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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Antique Romance
Sisters, Gina and Sally inherit a stall from their Aunt Rainey in The French House, an antiques centre in the village in the country. There is nothing remotely odd about this but their aunt leaves them with some conditions to their inheritance.

Included in all this intrigue from beyond the grave, is Matthew the rather grumpy, yet attractive owner who had a...
Published 18 months ago by Jo D'Arcy

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and unauthentic
I am so sorry to say this but this is another of Katie Fforde's stinkers. Some of her books sweep you along on a tide of romance and humour, but this isn't one of them. I don't know what it is about the more recent books by KF but it is seemingly impossible to connect to the characters. Their behaviour seems so unlikely and lacking in reality, and they all seem quite cold...
Published 18 months ago by Jilly V


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and unauthentic, 24 Mar 2013
By 
Jilly V (Warwickshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A French Affair (Hardcover)
I am so sorry to say this but this is another of Katie Fforde's stinkers. Some of her books sweep you along on a tide of romance and humour, but this isn't one of them. I don't know what it is about the more recent books by KF but it is seemingly impossible to connect to the characters. Their behaviour seems so unlikely and lacking in reality, and they all seem quite cold and remote. There were some lovely set-ups in this book but they came to nothing (eg the Christmas event) and I was left feeling completely bewildered by what drew the two leads together in the first place. Some of the plotting was silly but that can be forgiven if there is a warm and believable central romance to focus on. I wish KF's editors would just work a bit harder to get the jewel of a book that you feel this could be. Disappointing.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Antique Romance, 27 Feb 2013
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A French Affair (Hardcover)
Sisters, Gina and Sally inherit a stall from their Aunt Rainey in The French House, an antiques centre in the village in the country. There is nothing remotely odd about this but their aunt leaves them with some conditions to their inheritance.

Included in all this intrigue from beyond the grave, is Matthew the rather grumpy, yet attractive owner who had a great bond with their aunt and finds their presence rather overwhelming. Sally arrives with many creative ideas and can see a very different sort of potential in all these antiques which might not necessarily fit in with Matthew's antique view. Gina is in PR and knows how to push herself and the product she is selling forward, she can see The French House has a lot to offer the community and becomes deeply involved in it. But is she also unwittingly selling herself as well and becoming deeply involved with Matthew.

Gina is not sure if romance was part of the inheritance that her aunt left her. She finds herself battling not just bringing the antiques centre or in particular Matthew into the modern world way of involving everyone in antiques but dealing with her growing feelings. Can she manage it all and ensure that her future is in safe hands?

This is the latest novel from the wonderful writer Katie Fforde and this transports you away to another world, an antique one. I could imagine this centre with all the wonderful stalls in it, the characters of those with the antiques they sell, mentioned in reference to the main characters in this book, but actually follow up books could quite easily be made of some of them I am sure. I sensed a place that would be cold and damp, with people stood hugging cups of tea with fingerless gloves, trying to keep warm, waiting to see what the next customer would bring or want. Imagine a combination of those antique programmes that litter afternoon and evening television but where you actually get to know more about the people. All this is very much apparent in the novel and I was fascinated by it all and the joy of Fforde novels is the way something so seemingly ordinary is weaved into the magic of the story, whether it be cafes, canal boats, markets, shops or in this case antiques.

For all fans of women's fiction, Katie Fforde is an author whose books you need to know and it does not matter which you discover first!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and predictable, 2 Mar 2013
By 
Mrs. K. A. P. Wright - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A French Affair (Kindle Edition)
For those who like a simple romantic story where the guy and the gal see each other and proceed inexorably towards marriage and happy ever after, this is okay. For those who know Katie Fforde of old, it is not.

Katie Fforde's great strength in her early books was that she wrote a credible story with believable characters and several possible outcomes. She was also funny. I was worried by her last book, Recipe for Love, which despite some fine comic set pieces, was over reliant on a well known TV programme for its plot and was a bit lazy in its characterization. I hoped it was a blip and that she would soon be back on form again.

** Spoiler Alert **

Sadly not. The heroine and the hero are set up from the word go. The outcome is inevitable - you just have to read the requisite number of pages to arrive, if you can be bothered to give up the time. There are no real deviations on the course, although a couple of very weak plot devices are set up to con you into thinking that the real story might be about to start. Only three characters are fleshed out, Gina, Sally and Matthew, but when it suits, their personalities will flip from loving and reasonable to coldly ambitious (Sally) or passionately in love to cold and patronising and vice a versa (Matthew). There are three potential villains, her ex, his ex and a potential business rival, none of whom behave very convincingly. In fact, I can see no reason at all for including her ex as he was largely unused.

All those elements make me cross and disappointed, but the worst element of all was the plot which just didn't really hang together - and to make it worse, with a few tweaks it could have worked well -
* the original set up with the will was silly
* the risk to the business and Matthew's attitude to it didn't ring true (leaving a novice in charge after a couple of weeks was mind-boggling - surely it takes a bit longer for even the most adept person to learn up about antiques!)
* Gina's original solution was far-fetched
* her lack of financial control over the affair among other things raises grave doubts about her skills as a PR/business woman
* the deus ex machina which solved all their problems was preposterous

I could go on nit-picking but I won't.

I said that the plot was the worst element of all. That's not quite true - and I never thought I would say this about a Katie Fforde book - not only was it not as funny and amusing as one would have expected, in places it was dull, if not tiresome.

I have given this three stars rather than two, not because I like it particularly, but because, for all its failings, it is literate and because there are many worse books in this genre.

Dear Katie, please return to form again. Your books used to give me such a lot of pleasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read but not one of my favourites by this author, 8 Mar 2013
By 
realovesbooks (South east London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A French Affair (Kindle Edition)
Katie Fforde has always been a favourite author of mine. Her books are like comfort food to me! I always find that the author creates lovable characters and she sets such a cosy scene so you can see why I look forward to her new book each year.

The synopsis of this book gives very little away and yet tells you enough to spark your interest. With the story line mainly surrounding three characters it was quite easy to follow the characters without being bombarded with so many extra characters. Sisters Sally and Gina have inherited a stall in the glorious French House selling antiques which is a far cry from the girls usual jobs! With the help of owner Matthew they hope to bring in a good profit but the last think Gina expected to find was a romance blossoming!

I enjoyed the story line of this book, the antique dealing is something I have only read about once before in a fiction book and funny enough that was another one of Katie's books called Bidding for Love which I recommend as I loved that book! I think this author must have a passion for antiques to have had this as the subject matter in two of her books.

This is the first book by Katie Fforde that I have read where I didn't fall in love with the characters from the first chapter. I found Matthew a very uptight, cold character and Gina was a little to plain and had no spark to her but luckily as the book moved along I began to warm to Gina's character as her personality and her passion began to shine unfortunately I still didn't warm to Matthew, I much preferred his overly large dog and his quirky old friend Nicholas!

The authors descriptive writing is still setting a perfect scene in this book you could picture the French House in your mind. There is also a nice dose of complicated romance to keep you interested in the story line.

I always rush out to by Katie Fforde's new books she is one of my top ten authors and although I did enjoy this book it did seem to lack depth to the story line and characters for the first time. This book is still enjoyable and well worth reading but it is not one of my favourites.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: A French Affair (Kindle Edition)
If i could give this book minus one I would. I cannot believe it is written by Katie Fforde whose books I normally love. This one - well I felt it was poorly written and had it been a paper copy it would have gone straight in the charity box.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time or money reading this book., 16 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A French Affair (Kindle Edition)
This book is a real disappointment with a totally boring, totally predictable storyline. The characters are too polite, too wet and too uninteresting to be believable protagonists. Far too far from real life!
Lots of unnecessary word choices and extended explanations which leave no room for inference of any kind.
This book is not for readers with any intelligence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 28 Feb 2013
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This review is from: A French Affair (Hardcover)
A french Affair- displaying the simply beautiful illustrative cover that makes this book recognizable as a Katie Fforde novel.
The main character is lovable and relate-able, you slowly but surely invest in her as a person and feel all her emotions.
Delightfully engaging and enjoyable, Katie Fforde's novels just get better and better, not many books give you the butterflies in the stomach feeling but this one does on more than one occasion. Romance at its best!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a Katie Fforde lover and to anyone who loves a good romance novel.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed :(, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A French Affair (Paperback)
I'm a huge fan of Katie Fforde and have read all of her previous books and absolutely loved them. I was really looking forward to A French Affair coming out but unfortunately I'm really disappointed in it! The characterisation is really poor and the storyline is uninteresting. I didn't find myself rooting for the characters like I normally do - I didn't really care what happened either way.

I really wanted to like it as I love Katie's other books so much, but I just didn't :( hopefully the next one will be better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A French Affair (Kindle Edition)
I am normally a big Katie Fforde fan but I have found with the last few releases (and especially with this book) that it is a repeat of the same storyline but the characters have a different name. I also found the reasoning for keeping the characters apart until the end weak and pathetic, as was the whole issue with the antique house. The relationships were shallow and unbelievable. Had there been more time developing a relationship between the lead characters rather than them going from begrudgingly spending time together to 'shagging' all the time (a word the author used frequently along with the f word but such crass wording felt shoe-horned in to give it a bit of edge when the story is otherwise very proper) I would have cared more about the entire story. All in all it fell flat and I won't be looking out for her next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the usual Katie Fforde standards., 16 Feb 2014
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This review is from: A French Affair (Kindle Edition)
I was sadly disappointed by this novel. I have previously enjoyed Katie Fforde precisely because they are light and simple, a good escapist read. But this one went too far. The characters and conversations were cardboard and the plot was linear and predictable. I fear this may be the last Katie Fforde I read.
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A French Affair
A French Affair by Katie Fforde (Paperback - 27 Feb 2014)
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