Highland Fling – Katie Fforde

Highland Fling

“When ‘Virtual Assistant’ Jenny Porter’s boyfriend accuses her of being impulsive, soft-hearted and unbusinesslike, dashing off to Scotland to sort out a failing mill for one of her clients may not be the best way of proving him wrong.  And promising to help run a mobile burger bar before she’s even found her feet doesn’t help matters.  When she finds herself determined to save the mill – whatever her client’s wishes – it seems that Henry’s accusations may have contained more than a grain of truth.

So when Jenny’s awkward encounters with the abrasive but disconcertingly attractive Ross Grant develop into something more complicated – just as Henry arrives in Scotland to reclaim her – it’s time for Jenny to make some decisions.  Should she do the sensible thing and follow Henry back to London?  Or is her Highland adventure more than just a fling… ?”

I really enjoy Katie Fforde books (reviews here) so when I saw this in my local bookshop at a bargain price I couldn’t resist.

The pace was comfortable and I quickly fell into the storyline, not wanting to put the book down. Unfortunately this did take me rather a long time to read but it wasn’t at all because of the book – I had so much going on in my real life that I just didn’t have time to sit and read as much as usual :(.

Jenny was a sweet character who seemed unable to say no to people but I loved how feisty she became whenever Ross was around, he really brought out the worst in her but they definitely had an exciting spark.  Ross was one of those powerful male characters who didn’t say much, but didn’t need to because he was so confident and sexy.  He had a mysterious side and I got the feeling that he was keeping something from Jenny.

I actually felt nervous when Jenny was meeting Lady Dalmain for the first time, her daughter-in-law called her ‘the matriarch’ so I envisioned a scary woman who took no prisoners.  I was, in fact, fascinated by her traditional values and old-fashioned ways.

As the book progressed there were many hurdles to cross and it was all systems go, Jenny worked very hard but often found herself distracted by her love life and it was at those times she seemed to struggle to hold it all together.  Personally I was hoping that the inevitable would happen and she would succumb to her feelings.

There were a few moments that were particularly enjoyable for me – Jenny’s first meeting with her virtual boss, a hectic dinner party, a tense business meeting and a snowy walk that ended up hotter than it should have been!

This was a cosy read with a lovely ending, a perfect snuggle on the sofa book.

Highland Fling can be purchased from The Book Depository, Amazon or from most good book retailers. 

To find out more about Katie Fforde visit her website, Twitter page or Facebook page.

Love Letters – Katie Fforde

“With the bookshop where she works about to close, hopeless romantic Laura Horsley recklessly finds herself agreeing to help organise a literary festival deep in the heart of the English countryside.  But her initial excitement is rapidly followed by a mounting sense of panic when she realises just how much work is involved – especially when an innocent mistake leads the festival committee to believe that Laura is a personal friend of the author at the top of their wish-list.  Laura might be secretly infatuated with the infamous Dermot Flynn, but travelling to Ireland to persuade the notorious recluse to come out of hiding is another matter.

Determined to rise to the challenge, she sets off to meet her literary hero.  But all too soon she’s confronted with more than she bargained for – Dermot the man is maddening, temperamental and up to his ears in a nasty case of writers block.  But he’s also infuriatingly attractive – and, apparently, out to add Laura to his list of conquests.”

This was one of those books that I found surprisingly addictive, I didn’t expect to get quite so caught up in it but I can definitely say that out of all the Katie Fforde books I’ve read so far, this is my favourite!

The characters were all very likeable, especially the main character Laura – she was a very nervous person to begin with but as the book progressed and she was faced with all sorts of scary events, she seemed to loosen up and grow in confidence.

Her first trip to Ireland with her new friend Monica (a fun and bubbly character) was fantastic, there were some very funny moments and it was good to see Laura let herself go and have fun, even if it was all down to the large amounts of Whisky she had consumed.

I have to admit to completely falling in love with Dermot, he was just the kind of male character that I love – temperamental and a little bit cocky but, underneath it all he was incredibly romantic!  I loved the ‘will they, wont they’ aspect of the story, although I had pretty much guessed that they would get together from the synopsis, it was just a matter of when and how.

Something else that I enjoyed about this book was the behind the scenes of planning a literary festival, I was intrigued by the whole idea and amazed by how much effort was put into it.

More funny moments came about during a meal for the writers who were taking part in the festival and, my favourite part of the book, when Dermot meets Laura’s parents (this had me laughing and cringing in equal measures).

This is a thoroughly enjoyable, romantic read that captured my interest completely.

To find out more about Katie Fforde visit her website here.

Summer of Love – Katie Fforde

“Sian Bishop has left behind the hustle and bustle of the city and thrown herself into a new life in the country.

With her young son, her picture-postcard garden and her small thriving business, she’s happy and very busy.  She is not – repeat not – looking for love.

And then, one glorious summer evening, Gus Berresford arrives.  One-time explorer, full-time heartbreaker, Gus is ridiculously exciting, wonderfully glamorous – and, Sian tells herself, completely wrong for a romantically cautious single woman like her.

But she and Gus have met before.  And, despite Sian’s best intentions, it isn’t long before she’s falling for him all over again …”

I had previously read and enjoyed Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde (review here) and I was keen to read more of her books, so here we are.

With all the rain outside this story was just what I needed, it was a lovely summery read that made me want to go for long woodland walks in the sunshine (obviously not possible what with the weather situation but a very nice thought nonetheless).  What I’m trying to say is that it was comforting and easy to read, there was nothing too taxing on the brain and overall it was just a very enjoyable book.

I always love a story with a good coincidence or two in it and this certainly had one of those!  I realised after things were revealed that I probably should have seen it coming but sometimes it’s more fun not to guess what’s about to happen.

The characters all felt real and very relatable, I found myself getting completely involved in their lives and quite often ended up talking to the book giving my opinion on what I thought should be done (I seem to be doing this a lot lately, is this normal?).  I enjoyed reading about Fiona’s experiences with internet dating, particularly the strange date to the garden centre which really made my heart pound!

I loved that Gus and Sian’s son Rory had a great relationship from the start, Rory seemed like such a lovely little boy so it was no wonder everyone took to him so quickly.  Gorgeous Gus was actually a favourite of mine, and not just for obvious reasons, he came across as a bit of a jack the lad but I liked how loyal he was to those he cared about and while I understood Sian’s misgivings about him, especially as she had her son to think about, I felt annoyed with all the secrets she kept from him and everyone else.

There were some funny parts to the story too – a very important meeting near the end of the book had me giggling as I pictured the scene.  The events at Rory’s birthday party seemed to turn the whole story on its head and once I got to that part there was no way I could stop reading.

A heart-warming, romantic story that ticked all the boxes for me.

Summer of Love can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Katie Fforde visit her website here.

Living Dangerously – Katie Fforde

“Polly Cameron is happy being thirty-five and celibate, living in a small Gloucestershire town with a possessive cat for company and a Rayburn for comfort.  After all, a relationship would only complicate things.

But Polly’s life is already complicated.  In addition to her job in the Whole Nut café and her part in the ‘Save Our High Street’ campaign, there’s her pottery career to get off the ground.  Not to mention dodging the efforts of her friends and mother to find her a husband …”

I found that this story took me a while to get into but once I did it was definitely addictive – I really wanted to find out what Polly would decide to do with her life.

Polly is a cautious character who is happy living the single and celibate life, she had some not so great experiences when she was younger and this has left her unwilling to jump into the dating scene.  Her friends and mother all urge her to give men a chance and they keep trying to set her up, this has some funny consequences that had me laughing out loud.

There were many great characters in this story – Tristan is cheeky and persistent with a unscrupulous edge, Patrick is a young, misunderstood boy who I thought was actually really nice and had a good head on his shoulders.  David is a character who I continually changed my mind about, I disliked him then liked him, then disliked him then liked him again!  He’s a gentleman but also very mysterious, he doesn’t always show his true feelings and to me this sometimes came across as being rather arrogant.

I have to admit that some of the decisions Polly made confused me, she seemed to push people away without giving them a chance and I couldn’t see the reason for it.  I really did like her character though and I found myself getting annoyed with her for having so much self doubt.

This is a lovely light book that is great for curling up on the sofa with, perfect escapism.  I will definitely be reading more from Katie Fforde.