Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Red Tulip [Romantic Flashes Book 1] by Victoria Adams #Romance @_VictoriaAdams

Red Tulip is a contemporary romance with a hint of mystery. It’s the first book in a series called Romantic Flashes.

Darcy O'Calahann, a junior gardener from a small mid-western town, is trying to make her way in the big city.
Shamus McRae is a wealthy bachelor with a mysterious family past.
Are Darcy's eyes playing tricks on her? Is she losing her mind? Or is there really a Red Tulip tying her and Shamus together?

"When was the last time you were offered the gift of a red tulip?"
I turned to see who spoke while I wondered if he was addressing me. A man sat on a park bench, dressed in a dark suit, with a bowler hat, holding a cane and his head bowed. I shifted to continue along the path when his face lifted and I found myself gaping at two glowing green eyes.
"When was the last time you were offered the gift of a red tulip?"
I blinked, trying to look away from those mesmerising orbs. "Uh, never. I mean, no one has ever offered me a tulip."
"A red tulip."
"Okay, no one has ever offered me a red tulip." Uneasiness slithered through me. "Nice chatting with you."
Smiling, I scurried down the path leading away from the park bench and towards the gardener's shed. With Jacobs being sick today, I had to hurry to get the last of the flower beds cleaned and prepared for spring plantings. The past winter had been bitter. It seemed tree branches and mouse damage wreaked havoc on every one of the one hundred and sixteen different flowerbeds.
I slipped my key into the lock, opened the shed door, stepped inside and shut it behind me. Closing my eyes, I allowed myself a moment to indulge in the beauty of his eyes. Emerald green. As brilliant as the gems locked among the diamonds at Tiffany's. Not that I shop there. Couldn't possibly afford anything on a junior gardener's salary, but I do fantasize when wandering the aisles.
What would it be like to be with a man like that? For those few moments in his presence, I was unable to think. My breath caught in my lungs. My palms were slick with beads of sweat. I shook my head, opened my eyes, and tugged the ever-present hair tie off my wrist. "Get over yourself, Darcy. A man like that wants a super model who can slink around on eight-inch heels. Not someone who digs in the dirt all day."
I pulled my hair up into a ponytail and tucked it through the back hole in my baseball cap. After grabbing a rake and my favourite trowel, I loaded them and a pair of snippers and clippers onto the back of the gardener's cart, opened the big door, then drove out into the bright spring sunshine. Hopping out of the cart, I then turned and hoisted a bag of duck feed into the cart, closed and locked both shed doors.
The buds on the trees had begun to swell. A sure sign spring was at hand. I inhaled deep, slipped onto the driver's seat and turned in the direction of the duck pond. Joy lifted my heart as I drove towards my favourite part of the day: duck feeding.
This time of the year, the drakes courted the ducks. Not like in my life where the drake, namely Justin, was off courting Sabrina rather than me. Okay, so Sabrina had a sexy job as a TV weather girl. But I'm betting those eyelashes, fingernails and boobs aren't original packaging.
I stood by the side of the pond, tossing handfuls of feed into the shallow water. I laughed as the ducks and geese waddled over, scavenging for food.
Movement to my left caught my attention. A large, old car, a Rolls Royce I think, parked at the edge of the lot. The front door opened and a chauffeur exited. Cool. I wonder which celebrity is getting married today?
Although not in full flower, the early spring gardens did make a striking backdrop for wedding photos or model shoots. A tingle shot from my belly to my toes when he stepped out of the car. I turned my head, pretending to focus on the ducks, but I watched as he exited the car, strolled down the grass, sat on the nearest bench and smiled.
Oh, good heavens. Is he following me? Like a stalker? I gave myself a little shake. Don't be stupid. He probably just wants to watch me feed the ducks.
I struggled not to glance back and meet the emerald green gaze. I had a job to do. Brushing my hands against my work pants, I returned to the cart and proceeded with my day.
Twelve flowerbeds cleaned. I was tired, but proud. Tomorrow, Jacobs and I could begin the planting, and soon the gardens would be alive with blooms. As I reached the gardener's shed, I checked to see if, maybe, the Rolls was nearby. Or, possibly the man with the emerald gaze sat on a nearby bench. Both the parking lot and bench were deserted. No one but the ducks and me were in the park at this time of the day.
Sighing, I inserted the key into the lock for the big door and drove the cart inside. A splash of colour on the wooden bench made me gasp. I jumped out of the cart and picked up the note resting beside the flower.
"I offer the gift of a red tulip."

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