Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: November 17, 2017
Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 87,210
Tagline: Can she fall in love with a haunted man?
Scout Lawson is fleeing an unhappy past, and thinks she's run as far as she can from Yale University when she lands a job restoring a library in Cornwall, England for reclusive rock star George Wilder, who dropped out of sight after the death of his beautiful wife the year before.
As soon as she arrives at his estate, Farraway Mist, however, strange things start to happen. As the couple's feelings for each other grow, the events become more harrowing, until everything they hold dear is in peril.
She walked over next to the window so she could examine the binding of the book she held in the light. He leaned over curiously, trying to see what she was looking at.
As they bent over the book together, the curtain rod gave one warning rattle and crashed down, catching Scout across the forehead, opening up a flap of skin as she smashed her head on the sill.
George yanked the curtain and the offending rod off of Scout as the dogs scurried for cover.
"Scout! Scout! Are you okay?"
She blinked up at him from the floor, nodding, trying to focus. She raised a hand to her temple, but George grasped it and held it away, shaking his head.
"No, don't touch, there's blood," he murmured. Blood?
Jess and Bandit came back, sniffing at her worriedly, making her smile in spite of the circumstances.
"Make sure none of the blood gets on the books," she said, carefully placing the book up on the windowsill.
George smiled at her words as he helped her up.
"Well, I intend to have some very strong words with my staff about how they replaced the curtains after they cleaned them," he said as he led her from the room.
"You have a staff?" Scout said asked in an amused voice.
"Well, okay, I guess 'staff' is rather a grandiose word for Alfred and Sunil from the village," George admitted. Scout was surprised at how relaxed and friendly George sounded. It was a different side to the silent and kind of sarcastic, frightening person she'd met earlier.
They entered what looked like a guest bathroom, and George sat her down on the counter next to the sink so he could delicately dab at a fairly bloody but not deep gash on her temple with a bit of tissue, much to her embarrassment. The dogs hovered and watched.
"I can do this myself," Scout said, laughing.
"Don't be silly," George said, holding the tissue out of reach when she reached for it. "What if you were to become faint at the sight of your own blood and pass out cold, falling off the counter in the process?" He stopped talking so he could look in her eyes, staring from about an inch away. He could feel her warm breaths on his face, and backed up a little.
"When I was ten I rode into a mailbox on my bike while I was turned around yelling something to my friend Kenny, and I had to push my bike home for nearly a mile with my lip torn away from my cheek. It was over an inch long," Scout said conversationally. "I had to hold the skin closed the whole way. I needed seven stitches. You can still kind of make out the scar, see? I was fine, honest."
But George insisted, and Scout finally gave up and let him minister to her, drawing in little hissing breaths as the antiseptic touched the raw wound. He finally stepped back, blowing on it. "Okay, all finished. I think you'll survive. And you might even have another romantic scar."
He looked critically into her pale blue eyes. "Do you have double vision or anything?
I'm a bit concerned about concussion, if I'm honest. I wonder if I should have a doctor out here to examine you?"
"No, I'm sure I'm fine," Scout protested. "Not feeling sleepy?" George persisted.
"Well, a little, but that's probably just jet lag, don't you think?" Scout said. "I promise I won't fall asleep."
George looked at her.
Scout hopped down off the counter and stood before him, a slight figure, standing straight.
George finally nodded.
"How about this, then?" George proposed. "We'll make some coffee, go sit down, and talk until dinner. If you seem fine, that is to say if you're not drowsy or slurring your words or anything, then no doctor, okay?"
Scout nodded too. "Okay," she agreed. "I guess you wouldn't want anyone dropping dead in your beautiful house," she joked.
He just looked at her for a moment before leaving the bathroom. She took quick steps and put a hand on his arm.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Wilder, I really am. I'm always shooting off my mouth and waiting for my brain to catch up," she said contritely.
He looked at her hand, then her eyes before giving her a small, crooked grin. "It's all right." He took a few steps before turning back.
She looked at him. "Please call me George."
About the Author:
Tani Hanes was born in Yokosuka, Japan. She spent the first few years of her life traveling back and forth between Japan and the US, making the permanent move to the Central Valley of California when she was five. She visited family in Japan on a regular basis, and attended college in Tokyo for one year at ICU before getting her degree in Language Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She has two children, and was a substitute teacher for fifteen years. Hanes currently resides in New York City with her husband and cats, Moss and Lily.