Saturday, April 29, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books: The Trouble With Emma by Katie Oliver - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Emma is still living at home with her father, while her two sisters, Lizzy and Charlotte, have moved out. Emma has a part-time job at a bakery for two days a week and besides that she doesn't have much else to do. She used to run her father's household, but her father has hired Martine to take care of the cleaning and baking instead. He doesn't really have money to pay for a housekeeper, as he isn't rich and the vicarage they're living in is falling apart. To do something about it Emma contacts a television show called Mind Your Manors. If a manor is being chosen for their program there will be money to pay for repairs and the makers will come up with a plan for the property to become profitable. It's exactly what Emma's family needs. Being chosen is a big surprise, but definitely a welcome one.

Emma thinks Martine is a lovely girl. She's cute, but Emma thinks she could be stunning and gives her a makeover. This isn't the only thing she does though, she's determined to find a good man for Martine, someone rich and handsome. She's found the exact right person, but is Martine actually interested in this man? And what about Emma's own love life? She likes Mark, the writer and producer of Mind Your Manors, but finds him incredibly irritating at the same time. Will Emma find her own mister right or will she be too busy fixing other people's problems to notice what's right in front of her?

Emma is opinionated, proper, stiff, serious, stubborn, jealous and meddlesome. These aren't the best characteristics, but somehow I kept forgiving every mess she makes and I found her interfering very entertaining. Emma means well, but she doesn't listen to any good advice, she draws conclusions way too quickly and nobody can ever change her mind. This leads to a lot of funny misunderstandings. Emma is making things more difficult instead of better, but she doesn't mean to hurt anyone. She wants to help, but isn't handling things well at all. I loved this aspect of the story. She's quite obstinate and Mark is a good match. He doesn't let Emma walk all over him, he isn't afraid to tell her the truth and he's just as grumpy as she is. They are fabulous together and there are plenty of sparks, just not only because they have chemistry, but also because they often bicker, which is another thing that greatly amused me.

Katie Oliver's writing has an easy flow. I love her unusual approach of the romantic genre. Her main characters have flaws, they don't always know their own hearts and they keep overestimating or underestimating others. This leads to plenty of awkward, humoristic and intriguing situations. There's always a little bit of chaos and Katie Oliver skillfully controls it, which makes her stories even more fabulous to read. I often wanted to tell Emma to open her eyes and shut her mouth, however, she's being as blinkered as she can be. This put a big smile on my face. She has a good heart and she wants everyone to be happy, but instead she makes mess after mess. I couldn't wait to see what would happen when she'd finally see sense. The Trouble With Emma is a wonderful romantic story with a sweet and fitting ending. I liked this charming and enjoyable story a lot.

Advice

If you love reading about the English countryside, family dynamics and stubborn main characters you will definitely like The Trouble With Emma. It's the second book in a series, but can be read as a standalone as well.


About Katie Oliver

 
Katie Oliver loves romantic comedies, characters who "meet cute," Richard Curtis films, and Prosecco (not necessarily in that order). She currently resides in South Florida with her husband and two parakeets.

Author links
 
Interview
 
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
 
I'm a published writer, born in Washington DC more years ago than I'd like to admit. I have nine book babies and three more in utero (a series book proposal). Like most writers I'm insecure, i mainline coffee, and I either find inspiration everywhere, or on bad days, nowhere. My family keeps me grounded and my husband Mark is my biggest fan. He loves coffee, too.
 
2. What makes your heart beat faster?
 
A man who can make me laugh is hard to resist. A gorgeous smile. Kindness. An unexpected surprise, like flowers or going out for dinner or a movie. And a really thorough, really hot, back-up-against-the-wall kiss from a sexy guy never hurts, either. (Of course the sexy guy I'm referring to is my husband. Or maybe David Gandy...)
 
3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?
 
It would start with coffee and croissants at a little French cafe, complete with aproned, rude waiters; a leisurely morning walk (holding hands, of course); watching a subtitled foreign film; a late lunch with amazing food and a shared bottle of wine; another film (action, this time, to appease Mr Oliver); followed by a stroll back home, where we'd fall into bed and make passionate (well, after such a busy day, probably semi-tired) love. Bliss!
 
4. Who are your favorite romantic couple?
 
Antony and Cleopatra - an intense relationship!
 
Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet - amusing and heart-wrenching
 
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward - true, longstanding love
 
5. Could you describe what romance means to you?
 
Romance is, by definition,
noun

1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
"in search of romance"

2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
"the beauty and romance of the night"

synonyms:

 
Romance is a given early in relationships, when both parties are starry-eyed and dizzy with their newfound love. Everything, from favorite foods and films to the exploration of your lover's body, is uncharted territory, with new discoveries to be made every day and every night.
 
As one gets older, romance changes slightly, but remains. When your loved one brings you an unasked-for cup of coffee, or makes you breakfast for no reason, or remembers to pick up the dry cleaning...those are the things that still melt my heart.
 
6. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?
 
Not at all! If I did, I'd probably write thrillers. They pay much better. Lol
 
Romance is something we all crave - men and women, gay and straight, transgender... it makes no difference. A couple is attracted to one another, they connect, they fall in love. And love truly does make the world go round. After all, without love, we as a species would die out. So romance is a vital and necessary thing.
 
7. Can you tell us about your most romantic experience?
 
On our second date, my husband took me to a wonderful restaurant overlooking the Potomac River. The Pilot House was a repurposed riverboat that sat right on the water and had the most delicious seafood. After a wonderful meal of crab-stuffed flounder followed by coffee and dessert, we held hands and walked along the docks. It was a beautiful night, a perfect evening, and it remains a treasured memory.
 
8. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?
 
Chopin etudes; early Beatles ballads; jazz; blues.
 
9. Which country personifies romance for you and why?
 
The typical answer would be France, I suppose, or Monte Carlo, or Venice. But to me? No country offers more opportunities for romance than the United States.
 
From New York to San Francisco, from Texas and Montana to Florida, we've got romance covered. Is your idea of romance sharing a slice from a street vendor? Riding a carriage through Central Park? We've got it. Or maybe you'd prefer to ride a cable car, or browse Pike Place outdoor market together. We've got that, too. You can learn to surf at Laguna Beach or camp under the stars in Wyoming. You can eat beignets and watch the world go by at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Romance is there for the taking.
 
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
 
More writing. More books. A new series. I have lots of ideas percolating in my brain. I'm genre jumping to romantic suspense with my next series, but I'll always come back to romantic comedy, because I love it.
 
Happy reading!
 
Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a signed copy of Prada and Prejudice by Katie Oliver and bookmarks.
 
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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

17 comments:

  1. The book review sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the covers, titles and interview too.

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  2. Lovely interview and the book sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hi Katie! Your books sound great. Thank you

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  5. Lovely interview. Loving the covers! Thanks for the chance x

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  6. I love any humor or comedy in a book, so I'd love to read this one :)

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  7. I love the covers on these books. They're so cute!

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  8. Thank you a lot for telling us a bit about yourself. Emma's cover is a bit in the 60-'70 style and it's kind of cute. i like that your characters have flaws it make them more realistic. thank you a for sharing with us!

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  9. this looks like an absorbing read :)

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  10. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  11. This series is something I love to read about :)

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  12. I like the book covers too, the colours attract attention. Sounds like a great read.

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  13. I love the covers of your books, they are fun and very eye catching :)

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  14. Your book sounds really interesting, Katie! Thank you!

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  15. I love chick flicks and romantic comedies especially in my books this looks like a fun read

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