About the book
What happens when two lost souls find themselves?
After recent heartbreak, Skye Jackson finds herself homeless and on the road with only a classic Airstream trailer to her name. A surprise inheritance of a rundown little lodge in the grounds of beautiful Willow Tree Hall forces her to change her plans. However there is a problem…
The lodge is co-owned by care-free, playboy Will Harris, who finds himself unemployed after a recent tabloid scandal.
Skye desperately wants a home to call her own and needs to move on as quickly as possible. Will doesn’t want to stay at his family home either to face the ghosts of his past. So they decide to put aside their differences and renovate the cottage together.
But when a storm hits, Skye and Will are forced to stay on to ensure that an important wedding goes ahead. Can Skye finally find a home of her own? Can Will stop running from his past and help out his family when they need him the most?
The magic of winter at Willow Tree Hall is about to change everything…
Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews.
Will Harris was pacing up and down the kitchen inside Willow Tree Hall, trying to keep calm and failing. But, as always, he hid his emotions well.
‘Is there nothing I can do to help change your mind?’ he said, forcing a jocular tone into his voice. ‘Is no sort of bribery acceptable these days? Money? Whisky? My right leg?’
‘I’m really sorry,’ said Glenn, his now ex-manager, on the other end of the line. ‘You know how it is at the minute. Everyone’s being careful with their money and luxury ski lodges are only for the super-rich these days. The economy has slowed up so much that I’ve got to cut a few jobs, unfortunately.’
‘Yeah, I understand.’
Will knew that it wasn’t just about the dodgy state of the economy. This was also about the recent scandal that had spread his name across social media and beyond.
Despite dating numerous women over the years, Maria was the first woman he had ever become involved with that was married. It had always been a rule of his to never get between husband and wife. However, she had told him that the marriage was over in all but name and he had been unable to resist her many charms.
Unfortunately, her husband was a high profile cabinet minister with ambitions to become a future Prime Minister. But when a story about his own secret mistress was about to be leaked, the minister had quickly revealed Will and Maria’s affair to the press instead. It didn’t help that Maria’s husband had business connections to the media and therefore his unblemished record stayed intact whilst Will’s was run into the ground.
Will’s playboy reputation became the perfect excuse for why the marriage had broken down and he had been too much of a gentleman to tell the truth. He needed to protect Maria even though their white hot affair had cooled down after only a few weeks. So his name was splashed across every front page, embarrassing himself, his family and the firm he worked for.
Used to work for, he reminded himself.
‘I’m sorry that you got caught up in my personal mess,’ said Will. He liked Glenn. They had worked together for five years, creating bespoke luxury ski lodges. It had been hard but fun work. And it had enabled him to spend most of the year in the Alps rather than at Willow Tree Hall.
‘You’ve already apologised for all that,’ Glenn told him. ‘Look, there’s no rush to pick up your things from the apartment.’
Along with the job came an apartment in the Alps which had been a great place to party over the years. A winter wonderland full of champagne and beautiful women whom he had dated, albeit always briefly.
Will didn’t do romance. He didn’t do love. At least, that was the story that the newspapers liked to tell. According to them, he was the uncaring playboy, the breaker of hearts and promises.
But he had never promised anything to any woman he had dated. He had never been unkind to anyone, had never hurt anyone intentionally. And love? That was only for fools.
‘I’ll head over in the next fortnight and collect my stuff to get it out of your way,’ said Will. ‘I’ll need to pick up my Range Rover anyway.’
‘Listen, I’ll email you the redundancy package details,’ carried on Glenn. ‘That will hopefully see you through to the next job. You know you’ll be top of my hiring list when the economy picks up again.’
Will knew that Glenn was trying to be fair and that the redundancy package would keep him going for a month or two. But he had also been relying on the generous Christmas bonus that he had received for the past five years. In fact, he had already spent it, two months early, along with the majority of his savings.
‘Okay. Let me know if anything comes up in the future,’ said Will.
He slid the phone into the back pocket of his jeans, still stunned by the unexpected news. Of all the things he had prepared for, losing his job had never been one of them. What on earth was he going to do now?
Will brought out the car keys from his other back pocket and stared down at them. You’re going to have to sell that vintage Aston Martin you’ve just treated yourself to, he told himself, feeling miserable. There’s no way you can afford it now.
His whole life he had wanted a classic James Bond car from the sixties. Then, whilst he had been in Switzerland over the summer, he had heard that some American movie star had needed to liquidate his assets fast and the DB6 had come up at such an excellent price that it was too good an opportunity to miss.
Yes, it had cost him all of his savings and the future Christmas bonus too, but he had thought at the time that it was worth it.
He also owned a Range Rover but that had remained in the Alps to cope with the snowy winters out there. So he had brought the Aston Martin back to Willow Tree Hall to store in one of the garages as both an investment for the future and a plaything.
It had been an incredible few days, driving the sports car across Europe. It looked and drove like an absolute dream. Even the red colour had been just right.
It also meant that he could visit Willow Tree Hall briefly to park up the car and see everyone before the need to escape took him away once more back to the snowy peaked mountains. But now the apartment and job in the Alps were no more. There would only be one last trip to pick up his belongings and the Range Rover and then what?
He twirled the keys around in his fingers, deep in thought. The Aston Martin was going to have to be sold. But maybe he’d allow himself one last spin around the countryside before he got his money back. He hadn’t even had time to take his brother Sam out in it yet.
He wandered over to the kitchen window to admire the car where he had parked it next to the garage. But instead of the view of his classic Aston Martin, he found himself staring at the side of a classic Airstream trailer and run down blue Fiesta instead.
Will was non-plussed. What on earth were they doing on their driveway? Who did they belong to? Somebody was very lost indeed.
He was still staring in surprise when a woman got out of the car. As always with any stranger of the female species, he automatically ran his well-trained eyes over her. But whereas he normally appreciated any curves or beauty, he had trouble getting past the long, lavender coloured hair that was covering her face. He couldn’t see her figure because she was wearing a long, multi-coloured crocheted poncho, although her black leggings and black flat ballerina shoes at least showed a glimpse of shapely legs.
He watched the purple haired stranger walk along the side of the trailer towards the back, bending down as if she had run over something. Or perhaps there was a problem with the suspension, if it was in just a bad a state as the rust riddled Fiesta.
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.
Twitter handle: @AlisonSherlock