Hubby and I once toured the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. I’ve been fascinated by the idea that a haunted hotel could inspire an author to write a book. Rest Thy Head looks like a great read for the same reason. Enjoy this excerpt from Elaine Cantrell’s recent release! 😀
Running away from a fiancé who betrayed her, Peyton O’Malley finds employment at a beautiful mountain inn called Rest Thy Head. She didn’t expect to live in the haunted room or to fall for the inn’s owner, a fire-scarred, war veteran who uses the inn to hide away from the world. She didn’t expect her sister to show up at Rest Thy Head either, much less her formidable mother.
Now, thanks to the aid of a friendly ghost, Peyton has a shot at true love, and so does her sister Ashley, provided the guys cooperate of course!
Jake rummaged around for a pot to boil some water and caught her staring at him again. Oh, wait, she must be staring at his face. He’d forgotten to sit so that the worst of it was turned away from her. He carried the water over to the fire and caught her staring again. This time he stared back at her. The expression on her face absolutely took his breath away. Her beautiful blue eyes had gone all misty, and her face looked soft, rosy, and dreamy. And oh, those moist looking, tempting lips.
“What?” He held his breath in anticipation of her answer.
Her eyes dropped. “I…I …nothing. Well…”
“What is it?”
“I love you,” Peyton blurted out.
She surprised him so much that he jumped and hit the pot of water with his knee. The fire made a hissing sound as the water hit it, but there hadn’t been enough water in the pot to put it out. At that moment Jake would have given ten years off his life to look the way he used to. She loved him.
Peyton’s face had gone scarlet. “Say something,” she demanded. “Didn’t you hear what I said?”
He bit the inside of his lip until he tasted blood. This was something he’d never expected to hear, but he had to keep her welfare in mind, not his own. It didn’t matter that his heart felt warm, full of love and desperate all at the same time. “Yes, I heard you, and I thank you for saying so, but what you’re feeling is gratitude, not love.”
Peyton fell on her knees at his feet and grabbed his hand. “No! You’re wrong. I love you. Don’t you love me back?”
Jake would rather have lied to her, but the joyful look on her face compelled him to tell the truth. “Yes, I love you, and I have from the first time I saw you. You’re everything I ever dreamed of, and you’re so beautiful it almost breaks my heart.”
Peyton jumped up and threw herself into his arms. “Oh, Jake, this is like a dream come true! I love you so much!”
She rained kisses on his face anywhere she could reach, and for one brief moment he held her close, then he gently put her away from him. “It wouldn’t work, Peyton.”
“Oh, but it would! Why do you say a thing like that? We’re in love!”
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.