Review: Grand Designs by Linda Mitchelmore

grand designsGrand Designs by Linda Mitchelmore

“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?”


reviewpicI 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.


high teaTo help you get started, here is a great scone receipe:

225g/8oz self raising flour
pinch of salt
55g/2oz butter
25g/1oz caster sugar
150ml/5fl oz milk
1 free-range egg beaten, to glaze (alternatively use a little milk)


Preparation method:

-Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
-Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter.
-Stir in the sugar and then the milk to get a soft dough.
-Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm/¾in thick. Use a 5cm/2in cutter to stamp out rounds and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all.
-Brush the tops of the scones with the beaten egg. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
-Cool on a wire rack and serve with butter and good jam and maybe some clotted cream.

Also by Linda Mitchelmore:

to turnTo turn full circle by Linda Mitchelmore

“Life in Devon in 1909 is hard and unforgiving, especially for young Emma Le Goff, who finds herself totally alone in the world and evicted from her home by her callous landlord Reuben Jago.

His son Seth is deeply attracted to Emma and sympathises with her, but all his attempts to help only incur his father’s wrath.

When mysterious fisherman Matthew Caunter comes to Emma’s rescue, Seth is jealous at what he sees and seeks solace in another woman. However, he finds that forgetting Emma is not as easy as he hoped.

Matthew is kind and charismatic, but handsome Seth is never far from Emma’s mind. Whatever twists and turns her life takes, it seems there is always something – or someone – missing.”


Emma: there is no turning back by Linda Mitchelmore

“Sequel to To Turn Full Circle but can be read on it’s own.

It isn’t easy to look forward when the past is so close behind you
Life hasn’t always been kind to Emma Le Goff. She has had her fair share of hardship and now finally, her life appears to be looking up. She and her childhood sweetheart, Seth Jago, are set to marry and both believe that an idyllic existence, free from heartache, awaits them.

However, when they discover that the past is more difficult to forget than they could have ever imagined, Emma continues to be haunted by the mysterious circumstances surrounding her family, and Seth is hounded by a jealous ex-lover set on revenge.

Seth plans for their escape to Canada, but when the charismatic Matthew Caunter returns to Devon, Emma finds herself uncertain of whether a move to Canada is really what she wants …”






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