Title: Escape Clause
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 24, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
Sometimes to escape a bad situation, you have to grit your teeth and bare your clause.
When competing hotel owners, the Carlyles, attempt a takeover of the former Brubaker hotel, now The Point Resort and also Kelsey Donigan’s second home, the front desk manager discovers long buried secrets between the two families. Better yet, she uncovers an escape clause that not only prevents a takeover, but may also overtake generations of animosity between the two families.
Kelsey finds an ally in the most unlikely of locals. Hotel heir Oliver Carlyle’s devotion and determination to honor his mother’s final wishes places him in direct opposition with his powerful family.
Can the star-crossed couple save the historic, beachfront hotel or will they lose each other in the process?
All other links: books2read.com/escape-clause
“What’d they do?”
“They cleverly took on the shapes of a pair of fish and jumped in the river to escape the evil giant.”
“Oh.” It felt like all the air had been knocked from my lungs, and my heart plummeted to my empty stomach. I turned and gazed at the stars.
“What? Don’t you like it?”
Tears stung my eyes. I swallowed hard, but my emotions refused to be suppressed.
I raised my shoulders to my ears. “If they became fish, then he would’ve swam away from her.” A tear fell before I could wipe it away. “Venus saved her son, but then she probably lost him. And I understand that a mom would do anything for her child, but I don’t like a story that ends with them separated. Or worse.” I thought of Charlie. What would I do if I lost him? The pain cut so deep it hurt to breathe. I would do anything to save my child, including moving hundreds of miles away from my home.
The look on Ollie’s face could only be described as shocked.
“I’m sorry, I’m being stupid.” I wiped my eyes on the shoulder of my shirt.
“No, you’re not stupid.” He reached into the pocket of his pants and handed me a pressed white handkerchief. “Here.”
I took it and looked at him in disbelief. “I didn’t think anyone carried handkerchiefs anymore. My granddaddy did, but….”
“It’s a Carlyle thing. You know, family tradition and all. It’s proper etiquette to carry a handkerchief, but I’ve never appreciated the custom until now.”
“You’re my knight with a clean hankie.” I giggled and blew my nose. I was about to hand it back to him, but stopped. “Uh, you probably don’t want this back.” I cringed.
“I have an entire drawer full of them. Keep it. It’s yours. Consider it a souvenir of our night.”
I smiled. “Thank you.” I tucked the hankie in my pocket, but I couldn’t erase the thought of being separated from my little man. The fear pulled at my heart in a way only a love for a child could evoke. Charlie was my everything. Tears welled again in my eyes.
He reached for my hand. “Kelsey, it’s okay. The story’s not over yet.”
He wiped away a tear. “Promise. Venus and Cupid swam away to safety, but legend speaks of the tails of the fish being tied together with a gold cord, to avoid losing each other.”
I pulled out his handkerchief to dry my eyes. “Really? They’re tied together.”
“Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
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Mary Billiter is a weekly newspaper columnist and fiction author. She also has novels published under the pen name, “Pumpkin Spice.”Mary resides in the Cowboy State with her unabashedly bald husband, her four amazing children, two fantastic step-kids, and their runaway dog. She does her best writing (in her head) on her daily runs in wild, romantic, beautiful Wyoming.