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New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper tells a timelessly seductive tale of a romance touched by the paranormal and of a woman who opens a door to the unknown and finds a stranger with an irresistible invitation….
With its antebellum setting and gallant history, Jasmine Hall was more than just a business for Banner Clairmont. The lovingly preserved plantation-era inn had been home to the Clairmont family for generations. But the realities of modern real-estate had made it time to sell even the most priceless treasures. So it was hardly with a great deal of enthusiasm that Banner led real-estate speculator Rory Stewart around the property. How could this stranger—whose southern charm and universal good looks made it impossible to entirely distrust him—have any idea of Jasmine Hall’s true value? Yet what was Banner to make of the fact that Rory had seen the ghosts that never showed themselves to outsiders? Was he destined not only to save the Hall but to live there? Was his fate entangled with hers? Or was she banking too much on an old family legend … and wishful thinking?
deep-chested, long-legged white gelding, who showed their guests the way over brush, rail, and water. It might have been an amiable competition between them or merely the hard- riding nature of their heritage; whatever the reason, they were nearly always neck-and-neck in the lead. The false trail led them for miles over the countryside, across streams and meadows and through forests, and it wasn't until they had experienced the “kill” and watched the hounds leashed at the base of a large tree
she would never be able to forget. The merry lunch was over. The guests were gone, the horses stabled for a night's rest before those belonging to the guests would be trailered or ridden home. Banner had vanished to her room, silent, troubled, withdrawn. And Rory changed from his costume before leaving his own, still- scented room. He wandered for a while, restless, his mind working keenly but finding no solution. He heard Jake's voice once and deliberately took a hallway angling away from
beneath a towering oak and spreading a blanket there. In the warm midday stillness, both food and sleep held strong appeal—but so did other things. “You're very handy, you know,” she observed at one point. “Talented—that's me.” “I mean it literally. As in ‘all hands.’ ” “Mmmm. D'you know that you have utterly fantastic—” “Oh, good, chocolate cake for dessert.” “And you're blushing. That's a lost art.” “Well, I just found it.” “Suits you, too.” “Have some cake.” “I'd rather have you.”
flowing through him. Then a sudden realization tempered that relief. “You haven't said you forgive me,” he managed to say, his body rather bent on things other than conversation. “No, I haven't, have I?” she whispered. Rory drew back and stared down at her. “Banner?” She was busy tracing the curve of his lips with one thoughtful finger. “Yes, love?” “What've you got up your sleeve?” he asked warily. She sounded wounded when she said, “What a nasty, suspicious mind you have.” “Banner.”
terms—that her good humor very nearly deserted her. “I was showing Rory the garden,” she said without thinking, then felt a flush creep up her face. However, Jake Clairmont could hardly have managed to look more pleased whatever she'd said; he merely grinned and asked Rory what he thought of the estate roses. That topic and Jasmine Hall in general lasted them throughout the light meal. Banner said nothing; she watched Jake rather broodingly, her eyes flicking toward Rory occasionally and