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Design for Life by Essie Summers

Design for Life

by Essie Summers

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Opening Sentence: ‘…Dane Inglethorpe sank into a deep chair at Victoria and Blair Doig’s Haslemere home and said “Now I can unpin this fixed smile and really relax.”…’

Dane Inglethorpe is a successful New Zealander thriller writer; the book opens in England at the end of an exhausting book promotion tour. He is tired and happy that finally he has done the last book signing session. However, his publisher has arranged one more session at a well-known antique shop run by a lady called Leonora. Leonora has artifacts from New Zealand on display and has decided that Dane would be a good crowd attracter for her shop. Dane is reluctant to do it, but goes anyway and is blown away by the wonderful paintings that have captured the scenes in his book. The artist is Leonora’s granddaughter, Chloe. Dane wants to meet Chloe so while he is waiting for her he goes to a nearby café and overhears a woman rejecting a proposal of marriage as inappropriate and storming out. The woman, of course, turns out to be Chloe.

Because he loves her work so much, and he is very taken with the woman, Dane asks Chloe to return to New Zealand with him to lead the restoration of his pioneer home, and convert his sister’s house to a restaurant. Chloe agrees, and not just because it is a project to die for.

It is lovely to read a story that involves people falling in love without them also falling immediately into bed! Author, Essie Summers, filled her story with wonderful poetry from various sources and excerpts from Shakespeare. Summers also brought New Zealand alive for me. This book is the first of at least 12 books set in New Zealand to ‘put me in the mood’ and give me ideas for things to see and do for our trip there next year. Christchurch is a favourite destination of ours and DESIGN FOR LIFE was set near Christchurch. Things on my to-do list from this book is Devonshire Tea at ‘The Sign of the Takahe’ and to explore Lyttelton (which we didn’t get to on our last trip) including a trip to Ripapa Island Historic Reserve. ( )
1 vote sally906 | Oct 17, 2010 |
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Book description
Successful New Zealander thriller writer Dane Inglethorpe is visiting Britain on an exhausting signing tour. His publisher has arranged yet another signing, this time at a famous antiques shop, Leonora's, in Surrey.

Leonora is currently displaying New Zealand artifacts and has become enamoured by Dane's most recent books. Unwillingly, Dane goes to see her and is pleasantly surprised by the display, which features some excellent murals. He discovers that the artist is Leonora's granddaughter, Chloe.

At lunch with Leonora, he overhears a red-headed girl reject a proposal and she storms out of the restaurant. Always the alert writer, Dane feels that this is good subject matter and notes everything down. But when he returns to the shop he is intrigued to find that the artist granddaughter is also the red-head at the restaurant.

Dane asks Chloe to return to New Zealand with him to restore his pioneer home and covert his sister's house on the property into the restaurant she has dreamed of. But though he and Chloe are initially drawn to each other, Chloe is incensed when she discovers his notes on the quarrel in the restaurant back in England. Is she just being used as material for Dane's next book or does he really love her?
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