the water had boiled, had been replaced. The almost-new silver kettle and matching microwave looked a bit out of place in the dated kitchen, but she was grateful for them. She took a clean mug out of the cupboard, then froze as she heard the back door open and someone stride in, whistling cheerfully. Horrified, she spun around and stared at the suntanned stranger, who was dressed in low-slung grey surfer shorts that skimmed his hips. His long fair hair was tied back in a ponytail, revealing a tiny silver cross earring dangling from his right ear, he had a large tattoo on each upper arm, and his body was taut and toned. Then his hazel eyes widened as they flitted to her naked body. Shit! She’d forgot she was starkers! They both stared at each other, dumbstruck for a second, then Buddy’s screech of ‘Bloody Hell!’ brought Hattie to her senses.
Two quick steps and she’d whisked the checked tablecloth off the table and quickly wrapped it around herself. She glared at the man. ‘Who the hell are you? And how dare you walk in like this!’
‘More to the point, who are you?’ the man demanded. ‘I’m Marcus, from next door. I’m here to feed Buddy. I’ve been looking after him.’
Damn! She remembered thinking yesterday that Buddy looked well fed and cared for, so a neighbour must be popping in to feed him. Why the hell hadn’t she pulled her dressing gown on this morning? Because it was still in her saddlebag and she was half asleep and hadn’t expected someone to walk into her kitchen this early in the morning, that’s why. It was barely eight o’clock!
‘I’m Hattie, Albert’s niece. He left this cottage to me and my dad in his will.’ She held the tablecloth tighter around herself, the plastic feeling sticky and uncomfortable against her skin. ‘I came down last night. I’m staying here until the cottage is sold.’
A look of disdain crossed Marcus’s suntanned face and his hazel eyes narrowed . ‘I thought you were coming down next weekend. You obviously couldn’t wait to claim your inheritance. Shame you didn’t see fit to visit your uncle when he was alive and lonely.’
Karen King Bio
Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. She has had eight romantic novels published, one psychological thriller with another one out later this year, 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became an international bestseller, reaching the top one hundred in the Kindle charts in both the UK and Australia. Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Karen now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.
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