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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 3 March 2017
another good book
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on 24 June 2017
A great, relaxing read as always. Started to read it whilst away, had to leave it at the holiday cottage, so I had to buy it to finish the story!
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on 21 May 2001
Warning: I'm such a Katie Fforde fan, I don't know if I can be relied upon for an objective review. Once again, Katie proves that she is the tops in her genre. What is her genre? Well, I suppose it is technically contemporary romance, but she's head and shoulders about most authors. If you like Kate Fenton, Christina Jones, or Linda Taylor, you'll like Katie Fforde and "Artistic License". Thea is a typical Fforde heroine - flawed, but not so much that you can't love her. Ben is also a classic Fforde hero, although not as well sketched as other Fforde heroes have been in the past. (More on this later). Even though we don't get to know him all that well, you can clearly feel what a great guy he is. And, as always, you've got a wonderful supporting cast - good and evil! I do recommend the book, I enjoyed it very much and stayed up into the wee hours to finish it. But...(oh oh)...it's not her best work. I sense that this book was rushed - probably because her last ones have been so very successful. For one, it needed another proofing - if I found three blatantly misspelled words, I can assure you there are many more (I'm not the best proofer). But worse, the story wasn't as polished as I've come to expect from KF. I know that there's a basic formula that she's used in all of her books - woman has suffered some sort of emotional/professional blow, woman meets/knows/is related to a variety of weird characters who all pull her in various directions, woman meets/knows "the man" but has quite a few issues to work out with him before it all ends happily with impending nuptials, but not until woman has succeeded in overcoming whatever personal obstacle she faced on her own, as a strong woman. KF has managed to pull this off in a fresh way with each book, and this one succeeds too - but I sense that it could have been better with some additional time spent with it. Without giving away too much of the plot, I still find the reasons why Ben stayed at a distance until the end pretty flimsy - the whole aspect with his ex-wife was not fleshed out enough. In fact, a bit more of his ex-wife would have added to the story enormously, in my opinion. The leap from indifference to love on Thea's part wasn't real clear to me, either. And her whole relationship with Rory didn't ring quite true - from beginning to end. It almost did - but didn't. So, why do I give this book 5 stars? It's a very good book, a great summer read. If you've read her other work, you'll like this. If you haven't read her other work - well, you may love this, but I'd recommend starting with one of her earlier books (my favorites are Living Dangerously and Wild Designs, but I really do love them all). Keep writing Katie - but demand enough time to do it well!
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on 21 February 2002
This is a light and enjoyable romance in Katie Fford's signature formula- scatty, slightly overweight heroine with array of eccentric friends resolves personal issues, runs own business and finally finds love after many misunderstandings and loses of temper. Thea is a likeable heroine and part of me wishes for a friend like the bossy should-have-been top exec like Molly to organise me. The book is not as good however as some of her earlier works. Perhaps I've got used to her formula and so her work doesn't hold so many surprises. Or possibly a bit more editing and rewriting should have been done. I found the relationship between Thea and Rory a bit improbable (could a better reason for the trip to Ireland not have been found than her house being dirty!) and the sudden change of heart on Ben's part was a bit unrealistic and abrupt. Having said that it was still an enjoyable way to spend a miserable winter's day. If you're already a Katie Fford fan then read and enjoy but don't expect too much. If you haven't read any of her work before give yourself a real treat and choose an earlier work instead. Living Dangerously and Life Skills are particularly good.
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on 19 August 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed it and was vry good like most of her booksshe is one of the best next to Daneille Steel as romantic author, i would recommend her to your readers if they like romance.
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on 2 July 2007
I bought this book because of its cover, bright cheerful looking I thought. And true enough that's what the book is, Katie Fforde isn't claiming to write classic, deep, meaningful books, I mean if that's what you want, go read War and Peace ! If you want a light, lively, feel good read you need look no further than Katie Fforde!

This was my first KF book, and one of my faves. Thea's life involves never-ending cleaning after her teenage lodges (one of which is called petal who you will be willing for Thea to slap as some points during this book!) till her bossy friend Molly drags her off to France for a holiday...100 pages in and Thea is trying to set up a gallery in the Cotswolds, amidst many trails!

Need cheering up? Want something you can enjoy reading? On the beach? In the bath? Curled up with a glass of wine? .... Well here's the book
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on 25 July 2001
I'm a Katie Fforde fan and fell on this and have to confess to being slightly disappointed. To me it reads as if she was racing to a deadline and dashed it off without going back to flesh out the thin bits,for the first time in a Fforde novel I couldn't 'see' what she was describing (apart from Rory's pictures where the descriptions were very vivid) unlike novels such as Thyme out where you could almost smell Perdita's herbs. I also agree with a previous reviewer that some of the plot transitions were too abrupt - I found it difficult to believe in the sudden changes of feelings between Ben and Thea - and in places the writing was distinctly jerky as if it was a first draft which she hadn't had time to go back and revise properly, unlike previous novels where her writing is always smooth. That said Katie Fforde is still streets ahead of most authors who try to write in this genre (though I do think that since she changed publishers her books have lost a certain something) and it certainly won't put me off falling on her next book when it comes out.
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on 3 August 2002
After reading the brilliant "Thyme out" and "Life skills," I thought I would try another of Fforde's books and wasn't dissappointed. I had finished it in 3 days as it was such a funny and believable set up that I wanted to find out the fate of the gorgeous Rory and the art gallery. Is a romance, but not your typical slushy story that wants to make you sick with jealousy! Fantastic, my next read is definately going to be "Highland Fling."
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on 2 June 2015
This is ok as an example of the "quirky heroine" genre, and a quick read. I have read others from this author that I think were better executed. A numer of plot holes make the story pretty unbelievable, and the heroine walks a very fine line between quirky and just irritating. What I found disturbing though, were the several references to the male love interest (Ben) being unreasonably angry, aggressive and physically violent towards the protagonist (Thea). For example, he grips her arm so hard he bruises it, he physically forces her into his house. In several instances she fears he wants to "hit her", she comments several times that she is afraid he is going to "hit her".
This is presented as a) terribly amusing, and b) rather sexy...
This is my last Katie Fforde book.
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on 8 August 2002
First book of Katie Fforde's that I have read and I definitely will be reading the others if this one is anything to go by. I was hooked from the very first page. This is the only book I have ever read that has made me laugh out loud.
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