My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really hate having to give two stars to a Katie Fforde book but considering how much the whole thing annoyed me I couldn’t justify giving it any more. Sorry.
Before this book I probably would have rated Katie Fforde as one of my all time favourite authors. I don’t know whether her writing has changed or if my tastes have changed but this book just really didn’t work for me.
There isn’t really much of a story, a twenty something estate agent Bella goes to stay with her 60 year old Godmother Alice after leaving her previous home and job to get away from a man. She’s now settled, dating her boss and fairly happy finding houses for difficult clients but then the man she tried to get away from, Dominic, reappears in her life as the relative of a friend. You can pretty much guess what happens after that. There are sub plots about her boss (and boyfriends) dodgy dealings and her godmothers romance with a younger man but that’s about it.
The writing is pretty typical Katie Fforde style and is an easy enough read (although I was disappointed to find a few errors) but it’s starting to feel a little bit dated and old fashioned to me particularly compared to some of my more recent reads.
I think what really bothered me however was main character Bella, I just couldn’t understand her and she frustrated me so much that at one point I almost gave up on the whole book.
Firstly she left her home and her job and moved miles away because she had a thing for a married man and was heartbroken when his wife got pregnant. Nothing, other than a kiss under the mistletoe, had ever happened between them so I don’t understand what all the drama was about. I’ve had feelings for co workers (married and single) but have never felt the need to move home and quit my job to avoid them. Get over it, they’re married.
Secondly, after she was “forced” to leave her life and job due to a crush on a man she then immediately gets into a relationship with her new boss. Did she not learn to keep work and romance separate? As a result she puts up with a boyfriend she doesn’t love, who regularly insults her and treats her atrociously because she doesn’t want to lose her job and have to move again. I mean come on. Can someone be so silly and weak? Chuck him and if he sacks you sue him for all he’s worth (unfair dismissal, sexual harassment).
Finally she meddles in things that are either none of her business or should be reported to the police. I won’t go into details as it’s a bit of a spoiler but who in their right mind gets involved in someone else’s custody battle or confronts a criminal to ask them to stop breaking the law.
OK mad rant over, it’s safe to say Bella annoyed me. The romantic interest wasn’t much better. I can’t really think of much to say about him. He seemed nice enough but nothing particularly special or exciting. He’s not actually in the story that much and they don’t spend a lot of time together so not much in the way of conversation or spark. I’m not sure I believed the supposed attraction between them which I think was the point of the book but maybe I was missing something.
So to sum up I didn’t like the characters, there wasn’t much in the way of plot and I didn’t really feel the romance. Maybe I was just in the wrong frame of mind. Other Katie Fforde fans may still love it but this one just wasn’t for me.