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Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange by Jenny Kane
About The Book
Thea Thomas needs to get away from her old life… and the interfering ex who won’t leave her alone. When she lands a job heading up the restoration of Mill Grange, a stunning Victorian manor, it feels like the perfect opportunity to start afresh.
What Thea didn’t anticipate was how hostile the volunteer team, led by the formidable Mable Hastings, would be about accepting new leadership. And with the deadline looming before the grand opening, Thea is in desperate need of more volunteers.
A broadcast appeal on the local news attracts the interest of arrogant but undeniably attractive celebrity historian Shaun Cowlson, who wants to make a TV programme about the restoration. It’s hard enough adding one more big personality to the mix–but then her ex turns up as one of the volunteers! What seemed like a dream come true is fast becoming a total disaster! Can Thea find a way to save the manor?
The meeting hadn’t started, yet no companionable chatter criss-crossed the table. The lemon cake remained untouched. Mugs of tea and coffee mugs cooled, un-drunk. The alcohol sat unopened. Thea struggled not to squirm as eight sets of eyes rested on her.
Only Tina was smiling.
The faces of the volunteers–five women and two men–held an air of awkward patience which declared they’d listen politely, but then they’d carry on as they had before.
With an encouraging nod from Tina, Thea cradled her coffee cup. Taking comfort from its warmth, she broke the uneasy silence.
‘First of all, I’d like to thank you all, not just for coming out this evening, but for everything you’ve achieved at Mill Grange over the past five years.’
Not allowing anyone the chance to comment, Thea ploughed on with a speech she’d been semi-rehearsing on and off since she’d arranged the meeting two days ago.
‘It’s incredible what you’ve done, and —’ seeing a flicker of objection in Mabel’s eyes, Thea hurriedly raised her palm ‘ — I don’t mean incredible in a patronising way.
You’ve had few resources, a limited budget and no training. Everything you’ve achieved has been for the pure love of it. I have tried to tell you how much I admire your work ethic and how much I can see you all care for Mill Grange…’
‘But?’ Mabel put down the tea mug she’d just lifted up with an exaggerated thump.
‘There is no but.’ Hoping her rising anxiety didn’t show, Thea continued to address the stony faces around the table. ‘Whatever I’ve done to offend you, I’m truly sorry, but we need to work together. We owe it to Mill Grange.’
‘We?’ Mabel’s eyes narrowed. ‘You turn up one day out of the blue, without a word of warning, and take over. How do you think that made us feel?’
‘What?’ Puzzled, Thea turned to Tina, who appeared equally baffled. ‘You didn’t know I was coming to work here?’
Mabel tilted her head to one side, clearly unconvinced that Thea hadn’t been aware she’d been a surprise to them. ‘We did not.’
Tina lowered her coffee cup from her lips. ‘You were sent an email, Mabel. I was copied in on it, so I know it was both sent and received. The chief trustee, Malcolm, fired it off to you personally as he sees you as the volunteers’ spokesperson.’
‘An email.’ Mabel spoke flatly as she looked down at her clenched hands, and Thea guessed that checking her email was something that rarely crossed the old lady’s mind.
Taking the diplomatic path, Thea said, ‘Obviously it can’t have reached you, Mabel. The Internet is hardly reliable here. So, it appears I was thrust up on you without warning. But I promise you, I didn’t know you were unaware of my appointment.’ She looked across to Tina for confirmation. ‘To be honest, I was surprised a representative from the volunteers wasn’t at the interview.’
‘In normal circumstances they might have been. Perhaps because you came so highly recommended, they didn’t see the need this time.’
Thankful that most of the volunteers were beginning to look less hostile, Thea took a sustaining sip of coffee. ‘Maybe we can start again?
About The Author
Jenny Kane is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction series. Her first novel,AnotherCup ofCoffee(Accent Press), was a Kindle bestseller. The final novel in this series,Another Glass ofChampagne, was released in June 2016. Jenny Kane’s Cornish romance,A Cornish Escape, hit No.1 inthe Amazon Romance, Contemporary Fiction, and Women’sFiction charts, and was followed by asequel,Abi’s Neighbour, Jenny’s seventh novel.