Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.
As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider – whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.
This includes Annie herself – especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.
Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!
Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ – one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.
There is a review today on http://www.maggiebob.com/
Annie and Nick’s Wedding Day.
Annie smoothed the silvery satin over her hips and smiled at herself in the mirror. Everything was perfect. The marquee outside on the village green was already strewn with fairy lights and beautifully decorated tables. The smells of the hog roast drifted up through the open window making her stomach gurgle appreciatively. Olly was back and it meant the world to her that he was here and she knew it meant a lot to Nick too that his brother would be standing by his side as best man. But most importantly she was about to marry the man of her dreams. She loved Nick so much her heart felt like it might actually burst.
There was a knock on the bedroom door.
‘Dad, you don’t have to knock,’ she laughed as she turned to face the man that was going to give her away.
The door opened and Olly stepped in.
Her heart jolted and thundered at the sight of him in his suit. He closed the door softly and walked towards her.
There were no words necessary, the look in his eyes said everything that was between them.
Finally he spoke. ‘You look beautiful.’
‘You look pretty damned sexy yourself.’
He smiled that gorgeous half smile.
‘Are you ready, do you have everything you need, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?’
‘I don’t need luck Olly, I’m marrying the most wonderful man. He loves me, I love him, that’s all the luck in the world right there.’
‘I thought you might say that, so I bought you this just in case.’
He passed her a long thin black box.
‘You bought me a present?’ She instinctively stroked her fingers over the black velvet.
‘It covers all eventualities, it’s old, new and blue. If you consider it to be on permanent loan then its your something borrowed too.’
She didn’t want to open it, it would be perfect, she knew that and it would ruin her. She couldn’t cry, not now, not minutes before walking up the aisle. She played for time instead.
‘How can it be old and new?’
‘It’s antique but I’ve just bought it from the shop so it’s sort of new too. Open it will you.’
She carefully opened the box and gasped when she saw it. It was better than perfect. It was a heart shaped locket, turquoise on one half, the other studded with her favourite gemstone marcasite and tiny sapphires. It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.
‘Is it ok?’ he asked softly.
‘It’s…’ There were no words.
‘I’ll take that as a yes. Turn around and I’ll put in on.’
She duly obliged staring at him in the mirror as he swept it round her neck and fastened it at the top of her spine. Goosebumps erupted all over her at his touch. He saw them and his grey eyes found hers in the mirror. She loved him too there was no getting away from that.
She touched the locket, fingering it as it sparkled in the sun. Two halves of one heart. One half of her heart belonged to Nick the other half belonged to Olly. Did Olly recognise the significance when he chose the piece?
She turned round and hugged him so hard, breathing him in, holding him close.
‘I love you.’
‘Don’t say that, you’re marrying my brother.’
‘I love him too, loving you doesn’t mean I love him any less.’
His hands moved round her back, pulling her in close against him. One hand ran up to her neck, fingering her curls with loving hands. She looked up at him and saw the love in his eyes.
He’d never say it, but she knew he loved her too.