The Promise of Home Read Online Nicola Marsh

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 99
Estimated words: 94286 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 471(@200wpm)___ 377(@250wpm)___ 314(@300wpm)

This dyed-in-the-wool country girl will do anything to protect the home she loves… A fast-paced, heartwarming rural romance from a bestselling Australian author.

Entrusted with running her grandfather’s real estate business, Karlana Vogel’s determined to make it thrive. Pop raised her in small-town Acacia Haven after her parents died, so the family legacy is her pride and joy. When the competition, a cocky city mogul, breezes into town with a deal to take over, she’s incensed.
Hudson Grenville came from less than nothing and has worked nonstop to turn it all around. But he’s only a hard-nosed salesman on the outside – acquiring the Vogels’ agency is the linchpin he needs to make his housing project for homeless kids work. Unless he’s willing to let down all those counting on him, he has no choice but to stick around town and try to persuade Karly to sell.
Despite being on opposite sides of the boardroom, the deal is complicated by the chemistry that keeps bringing them back to the table. Both parties will have to assess what they want out of life. And what they’re willing to give up…



Usually being in a roomful of hot guys in suits would be Karly’s dream, but spending three days feeling inferior and out of her depth at a real estate conference had her ripping off her lanyard and stuffing it into her handbag as she escaped.

She needed a drink, pronto.

She didn’t stop to admire the soft blue lighting and floor-to-ceiling glass sculptures of the conference hotel’s foyer. Instead, as the sliding doors opened, she stepped out into a crisp Melbourne day, inhaling a lungful of smog, ground coffee beans and sizzling onions: city aromas that usually appealed but today left her craving the briny tang of Acacia Haven.

Annoyed by the momentary pang of homesickness, she strode up Collins Street and slipped into the first bar she could find, a small, trendy rectangular café that served alcohol along with tapas. The place was packed despite midday being earlier than most office workers took a lunch break, and she slid onto one of two empty stools at the shiny chrome bar, ordered a glass of cab sav and did what most Melburnians did in the bustling city: people-watch.

While she loved the close-knit community she’d grown up in, nothing beat the vibe of cosmopolitan Melbourne. People in the city strode rather than walked, driven by a sense of purpose and a hunger to get places. She wished she had that same hunger but lately she’d been floundering. Helping her grandfather run Acacia Haven’s sole real estate agency had always given her job satisfaction, but with Pop dropping hints about retirement and his unwillingness to try new marketing, her stress levels had been rising.

That’s what attending this conference was about: getting the lowdown on the latest real estate innovations. She had so many ideas to make the agency thrive but in a town as small as Acacia Haven would any improvements make a difference?

Despite the growing interest in intentional living communities, many still thought of them as ‘hippy communes’, so the bulk of her business centred on holiday rentals and the occasional sea-changer. And with the usual rumours of larger real estate chains in Inverloch and Bairnsdale being keen on gobbling up smaller agencies, she had a feeling her days as an agent in Acacia Haven were numbered.

She’d never told Pop about her secret dream to work in Melbourne. How could she, when he’d given up his life in the city to raise her and hadn’t stopped singing the praises of small-town life ever since?

She owed him, big time, and that meant shelving her dreams to fulfil his. Not that he’d come out and said he expected her to run the agency after he retired but that place was his legacy and it was her duty to ensure it continued to grow long after he left.

As the waitress placed a satisfyingly large wine glass in front of her, she watched a guy in a suit pause in the doorway and frown as he registered the full bar a moment before his formidable glare landed on the bar stool next to her, where she’d placed her handbag. She’d done it out of habit, something that didn’t matter in a town that often had empty tables when she ate out, but here, with seating at a premium, she felt bad. Until one of his eyebrows arched and he shook his head, as if disappointed in her rudeness.

She was tempted to leave her bag where it was, but she’d already had a crap morning and the last thing she needed was an altercation with a brooding stranger.

With an exaggerated huff so he could see how much of an effort it was, she plucked her bag off the stool, placed it on the grotty floor at her feet and picked up her wine glass, raising it in a silent toast as the guy made a beeline for the stool.