Happily Haunted Afters Read Online Brittany Kelley

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 92
Estimated words: 87908 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 440(@200wpm)___ 352(@250wpm)___ 293(@300wpm)
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Nothing is spookier than a second chance at love.
I’m done juggling dead-end jobs and deadbeat boyfriends. It’s time to nail down my goal of owning a hotel — and fix my friendship with my ex-best friend, Jack Colson. He’s a big shot investor, and I’m going to need one. Nailing him barely crosses my mind.
I might actually get my life in order, especially if I snag the deep (and deeply weird) discount for staying an entire weekend at my dream property. It’s hard not to fall in love with the place. Though I could do without the creepy doll that lives there, the noises Jack insists are raccoons, and the eerie AF abandoned hotel I’d need an even spookier amount of money to renovate.
The worst part is, I’m falling for Jack… again. He’ll never invest if he finds out I have feelings for him. But as we work through the phantoms of problems past, we’ll have to figure out if the property is infested with rodents — or something else that goes bump in the night.

FULL BOOK START HERE:

1

EMMA

The worn couch in the restaurant’s cramped office beckoned me. Five minutes in there, and I could nurse my digital addiction and rest my feet. My drug of choice? Realtor. Dot. Com. Oh yeah, the good stuff. My me time between tables demanding more coffee and orange juice, and, and, and…

Ducking into the darkened room, I caught Lena’s eye and tapped an imaginary watch to let her know I was escaping the bustling brunch hour between tables. She rolled her eyes, which I staunchly ignored. Good for me.

I exhaled, a grin curving my lips. The cushions sank under my weight, and I dug my phone out of my apron. Time for my fix. I tapped the red app, and exhaled, tension smoothing from my muscles. There it was: the white whale of my personal dreams. Suggested based on my recent searches, the app exclaimed under the listing header. Yeah, recent searches, uh-huh. Or maybe because I clicked on this particular link five times a day over the past year. Watching it. Waiting.

Forty acres outside New Hopewell, Texas. Piney woods setting, lakefront property. Owner’s cabin: two bedrooms, one bath. Historic hotel included, in need of TLC. Buyer responsible for all permitting. Sold as-is.

A breathy sigh escaped my lips, my finger skating over the screen, reverent. Now for the pictures. Cottagecore to the extreme, vibrant salvia and sunflowers crowd for space next to the cabin’s front porch. God, it was straight-up country house porn. Though the pictures of the inside were blurred, a fine mist covered the camera in certain angles. Odd, but I’d fantasized for the last twelve months on exactly how I’d decorate it. Make it a home. Make it mine.

I tapped again and again, letting the images float across the screen.

The lamp behind me flickered. Frowning, I reached a hand back. Totally non-descript, though probably saddled with some unpronounceable Swedish name that made it seem twice as exotic at a bargain bin price. Faulty discount wiring or not, it cast forlorn outlines on the wall, ghostly shadow puppets playing across the walls.

Ghosts were everywhere these days.

Great. Now I was wasting my break watching shadows when I should be halfway to housing nirvana. The couch creaked as I leaned back into the cushions. Ah, the perfect place.

The perfect size for me, a party of one.

Recently reduced in size from two. Single, single again.

My chest hitched at the memory, and I swallowed, choking it back. I wasn’t going to let the ghosts of relationships past ruin my five—nope, two minutes. Besides, work might be the worst place to mull over my boyfriend humping someone else. Oops. Forgot a prefix. Ex-boyfriend. Exest of all exes that ever did ex.

Occasionally, my brain dubbed new music to the memory. A nightmarish TikTok vision of him pumping into some chick set to the latest Dua Lipa song. Maybe later I’d get buckwild and remix it to Sara Bareilles and cry into a bottle of two-dollar André Spumante from the Valero gas station around the corner. You know, keep it casual.

Just like he’d wanted to.

Anger flared, and I tapped again, wondering why my zen was nowhere to be found.

I needed to take the plunge. Buy it. What did I have holding me back, anyway? Not Dan, who found one of fifty ways to leave his lover. Not a career. Not… anything.

Because there it was, the pièce de résistance, the abandoned hotel.

Condemned. No trespassing.

Goosebumps pebbled along my arms, and I stared hard at the old place. Shutters sagged, wood shingles dangling off like a snake’s half-shed skin. Fixing it up would be a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. Or was it a barrel of monkeys? I frowned. Whatever. I could manage it.

A coat of paint. Okay, several coats of paint. New shutters, obviously. Verdant boxwoods and ivy in black planters flanking the rejuvenated double doors. A dreamy smile curved my lips, and I zoomed in on the image. Black sconces would be perfect there—with flickering gaslights, a row of white rocking chairs beneath them. Rocking chairs filled with people happy to escape from their busy lives. Happy to have a vacation, to live for a few days without worrying about cleaning or cooking or laundry. And I’d be right there, checking them in, making them feel welcome. At home. Because I would give them space—a place to shed their worries at the door.


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