Nearly 200 years ago, Lord Robert Archer's fiancée disappeared the night before their wedding. A Shaman cast a spell around the grieving lord, promising Lord Archer's soulmate would return under the sign of a Blue Moon. Modern day Claire Jacobs takes a job redecorating an old hotel and finds a portrait of Lord Archer. She has sensual dreams of him and wishes on a star the night of a Blue Moon that her dream man was real. And the magic begins.
A castle. Not just any castle, but her castle. Well, not hers, really, but the one that had haunted her dreams since she was a child. And now here it was in plain view. Sitting on the white sands of Key West, Florida. Claire Jacobs peered out the window of the taxi. Hotel Castle called to her. Built in 1886, the hotel had been fashioned after a European country castle, complete with round, ivy-covered towers and turrets. The taxi continued down the flagstone drive. Claire closed her eyes and pictured a grand horse-drawn carriage transporting her home to the castle in her dreams - and her prince.
Tired of being passed over for promotions and having senior partners take credit for her ideas at the interior design firm where she worked in New York, Claire had scanned the internet for jobs. When she’d come across the advertisement calling for someone to turn the more-than-one-hundred-year-old, run-down Hotel Castle into a twenty-first century luxury resort, she knew it was the job of her dreams and mailed her resumé. Rob Archer, owner of Hotel Castle, must have been impressed with her credentials, because he’d replied immediately. The offer of more money than she’d made in the past five years and the perfect job of a lifetime redecorating the wonderful old hotel had been impossible to turn down. Claire wanted this job, somehow knew it was right for her. Risking everything, she quit her job and accepted the position. Archer’s attorney had sent a plane ticket and advance, so here she was. Anticipation stirred in her along with nagging doubts. Did she really have the ability to revamp and redecorate such a large building?
A doorman dressed in a Robin Hood wanna-be green tunic and tights held the entrance door open for her and pointed out the manager. Claire stepped inside and stopped dead in her tracks as she surveyed the one-hundred-foot square lobby. “Ooooooo,” she said. She spun in circles to take in the entire lobby. Spotting the magnificent tapestries that hung on the red brick walls, she smiled. But at the sight of the elaborate chandelier hanging from the ceiling, she exhaled an “Ahhhhh.” Never mind the carpet was faded. Never mind the upholstered chairs were worn—the hotel was perfect.
A deep, rich voice pulled her from her daydream. "Welcome to Hotel Castle, Miss Jacobs. We’ve been expecting you.” A man who looked to be in his mid-fifties extended his hand. “I’m Fred Miller, the manager.”
Claire cleared her throat to ease the embarrassment, sure her mouth had been hanging open. "Thank you.” She gripped his hand with a shaky grasp. "The hotel is breathtaking - just like a fairy-tale castle. I can’t explain it, but I feel I’m coming home.”
The manager smiled. "It affects most of our female visitors that way, the Cinderella syndrome. Lord Archer, Fifth Earl of Sundrey, had this place built exactly like his castle in Europe for his fiancée. They meant to live here, but she disappeared a week before they were to marry. When she didn’t return, he died shortly thereafter of a broken heart. It then fell to a distant relation and the new owner turned it into a hotel. Folks say Lord Archer haunts the place.” His face lit up in a wide, friendly grin.
"They never found her – the fiancée?”
"No. Lord Archer posted a hefty reward, even searched himself, but to no avail. It’s said grief overwhelmed him and he lost his will to live.”