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on 4 June 2004
Much of life is unreliable and disappointing - but Katie Fforde books don't fall into this category. Katie does have somewhat of a regular format - protagonists that seem ill-suited, but turn out to be perfect. And there's never any London glamour and glitz. But another always-present element of the Fforde formula is sold writing, great plot lines, witty (yet believable) dialog. Restoring Grace is no exception - in fact, its one of the best of her books, certainly the best one of recent years. That's not to say that Paradise Fields or Highland Fling weren't good, they were - but Restoring Grace is fabulous. So, what's it about? Grace has been left at odds - her ex-husband has left her with a nice bed, great linens, and a historical house that's rotting away, requiring repairs far beyond her marriage settlement or her meager earnings as a wine writer. Ellie is an artist with a handsome, charismatic boyfriend - who has no interest in becoming a father. Which is problematic, since Ellie is pregnant and determined to have the baby. Ellie and Grace fall together and discover some potentially valuable paintings in Grace's rotting home. Along the way, they also discover a surly-on-the-outside, solid-gold-at-heart local land developer and a prickly-on-the-outside but (yes, here it comes) solid-gold-at-heart art restoration expert - and you know where this is going, but the fun is all in getting there. Add in Grace's horrid siblings, very weird ex-husband (what DID she see in him), ex-husband's first wife, ex-step-daughter - well, a cast of characters that goes on and adds to the humor of the story. And as the extra icing on the cake - Flynn (surly land developer) is really the best "leading man" Fforde's written in years. His character (and attractiveness) just leap off the page. A must read, whether you're a long-time Fforde fan or just discovering her for the first time.
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on 20 October 2008
I got this for my birthday. I read it in two days, it was a throughly good read, i was grabbed from the moment i picked it up. Although, it was kind of a predictable ending if you have read any of her books before.
Life-like situations make a good book and this is what Katie Fforde has done. The characters are very defined and you can read into their personalities and their feelings. You feel as if you know them. Great!
I enjoyed it all the same, reading it on a wet day in autumn was great, i had nothing else to do and i would recommend it to people who like Erica James' books and also Katie Fford readers. (of course)
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on 19 March 2004
If you like katie Fford novels then this should not fail to be a winner. It's an easy read that had the faint recollection of Statley Pursuits. I warmed to the two main characters instantly, although I can't believe anyone would tollerate a sister like Grace had. If this is your first Katie Fford novel, it's not the best, but worth the read.
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on 25 November 2008
I really enjoyed this book, it's Chick Lit but it is definitely the best Chick Lit that I have recently read. I regret to say that I had not really taken any notice of Katie Fforde but I swapped this with someone and I'm really pleased and excited as she has written loads of books which I will of course have to catch up on.
The book follows Grace Soudley and Ellie Summers as theyboth try to get their lives back on track. Grace has recently divorced the over-bearing Edward and has been left Luckenham House by her Aunt but the house seems to be falling down around her and Grace is short of cash. Ellie, newly single and pregnant is taken in by Grace and the two women embark on a friendship that they both quite clearly needed.
Thrown into this mixture are Flynn Cormack- the gorgeous Irish Man determined to help Grace; Demi- Grace's ex-step-daughter who is looking for a home and a maternal figure; and Allegra and Nicholas- Grace's greedy siblings who put the pressure on her to sell Luckenham and share the money.
Grace's discovery of some beautiful and very old painted panels at the house is the catalyst that she and Ellie need to sort their lives out. As they try and find out if these panels are going to be their saviour or their final undoing, both women find the help that they have been looking for and a way to be truly happy again.
Katie Fforde has created really lovely and believable characters, you really do want Grace and Ellie to be happy by the end of the book. Parts of it are very predictable which I usually find annoying but in this instance I was pleased that my predictions were right and events unfolded as expected.
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on 25 July 2011
This is a lovely story, Grace who is recently divorced, finds friendship from her lodger Ellie who is pregnant, she left her partner, as he is a drug addict and never wanted children, also living in the same mansion is Demi her ex step-daughter, whose mother is appalling and does not want her daughter living with her.

Grace has a wine tasting evening, when one of the guests arrives, this lady brings with her a friend called Flynn (he is a lovely Irish Man), as soon as he meets Grace, he finds an instant attraction towards her, but she feels nervous even to be in his company, as she cannot forget her ex husband, but Flynn does not give up on her, and he is very loving towards her

One day in the mansion Grace finds some panels, and it turns out that they are very old and worth a lot of money, Grace needs a lot of money to do up her mansion as there is a lot of work needed to do the place up. Ellie who is into painting and art, gets herself a job as an apprentice working for Ran, Ellie would like a fling and an affair before she has her baby, and sets her sights at Ran, he treats Ellie as a child as he is 10 years older than her. Ran is a restorer, and the panels go to Ran for restoration work.

Along the way we meet Grace's sister Allegra who is a horrendous woman, briefly we meet her brother Nicholas, who is not much better, Edward Grace ex husband, who seems a domineering type of man, where women do not have opinions. One of my favourite characters in the book was Flynn, who was a lovely and loving man.
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on 27 April 2012
I have nearly read all of Katie Fforde's books. This one I did enjoy but not as much as some of her others.

Grace has just recently been divorced and lives in an old mansion that was left to her by her anut/godmother. She makes friends with Ellie who is an artist who paints buildings then trys to sell them to the own of the building. Ellie is pregent and has left her boyfriend and has nowhere to live so she moves on with Grace.

Grace holds a wine tasting evening and one of her guests she brings with her a friend called Flynn and their is an attraction between them straight away.

You follow the story of Grace and Flynn and also Ellie. You also get to meet some of Grace's family and also learn that Grace's mansion is falling apart and Grace needs to raise some money to get it fixed.
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on 1 December 2013
One of the best-written of all the Katie Fforde novels. This one has not one but two strong female protagonists and they and their respective adventures compliment and support each other. The memorable and eponymous heroine has low self esteem but is striving to survive financially and emotionally against terrific odds. The two male protagonists are very different from the two-dimensional male characters you often meet in romantic fiction and the progress of the relationships has many zigzags. There is a charming sub-plot involving a spoilt teenage stepdaughter and her mother. The house which is so much a part of the plot is beautifully described. The perfect gift for friends struggling to do up old houses on not much money.
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VINE VOICEon 5 June 2008
I've read some very samey Chick Lit books of late (yes I know they are all the same really!!) but this one was quite enjoyable.
I liked the characters, although the setting and the events throughout the book were completely improbable as usual.
There was plenty of short, easy to understand words and the style was unexciting, which is the reason we all read them, isn't it?
Good way to fill a few hours but no use at all if you want to learn anything or feel challenged by a book.
I remember reading an early Katie Fforde book and really enjoying it but this one felt a bit like the author had churned it out without too much thought and no research at all - reasonable read though!
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on 12 February 2011
The thought of being a single mum is scary but Ellie is not the girl to sit down and weep. Her parents are no more supportive than her boyfriend Rick, a handsome, sexy but feckless artist. When Ellie meets Grace - the owner of a beautiful but run-down stately home - a friendship is formed which changes both their own lives, and those of the people around. A search for love and security, which of course ends well for both girls in a most satisfying manner, makes this a tale to be devoured. I couldn't put it down.
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on 10 June 2014
I always get excited when I start a new Katie Fforde book, they are like a huge bar of chocolate that you hope will never end.
This book is one book is one of her most addictive, I was hooked to the very last page. I warmed to both Ellie and Grace very quickly, and really enjoyed their friendship. The leading men are also very compelling.

This book really gives you two for the price of one, as there are two unfolding romances to sink your teeth into, as well as lots of witty banter along the way.
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