Her Christmas Detective - Laura Ann


BELLA RUSHED DOWN THE hallway of the Cliffside Bed and Breakfast, otherwise known to the locals as the Gingerbread Inn. It was her grandmother’s inn and Bella was thrilled to be working at it for the holiday season. Well...mostly thrilled.

She had graduated over a year ago with her degree in journalism and had been trying to take the world by storm ever since. However, the fact that she struggled to get her pieces picked up by anyone showed she still had more work to do.

So when Grandma Claire had fallen and broken her hip, but wanted to keep the inn open for Christmas, Bella and her favorite two cousins, Hope and Emory, had come running to help.

And right now, the running was literal. Strange things had been happening at the inn and Sheriff Davidson, a man that Bella was positive had a crush on her grandmother, had called in a detective to help. They were supposed to be meeting with said detective and Bella was late...as usual.

For someone who tried hard to be on top of all the news all the time, she had a knack for losing track of the clock and right now, it was about to cost her.

“Where’s Bella?”

The words came from the large sitting room just ahead. Putting on a burst of speed, she rushed through the doors. “Coming!” Bella held in her laughter. Talk about a grand entrance. She’d never been afraid of the limelight, unlike her cousins, and sometimes she reveled in it. What good was a journalist who was afraid of being on the front lines?

As she skidded into the ballroom, Bella found herself stumbling to a stop, her jaw falling open. Standing in the midst of her family and friends was a stranger. A very handsome stranger.

He was tall and well built, towering over her small five-foot-two stature. His broad shoulders showed his time spent in the gym, while his perfectly styled blond hair told her he also spent time in front of the mirror. Oh, my... His jaw was strong and square and a perfect complement to the rest of his rugged masculinity. “Well, hello...” Bella purred. Who is this and how can I get to know him?

“You must be Isabella,” the man said smoothly, his dark eyes focused on her.

“I must be, indeed,” she said, making sure her hips were swinging as she finished walking into the room. “And you are?”

“Detective Gordon.” He smiled and Bella’s heart fluttered. “Henry Gordon. But everyone calls me Hank.”

Bella brushed aside the nickname. His real name had a much more pleasant ring to it. “Nice to meet you, Henry.” Bella held out her hand and gave him a firm shake. She might be completely bowled over by his looks, but she wasn’t about to come off as weak. That wasn’t her style at all, and any man who wanted a damsel in distress needed to look elsewhere.

Mrs. Harrison sighed loudly from across the room. “Where is the sheriff? Is he not coming?”

Henry spun away from Bella and turned to face the woman who was a guest at the inn. It was because of her missing ring that Detective Gordon had been called in the first place. “He should be here shortly,” Henry explained. “He had a call in town he needed to finish.”

While his back was turned, Bella turned to Hope and lifted her left hand, pointing at the ring finger. “He’s not wearing a ring!” she mouthed excitedly, having checked it out when they shook hands.

Hope smiled and nodded. “Go for it!” she mouthed back.

Bella bounced on her toes, turning back to the detective. She could hear Antony, Mrs. Harrison’s son and a local baker, holding back laughter, as well as Enoch, the full-time handyman at Gingerbread Inn.

Detective Gordon glanced over his shoulder at her, his eyes dark and intense, and Bella gave him her best smile. There must have been something in the air at Gingerbread Inn this year, because Bella had noticed that her two cousins were having similar reactions to the two other men in the room.

Hope and Enoch were practically joined at the hip, and even though Emory and Antony had begun their relationship by fighting like cats and dogs, they were now standing awfully close for people who didn’t get along.

Maybe now it’s my turn, Bella mused. She pursed her lips with a grin as the detective turned back to Mrs. Harrison. I certainly wouldn’t mind spending a little time with a hunky detective. Merry Christmas to me!


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