by Judith Keim
Contemporary Romantic Women’s Fiction
Release Date: June 24, 2021
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing
An upscale hotel like The Beach House Hotel sometimes attracts surprise guests….
Ann and Rhonda continue overseeing their Beach House Hotel along the Gulf Coast of Florida and providing guests with a lovely experience of good eating, relaxation, and the privacy many of them require. When Vice President of the United States, Amelia Swanson, asks them for a favor, Ann and Rhonda agree without realizing it means protecting Amelia’s sister from an abusive husband and a nosy public, including their nemesis, Brock Goodwin, who hopes to gain something from the knowledge. But once they’ve said yes, there’s no going back.
Life continues at a busy pace with their families growing baby by baby. Nell, Vaughn’s daughter, has a baby girl; Rhonda’s daughter, Angela, has her second baby, a girl; and Liz, Ann’s daughter, is desperately trying to get pregnant. With all the tension and activity taking place at home and at the hotel, Ann and Rhonda meet in the afternoon when they can for margaritas and private talk. Rhonda, especially, needs Ann’s guidance in how to handle Katherine Smythe, Angela’s mother-in-law, and one of the most irritating people they know.
After they have what Rhonda calls a “near-death experience,” they come to realize how lucky they are. And when another wedding takes place at the hotel due to what Rhonda believes is her matchmaking skills, they celebrate life and margaritas at The Beach House Hotel in a whole different way.
This is a light-hearted, fun beach read with characters readers love. Be sure and read all the other books in this series: Breakfast at The Beach House Hotel, Lunch at The Beach House Hotel, Dinner at The Beach House Hotel, Christmas at The Beach House Hotel, and the upcoming Dessert at The Beach House Hotel.
Breakfast at The Beach House Hotel
Lunch at The Beach House Hotel
Dinner at The Beach House Hotel
Christmas at The Beach House Hotel
“Ready?” asked my business partner, Rhonda DelMonte Grayson, on this early April morning on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
I stopped typing on the computer and turned to her with a grin. “As ready as I ever will be.”
Wearing a yellow caftan that went with her hair, Rhonda waved me up and out of my chair with a grin that lit her face and had her dark eyes sparkling. “Then let’s get this show on the road! It’s not every day a vice president visits The Beach House Hotel.”
I rose and looped my arm through Rhonda’s, and we headed out to the front lobby to greet the latest VIP to come to our upscale hotel.
As we stepped outside to wait for our guest, the spring day greeted us with a kiss of sunny warmth. A soft breeze bobbed the colorful blossoms on the hibiscus bushes that lined the front of the hotel, softening the edges of the pink-stucco, two-story building that stood like royalty at the water’s sandy edge.
“Seems like old times, huh?” said Rhonda, grinning at me as we approached the entrance.
“I’ll say.” Five years ago, when we’d first opened the hotel, Rhonda and I had greeted our guests like this at the front steps of the hotel, welcoming them personally as much as possible. Hospitality, discretion, and service were the three things we still relied upon to maintain the hotel’s fine reputation. A warm welcome to the property was a must.
I studied her. When I’d first met Rhonda, I’d thought the large, colorful, bossy woman, who said exactly what was on her mind and had no sense of private space, was completely overwhelming. I’d thought I’d never make it through my first visit to her seaside estate—a visit made to please my daughter, Liz, who roomed at college with Rhonda’s daughter, Angela.
Now, even though my strict upbringing with my grandmother in Boston sometimes made me shudder at what came out of Rhonda’s mouth, I loved her like the sister I never had. And I’d learned her heart was as big as her irrepressible spirit.
Rhonda nudged me. “Here she comes!”
I ran a hand through my shoulder-length dark hair, flicked a speck of dust off my bright-blue suit jacket that matched my eyes, and drew a deep breath.
We headed down the front stairs of the hotel as a black limousine followed a large, black SUV through the gates of the hotel and drew up to the front circle.
As soon as the limousine came to a stop, three different people, two men and a woman, Secret Service agents, I presumed, jumped out of the SUV and assessed their surroundings before the woman went over to the limousine and stood outside the back door. One of the men faced out to the road while the other climbed the stairs to the hotel and stood guard there. Then a somber-looking man stepped out of the front of the limo and stood a moment, scanning the area. Satisfied, he stood by as the female agent outside the limo opened the back door, and Vice President Amelia Swanson prepared to climb out of the car.
A tall, striking woman in her late 40s with chestnut brown hair and blue eyes noted for missing nothing, Amelia Swanson stepped out of the limousine and smiled as she walked forward to meet us.
“Welcome to The Beach House Hotel, Madame Vice President,” I said, holding out my hand. “I’m Ann Sanders, one of the hotel’s owners.”
Strong fingers gripped my hand. “Very glad to meet you and to be here.” She turned to Rhonda. “And you must be Ms. Grayson.”
“Yes. We’re honored to have you stay with us,” said Rhonda, looking as if she didn’t know whether to curtsey or not.
“Let’s go inside where we can talk privately,” Amelia said.
“Please, come in.” I took her elbow and led her up the steps. The security agent who’d stood by the door headed indoors while another followed at our heels.
Behind me, I noticed the female guard pacing outside the limousine and wondered who or what she was protecting.
We entered the hotel.
“Come this way,” said Rhonda.
She led us to the small, private dining room we used for confidential gatherings. Sound-proofed, it had housed many private discussions that never left the room.
The vice president waited for one of the agents to finish his visual sweep of the interior, and then she motioned both men to stay back before closing the door, leaving the three of us alone in the room.
“Would you like a seat?” I asked, a little confused by all that was happening.
“No, thank you,” she said, smiling. “I’ve been sitting for a while and need to stretch my legs.” She studied Rhonda and turned to me. “What I’m about to tell you can go no further. Understand?”
Rhonda and I glanced at each other and spoke together. “Yes. We do.”
“I won’t be staying here but will instead be secretly traveling to Central America to try and rescue a woman from a revolutionary group that’s been holding her prisoner. I made the reservation here at the hotel because you’re known for being discreet. Tina Marks, that fabulous actress, credits the two of you with saving her life. So, if newspaper reporters ask about my staying here, it won’t seem out of the ordinary for you to decline to give out any information. A woman running from domestic abuse will be using my reservation in my place.”
“I see …” I began, but she held up her hand to stop me.
“This woman is my sister and the wife of the president’s brother.”
About the Author
Judith Keim enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their two dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.
While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid imaginations.
A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way. Her best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or visited and on the interesting people she’s met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love. Ms. Keim loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her stories.
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