16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2011
Wow. Just wow. What a fantastic book.
I've never read Fiona Walker's books before but I'm a big fan of the Jilly Cooper classics, so a friend suggested I try Kiss and Tell. From start to finish, I was hooked. I now know that Tash and Hugo are returning characters from a previous book by Fiona Walker but I never felt that I was missing out on something while I was reading. But what a treat for existing fans to bring back some old favourites!
This is one of the most entertaining books I've read this year. Completely engrossing, so very raunchy and just a cracking good read, I envy anyone who hasn't read it yet - because you still have the whole experience to come! Can't wait for her next one.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2011
I approached this with trepidation after a run of frankly disappointing novels from Fiona Walker. But this romped back up to the heights of her first four novels (after which it all went down hill). I devoured this in about three days - the characters were fantastic, the plot pacey, the writing witty and fun - in short it was everything chick lit should inspire to. Let's hope she keeps it up for the next one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2011
Absolutely loved this book - Fiona Walker at her best. Tash and Hugo have alway been my fave or her characters and I was so pleased she brought them back. Inspired me to go back and re-read French Relations and Well Groomed all over again and they were just a good as I remembered them. Agree with other readers that Fiona's last couple of book have not been any where near as good but she is still one of my fave writers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2011
I'd never read this author before, but while travelling I saw a huge poster for this book that declared: 'TIGHT BREECHES, LOOSE MORALS', and I went straight out to buy a copy. This novel really delivers, it kept me up all night. Don't be alarmed by the size of the book as the author writes with such a fast pace, and so wittily, that I happily - and literally - stayed up all night reading it with a big smile on my face. It's a big, multi-casted story set in the lushest parts of England, continental Europe and across continents, as we follow the sexy event riders competing on the international horse trials circuit. I related so well to the heroine Tash, who feels like a real woman with real concerns, and only wish that a brooding, sexy horseman would come to tempt me from my day to day . . . There are various storylines surrounding the supporting cast of characters, which kept me equally enthralled and entertained, especially with such great one-liners coming fast and furiously and such wonderful observational comedy. I don't want to give anything away about the plot so I'll just urge you to buy this book - you won't be disappointed.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2011
With tight breeches and loose morals, the horse trials circuit is a hell-for-leather chase across the magnificent parkland of England's finest country estates. Flirtation is compulsory sport; love is a professional hazard. Silver-tongued charmer Rory Midwinter is quite at home in this hedge-jumping, bed-hopping world of competitive weekend house parties. Having been born into the saddle, and with a rock star owner as patron, he has no intention of settling down. Only his long-term groom Faith has other ideas. Tash and Hugo Beauchamp are the undisputed golden couple of British three-day eventing, but their mettle is put to the test by the arrival of The Devil on Horseback, brooding Kiwi rider, Lough Strachan. Lough holds the key to Hugo's darkest secret, and he intends to use it to access his greatest rival's beautiful wife.
I have to say, I've been an ardent fan of Fiona Walker since picking up French Relations - although I found that her more recent outings had lost a little of their sparkle for me in comparison to her earlier work. Of all her characters Tash and Hugo are by far my favourite (after the novels French Relations and Well Groomed) and I was rather nervous to see how Walker continued their story.
At first I was a little disappointed. The first twenty pages or so were a flurry of names from both her Lodes Valley novels and the previous Tash and Hugo novels. I've read all of Walker's novels and even I was hard-pressed to follow who was who. The 'cast list' at the start went some way to helping, but it took me a while to find my feet.
However, once I had everything straightened out in my head and the main meat of the story began, I was completely drawn into the world of three day eventing again, and the immense rivalry between awesomely drawn male characters Hugo and Lough. These two swaggered their way through the pages of the novel, and I found myself drawn to both of them (which is strange, considering I've wanted my own Hugo since encountering him in French Relations!)
Walker has updated her writing to reflect the current climate - economically, technologically and sociologically. Times are tough on the event riders circuit, with owners selling horses; people communicate with iPads, mobiles and via email; and Walker has included a storyline concerning a woman famous for being famous (someone who bears more than a passing resemblance to Katie Price). I love that Walker is embracing all these factors - it makes Kiss and Tell incredibly relatable.
For me, Walker's biggest success is twofold - one is that I experienced emotions alongside the characters and the other that I stayed up WAY too late gulping down the last few hundred pages. I simply could not put it down! When I say I experienced emotions, I mean that I was positively furious, unbelievably frustrated and overwhelmed with happiness at various points while reading Kiss and Tell - Walker has a real talent for making you feel everything that the characters are feeling.
I thoroughly enjoyed the sparkling wit in the dialogue - Walker has always been clever with her word choice and sharp puns, and it made for some thoroughly entertaining exchanges.
This is pure escapism, pages and pages of thrilling relationships, turmoil and love all set against the exciting backdrop of three-day-eventing (the rules for which Walker covers at the start of the book, which might be worth reading for those not familiar with the sport, although Walker does manage to insert details and information into the course of the story without it feeling tacked on or information-heavy).
I adored catching up with Tash and Hugo, and loved the addition of characters such as Rory, Faith and Lough. With Kiss and Tell Fiona Walker has returned to her sparkling best, producing a novel of real heart. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved Walker's early books (French Relations,Kiss Chase,Well Groomed) but had given up on her later ones which seemed dull, drawn out and weak to me. In Kiss and Tell, Walker finally seems to have returned to form with a third installment featuring Tash and Hugo.
Now married for seven years with a young daughter and another baby on the way, the golden couple experience all the trauma of pregnancy and parenthood, the problems of juggling family life with careers and, most of all, sexual jealousy in the shape of a rather delectable new rider who challenges Hugo both personally and professionally.
There are times where the ensemble nature of the story feels too drawn out, and some of the characters are less than interesting. The Silva/Dillon sub-plot, in particular, feels like an unnecessary add-on. But the heart of the book centres on Tash and Hugo, and is done excellently, stretching beyond the more usual superficialities of typical chick-lit. This book doesn't quite escape the contrivances of the genre (why doesn't Tash ever ask Hugo about V?) but I still loved this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2011
Having enjoyed the previous Tash and Hugo books; French Relations and Well Groomed, I was so excited to hear that Fiona Walker had written another book about them. I simply couldn't wait until the book was published and it didn't disapoint - I loved it, even more that the previous two! The book thrilled me from start to finish, it was great seeing the return of so many of the characters from the previous books and the best characters from the Lodes series. I was happy to see Rory and Faith get their happy ever after and Lough was a great new character.
Tash and Hugo are such a great couple and their situation was so familiar, I think many couples go through this when the children are so young and need so much attention. I would definately recommend this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2012
Another Jilly Cooper has arrived, stunning
I love the world of horses and eventing and I love Jilly Cooper, this rated up there as a blockbuster just like hers. I have one or two minor gripes but no novel is utterly faultless. The book is a mammoth and satisfying read with fleshed out juicy characters which make you want to come back for more and more. I couldn't put it down. Value for money wise it was a longlasting read and I was sad when I came to the end. Ms Walker is a great writer, I'm fairly choosey about what I read and am generally disappointed but this delighted from the word go. Highly recommended.
on 8 August 2011
I approached Kiss and Tell with some caution - firstly, Fiona Walker's recent offerings had been universally disappointing, and secondly having waited over 10 years for the third installment of this trilogy I wondered if some of the magic of Tash and Hugo may have dimmed. Happily, this book saw a return to form and it would seem Hugo is still as unexplicably desirable as ever!
I absolutely LOVED French Relations and Well Groomed, they were such classic love stories with lots of near-misses and misunderstandings which the reader needs to begin to root for the heroine. I must admit Tash is slightly annoying for her constant ditzy-ness, less so in this book than the earlier two though, and Hugo is objectively speaking actually quite a nasty piece of work but you sort of have to suspend that as somehow Walker has made him crazy sexy - I guess it is the bad boy in fiction that you can allow yourself to lust after, knowing in real life you wouldn't touch him with a bargepole!
The book is perhaps longer that it needs to be, though that said I certainly didn't struggle with it and the pace keeps things moving along nicely. I also felt the number of characters was borderline ridiculous, most of whom played no real role in progressing the story and were pretty superfluous. On principle I object to a cast list at the front of a book, surely that is an author's acknowledgement that they have included too many characters and the reader will become confused. I accept this was perhaps a nod to the odd mentions of characters from other books Walker has written and the die-hard fan will feel smug and knowledgable, but as I say, most of them added little to this particular book.
Overall, I very much enjoyed finally getting the conclusion of Tash and Hugo's story, though this was not the strongest of the 3 books.
on 29 November 2012
I really enjoyed this book especially Tash and Hugo as I really wanted to know what happened to them after Well Groomed. I loved the first Oddlode book but the other 3 were a bit disappointing. This book again had Faith and Rory and as we have had their friendship/relationship in the last 3 books I wasn't impressed with Faith being in this book as in previous books she got on my nerves and I thought her character was boring. I did skip a few pages at the beginning when Faith was in Oddlode as I have read similar chapters in the other books which gets a bit stale after a while. However her character does get better and I did enjoy reading about her in the end. One character which I thought was very boring was Sylva which I have no idea why she was in the book and I did skip a whole chapter towards the end. One other little niggle I have is that Fiona did stretch it out a bit and she described things in far too detail that I tended to just skim the page rather than read it thoroughly. The book is quite long and a little bit tedious at times and if Fiona did not have a pointless character like Sylva and less detail then it then it would have been shorter and then I would have given 5 stars rather than 4.
Apart from a few minor points I have really enjoyed reading it, infact I couldn't put it down at times.