I’m so excited to be able to say today that I am an official part of the Carina UK family because – Room for Love is available to buy right now!
Even better, it’s already got some lovely reviews from the nice people who requested it from Netgalley. Like these:
It’s Carrie’s personal struggle to accept friendship, love, and assistance which lies at the heart of this book. A very sweet story which I really loved; I finished it in no time.
“What a delightful story! I loved the descriptions of the old inn and surrounding countryside and the occupants of the inn were irresistible. This book is a real treat.”
So, what’s it all about? Well…
When wedding planner Carrie Archer inherits the crumbling Avalon Inn where she spent her childhood summers, she knows she’ll do whatever it takes to make it home. With no money for renovations, that means finding investors if she ever hopes to turn the Avalon into a dream wedding venue.
But Carrie has been left more than the inn—she’s also inherited its occupants, including three senior citizens, a single-father chef with childcare issues, a panicky receptionist, and one very gorgeous gardener.
So when her cousin Ruth declares her intention to get married at the Avalon on Christmas Eve, Carrie finds herself juggling decorating with dance nights, budgeting with bridge games…and sabotage with seduction.
I really hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them. Here’s a little sneak peak of Room for Love to tempt you into the Avalon Inn…
It’s a money pit, Carrie. You don’t have to do this. You can’t do this.
Carrie stared out of the car window at the familiar, crumbling form of the Avalon Inn, her father’s words still echoing in her head. Five, and it barely seemed to have changed at all. The roof tiles still sat wonky, the terrace seemed to be sinking into the grass, and moss had crept so far up the building it appeared to have taken over the stonework.
In other words, it still looked like home.
The place she’d spent endless childhood summers, reading by firelight or adventuring through overgrown gardens. The scene of her first kiss. Fourteen years old, dressed in Grandma Nancy’s second-best silk gown, dancing on the terrace with one of the local boys. He’d sung along to the music, his breath warm against her ear as they’d hidden in the darkness, peering through the window at the women dancing, their long dresses swirling. Cigar smoke and music had filled the air, and Carrie had known in that moment that the Avalon Inn was where she truly belonged.
Even now, so many years later, she knew this place, deep in her bones. Just through the front door stood the ornate, curving main staircase, the site of her cousin Ruth’s many fictional weddings. And somewhere, shoved in the bottom of a cupboard, she’d probably find a dressing-up box holding the endless parade of second-hand bridesmaid’s dresses Ruth had dressed Carrie in for the occasions. The unicorn tapestry would still be hanging over the reception desk, and the old Welsh dresser must still dominate the dining room.
All so, so familiar.
She could almost see Grandma Nancy skipping down the front steps, if she tried. Carrie squinted for a second, before the twinge of guilt that always accompanied the thought of five years of absence caught up with her. Because Grandma Nancy would never walk down those steps again. Because now the Avalon Inn belonged to Carrie.
She shouldn’t have done it, Carrie. It wasn’t fair. You don’t have the knowledge or the experience to run an inn. Especially not a crumbling old heap like the Avalon.
She could still see her father, shaking his head as he spoke, hands trembling as he held the whisky glass Uncle Patrick had forced into his hand the moment the funeral service was over.
“I’ve been organising society weddings for five years,” Carrie argued, even though her dad was two weeks and three hundred miles away. “I think I can manage one venue.”
Think of what you’re throwing away! It’ll swallow up all your savings in one gulp, and God knows Mum didn’t have much money to leave you. And what then? Do you think that boss of yours will take you back again? Anna gave you a job when you needed one, when no one else would, as a favour to Uncle Patrick. And now you’re walking out on her. You’re burning your bridges, Carrie.
Enough. She might have burned every bridge, aqueduct and underpass she had, but she was here. And she couldn’t just sit in her car waiting for something to happen. She was on her own now.
Sucking in a deep breath, Carrie opened the door and stepped out, locking the car behind her automatically before she caught herself. She almost laughed. Who did she think was going to steal her tiny city car here in the middle of the Welsh mountains? There probably wasn’t even anyone there to see it.
Behind her, the peaks and valleys of Snowdonia stretched out, green and vibrant and damp in the autumn afternoon. The air tasted different here. Fresher than London, of course, but more than that. Almost as if it had more life in it.
For the first time in the two weeks since the funeral, since that awful fight with her father, Carrie felt something inside her relax. This was the right thing to do. Grandma Nancy had left her the Avalon—not Dad, or Uncle Patrick, or even Ruth—so she’d obviously believed she was up to the challenge.
No matter what everyone else thought.
Carrie was going to save the Avalon Inn, all by herself. And then she was going to take great pleasure in saying ‘I told you so’ to everyone who said she couldn’t do it.
Just as Gran would have wanted.