About the Book
Everyone is hiding from something…
Full of warmth, laughter, tears and heartache. Find out if there is a happy-ever-after at Willow Tree Hall. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson and Lucy Diamond.
Willow Tree Hall has seen much better days and has been the proud ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Cranley for centuries.
With no qualifications and escaping her past Annie Rogers takes the job as housekeeper to widowed Arthur, the charming current Earl of Cranley. After a bad fall puts Arthur in hospital, it’s up to a reluctant heir apparent Sam Harris, to lend a helping hand and try to find a sustainable future for the Estate.
With the house requiring a full renovation Annie suddenly finds herself completely out of her depth with a team of dodgy builders and Sam watching critically from the side-lines.
With Sam running from his past and Annie hiding from hers, just maybe together they can bring Willow Tree Hall back to life.
The start of a beautiful new series focusing on the lives and loves, trial and tribulations of all those who live and work at Willow Tree Hall.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2nvjCPG
Oh God. She had killed her boss with her complete and utter incompetence.
Annie Rogers took a deep breath. Keep calm, she told herself, sinking down onto the end of a long row of grey plastic chairs that lined one side of the corridor.
Almost killed, she reminded herself. She had to stop over-reacting. Arthur Harris, the Earl of Cranley, wasn’t dead. That much she knew. But there were an awful lot of hospital staff dashing in and out of the room in the Accident and Emergency department where he was being assessed and nobody was telling her anything else.
She hugged her arms close and willed Arthur, or Lord Cranley to give him his official title, a full and speedy recovery with every fibre in her being.
Perhaps she shouldn’t care so much. She had only been his housekeeper for ten months. She wasn’t even a member of his own family. His closest relative, his grandson Will, was on his way to the hospital right at that moment. But to Annie, Arthur was the closest thing to family she had known in a very long time. She cared greatly about the seventy-five-year-old man whom she had enjoyed taking care of. He, in turn, had been warm and loving towards her. So much so that he had become her surrogate grandfather, as opposed to just the Lord of the stately home where she worked.
Which made it even worse that it had been her fault that he had slipped on the wet puddle halfway up the grand staircase back at Willow Tree Hall.
It was the same puddle that gathered every time it rained due to the leaking roof. The same leak that she should have remembered to place a bucket underneath before the Earl came downstairs for his breakfast. And it had rained so heavily overnight.
But there had been a knock on the back door first thing that morning from the chatty postman with a delivery. By the time he had finished telling her about the latest village gossip, the ancient Aga in the kitchen had wheezed to a halt. It had taken her ages to get it going once more and she was behind in laying out the table in the dining room for breakfast.
It had only been when she heard Arthur’s terrible cry from the entrance hall that she remembered the puddle. But it had been too late.
She would never forget the sight of him lying at the bottom of the stairs. Never forgive herself for his accident. As usual, it was all her own fault. Everyone was right. She was completely and utterly useless.
She bit her bottom lip to suppress the loud sobs that threatened to spill out into the corridor.
‘Annie? Is that you?’
She looked up to see Will Harris, Arthur’s youngest grandson, rushing towards her. He looked nothing like his grandfather, not least because he was at least forty years his junior. Will was blonde and took after his grandmother, the late Countess. His handsome looks held him in good stead as the thirty-year-old playboy that she had seen out and about in the newspapers with so many different women. She had met Will only a couple of times but he had always been flirtatious and fun.
It was a stark contrast to the serious man that stood in front of her now. ‘How is he?’ he asked, full of concern.
Annie stood up, blinking away the tears as they filled her eyes. ‘They won’t tell me anything. I’m not family.’
‘For God’s sake,’ he said, rolling his eyes. ‘You’re closer to him than I am.’
‘It’s all my fault,’ she began to say but the tears began to roll down her cheeks and she couldn’t speak anymore.
‘Rubbish,’ replied Will, pulling her towards him.
She knew she should be more professional. This was the Earl’s grandson and she barely knew him. But she was so upset that she let herself cry softly against his T-shirt.
In the short time that she had worked and lived there, Willow Tree Hall had quickly become her whole life. She had no real family or friends outside of its grounds. Nobody that cared about her.
So she cried for lovely Arthur who had let her make so many mistakes since she had arrived in January and had never once complained. The man who would never know how grateful she was to him for giving her a stable home environment after so many years of uncertainty. The one man who had let her feel as if she finally belonged somewhere in the world.
She cried most of all at the guilt buried deep inside. It was her lies that had led this wonderful gentleman to be hurt so badly. That she had been lying about herself ever since she had first arrived at Willow Tree Hall all those months ago.
The truth was that she wasn’t even a housekeeper.
About the Author
Alison Sherlock enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and a daft golden retriever.