Brass Anchor Inn
The Brass Anchor Inn is about to host a bicentennial celebration when its grumpy new owner arrives on the island, making the inn’s sunshiny manager wonder if it will still be a festive occasion or a farewell party.
Josie Turner loves managing the Brass Anchor Inn. And so when the inn’s owner unexpectedly passes, she keeps it running until the future of the business is resolved. Real estate agent Lane Johnson has just inherited half of the inn. His goal is to sell it to the highest buyer as soon as possible.
But when he meets the beautiful yet determined general manager, he knows this is going to be far from an easy transaction—especially when he learns that Josie has inherited the other half of the inn. When the negotiations begin, lines get blurred and hearts get tangled.
Includes a recipe for Josie’s giant chocolate chip cookies!
HEAT LEVEL: Clean & Wholesome
Read an Excerpt
Change floated softly in the ocean breeze.
It was inevitable.
Josie Turner didn’t like it. Not one little bit. Yet she was helpless to stop it from happening. All she could do now was hold on tight and hope when the May winds died down that both she and the Brass Anchor Inn would still be standing.
In the sometimes-turbulent Atlantic Ocean sat a small, crescent-shaped island called Bluestar. It wasn’t far from the coastline of Boston, Massachusetts. The much-loved island had been Josie’s home most of her life. The only time she’d live elsewhere was to go away to college.
While she’d enjoyed her time away, there was no place like home. Even though she’d met a lot of good friends in college, and the experience had given her a lot of fabulous memories, once she’d completed her education and internship at a large hotel in New York City, she returned to Bluestar.
Her time on the mainland also gave her a new appreciation for the uniqueness of the island, from restricting vehicles on the island to golf carts and bicycles to being a small enough community that most of the locals knew each other. There was something warm and comforting about the tight-knit community.
There were also a few drawbacks such as the small-town gossip. It was constant and intrusive, especially now that Josie’s career at the inn was in danger. And there was no other place on the island as large or as stately as the Brass Anchor Inn.
The gossip going around Bluestar was sometimes accurate—most times not. This time the rumor was that the Brass Anchor Inn was being sold. It just couldn’t be true. Surely the inn’s previous owner, Sandra Barton, would have put contingencies in her will in order to protect the inn. Wouldn’t she have?
Josie was doing everything she could to protect the jobs of those who worked at the inn. She’d been going above and beyond as manager during these uncertain times in order to keep everything running smoothly, just as Sandra would have wanted. Her motto had been to do whatever it took to make their guests comfortable.
Sandra had been born and bred there on the island at the Brass Anchor Inn as it had been passed down through the generations of Bartons. But sadly, Sandra was never able to have children of her own. She used to say the employees at the inn were like her family. She took great care of them.
Josie had hit it off with Sandra from the start of her employment. Even with Josie’s higher education, Sandra had insisted Josie start at the beginning as there was a lot to learn about running an inn. It was more than spreadsheets and automation. Josie hadn’t wanted to start all over at the front desk, but Sandra had insisted. A lot of their visitors became return clients. Sandra swore it was the only way to run a successful inn.
Over time Sandra taught Josie everything she knew about running an inn. And now Josie could keep the inn running indefinitely. If only that was a possibility.
Sandra never said whom she was leaving the inn to. As far as Josie knew, Sandra had no relatives. So that left the big question: who would take over the inn? It was a question for the attorneys to resolve.
On this sunny but breezy Tuesday morning, Josie had her shoulder-length golden-blond hair pulled back in a short ponytail. As she made her way through town, the wind gusted, pulling some of her hair free from the holder. She swiped the strands behind her ear.
Josie hurried along the sidewalk toward the inn. As she passed people she knew, she offered a quick hello and apology for having to get to work. Thankfully, people understood her need for haste and wished her a good day.
After all, everyone knew without Sandra around, there was a lot of pressure on Josie to see to the running of the inn, especially with the upcoming bicentennial celebration. It was a huge deal for the town. Sometimes it boggled her mind to think that the inn had been there for two hundred years. Of course it hadn’t always looked the way it did now. It had grown and evolved over the years.
She was just about to cross the street when a bicycle came to a stop right in front of her. She glanced up to find Agnes Dewey. Josie inwardly groaned. This meeting was either going to go really well or really badly. It was hard to tell with Agnes.
Agnes was the town’s gossip extraordinaire. If there was something going on in the town, she was somehow the first to hear the news. Josie did her best to stay off the woman’s radar. Today wasn’t her lucky day.
There was a definite frown on the older woman’s face. It was hard to tell if it was due to her mood or if it was the bright sunshine in her eyes. Josie gave her the benefit of the doubt and smiled at the woman.
“Good morning, Agnes. It’s a beautiful day.” She hoped to keep the conversation upbeat.
Agnes didn’t smile back. “I thought you should know your horoscope wasn’t good. Not good at all.”
Josie wasn’t the only one in Bluestar to get a periodic horoscope alert. The question Josie always had was how the woman remembered everyone’s astrological sign. Did she keep a list of everyone’s birthday, and when there was an intriguing prediction, she looked at her list to find out who would be most affected by the horoscope?
To Josie, it all sounded exhausting. She could barely stay on top of her own life. She would never attempt to keep up with all the residents on the island.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Josie said, but she wasn’t in the mood for any doom and gloom. “I really do need to get to the inn.”
“And that’s why you should hear this.”
Josie shook her head. “Not today. I have to stay focused on the celebration.”
As though she hadn’t said anything at all, Agnes continued. “Your horoscope said: Remain ever vigilant at work, as you will fall prey to the conspiracies of a rival and lose what you value most.”