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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read family saga
I enjoyed this book, it wasn't taxing just an easy to read family saga. An interesting look at complicated family relationships. I read some of the other reviews about this not being up to her usual standard and Erica changing style. I think her style as changed, but I feel that is only natural and right, she has been writing for several years and as with all of us, as...
Published on 16 July 2012 by Jen 24

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The real Katie lavender
An easy novel to read over the Xmas holiday. Not one that I would want to read over again. Would I recommend, no
Published 15 months ago by Nichola Mollison


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read family saga, 16 July 2012
By 
Jen 24 (Buckinghamshire, England) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this book, it wasn't taxing just an easy to read family saga. An interesting look at complicated family relationships. I read some of the other reviews about this not being up to her usual standard and Erica changing style. I think her style as changed, but I feel that is only natural and right, she has been writing for several years and as with all of us, as you get older you experience diffrent things and your place in life changes. I think therefore it is only natural that is reflected in an author's fiction. I look forward to her next book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 14 Nov. 2011
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LEP "LEP" (England) - See all my reviews
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I'm not going to give a synopis because the previous reviewer has already done so, perhaps in too much detail.
I enjoyed this book, it was not really what I expected, if I expected anything, and was indeed better for that.

It shows the cracks in an extended family when a series of crisis hit them. From the outside the Nightingales seem the perfect family. Stirling, the father, well-heeled, with his own successful business that he is in partnership with his brother. Gina, Stirlings wife, beautiful, sophisticated, if somewhat cold, the perfect upper class hostess and wife. Rosco and Scarlet, their somewhat spoilt and over-indulged children. Cecily, Stirling's mother, the matriach, who unfortunately allows the family to see that she has decided favourites amongst them. Neil, the brother and buiness partner and Pen his wife who loves her beautiful garden and spends time there, perhaps at the expense of everything else. Lloyd, their son, who makes bespoke garden furniture.

However, the perfect picture of Stirling's family falls apart under crisis and shows how disfunctional it really is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, 4 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Real Katie Lavender (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this book. It held me captivated right to the end. Had great trouble putting it down. Yet again Erica James ha not disappointed me, I just wish she could write quicker!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Escapism, 12 Jan. 2014
Erica James is an author I have been a long time fan of, since 1996 in fact when I read A Breath of Fresh Air. The Real Katie Lavender makes the thirteenth novel of hers that I have read. After having not read any of her books for a few years this is the second in the last few months, great escapism just what I have needed recently. Her novels might not be literary but they are always well constructed, this latest one is no exception, with lots of secrets revealed.

The biggest secret of all is revealed to the heroine of the title Katie Lavender by a solicitor a year after the death of her mother. It is not a spoiler to tell you about this big secret as the reader knows all about it from the start of the novel. Katie is the recipient of a large trust fund that has been built for her by her birth father, a great shock to her that the man she called Dad was not her biological father but a man named Stirling Nightingale. Curiosity gets the better of her and despite her initial reactions to this news she decides she wants to find out more about this man. Her clandestine enquiries lead her to discover that she is part of what from the outsider's view point appears to be a very successful and happy family with a perfect lifestyle! In fact the family turns out to be plagued with problems, some of the characters are very stereotyped and you find yourself sympathising with some and irritated beyond belief by others. Katie becomes embroiled in the life of the Nightingale's and their complicated family relationships as they all seem to lurch from one family crisis to another. A good mix of romance, drama and humour that will keep you reading to find out how all will be resolved.

In conclusion then if you are looking for contemporary fiction that is pure escapism then Erica James will satisfy your requirements.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Likeable, but not her best..., 7 Jan. 2012
Erica James' books hit my bookshelf very soon after they hit the ones in the bookshops. I've found that her books fall into two categories - "absolutely brilliant" and "enjoyable". Katie Lavender falls into the latter category.

Within the first page or two, it was predictable what the big "secret" would be, and unfortunately it played out exactly as you might have predicted. The first couple of chapters move a little slowly through this predictability.

The book really picks up when we are introduced to the Nightingales. At first look, I thought the names were meant to be a joke - Stirling Nightingale, Scarlet and Rosco just seemed way too unrealistic. It was a bit of a shock to realise that they weren't a joke. They certainly convey an image of an upper class family.

At this point I began to get interested in the book and the storyline. As others have mentioned, there are quite a lot of equally important characters, and I found myself more interested in the lesser ones. Katie was a little annoying, and Stirling provoked mixed reactions. For someone so intuitive and sensitive, he was remarkably dumb about how much he pampered and spoiled his wife and kids. Lloyd, Pen and Cecily are the best characters, followed by Stirling's brother, Neil, and his mistress.

The ending of the book is nice and happy, but again, it happens just as you expect.

If this is the first Erica James book you have read, please go back and read one of the older ones - "The Queen of New Beginnings", "Paradise House", "Precious Time" (my favourite). If you like Katie Lavender, you will love Erica's older books even more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 28 Feb. 2012
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I loved this book. Katie Lavender lost her dad and then her mum died. A year after her mum has been gone Katie gets made redundant as gets a phone call from a solictor asking her to go and see them so she does it there and then. When Katie meets the solictor she is handed a letter and that explains that her dad was not her real dad as her mum had a affair. Her real dad has also left a very large trust fund for her. Katie is given the details of who her dad is.

After some thought Katie tracks down her dad. The Nightingale family are not all what they make out to be. Her dad Stirling has to deal with the death of his brother and all the secrets he has left behind. His wife and children don't want him to have anything to do with Katie and give him an option either them or Katie. Katie ends up falling in love (and I mean falling in love!) with the family but can see what her new found status is doing to her dad and his marriage so she has too decide if she wants to keep in contact or break contact.

This book has soo many family secrets and you just falling in love with all the characters and want to know what secret that are going to come out with next.

This is one book I have already recommended too a lot of people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Erica James delivers yet again, 4 Mar. 2013
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Having first discovered Erica James after picking up "Airs and Graces" I then started working my way through her other books, I own a copy of every one she has written but have only read 7 so far and they have all been just pure brilliant. "The real Katie Lavender" is yet more proof that Erica James never fails to deliver, I finished it in 2 days, during that time i laughed, felt anger at injustice, willed Katie and Lloyd to get together, and secretly hoped Rosco would be given a good bloody slap! With this author, you feel as though you're stood there watching the story happen, you're in the room with these characters, and that stays with you long after you've read the last page. Never have I experienced that with any other author's books, and that is most likely why I have the blind loyalty that I do to this author. I even found recently that when I see books with Erica James's name on I don't even bother to read the blurb and see what its about, I just pick it up and go pay for it, cus I know that whatever the story is it'll be great :).

If you haven't discovered this author yet, you seriously do NOT know what you're missing!!!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erica James can do no wrong.., 12 Dec. 2011
Once again Erica James has ticked all the boxes with this book. I have yet to be disappointed with anything she has written and Katie Lavender is full of believable characters and situations. If you like a good girly read on a wet afternoon this one is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Katie Lavender, 13 Mar. 2014
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Real Katie Lavender (Kindle Edition)
Katie Lavender suddenly finds her life turned upside down when she loses her job and finds out something shocking about her parents who are both dead. She finds herself involved with the charismatic and complicated Nightingale family just in the middle of a family crisis. Can Katie find out who she really is and what she wants to do with her life in the future?

I did enjoy reading this book though the Nightingale family are something of an acquired taste in my opinion and the book is mainly about them – even more than it is about Katie Lavender. I liked the background to the story – large houses and beautiful gardens where money was really no object. Some of the characters were less than inspiring and if this had been a murder mystery I would happily have murdered them myself!

I thought Stirling Nightingale was probably the most three dimensional character in the book and someone who appeared able to examine his own mistakes and realise where he had gone wrong. His wife, Gina, was a two dimensional harpy and her son Rosco was very much a yuppy who started off caring for no one.

Katie Lavender herself was all right as a character but I found her a little wishy washy. In spite of all these criticisms I did enjoy the book and it did keep me reading probably because of the story line and the background though I thought Cecily and Pen were excellent older characters. I’m sure Erica James’ many fans will love this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The real Katie lavender, 31 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Real Katie Lavender (Kindle Edition)
An easy novel to read over the Xmas holiday. Not one that I would want to read over again. Would I recommend, no
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