You can change the house but can you change the man?
Carrie Fraser is an interior decorator and cannot believe her luck when she is invited to work at Oakenbury Hall – a beautiful manor house in the heart of the English countryside. Nor can she quite get over the owner of Oakenbury – the gorgeous (not to mention, completely loaded!) Morgan Harrington. Morgan appears to have it all, but his previous life is clouded with sadness and heartache, which Carrie can relate to only too well. He is intent on running away from his troubled past to a glamorous, celebrity-filled existence in Cannes, but there’s a problem … Morgan is bound by his late father’s wishes to keep Oakenbury Hall within the family and have children, and the more time Carrie spends with him, the more she yearns to be the woman to fulfil this wish. But the likes of Carrie Fraser could never be enough for a high-flying businessman like Morgan … could she?
Linda has had over two hundred short stories published worldwide. She has also won many short story writing competitions – Woman’s Own, Woman & Home and Writespace to name but three. In 2004, Linda was awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and has a story in their 50th Anniversary Anthology. Linda also won Short Story Radio Romance Prize 2010. Having started her writing career doing a short story course with Writing Magazine, she has now come full circle and is a preliminary judge for their short story competitions. Linda lives in Devon and is married with two grown-up children.
I thought Grand designs was an adorable novella. It was just the book to spend an afternoon with.
Although it was a modern novella, to me it will always be an old-fashioned love story. Morgan was a wonderful character, he was titled but he did not behave as if he was entitled. He was a very down to earth and lovable character. In my head I pictured him as Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey.
In some ways I think Oakenbury is a metaphor for Morgan. As Carrie investigates and sweeps away the detritus of the past, she gives the whole place a fresh new lift. In the process, she actually did the same for Morgan.
Grand designs was a slow waltz through an aspiring love affair. It was warm, witty and will give you that feeling in your stomach of loves’ first blush.
The length was perfect for reading in one sitting with afternoon tea. I highly recommend this light-hearted read that will leave you with a joyous feeling all day.