Table of Contents
The Cape Light Titles
A GATHERING PLACE
A NEW LEAF
A CHRISTMAS PROMISE
THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL
A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
A CHRISTMAS VISITOR
A CHRISTMAS STAR
A WISH FOR CHRISTMAS
ON CHRISTMAS EVE
The Angel Island Titles
THE INN AT ANGEL ISLAND
THE WEDDING PROMISE
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors’ imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2011 by The Thomas Kinkade Company and Parachute Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kinkade, Thomas, (date)–
eISBN : 978-1-101-47631-4
1. Taverns (Inns)—Fiction. 2. Hotelkeepers—Fiction. 3. Weddings—Planning—Fiction. 4. Islands—New England—Fiction. 5. Domestic fiction. I. Spencer, Katherine, (date)–II. Title.
It is always a pleasure to return to a place we have enjoyed visiting before. And it certainly gives me and Katherine Spencer great joy that you have decided to come back to the Inn at Angel Island.
To me, the inn represents a place of peace and harmony, a warm and homey place filled with the soothing aroma of homemade muffins fresh from the oven. It is a haven that looks out at one of God’s greatest creations: the sea.
But even in this blessed spot, doubt and fear and negativity can find a way in. Even when our hearts are filled with love and joy, as they are on the occasion of a wedding, we may still have to fight off the feelings that keep us from happiness and grace.
Jennifer and Kyle are in love and eager to marry. Their fondest hope is to be married at the Inn at Angel Island, but that wonderful decision sets off ripples of fear in Liza Martin, the innkeeper. Can she handle the job? Will she fail? And how can she be totally happy for the couple when she sometimes fears that she will never experience the love she herself longs for?
And what about the bride and groom? They are happily in love, but no love ever goes untested. Will their love be strong enough to weather the dark storms that are approaching?
There is no greater miracle than love—and in a place like Angel Island, it seems as if God Himself has carved that miracle into the sheltering cliffs and traced it on the shoreline like footsteps in the sand.
Let’s follow them. . . .
Please join us at the wedding. You are always our most welcome guest.
Share the Light,
HE Hobarts were the last guests to leave the Inn at Angel Island on Monday morning. Kate Hobart came down the steps just ahead of her husband and handed Liza the room key.
“Everything was perfect, Liza. I wish we could stay the rest of the week. Or two.”
“I wish you could, too.” Liza placed the key in the cubbyhole of the oak secretary.
The Hobarts had been at the inn for the past four days, celebrating their anniversary. Two other couples had checked in during the weekend, but the Hobarts had stayed the longest and Liza had come to know them the best.
“Come back anytime. Beach weather is on the way,” she promised.
It was the second week in May, and a wave of warm weather over the weekend had given everyone a taste of summer.
“We’re thinking about a stay in July, with the rest of the family,” Kate said, slipping a brochure into her purse. “Do you have any adjoining rooms?”
“There’s a suite on the third floor. Two bedrooms with a private bath. Ocean view,” Liza added.
Liza did not add that those particular rooms were far from renovated. If the Hobarts made a reservation, the suite would jump to the top of Liza’s to-do list.
“I’ll check our calendar and get back to you,” Kate said. “It was only a few days, but it’s so peaceful here. It’s going to be hard to get back to real life again, right, Tom?”
Kate glanced at her husband, who was coming down the stairs with their bags.
“I’m planning on a slow reentry, honey. With a stop along the road for one last lobster roll.”
The half-dreaming, half-scheming look on his face made Liza laugh.
“Sorry, pal,” Kate replied. “I’ve already gone overboard on that awesome breakfast. Which was worth every calorie.”
Liza was glad to hear that. The rooms weren’t perfect yet, but all the guests were quickly won over by the meals—by Claire North’s cooking, to be precise.
Liza answered a few questions about directions and wished the Hobarts a safe trip back to Connecticut. Then she stood on the porch and watched them drive away.
The Inn at Angel Island had been officially open since the first week in April, just a little more than a month. Though she’d only entertained a handful of guests so far, Liza already knew she would always feel the same exhilarated rush when her guests arrived, and always feel sorry to see them go, as if she were saying good-bye to dear friends.
Most of the guests had come on the weekends, arriving Friday and leaving Sunday morning. A few, like the Hobarts, had stayed longer, from Thursday or Friday night through to Monday. No one had come yet for a solid week. But she hoped to see far fewer blank spots in the reservation book once the warm weather and vacation season arrived. And it was just on the horizon, Liza reminded herself.
She had considered placing advertisements in local travel magazines or even the newspapers. She’d been in the advertising business before moving to the island and knew that a well-designed, well-placed ad worked. But she didn’t have the extra money right now. The inn still needed loads of repairs, and her priority was to keep the renovation going. Right now, there were only a few rooms to offer on the second floor, and one totally refinished bathroom.
No point in advertising when she couldn’t accommodate a flood of customers. Or even a steady stream.
“Are the Hobarts gone?”
“They just left.” Liza turned at the sound of Claire’s voice. As usual, Claire had come up so quietly, Liza hadn’t realized she was there. “They said they’re coming back in July. Mainly for some more of that baked French toast thing you served this morning.”
“Cinnamon Raisin Strata,” Claire quietly corrected her. “I’ll copy down the recipe. You can send it to Mrs. Hobart.”
“That’s very thoughtful, Claire. But why would I do that? It’s the perfect bait to get them back.” Liza was partly joking—and partly serious. “We don’t have any bookings until Memorial Day weekend. Only one reservation in June, and July is a big blank,” she reported. “Let’s not even turn the page to August.”
“Don’t turn the page and don’t worry. The calls will come,” Claire said decidedly. She’d set down a large basket of freshly laundered linens on the wicker table and now began to fold the towels and sheets in her calm, methodical way. The laundry looked so perfectly smooth when she was finished, you’d think a folding machine had done the task.
“I know it’s too soon to worry. I’m just feeling restless. I’m going to check the old registration books and send out more reminder cards. Maybe I can stir up some business.”
“Good idea. People may have heard that your aunt passed away and assume the place is closed.” Claire snapped a fresh white pillowcase in the breeze. “Your aunt Elizabeth used to fret about the same thing this time of year. But most folks haven’t even stuck their noses out the door and realized that summer’s almost here.”
Liza knew that was true. New England winters were long and harsh. It took most of the hardy residents in the area a while to thaw out and accept that the warm weather had arrived. Then suddenly, the long, hot days of summer rolled in.
As usual, something about Claire’s quiet, certain tone soothed Liza’s anxiety. Claire had a way of looking at the world that made life seem easy and uncomplicated.