The Guardian of Blackbird Inn
Saving the inn might mean losing her life.
Sophia Yates travels to the famed and haunted Blackbird Inn to help its mysterious owner, Garren Amsel, research its history. The state wants to claim eminent domain and take the property, but the historical inn has been in Garren’s family for generations and he can’t bear to lose it.
After learning the truth behind the inn’s biggest mystery, and why Garren stays, saving Blackbird Inn may cost Sophia her life. How far will she go to protect him?
“Welcome to Blackbird Inn, Miss…”
Sophia pushed her rain-soaked hair behind her ears and studied the tall man a moment before replying. He stared, probably at the frizz her red hair took on when wet. Either he hadn’t been expecting her, or he wasn’t used to guests at all. Being that this was a popular tourist inn, she assumed the former.
With his good looks, he didn’t appear to be the desk clerk type, and he seemed really uncomfortable, picking at pages on the desk and fidgeting as he talked. A chill rolled through her and she stepped up to the small registration desk and stuck her hand out. “Sophia Yates. I’m here to help with the research. Oh, and I have a reservation.”
“Ah, yes.” He grasped her hand and squeezed, his gaze lingering on hers a moment. Lightning flashed outside, illuminating him in blue and searing his image in her mind. Tall, dark, and mysterious didn’t even begin to cover it. Handsome was too common a word. The man was divine, his features aquiline and his hair jet black.
She licked her lips and pulled her hand from his, certain he’d felt her palms dampen. “And you?” She fidgeted with the handle of her wheeled suitcase, noting the trail of water she’d brought in with her.
The storm hadn’t let up since her bumpy landing in Philly a few hours ago. Good thing the rental car had fog lights because the remote inn had been difficult to find, even after stopping for directions in the tiny town nearby.
She looked back at the man behind the desk. Why wasn’t he answering? He smiled, the sort of crooked smile a man might give you before he tied you up and…
“Garren.” Thunder boomed outside, and the vibration traveled through the inn, rattling the foyer windows. “Garren Amsel. I’m the owner of the inn, but you probably know that by my name.” He paused. “And I’m the desk clerk, occasionally.” He pushed his hair out of his eyes.
She shivered. You’ve been reading too many scary stories. Driving through a thunderstorm to the rocky inn on the side of a mountain in remote Pennsylvania didn’t help. The place looked like something straight out of a horror movie, with its stone façade and overgrown hedges. A movie where the girl dies. “Nice to meet you.” I think.
“Likewise. I hope we can get this issue taken care of quickly.” He shuffled a stack of papers then set them aside. “But I can see you’re cold, and probably exhausted from travel. Let me show you to a room. If you want some hot tea, I can have it brought up to you.”
She nodded. Cold and tired explained her nervousness. That, and a day of traveling. Her unease had nothing to do with all the research she’d done about how Blackbird Inn was haunted, or about the disappearance of a young woman almost a hundred years ago. All stories to drive in business to the isolated inn, she was sure of it. She was here now on business, nothing more. Not to solve a mystery or be afraid of a ghost.
It didn’t matter that Halloween was in two days. The only sign of decorating she’d seen was a pumpkin and haystack arrangement on the front lawn. The inn didn’t need anything added to be spooky.
“Arturo Beck will be in tomorrow night.” She gazed around the small foyer, taking in the dark woodwork and high ceiling. “I hope we can find something useful before he gets here.” The inn was over a hundred-fifty years old, but seemed to have been well maintained. Ancient navy blue silk wallpaper lined the foyer, making it appear smaller than it actually was, and an antique clock rested against one wall. In the center of the tall ceiling, a chandelier draped in small crystals dangled on a lone cord. One bulb was out, and dust concealed the refraction of the prisms.
“He told me you’d be here first.”
Copyright © KERRY ADRIENNE, October 1, 2015 | All Rights Reserved, All Romance Ebooks
Reviews and Praise
The Guardian of Blackbird Inn brings me back to the gothic novels of Victoria Holt that I devoured as a young reader. The romance, the secrets, the ghosts and the mysterious happenings all around the characters have not only a paranormal feel to them, but a classic gothic tone as well.
This is an action packed short novella. Yet, while this story may be short it is full of everything that makes paranormal romance one of my favorite reading choices. With Halloween just weeks away, this is a wonderful spooky, dangerous and engaging tale of lovers, ghosts and things that go bump in the night.
I would recommend this story for anyone who loves gothics, paranormals or simply enjoys a story that makes them shiver and look over their shoulder. –NetGalley Reviewer