Welcome to The Wellesley-Crawford…
Hannah Wellesley has spent her entire life running the halls of her family-owned hotel, the infamous and opulent Wellesley-Crawford. Noted as one of the city’s richest, most luxurious hotels in Chicago, the WC is what Hannah has devoted her life and career to.
The hotel’s Annual Masquerade Gala is the event of the year, but this year Hannah’s evening involves more than just handing out masks. After a mysterious rendezvous in a secluded stairwell with an irresistible and unidentifiable man, Hannah becomes consumed with discovering the identity of her masked lover. Just as she’s about to give up the search, two men blow back into her life with drastically different intentions. They both have secrets and uncovering them will lead Hannah down a darkly dangerous path.
Drawn to both of the intriguing bachelors, she’ll have to determine which one is after her heart and which one plans to do her deadly harm before it’s too late.
I scanned the room as I walked through the door. Checked my watch, four minutes after ten. No sign of Carter yet. I knew the restaurant shut down at nine-thirty that night. He probably wasn’t done closing the kitchen down. I made my way over to an empty barstool and sat down.
“Hey, Hannah!” Myles, my favorite bartender, shouted over the music coming from the in-house deejay. “What can I getcha?”
“Hi, Myles,” I smiled. “I’ll think I’ll have a rum and diet tonight.”
He quickly went to work mixing up my drink. Myles was probably the nicest guy who worked at the hotel. He was average height and build. His hipster style suited him so well. Tonight he was wearing a pair of straight-legged black jeans, a pair of black converse tennis shoes, a vintage AC/DC T-shirt with his signature thick-framed black glasses. His thick, brown hair was styled in his just-got-out-of-bed way, which could be described as perfected chaos. He placed my drink down in front of me and started wiping down the bar with the towel he had tossed over his shoulder. “Want me to run this on your tab?”
Before I could answer, a twenty-dollar bill appeared next to I drink. “I’ve got it.”
I assumed it was Carter, but was surprised when I looked over my shoulder to see Trent standing there.
“Sure thing, Mr. Crawford.” Myles took the cash and made his way towards the cash register.
“I can buy my own drink,” I interjected, placing my clutch on the top of the bar. “Here Myles,” I started to hand him my own twenty-dollar bill, when Trent held up his hand.
“I know you that you can afford your own drinks, Hannah,” he said waving Myles off. “Keep the change. And call me Trent,” he said, as they exchanged courteous nods. He turned his attention back to me. “Consider this a peace offering.” He clinked his beer bottle against my glass.
“It’s going to take more than just a drink,” I scoffed, pulling my glass to my lips. After the way he’d embarrassed me in front of the board, he could have shown up with a truck load of Bacardi and I still would have been pissed.
“Sorry for being a dick today. That was not at all the way I wanted you to find out that I was interested in running the hotel.”
“It was a pretty shitty way for me to find out. You could have said something last night.”
“I know,” he agreed. “It’s just…my family has a really complicated way of doing things.”
“I’m well aware,” I reassured him. I may have been young when the drama with Damien happened, but I’d heard enough over the years that ‘easy’ and ‘breezy’ were not words that were often associated with the Crawford name. “What I’d really like to know is why you have a sudden interest in running this hotel at all? You haven’t been here for years.”
About Elizabeth Lee:
Born and raised in the middle of a Midwestern cornfield (not literally, that would be weird), I’ve spent my entire life imagining stories. Stories where the right guy always gets the right girl, first kisses are as magical as they are on the big screen and anything is completely possible if you believe.
Although this journey began years ago, it recently took on a whole new life. After years of devouring hundreds of Romance, YA and New Adult novels, I had an epiphany… I should write a book. And I did it!
If I’m not reading, writing, enjoying drinks with my amazing group of girlfriends or chasing around a sarcastically funny kid, I’m probably watching television shows that were created for teenagers, while my husband teases that I’m too old to watch them.