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When Billie Hatchman inherits a bed & breakfast from her estranged great aunt, she’s not prepared to be haunted by the well-intentioned ghost—or to be set up with her sexy but very much unavailable next-door neighbor.
A GHOST OF A CHANCE
Tenderhearted Billie Hatchman has known no day without backbreaking hard work since she found out she was pregnant twelve years ago. Now she’s inherited a bed-and-breakfast from her great aunt, a woman she never met. It looks like her problems are solved. Except, Billie’s not prepared for the immense loneliness that comes with such a life. There’s enough to keep her distracted day to day, but thoughts of Sam Willis, her sexy chef neighbor, aren’t quite enough to fill her nights.
Sam is the perfect man: good to her children, a supportive friend, and he stirs up feelings Billie long ago forsook. Yet Sam is taken, and his girlfriend is beautiful and socially connected—and rich. Could he truly believe a single mother of two would be a better partner and lover? That’s what the kindhearted, spitfire of a ghost in Billie’s bedroom believes. And Great Aunt Emily thinks this love is worth any risk.
From Chapter 1.
Billie’s appointment was for 9:15 a.m. However, it took half an hour to drive from Balnarring to the lawyer’s office and at the last minute twelve-year-old Aria threw a wobbly about her skirt being too long. Not that Billie agreed, but rather than prolong the usual mother-daughter argument, at the last minute she was tacking hems when she should have been halfway to Frankston.
The only empty space was in a thirty-minute zone. This late, she parked the Honda knowing she was sure to get booked. Then she didn’t have enough coins to fill the meter and the Two Dollar shop across the road made an issue of changing a five-dollar bill. By the time Billie found the right building, she was covered in perspiration.
She found Roger Livingston’s office in a gleaming glass-and-concrete building mostly occupied by doctors, accountants and lawyers. Inside, a mirror in the foyer showed a slim woman of average height with wavy shoulder-length dark brown hair, brown eyes, olive skin, and a squarish chin that suggested both strength and resolution; a woman in her early thirties whose attractive appearance was slightly marred by a permanent worry line on the bridge of her nose.
Billie paused to check her makeup, smooth her eyeshadow, and adjust her skirt, which felt that bit too snug. If only she’d had time to study her reflection in more detail, she might have wished her cheekbones higher, her nose straighter, her lips thicker, and her outfit a lot newer.
Instead she ran her eye down several names ‘before finding the lawyer’s on the sixth floor.
The lift silently rose and opened into a spacious suite. One entire wall was see-through glass. Billie paused to admire the vista of yellow sand, green sea, and blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.
A girl, not much older than Billie’s teenage babysitter Carol, but dressed in a formfitting navy dress that must have cost a week’s wages, viewed Billie with suspicion.
Nevertheless, her name and appointment confirmed, she was immediately directed into the lawyer’s office.
A tall thin man in his late fifties in a charcoal suit and a striped tie hinting at some organization or club Billie didn’t recognize came from behind a table to ask, “Wilhemina Adrienne Hatchman?”
He shook her hand before saying, “I’m Roger Livingston. Before we start can you please show me some identification?”
She reached into her purse and took out her driving licence.
The lawyer glanced at it, cleared his throat, and pointed her to a chair “So Wilhemina—”
“Everyone calls me Billie,” she said quickly.
“Billie?” His eyebrows shot up.
“I changed it when I was little. My parents went on a trip to Europe. When they counted back, they figured I was conceived in Holland…”
She stopped, realizing she was saying too much.
“Ah.” His face cleared. “Wilhemina, now shortened to Billie.” A slight smile hovered around thin lips. “And you have no siblings?”
She shook her head. “None that I’m aware of.”
“No one to query any inheritance?”
“No one,” she repeated…
“Emily’s Ghost is a story of food, love and secret passion. I enjoyed this book immensely. The food images, the romantic story floating in and out, and the reinvention of Billie that kept me reading until the end. Utterly fabulous!”
Reviewed by A.G