Peyton hurried away, giving thanks for a few seconds of privacy. This was the first moment she’d had alone the entire day. As she rinsed and dried her hands, she heard someone coming into the restroom. She didn’t want to talk to anyone, so she scurried into the last stall in the bathroom, the handicapped one. It had enough room for her and her dress.
When the bathroom door opened, she recognized her future sister-in-law’s voice. Roberta was talking to her cousin, Miranda Willis. “I still don’t get it,” Miranda complained. “Why do your parents like Peyton so much? Her family is nothing but poor white trash. That sister of hers has a baby but no husband, and her mother is an awful social climber.”
Roberta sighed. “I know, but Mother and Daddy like Peyton because when Drew’s with her he behaves better. He’s always acted buck wild, and the older he gets the worse he is.”
Watching through the crack in the stall, Peyton saw Miranda apply fresh lipstick. “I don’t know that he behaves so much better with Peyton around. What about Megan Thomas?”
“Oh, you should have heard Daddy.” Roberta giggled. “He told Drew if he didn’t make up with Peyton he’d disinherit him.”
“Yes. To get Daddy’s money, Drew’s been sucking up to Peyton for weeks now.” Miranda ran a comb through her fine, blonde hair. “Maybe he really is sorry for what he did.”
“I don’t think so. Before Daddy threatened him, he said Megan was a lot more fun than Peyton, and he was glad he didn’t have to marry her.”
Miranda looked shocked. “I had no idea.”
“We’d better hurry. The ceremony’ll be starting soon. Let me borrow your lipstick.”
Peyton gave them plenty of time to get away before she came out of the stall. So Drew had more fun with Megan, did he? Adrenaline racing through her veins, she ran back to Ashley who waited in the brides’ room. As she burst into the room, Ashley jumped to her feet, a frightened look on her face.
“I’m not marrying Drew!” Peyton ripped off her veil and kicked off her expensive designer heels. “Unbutton me. Hurry!” She felt Ashley’s fingers fumbling at the buttons on the back of the dress. “Rip ‘em off if you have to, Ash.”
“I’ve got the last one.” Peyton shimmied out of her dress and stomped it for spite, taking satisfaction when a nearby chair pricked the heavy fabric. “I’m getting out of here, but don’t tell anyone.”
She grabbed her dress, veil, and shoes and stuffed them behind a folding screen that stood in the corner. “You tell Mother you went to the bathroom, and when you came back out, I was gone. Wait as long as you can. I want the whole church to know I stood him up.”
“But why? Why now? What happened?”
Peyton jerked her tee shirt over her head which slightly muffled her voice and caused her expensive hair style to tumble around her shoulders. “I’ll explain later. I’m leaving town right now. I’ll call you tonight to tell you where I am.”
Rest Thy Head
By Elaine Cantrell
Isn't the title, Rest Thy Head, simply wonderful? And I love the complementary cover that shows a place where, if you were trying to escape, then this would be just the place, don't you think?
Peyton might not be the first bride to leave her intended at the altar. But, for me, it was he and his family that certainly deserved to be humiliated! Even her mother was being selfish--she wanted Peyton to marry into the wealthy family just so it would increase her status in society and allow Peyton to help her financially, especially when she was older... Not a way to be happy going into the, supposedly, best day of the rest of your life...
She was heading for... freedom and wherever it might take her. Jumping in her car, she headed out until she needed gas and food. And while there, she discovered a brochure for Rest Thy Head. The picture was beautiful and she remembered her own dream to own and operate an Inn...just like this one!
She took off after her kind waitress had given such a great recommendation room!
It is expected that those who run an Inn will be cordial and welcoming. Indeed the Innkeeper that welcomed Peyton was perfect...
But two brothers ran the Inn and the second brother was...not so nice...
But Peyton loved the placed so much that when she was able to stay on and work, she gladly accepted...And even, later, when she saw another vacancy open, she called Ashley and she and her son came to stay as well.
Cantrell's placement of the lead male character as a veteran with several burns on his body was thought-provoking. Before he had been in the service, he was a handsome man with many friends. The Inn had been a family place but after their parents died, and Jake was injured, he had returned, with no other place to go--and not a place to work, given his appearance. Jake now did the cooking and baking...and Peyton was placed under his supervision.
Some may think that the story tells itself...and the burn victim gets the girl. No surprise in this book. However, it is all of the characters, including the staff and neighbors who are able to come together in an amazing survival story that takes nothing else other than love and acceptance...and friendship to someone in need...
Take a break and enjoy this lovely tale of two people...make that four people...who come to love each other and find a permanent place at Rest Thy Head! A family-oriented drama that speaks to what may and does happen with the return of military service veterans in America... Highly recommended.
Born and raised in South Carolina, I hold a master's degree in personnel services from Clemson University and am a member of Romance Writers of America, EPIC authors, and Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators. I've been married for thirty five years to my college sweetheart. We have two sons-a physicist and a fraud investigator. They've given us three wonderful grandchildren-one girl and two boys. We also have two mean cats and one sweet, brown dog.
I've been writing since 2001 when my son asked me to proofread a book he'd written. I figured if he could, so could I. My first published novel, A New Leaf, was the winner of the 2003 Timeless Love contest. If I wasn't sold on writing before, that did it. I've been writing ever since and don't have any plans to stop. Frankly, I don't think I could even if I wanted to. Writing is a strange compulsion that drives me to spend long hours in front of a keyboard when I could be doing important things like napping or eating chocolate. My house isn't dusted as often, I rarely cook, and who cares if the laundry got done or not. Yeah, no doubt about it, I'm addicted.
When I'm not writing or teaching I enjoy gardening, quilting, and trying new restaurants with my friends. You can learn more about me at my web site http://www.elainecantrell.com and at http://www.myspace.com/elainecantrell I also have a blog at http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com