Hi guys, we have Julia Talbot stopping by with her upcoming release Catching Heir, we have a fantastic guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?
Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.
Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.
Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?
Refurbishing an old hotel in Colorado
Thanks so much to MM Good Book reviews for hosting me today! I’m so excited to be here talking about my first Dreamspun Desire for Dreamspinner Press. It’s called Catching Heir, and it’s all about an antique hotel in the Colorado mountains.
Manager Matt and new owner Cullen have something in common. They both love the Treeline Estates, which has been around for a hundred years.
In writing the book, I remembered all my visits to famous historic hotels in Colorado. I love weird, grand staircases and crazy small elevators. I adore columns and carpets and sideboards and carved woodwork.
I’ve stayed in the Stanley in Estes Park. They play the Shining 24/7 on its own channel, and they have no air conditioning. Ask for a fan early if you’re staying there in July. The fourth floor is so haunted! I stayed at the Hotel Boulderado in Boulder, where the staircase is stunning and the back hall to the new addition makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. I stayed at the Strater Hotel in Durango, over on the Western Slope, when the elevator wasn’t working and I was in a walking boot. They put me on the third floor. For years I wanted to stay at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. We didn’t menage a whole night because they put us in a room that had last been renovated in 1954. No kidding. The bathroom was terrifying.
These days I have to admit, I visit antique hotels in the daytime and stay at the Marriott. I can’t help it. I want a working elevator and a clean, modern shower.
So when I started writing Matt and Cullen, who were refurbishing an old hotel after the elderly owner passed away, I kinda indulged myself with all the things I would do to an old hotel I wanted to stay in. Modernize while keeping the love of old stuff. Gleaming woodwork and looming dark furniture. Clean, fresh bathrooms. A gleaming kitchen for the chef to work in.
I hope y’all will give Texan Matt and snowboarder Cullen a chance, as well as the Treeline, which trust me, is a character in its own right!
THE PHONE was ringing off the hook, and Matt answered a call as he ran down the stairs to see what the issue with the plumbing was now. “Good evening. Treeline Estates. How may I direct your call?”
God help him, but Belinda was off on maternity leave during the renovations, and while that timing was great, he hadn’t realized how many phone calls a day he’d be fielding.
“I’d like to make a reservation for December, please.”
“Of course, sir. Give me one second to get into that screen.” Thank God for tablets, Wi-Fi, and POS systems. He took the reservation while glaring at one of the little subcontractors and texting Neville, the general contractor, all at the same time. “How many guests?”
The man reserved two rooms in the east tower, which was almost finished, thank God. The subcontractor’s phone rang, and Matt heard Neville screaming when the guy answered.
“Fix it,” he snapped, then headed to check on Jeanette and make sure the new housekeeping storage and laundry facilities were functional. His phone rang again. “Treeline Estates, can I help you?”
“Boss. Geoff. Someone’s pulling up the drive in a limo.”
“We don’t have any guests booked, Geoff. They must be lost.”
“Doesn’t look like it. Professional driver. Local guy. VIP something, from the looks.”
“Oh, for….” Peace. Peace and ease. Peace, ease, and Zen. Peace, ease, Zen, and a huge hammer. “Stall them, and I’ll check the logs.”
He checked for reservations, but he was at occupancy zero. Okay. Okay, good. Next he called Jeanette. “Hey, lady. Is there a VIP suite that can be made ready in case someone’s fucked up and booked the room?”
“Yes, sir. The Presidential is still being painted, but the Patrick suite is ready.”
“Excellent. Can you call Devlin and tell him that there’s a chance he’ll be feeding a guest en suite tonight? I’ll know more in ten.”
“I’ll do that right now.” She hung up, and Matt breathed deeply again, smelling paint, which had been the order of the day since the work began.
Neville called as he jogged upstairs. “It’s an easy fix. He’ll have it done in twenty minutes, no worries.”
“I sure hope so, Nev. I have a VIP guest who just showed up. I don’t need this shit.” He and Neville understood each other. They were both transplanted Texans.
“You have my word. I thought you were empty, you know?”
“So did I.” Another call buzzed in. Geoff. “Gotta go, Nev. Geoff?”
“Says he’s the new owner, boss. Like, for reals. That he’s Mr. Patrick.”
Matt stopped, damn near going ass over teakettle. “What?”
“Maybe a few years older than you. Blond. Blue eyes. ID says Cullen Patrick, Park City, Utah.”
“Okay. Okay. Uh.” Shit. Shit. Shit. “Have the driver stay. Show Mr. Patrick to the sitting room, and I’ll be there shortly.” After I kill someone. He dialed Mr. Rollins, Esq., snarling when Jody answered the phone. “This is Matt Nathanson. Get me Rollins. Right now.”
“Yes, sir. Of course.”
The fact that she immediately agreed set all his “you’ve been fucked” meters ringing, and he worked in the hotel business. His were set on incredibly low sensitivity.
“Matt. How’s it going out there?” Rollins put on his feeble old man voice. Always a bad sign.
“Don’t. Who is this rolling up to the lobby and saying that he’s the new owner, and why the hell didn’t I get any warning?” It was bad enough that Ben’s family had deserted him and left him for strangers to care for and love, but now this? Suddenly there was money, and he had a new fucking boss? That wasn’t supposed to be the deal. He didn’t want Ben’s cash. He wanted the Treeline. He’d given Ben and this place his life for more than a decade. He’d earned his place here.
“Matt, please. I didn’t have time to call. He just left my office, and I had a conference call right after. I had no idea we’d actually tracked down Ben’s grandson until he showed up today. A junior partner was doing the legwork.”
Matt stopped on the landing, plopped down on his ass, and closed his eyes. It wasn’t a joke. It wasn’t a lie. “I’ll go upstairs and pack my shit. Tell the new guy good luck with Nev.”
Matt hoped Nev ass fucked the new guy and left him broke and blind.
“Oh, do stop being melodramatic, Matthew. The Treeline trust provides very well for you, and for your position. You knew this might happen. Buck up and fight for your place.”
“My place.” No. No, it wasn’t his. He’d thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t. He was an employee. Just another hotel manager.
“Yes. It is. I tried to get Ben to change his will, Matt. By the time he finally decided to, it was too late. We had an appointment the day after he died. Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you, but you need to know. He wanted you to have the hotel.”
“That’s great. I’m tickled.” Whatever. Christ, he wanted to lay down and die. He’d believed…. Shit. He really had thought for a few weeks that this pipe dream was real.
“Don’t give up, Matt. Promise me you’ll wait for a bit before you make any decisions.”
His phone beeped; yet another call coming in.
“I have to go. Someone’s calling.” He hung up, then clicked over. “Treeline Estates, how can I help you?”
“Boss, I need you.” Geoff again, calling from a cell. “He wants to see you.”
“I’m coming. He can freaking wait until I fucking get there.” He didn’t work for the son of a bitch; the asshole could chill his heels.
“Okay.” Geoff sounded taken aback, and why shouldn’t he? Matt leaped to assist any guest.
“I’ll be there in five, okay?” He hung up, then dropped his head in his hands. Peace. Peace and Zen, and a big motherfucking rock.
He finally made his way downstairs, steeling himself to meet Ben’s grandson, who had never even met the old man. Not once.
He didn’t work for this man. He didn’t answer to the son of a bitch. He didn’t give a fuck.
Hell, he didn’t give half a fuck.
The guy waiting for him at the front desk looked like a snow bunny crossed with—Matt would have called it“Austin hipster,” but Geoff had said Utah. Jeans, boots, a Jeep Naked sweatshirt, and rough chopped gold hair that grew just below chin length.
“Mr. Patrick? I’m Mr. Nathanson. Pleased to meet you.” He put on his best “hey, you’re an asshole, and I have to deal with you” face.
“Hey.” Patrick held out a hand. “Cullen. I was hoping I could stay a few days despite the reno.”
“We aren’t really open right now, I’m afraid. It’s another six weeks, tops, before we start accepting guests.” You assmonkey.
“Oh, Geoff here already told me the Patrick suite was okay. My namesake and all.” Cullen Patrick grinned at him, looking cheerful, but those blue eyes were watchful, just as Ben’s had been.
He shot Geoff a look. “Well, obviously the valet has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on.”
And was so fucking fired.
Geoff sighed, shoulders slumping, clearly reacting to his mood.
“Hey, I don’t want to be a drag. Did Grandpa have an apartment or anything? I could stay there instead. It’s just a long way back to Basalt.”
“No. I’ll have the room checked, and then someone will come for you. Have a seat. Geoff, can you please fetch Mr. Patrick’s luggage?”
“Yes, sir.” Geoff hopped to it.
“I’m sure you’re super busy, but maybe I could talk with you over supper or something?” Cullen asked. “I wanted to chat with you about the terms of the will and the hotel and all.”
“Of course.” Goody, he couldn’t fucking wait. “I’ll speak to the chef and have him arrange something. The restaurant isn’t open, of course, but if you’ll let me know your preferences….”
“Oh, I can eat anything proteiny. I love omelets and shit. Turkey burgers. Fish is good. If I wasn’t coming up so hard on the grand prix, I would beg for a barbecue burger. The lawyer didn’t tell me a whole lot, so I bet he didn’t let you know I was coming.”
“Indeed. You might even say we didn’t know you existed.” The phone rang and he jumped. “If you’ll excuse me. Treeline Estates, how can I help you? No, I’m sorry. We are already fully booked for the holidays. I do have a waiting list, if you’d prefer?”
He headed out, texting Devlin.
VIP, protein, in-room dining.
All he had to do was work right now. He could think and have his meltdown—and fire Geoff—later.
Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at http://www.juliatalbot.com