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Shrinking Violet
Tricia McGill
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Leah, a landscape designer, inherited her love of gardening from her eccentric aunt. When contracted to work on private investigator Sean Russel's garden, Leah becomes involved in a series of unpleasant experiences involving his cases. Despite her increasing attraction to Sean, she soon begins to wonder how she happened to become enmeshed in such mayhem.

With that he stalked towards his house, a lovely red brick place with a verandah around its sides, windows beneath its eaves and a fantastic set of double doors with lead light glass insets. I’d fallen in love with it the moment I first set eyes on it. That was when Mrs. Weston, obviously Sean Russel’s sister, had asked me to call round to give her a quote on some landscaping for the garden I’d presumed was hers. No, it was the hunk’s.

My business thrived on work in this leafy suburb. I’d been born not far from here, in Mornington, had spent my childhood on a farm in the centre of the Mornington Peninsula. I’d gone to high school near Melbourne when my mother’s sister had come to Australia from England to care for my brother and me after my parents’ untimely death when I was eight. Good old Aunt Eliza, she’d taught me everything I know about botany, gardens, and the pleasures to be gained by creating them.

Now what was I to do? If the house belonged to him I couldn’t go ahead and start digging without his consent--even if his sister had already paid me. Now there was a snag! I didn’t fancy giving the loot back, and anyway she’d signed the contract. Another thing Aunt Eliza had taught me was to always make sure a contract was signed before I so much as put my spade in the ground on anyone’s property.

I sauntered up to the front door, which he’d left open. It was a lovely June day, sunny, with a warm breeze blowing. Unusually warm for this time of year in southern Victoria. I’d been looking forward to transforming this unkempt block of land. Fabulous the house might be, but Sean Russel’s sister was right--the garden needed a lot of work.

"What bloody game do you think you’re playing at now?" He stood just inside the hallway, blaring down the receiver of the phone that was clenched in his fist. His hair was taking a real bashing from the other hand.

Uh-oh, I guessed he was blasting his poor sister. I did not wish to be a part of a family squabble. I turned about, ready to go back to my truck.


I stopped. Presumably he was roaring at me. I put a hand to my chest and raised my eyebrows as I faced him again. He was right in front of me--his height slightly intimidating. That is if you were inclined to be intimidated by large men--which I wasn’t. Well, not usually. Those lovely chocolate-coloured eyes were flashing sparks at me and the very sensuous mouth was held in a grim straight line. He rubbed his forehead as if he had a pain there.

"Forgive me, but my sister had no right to order work done on my property." The hands were now on his hips. "I’ll have to ask you to leave."

"Sorry, can’t do that." I shook my head and my ponytail bounced from side to side. I waved the clipboard at him. "I have a contract here, all signed and sealed. And I’ve been paid to do this job."

His big sigh was heartfelt. "I don’t care a fig--I do not want a female digging up my garden."

"What have you got against female gardeners?" Now I was getting annoyed.

"I have nothing against females doing any job. That is not the point here. This work was ordered without my knowledge or consent, and anyway what’s wrong with the garden as it is?" He waggled his fingers as he looked over my shoulder, which wasn’t hard for him to do seeing as I barely reached his chin.

"Pardon me, but if you think your garden doesn’t need work then you must be half blind." That was rude, I know, but this guy was beginning to rattle me. Why the hell didn’t he just let me get on with the job I’d been paid to do?

"There is nothing wrong with my eyes." He cast a glance up and down me, making me feel like I did when Patrick, my live-in lover of three years, had walked out on me two years ago--on my thirty-third birthday. The rat had gone to live with a mouse of a woman who had no spunk, no energy, and no boobs. Stupid pratt! They made a good pair, a rat and a mouse. Last I heard she was pregnant--perhaps she’d give birth to a chipmunk.

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

“A charming country setting, some cheeky kids, two amusing dogs, and a cast of other secondary characters help to build the romantic tension to a crescendo. A Lonely Heart tenderly builds up a romance between a man with a chip on his shoulder and the woman destined to win his heart. It’s a pure and gentle romance that will surely please the romance genre purists, along with just about any other romance fan out there.” -- 4 angels from Sarah W at Fallen Angel reviews. A Lonely Heart—Oct 06

"Irresistible Challenge is a most enjoyable read. With refreshing characters and a well-written storyline the reader is immediately drawn into a family at odds with each other. . .

. . . make this one irresistible read with emotions that dance through the pages. This is a story that this reader thoroughly enjoyed and comes highly recommended." -- 5 angels from Linda L --Fallen Angel Reviews. Irresistible Challenge—July 06

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: Suspense Books

ISBN: 1590886364
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590886366
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 247
Paper Weight (lb): 10.5

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