A Winter's Dare [Dareville Series Book 4]
Click on image to enlarge.
by Leigh Ellwood
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Holed up in Dare House Museum, Kate Robeson is content to live with the ghosts of the past. Finding a man can wait, much to her mother's consternation. Yet, when Kate discovers the ghosts haunting the oldest house in Dareville have their own plans for Kate, she quickly reconsiders her solitary position, and yearns for the missionary one! When Devon Williams happens upon Dare House for a research project, Kate is instantly struck. The secrets he reveals of his connection to Polly Dare and her servant Athena are shocking, yet with a little push from some otherworldly friends, Kate comes to see that all work and no play makes for a dull winter, indeed. Part of the Dareville Series!
eBook Publisher: Phaze/Snuggler, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: November 2006
15 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [53 KB]
Reading time: 27-38 min.
Kate Robeson's husky, film noir voice carried as gaily as possible through the truncated ground floor of Dare House. "Athena," she seemed to sing in the stale air, scented with ancient book dust and faded daisies, "that's enough! Behave now."
Kate stood in the kitchen of the oldest house in Dareville, now a museum preserving the legacy of a town that had withstood two wars, as well as that of the mistress who called it home during the second, and not necessarily civil, one. The plastic-wrapped loaf of wheat bread, one of a few anachronisms in the otherwise authentically appointed room, rolled to one side at Kate's feet, untouched. By human hands or feet, anyway.
Kate shook her head. Athena was going to be the death of her, she just knew it. Perhaps, though, that was the girl's plan. Perhaps she wanted more permanent company than Kate could give.
"What are you shouting about now?" The voice of Kate's mother Marlene arrived mere seconds before the shapely, sixtyish woman flounced into the kitchen, swinging a heavy purse onto a nearby butcher's block. The table's long, varnished legs cried out in response to weight it was no longer accustomed to supporting. Kate cringed and had to wonder why her mother insisted on packing like Lewis and/or Clark just for a brief excursion into town.
Marlene carried on without skipping a beat, regarding their quaint surroundings with a disapproving gaze. Her nose wrinkled and her eyes squinted, as though willing away a layer of dust that threatened to coat her skin. "Honestly, Kate," she said, "you ought to get rid of the cat. You don't need animals running around here. What if it decides to sharpen its claws on one of Polly Dare's handmade heirloom quilts?"
With a labored sigh, Kate swooped down and collected the bread with an open palm. "For the last time, Ma, there's no cat in the museum. How many times do I have to tell you that? Even if there was one, those quilts are encased in acrylic frames. No amount of cat scratching will get to them."
Marlene shrugged. "I'm surprised you don't have a cat, as much as you try to keep Dare House authentic. Didn't Polly Dare have a cat? For all we know, those celebrated quilts have been soaked through with cat piss for all these years. Preserved forever behind acrylic."
Kate rolled her eyes upward, as though wishing for x-ray vision to verify the intact cleanliness of the aforementioned quilts, lest her mother suggest extracting DNA from the threads to clone Civil War cats for fun and profit. She tried not to fist the soft bread slices into a plastic-covered ball, though she found the gesture too therapeutic to dismiss.
Carefully, breathing sharply through her nose, Kate extracted two slices for her lunch and replaced the loaf in its cupboard. Only when the door squeaked shut did she deign speak to her mother. "Polly had a beagle, named Aristotle," she said calmly, in the pleasant hostess voice used to lecture school groups and other interested parties who requested the full guided tour. "I was addressing Athena, the house servant."
"When did you hire an assistant?" Marlene reached for a potato chip from the open bag by Kate's sandwich. "And why would you call her something like that?"
"Polly's house servant, Ma!" For once since her appointment as curator of Dare House, Kate was relieved to know the place was devoid of guests. She knew damn well her mother liked to yank her chain, closet sadist that she was; anyone unaware of this practiced comedy routine might see a harried woman yelling at her dementia-suffering mother.