I'm scared. Can I sleep in your bed?
When Professor Peyton Cache bought a big, gloomy, romantic Victorian house, he should have expected a ghost. He certainly got one, the kind that likes to float his undies around and drop slime in the stairwell for fun. But the professor can't let the rest of the faculty know he's lost his mind, so he hires a ghost hunter on the down-low. But somehow, when he booked a ghost hunter, he didn't think he was getting a live-in leggy blonde with an attitude like a Jersey gangster and a body like a pinup poster...
Kaci Melton needs to hide out for a while, and where better to disappear than a haunted house on one of her dad's ghost-hunting jobs? All she'll have to do is deal with a crabby old professor for a couple days and kick out one measly ghost. Two problems: the professor is a tasty young guy with piecing blue eyes, six-pack abs, and a penchant for talking dirty. And the ghost scares the panties off her...actually, given the professor, maybe that's not a problem. But if she can't tell him the truth--and she can't--how is she going to get him to keep up all that wonderful sex? Especially when she's starting to kinda like him...
Karen Kelley lives in a small Texas town with her husband and their very spoiled Pekingese, six Koi fish, and various wild birds that eat way too much. She's also a collector of junk which she fondly refers to as antiques. Her motto in life is to enjoy each moment of it. She would be happy to hear from her readers at email@example.com.
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1 . Great
Posted May 30, 2009 by Jane , Rialto,CAThis book was an incredible read. I couldn't put it down after I started it.
December 31, 2008
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Excerpt from My Favorite Phantom by Karen Kelley
The old Victorian house was haunted. And how did Kaci Melton know it was haunted? Because nothing had gone right all week--make that all month. It only stood to reason there would be a ghost lurking inside.
Besides, the place just had that creepy, haunted look about it. Dark, gloomy, and forbidding. The three main ingredients for a house with a ghost.
The porch was wide and wrapped around the house and had all the doodads you'd expect in a Queen Anne Victorian. The large, projecting bay windows, towers, and turrets. Not to mention the decorative finials, spindles, and brackets.
At least the color was subdued shades of brown. In the face of all the elaborate swirls and the fancy trim, the beige and coffee colors toned things down somewhat. But then you had the dark, gloomy, and forbidding look to deal with.
All she had to do was step on the gas pedal of her little blue compact and get the hell away from here as fast as she could drive. All the spooky movies she'd ever watched told her to do just that.
But she couldn't run away because she didn't have a choice. Come to think about it, the people in the movies never had a choice, either.
She was doomed.
No choice whatsoever. She had to help her father out of this mess. She swallowed past the lump in her throat, put the car in park, and turned off the engine. Her hands trembled as she gripped the steering wheel. She wished she knew a calming mantra that would give her the courage to face her fears.
Unfortunately, she didn't.
"Okay, let's get this over with," she mumbled as she opened her car door and got out, eyeing the place with more than a touch of apprehension as she went to the trunk to get some of her things.
Why do I always have to be the one to clean up my father's messes?
Easy answer. She was an only child and her father had no one else. She sighed, knowing he meant well--most of the time.
She dragged a suitcase out of the trunk, then a satchel, shifting the strap on her shoulder so the weight was a little more balanced.
Knowing she'd be spending the next week or so here with some old dude made her queasy. Not because of the stuffy history professor. She could handle an old codger. A ghost was an entirely different matter.
Every step she took, she repeated the only mantra she did know: "I ain't afraid of no ghosts, I ain't afraid of no ghosts . . ."
It didn't seem to be working. It hadn't in Ghost Busters, either. She was terrified of ghosts, and she had a feeling they knew it.
A black cat jumped from the bushes and ran across her path. She jerked to a stop. Her heart pounded inside her chest. What the hell was this? Pick on Kaci day?
Stop being such a wimp!
She really hated her voice of reason. Why couldn't it tell her just once to turn around and run for her life? But no, the voice always wanted her to be courageous. Pffft, like that would ever happen.
She dragged her suitcase up the steps, cringing at each thump. Thumping noises were not good, either.
After setting her suitcase on the porch, she slipped the strap from her shoulder and set the satchel down as well. Her stomach rumbled. Even her gut was trying to tell her this wasn't a good idea.
She was here now; she might as well see this through. She tugged her baseball cap a little lower on her forehead and rang the bell.
"Act one. Here goes nothin'," she muttered. "You are tough, and you don't take crap off anyone," she said under her breath. Become the part. She rolled her shoulders, then tilted her head to the right, then the left.
She was ready. Good thing, too, as footsteps approached. She fervently hoped they were of the human variety--the alive human variety. As in the stodgy-professor-who-livedhere variety.
The door opened, and she looked at the man standing in front of her. Stared, actually. She snapped her mouth closed when she realized it was hanging open and that she probably looked like an imbecile. But this was no stodgy professor-- not by a long shot.
He needed a shave, and his hair was tousled, as though he'd just gotten out of bed. Oh, that brought delicious images to mind. Her body tingled to awareness as her gaze moved down his sexy bod.
The white T-shirt he wore stretched nice and taut across his chest, and his jeans rode low on his hips. Her gaze dropped lower. And he was barefoot.
She quickly looked at the numbers beside the front door. Right address. But the man before her couldn't possibly be a history professor. She never had that kind of luck. This man was probably a student or a relative or something.
"I'm here to see Professor Peyton Cache," she told him.
He gave her the once-over. She felt a little insulted. She'd looked at him way longer, practically drooling, while he'd given her only a cursory glance. Damn, she should've put on a little lipstick or something, not worn the dumb cap and the baggy shirt and equally baggy sweatpants. She'd been trying to look the part so she'd be taken seriously, not girly.
"May I help you?" he asked.
"I believe I'm the one who is supposed to help you." That should make him take notice.
His eyebrows drew together in a vee. "Help me with what? Did the dean send you over? Are you a student?"
"You called us--" she began, but he interrupted her.
"Listen, I'm expecting . . . someone. I'll talk to the dean later and we can get this straightened out. I told him I didn't need an assistant. I'm really busy, so if you'll excuse me." He shut the door.
Now, that was rude. She leaned forward and peered through the etched glass. He had a nice walk as he padded away from her. Her gaze dropped. A very nice . . . walk.
But she hadn't come here to be dismissed as a college student. Her father needed the money this job would bring. She rapped her knuckles on the door, then straightened when he turned around. His frown changed to a look of irritation as he marched back to the door and opened it.
"I told you..."
"Do you want me to get rid of your ghost or not?" she asked, crossing her arms in front of her. "I mean, it's no skin off my nose, buddy. I just thought I'd mention that I'm not one of your preppie college students before I turn around and leave."
"You're the ghost exterminator?" His eyes widened in disbelief.
No, but she wasn't about to tell him the truth.
She cocked an eyebrow. "Yeah, you got a problem with that?"
Okay, that had sounded good. Very tough. As though she belonged to the mob and was ready to take out anything that got in her way--including a pesky ghost. She only wished she had some gum to chew. Chewing gum would've been a great prop.
His gaze skimmed over her again; then he arched an eyebrow as though he found her lacking. She squared her shoulders and glared at him. If not for her father, she would be so out of here.
"What happened to the man I spoke with?" he asked. "The owner? I thought he'd be the one coming out."
"The boss is busy. Name's Kaci. I work for him." Let him sink his teeth into that. It was her or nothing. But then, she didn't want him to send her away, either. That certainly wouldn't help her father. She softened her tone. "He's working another case."
Hiding, actually. From Guido. Her father owed him money. This job would pay off the two-bit thug, and then they could get on with their lives. She only had to do a little . . . acting and convince the hunk in front of her that she could get rid of his ghost.
She hated being dishonest. But she'd hate it even more if her father was given a pair of concrete boots and dumped over the side of a boat. Not that she really thought that would happen--they'd been in a drought for almost two years.
And besides, she did know how to get rid of ghosts if worse came to worst. They just scared the hell out of her.
Usually, she stayed in the background of her father's business. Way in the background, as in the back of the office buried in paperwork. So, she wasn't being that dishonest. She just had to convince the man in front of her that she was damn good at exterminating ghosts.
And she could get rid of it--probably.
Time for act two.