A Castle for Christmas (Paperback)
Back Inn Time Series Book 4
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A crown meant for a princess. A medieval castle. And a one-way ticket to an unforgettable romance.
A life-changing diagnosis sends Avery Stuart on a last-chance Christmas road trip. The cheery bed-and-breakfast offers a festive way to spend the holidays alone. But when she finds her name listed on an ancient family tree next to an English baron, her trip suddenly takes a startling turn—no fairy godmother included. She might have gotten the Cinderella dress, but her prince is more beast than charming.
On the verge of seeing his people starve, Sir Robert de Northwood must seek a bride with a hefty dowry in order to salvage what war has wrought. The night he must choose his wife, a strange foreign princess arrives at Northwood Castle dressed in enough jewels to feed his barony for a year—and she’s entirely alone. Sir Robert is intrigued by the fascinating woman and offers his protection by way of a sensible marriage arrangement that will benefit them both. But when the mysterious Princess Avery of Gardenia claims to be from the future, how much will he risk losing in order to keep her close?
♥ The Back Inn Time series books are fun, faith-filled stories of what it might be like to suddenly experience life in a different time. These clean historical romances are packed with humor and adventure. Perfect for fans of dual timeline or time slip stories and Christian historical romance, these books answer the question every historical fiction fan wonders—what would it be like if I went back to that time? If you enjoy the wholesomeness of Amish, Western, or frontier fiction and adore romantic comedies, then a visit to a seaside Victorian inn where you can “step back inn time and leave your troubles behind!” is for you.
236 print book pages
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Enjoy a free first page sample:
The best part of dying was that she got to eat whatever she wanted. A gal had to count her blessings where she could find them. Avery licked the chocolate from her finger and crumpled the little white bag that had held the decadent éclair. She checked her face in the car’s rearview mirror. None of her donut-for-dinner meal clung to her skin.
The new makeup looked pretty good, effectively hiding the dark rings under her eyes. No sense giving strangers any clues to her struggles. She was here to celebrate, after all. Alone and not at all where she’d expected to be, but she wouldn’t let such details derail her. Avery pulled her suitcase from the rental car’s trunk and locked the doors.
A grand Victorian stood like a genteel lady wrapped in sunset colors, the edges of her cloak dappled in the deep purple of evening. A cool ocean breeze tickled Avery’s senses, slipping past the bare branches of ancient oaks that hid the Gulf of Mexico from view.
What a stunning house. Avery paused at the sign, contemplating a selfie. But why bother? Only a few acquaintances at work would see the picture, and they thought she was on a little bit of… well, a less permanent vacation. Avery left the phone in her pocket, determined not to let melancholy thoughts rob her of her “last month as a sane person” adventure.
The sprawling Victorian house nestled in the quaint seaside town hadn’t been on her itinerary. Giving into spontaneous whims, however, had kind of become her thing. She smiled at the motto on the sign. Step back inn time and leave your troubles behind.
If only life were that simple.
Avery pulled the wobbly suitcase behind her and mounted the steps to a pristine wrap-around porch boasting an abundance of Christmas decorations. Poinsettias lined the railing, candles with dancing flames dotted the wide windows, and a wreath with a spray of greenery, festive ribbons, and sparkling ornaments graced the front door.
She lifted her hand to knock just as the door swung open. A woman with graying curls and a bright smile greeted her.
“Hello, Miss Stuart.” The woman gestured her inside. “I’ve been waiting for you. Do come in.”
Avery stepped into a front room that looked like something from a Hallmark movie. Every doorway dripped in garland. Every tabletop boasted a manger scene, glass tree, or shiny knickknack. At least she wouldn’t be spending Christmas somewhere lacking character.
“This way, dear. I have cookies in the kitchen.”
Avery followed the woman around a massive staircase, past several antique rooms, and to a wide kitchen every bit as elegant as she’d come to expect from the graceful Victorian.
“I hope you like snickerdoodles.” The woman plucked a plate from a granite countertop and extended it in Avery’s direction.
The suitcase behind her clinked over the tiled floor as Avery drew closer. “Thank you, Miss…uh…?”
“Silly me.” The woman set the plate back on the counter. “I’m Mrs. Easley.” Instead of offering her hand, the woman dropped into what Avery could only call the most perfect debutant curtsy she’d ever seen.
“Oh…I, uh.” Avery positioned the suitcase upright. “Nice to meet you. I’m Avery.” She clutched the suitcase handle. Sticking her hand out now would be awkward. Even more so than stating her name to someone who already knew it.