There's something winningly whimsical and marvelously magical about the premise of the power of a hope chest and equinoxes winging characters across time to find healing and love. A hope chest found in the historic Chesterfield, now undergoing renovation provides the focal point for this series. In Karen Fox's GRAND DESIGN, the third book of the Hope Chest miniseries, it's the nameplate from a portrait that carries frustrated artist Cynda Madison back in time to find her love.
Cynda Madison finds a strikingly handsome face beneath the years of filth in a portrait she's been commissioned to restore. Her own artwork lacks the sweeping passion apparent in every brush stroke, leaving her wishing for such bold zeal. When she's swept back in time, Cynda immediately recognizes Prince Dimitri Karakov from the portrait, finding the living man even sexier than the portrait. Her warnings of danger, however, fall on deaf ears when she tries to warn him that he's to die on December 12th.
Duty comes before pleasure for Prince Dimitri Karakov, even when it comes to Cynda. He wearies of the husband hunting vixens at the Chesterfield, where he's accompanying his grandmother while she takes in the healing waters. Cynda brings a welcome respite with her forthright, direct speech and lack of flirtatiousness. While she's much too forward for a servant, her intelligence and quick-wittedness makes her irresistible. When his younger brother shows interest in Cynda, Dimitri's unprepared for his overwhelming jealousy. Too bad he's been pledged since birth to a proper woman for a Prince.
Readers who enjoyed the previous two installments of this miniseries as well as fans of author Karen Fox's PRINCE OF CHARMING will thrill to this newest offering, GRAND DESIGN. As in PRINCE OF CHARMING, Fox brings her love of painting to GRAND DESIGN, when a portrait wings this heroine back in time. With her characteristic ingenuity, Fox paints a blend of the fantastic and the mundane, bringing enormous passion to her canvas in this portrait of love. Favorite secondary characters of this miniseries seamlessly connect the novel to the other parts of the miniseries, in addition to introducing two willful, strong-minded main characters. A playful, lighthearted read, GRAND DESIGN is perfect reading for an afternoon. Recommended.