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4.1 out of 5 stars114
4.1 out of 5 stars
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I never wait for Katie's books to come out in paperback and I don't beg for copies from the publisher either, I just order as soon as I see she has a new one coming up as I enjoy them so much. Light and sparkly and written with a deft touch there are no surprises, the reader knows all is going to end happily ever after, but they are such fun and such a pleasure to read.

Sophie Appleby is the non-academic in a family of high achievers who tended to look down their noses at her practical skills, no matter that these skills help keep the family and her cooking and mending saves them from penury as none of them seem to have a proper job, preferring to concentrate on higher things. To teach her ungrateful relatives a lesson and to show that they cannot manage without her, Sophie goes on a visit to a friend in New York. There she meets and befriends Mathilda, a spirited old lady who invites her to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, an invitation which does not go down well with her grandson, Luke, who thinks Sophie is on the make. When I tell you that Luke is tall, blonde and gorgeous and that 'his eyes were, in fact a sort of golden colour, with dark rings round the irises', and that he is totally hostile towards Sophie then you will know exactly what is going to happen. And it Does. And I loved it. I do wish Katie would produce two or even three books a year instead of the measly one. Not too much to ask is it........?
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on 11 June 2010
Sophie Apperly is the unintentional black sheep of her family, she isn't an academic like them, and all they seem to do is boss her around, leaving her with little choice but to do as they please. However, after they send her off to look after her Uncle Earl, Sophie realises her family are nothing but greedy money-grabbers so when her best friend Milly invites her to New York, Sophie jumps at the chance. Sophie loves being in New York and her holiday gets even better when she unintentionally befriends a spirited old British lady called Matilda. The only person not happy with Sophie's relationship with Matilda is Luke, Matilda's grandson because he believes Sophie to be nothing more than a chancer trying to get one over on his grandmother. After Sophie is invited to Thanksgiving, though, Luke is forced to concede Sophie will be there and tries to befriend her, but not without first asking Sophie for a favour of his own...

I mentioned in my Love Letters review that Katie appears to have a tried and tested formula that she uses for all of her books; the heroine of the book manages to get herself into a pickle of some sort, usually in the form of having to save something, meets the man she's destined to fall in love with at some point, they don't get along at the start but it all ends up rosy before something inevitably breaks them apart. After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it and 13 books in I have yet to be bothered about the way in which Katie writes her books, in fact I like the fact they all follow the same format, it's rather comfortable and at least I know what I'm getting from Katie. It might be predictable and some people might not like it but it works for me and as long as Katie keeps writing books, I will keep reading them.

A Perfect Proposal does not break Katie's writing mould and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Surprisingly, the blurb of the book makes it seem as if the entire plot revolves around Sophie's visit to New York which isn't totally right. The visit to New York does change Sophie's life drastically but Sophie is actually only in New York for a short period of the book, around 50 pages or so. As I said, Sophie's visit to New York does change her life because she meets the lovely Matilda who sends Sophie on a quest to find a house in Cornwall. Added to the fact is Sophie is on her own quest to find out about some drilling rights that may have been bequeathed to her family years ago. Thrown into the mix Matilda's maddening grandson Luke and Sophie's in a bit of a pickle. It was great though and I enjoyed having it all unravelling and coming together.

Katie Fforde's writing style is rather old fashioned compared to most chick lit authors. That's not a slight in any way as I rather love her writing style. Some words and sentences are a bit different to ones you usually read and aren't totally to my taste but on the whole I love the way Katie writes. I suppose my only problem with the book was that, for the first half of the book, I didn't feel it between Sophie and Luke. It really takes off though in the second half and I raced to the finish, desperate to know how it would all end. Katie really excels in the endings of her books, I've loved all of them so far and A Perfect Proposal was no different whatsoever. A Perfect Proposal is a must-read for all of Katie's fans, it's probably not my favourite of Katie's books (that honour goes to Highland Fling and Paradise Fields) but it was still good enough and I look forward to Katie's next offering.
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on 4 May 2011
This is the first of Katie Fforde's books I have read, and I did so because I had read good reviews of her writing in general. I think this must have been the wrong book to start off with.

One expects this sort of book to be formulaic - heroine meets hero, misunderstandings happen, the pair eventually get together. But one also hopes for a strong read along the way. Sadly, this book is just that bit too formulaic and the characters failed to appeal as they should. Sophie is the younger daughter of academically, if not financially, successful parents, and the one child who has failed to meet her parent's expectations. Their attitude to her is almost Victorian in their failure to empathise with and continuous belittling of her own ambitions, and she has reached the age of 22 without apparently having stood up for herself at all. She has spent her entire life being nice. So nice that she has always let herself be walked over. It is pure chance that in once more doing as the family demands of her and going to look after her "Evil Uncle Eric" (so named by the money grasping family as he has the backbone to turn down requests for cash) she finds a kindred spirit. Sophie then decides it is time to stage a small rebellion by visiting a friend in New York, where she can also investigate some oil drilling rights, the existence of which she has unearthed in clearing up Uncle Eric's papers (hating as she does to have idle time on her hands). By this stage I was seriously frustrated by the demonstration of just how nice/energetic/helpful she was - how could such a person be such a failure in life that she scrapes by on waitressing and child-minding jobs that never last long?

So to New York, where Sophie helps an old lady who instantly befriends her, to the chagrin of her handsome, rich but ill-tempered grandson - and we know just where the story is heading, even if (perhaps especially as) Luke at once suspects her of being out for what she can get from Matilda, his grandmother. A Thanksgiving visit to Matilda's Connecticut mansion follows, with Sophie helping out poor Luke, who is unable to escape the attention of all the local single women on his own. For a strong, handsome hero this seems a little pathetic. Then Sophie's American trip comes to an end, with Matilda asking her to track down a house she knew as a child (Matilda having been born in England).

But of course Luke has to visit England, where he needs Sophie's help because he has had his money and phone stolen on the plane over (on a plane? Didn't he notice at the time? Hasn't he got a limited list of suspects the police can chase up? But never mind, that angle is ignored). Sophie of course uses her meagre funds to subsidise him and the two pursue old houses and drilling rights until the misunderstanding comes, courtesy of Luke's glamorous colleague who of course lusts after him and could surely have bailed him out as soon as he set foot on English soil. The ending can always be predicted a mile off and that is only to be expected in a book of this genre; the details are the thing. Unfortunately I found myself almost screaming at Luke not to be so pathetic and at Sophie for once again letting herself be walked over. Perhaps I shall give Katie Fforde the benefit of the doubt and read one of her earlier books that fans recommend, but this is not one I could suggest to anyone who asked me for an honest opinion.
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on 14 June 2010
Sophie lives at home with her parents and her brother and she is basically put down by them. Her older brother and sister have both left her. Her 3 siblings have done very well but Sophie has'nt. She takes on part-time jobs here and there so she can have some money. Her family put her down all the time and she has to do a lot around the house. When her uncle Eric needs someone to look after him for a couple of weeks her mother tells him she will do it. Her family think he has got a lot of money and they want some of it.

Sophie goes and stays with her uncle and the both get on really well. Sophie does some tidying in the house and she comes across some paperwork to do with oil. Her uncle says she can investigate and see if the family are sitting on a little gold mine.

When Sophie returns to her parents she has had enough of them putting her down so she goes out to America to be with her best friend Milly for a while. While she is out there she makes friends with an old lady Matilda and her grandson Luke. While in America she tires to sort out her Uncle's oil project for him but finds out she needs to be back in the UK. Matilda also wants her to find out about a house for her also when she returns to the UK.

Sophie returns to the UK and Luke also comes to help her sort out her Uncle's oil project and also find the house for Matilda. Sophie and Luke grow very close but it's not all plain sailing as one of Luke's work collegues turn's up from America and throw's a spanner in the works.

This book is lovely to read as it's not all set in America it's also set in Cornwall and you really get a feel you are there. Katie Fforde has done it again writing another brilliant book. I just didn't want it to end.
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on 15 April 2011
I have to agree with some of the other reviews here - this is nowhere near as good as some of Katie Fforde's earlier books. It is entertaining, though predictable, even the twists and turns are not really a surprise!!
My impression is that it hasn't received the same degree of thought and planning as some of the earlier books, which were so much more than just a girl meets boy and the end is preordained from there!!!
In the unlikely event that Katie Fforde or her editor or publisher (or both) read her reviews - get her back on track! Don't push for a quick buck or you will alienate her faithful readers - if it isn't too late already!!
As always it is well written, though the characters lack a little depth and the plot lacks a lot of depth! It could have been so much better than this!!
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on 21 May 2011
Even by Katie Fforde's usual standards her heroine is not at all realistic for a young 21st Century woman. She behaves as if she was some downtrodden spinster in a 19th century novel. She can't see a mess without yearning to tidy it up,she is always wanting to 'please her man' and she hasn't told her appalling family who treat her like dirt, where to get off. I don't mind the unlikely scenario that sees her staying with the family in America, or the cliche'd hero-those are a given in a light-hearted romance. But it should be possible to write a modern female character who behaves in a convincingly 21st century way. I found myself skipping through it simply to get to the end.I suppose it depends what you want from a novel.This one was not for me.
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on 8 June 2011
this book is very poor in comparison with some others written by katie fforde and after reading this i will look very closely before i buy more in the future.
It reminds me very much of the early jilly cooper novels of the 70's where you know from the beginning that the rather dizzy girl is going to end up with the man she meets at the start, who of course appears to be unpleasant and overbearing at the beginning but you just KNOW they will end up together as soon as they are introduced; the plotting of the grandmother is so obvious a three year old would know what was going on!
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on 10 April 2011
Now I am a big fan of Katie Fforde, have got nearly every book she has written but I agree with a few other reviewers this wasn't one of her best. What I have found with a lot of Katies books is the predictability and this was present in this book within the first 10-20 pages, you just knew what was going to happen (and it did). The only reason I actually finished it and I have to confess I did skip chunks because it was quite boring was because I didn't have another book to read. I was extremely disappointed in this book and have since discovered other very talented authors so will probably give Katie a bit of a break for a while (but not forever).
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on 20 September 2010
I cannot belive Katie wrote anything in this book. The language used is so basic it is hardly up to GCSE standards
Once upon a time Katie wrote a good story with good if predictable story lines with witty conversations . NO longer
Take a break for heavens sake
Actually I would rather no stars at all
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on 15 February 2013
This is a book to curl up with on a wintry day, or to slot in your handbag when you know you'll have time to spare in the day, commuting or waiting in the doctor's surgery - it's easy to dip in and out of, and you feel keen to pick it back up after taking a break.

The characters are likeable and believeable - especially Sophie, with whom you empathise, and Matilda, who is just the kind of feisty, fun new friend any woman would be happy to have. Luke is a wonderful hero - imperfect, of course, and prone to negativity, but that just makes him real and makes the ending all the better. I did find myself a little impatient to meet Luke early on in the book; the author takes her time brining him into the plot. But the early chapters build a foundation for the character of Sophie and the tale to follow.

I enjoyed the story, and did not find it predictable. I especially liked a dramatic sequence towards the end in which Luke's feelings become clear, and the kisses - wonderfully romantic. The settings are also vivid and appealing; I liked the juxtaposition of American and British in terms of place and characterisation.

The writing style is fresh and light, and makes for easy reading, making this a quick-grab book that will lighten your mood in a jiffy. If you've read other Katie Fforde books, then this one won't disappoint, being very much in her usual author voice and delivering all the elements that the genre encompasses.
If you like modern, sassy romance with strong, realistic characters and an edge of humour, this is a great choice of book.
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