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Autumn Fire
Tricia McGill
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Recently widowed Tess Barrett is relishing her new state of independence, not dreaming her world is about to be rocked on its axis by Jack Donovan, the man she spent many hours fantasizing about when he worked for her bully of a husband. Trapped in a marriage with a tyrant who eroded her confidence and humiliated her Tess sees herself as plain and dowdy; what would a now rich, successful, handsome, younger man see in her?

But her reserved nature bewitches Jack as much now as it did when he was a raw young man. Determined, now she is free, to go after her he uses his desire to buy her dead husband's construction company as an excuse. Sure his marriage to a selfish woman collapsed in part because of his infatuation for Tess Jack yearns for a woman who can give him unconditional love. Unsure of his motives Tess can't understand what Jack sees in a woman nearing middle age with grey in her hair. Jack finds their age difference immaterial and sets out to overcome her self- set barriers.

"Coward. I never knew you were one of those, Tess. I always thought you the bravest woman I know. You had to be to put up with your husband." When he saw she was outraged he’d had the nerve to question her bravery he took the advantage. "Come on." He winked to encourage her.

She put her cup on the table before them, and looked nervous again. Jack had to curl his fingers into a fist for fear of grabbing her. He didn’t fancy losing the ground he’d gained tonight. He also put his cup down and inhaled her intoxicating perfume as he sat back. "See, I’m harmless." He held his hands out if front of his body and she snorted.

"As harmless as a tiger snake." Their thighs accidentally touched and she enlarged the space between them furtively.

"A teddy bear, that’s me." With the sensations roaring around inside him at her nearness, at the smell of her perfume, and her exclusive scent, he felt more like a rampaging lion. It grew increasingly harder to keep his distance.

"Don’t you ever give up?" Her tone held a touch of asperity, but he caught the small tremor in her voice and could only hazard a guess at its source.

Tread carefully or undo all the progress you’ve made tonight.

"Never. Not when I’m on a path seemingly set in concrete. Can I kiss you, Tess?" If he tried the soft approach she would never agree, so why not go by the direct route, and see where it led?

"I’m surprised you asked." Her fingers were busy, straightening her skirt with long even strokes that brought his eyes to the graceful motion. She was doing her best to hide her nervousness. How long would it take to eradicate all her tensions and fears?

"Why would you be surprised? I took liberties before. I’m not about to make the same mistake again." Jack put his hand gently on one of her fussing hands and stilled it. "So, would you do me the honor of kissing me, please?"

"Don’t." Her soft eyes filled with confusion.

"Don’t what? Don’t ask for something I’ve been dying to do since Sunday?"

"You make me feel so…" She shifted, and Jack eased himself towards her, pinning her to the armrest of the sofa.

"So what?"

"So…I don’t know, but it sure is bewildering."

He put his finger beneath her chin when her gaze darted about the room. "Look at me, Tess. This is desire you see in my eyes. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. Look, no hands." He held both hands out in front of them and she smiled winsomely. "Would you like to be kissed? Would you like to be held? Would you take pity on this poor lonely man and let him taste your delectable lips?"

The confusion vanished as she laughed, giving one of his knees a gentle push. The touch sent a shock racing up his leg. It did all sorts of things to the part of him growing very hard by being so near her.

"You’re not lonely," she chided.

"Not true, sweetheart." She didn’t seem to notice he’d called her the banned endearment.

In fact she was staring at his mouth. Maybe this meant she was as eager to taste it as he was to taste hers. "I’m thirty years old but I feel worn out and lonely most of the time. I’ve spent too much time on my own. Since my divorce there’s only been one relationship where I lived with the woman. It lasted a few months--neither of us finding what we were after in a partner. I need a wife, but not just any wife. As I said, I need one I can love unreservedly, and one who will love me just as much."

I have this fascination for a handsome Scot in a kilt, and have no idea where it stems from--perhaps from my Scottish forebears? One of my brothers joined a Highland regiment although we were Londoners, and I know he wore a magnificent tartan kilt for regimental occasions. My Highland Love was one of my most enjoyable writing tasks, as I loved returning to the past and meeting up with Travis again. I fall in love with all of my heroes of course, but Travis holds a special place in my heart. Could one of my past lives have been spent with such a man? Maybe that’s why I couldn’t resist the urge to return to that period

"Designing Heart flows smoothly, quickly and easily as Tricia McGill delivers passion, warmth and strong family values in this fresh romance that touches your heart. This book is an emotionally satisfying read. Designing Heart is Tricia McGill’s sixth published novel.” --Jan Springer, Love Through A Stranger’s Eyes Wings ePress; August 2002

"Designing Heart is a must read for all romance lovers. The antics of Georgie and the consequent effects her actions have on Stefan, found this reader riding the emotional roller coaster of heart-stopping romance and gut busting laughter. Truly a book you can’t put down.” --Susan R. Sweet, "A Deadly Agent” Wings ePress; September 2002

"In DESIGNING HEARTS, Tricia McGill has created a story with a charming spirited heroine, a virile masterful hero, delightful supporting characters, and a thoroughly satisfying finish. Her familiarity with the fashion industry is evident. This is the first Tricia McGill book I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. I highly recommend it if you want a good read.” Fran Keighley, Burnout, Bed Breakfast And Beware, Renegade, and Monster In The Moat, Wings ePress

"AMARYLLIS is a strong outer space romance starring two delightful star-crossed lovers (literal and figurative). The story line is loaded with earthly and solar action. Tricia McGill provides readers with a cogent romantic science fiction that is sure to gain her fans from both genres." -- Harriet Klausner

Designing Heart -- " Tricia McGill’s delightful tale has all the key ingredients of a true romance: the characters are real, the conflict is believable and she delivers the type of ending that all romance lovers hope for." Romantic Times-Dec 02 by Faith V. Smith ****½ stars

"Thoroughly entertaining, UNTIL ETERNITY will provide enjoyment for those readers interested in time travel romance and historical detail of the early centuries of British history."-- Astrid Kinn--Romance Reviews Today

"AUTUMN FIRE is an unforgettable love story that I didn’t want to end and when it did, I wanted to start reading it again. Tess Barrett is a wonderful heroine who has to regain her self-esteem and learn to love again. Jack Donovan is a man sure of what he wants and doesn’t mind using everything in his power to get it."-- Hattie Boyd for Word Museum

"LOOK INTO YOUR HEART is a wonderfully written love story. This romantic situation takes place in Australia and the flavor of the dialogue is most captivating. With each new sentence being spoken by the characters, I found myself caught in an enchanting whirlwind of hearing their charming voices. It was an endearing quality which I enjoyed so much. Tricia McGill has the precise recipe for romance and intrigue all within the pages of this expertly written novel." -- Patti Fleishman--In The Library Reviews

Fiction Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1590888197
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590888193
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 240

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