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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Book Review - Summer of Love by Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and some of her three children. Recently her old hobbies of ironing and housework have given way to singing, Flamenco dancing and husky racing. She claims this keeps her fit. Her website address is

1. Could you tell a bit about yourself?
  I’ve been writing for a very long time now and my writing reflects my life. Being a grandmother is very important to me. I am a ridiculously soft grandmother though.

2. You write about the most wonderful cozy locations. Are they based on real places or do you entirely make them up?

The places I write about could exist, even if they don’t. I live in a very pretty part of the world and most of my books are set in it. Although I do sometimes go to Scotland for my settings.
3. Which five words would best describe Sian? And which five words would best describe Gus?

 Sian - honourable, protective, resilient, resourceful, kind. Gus - adventurous, brave, ingenious, passionate, also resourceful.

4. Where do you find the inspiration for the distinct feel-good atmosphere that can be found in all of your stories?

 I do think feel-good stories exist in real life and I love thinking up different jobs and businesses for my characters. It means I can have these jobs, sort of, but not actually be good at them in real life. I like my stories to have something about them that’s not just the romance and I think this helps create the feel-good factor.
5. Where does your passion for romantic stories come from?

I’ve always loved romantic novels. For me a book isn’t really satisfying unless there’s some sort of romance in it. It’s an essential part of life. And we all love falling in love. Through reading or writing romantic books we can do it safely! (I have been married for a very long time and don’t want to fall in love with anyone else.)

6. Your books always have the most amazing covers, do you have a say in the design process?
I love my covers and I do have quite a lot of say in the look of the cover. Most of it is done by the brilliant art department.

7. You have a beautiful interesting website filled with good advice. What’s the best advice you can give your readers?

The best bit of advice for readers if they want to be writers, is to read a lot! Eventually you will begin to see why some books work better than others. My best advice for life generally is be polite and say thank you to anyone who might have helped you. It is really helpful!
8. One of the Tips for Life for your readers is: Having puppies in the house makes you approach bits of stick on the floor with great caution and armed with kitchen towels. There are also several photos of you with animals. What do they mean to you?
My animals have always meant a lot to me, although every time one dies I wonder why I go on putting myself through the agony of loss again. But cuddling a furry friend is very soothing and they say that dog owners live longer. My 97 year old mother in law had a series of black labradors until she was about 95. I’m sure they helped her live so long.
9. You have great advice for people who want to write a book. What’s the best advice that’s ever been given to you?
The best piece of writing advice I’ve ever had I think, was given to me in a queue for the bar at a writers’ conference. This man said, if you’re prepared to write for say, ten years, you will eventually be published. I thought yes, I can give this ten years. I think that can be summed up as ‘persevere’ but him giving it a time frame made it easier. (It didn’t take my ten years, only 8!)
10. I loved looking at the cake and cupcake pictures on your website. What’s your favourite cake and/or desert? How do you approach writing about food?

What’s my favourite cake? That’s so hard! I love a really dense chocolate cake, but also a maderia, and a Victoria jam sponge takes some beating. Really hard to say! I approach writing about food as if I was eating it (I love food). I think about the smell, the texture, the taste and let myself go. I think I write about food a bit too much really, but I can’t resist.
11. You write that you’re a country girl at heart and I love your beautiful settings. What’s the most wonderful thing about the countryside?
The most wonderful thing about the countryside is hard to pin down. I love the bird song, the fragrances, the look of the rolling hills, woodlands, all of it, really. I find it really inspiring. I’m lucky to live among it as I do. I can see it from my study window.
12. What’s the most interesting research project you’ve ever done for a novel?

 I think one of the most interesting research projects I’ve done for a novel was for Summer of Love when I went on a survival course. I loved it!

13. What are your plans for the future?

 My plans for the future are basically, carry on writing books! 
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Review by Suze
Sian and her son Rory have moved to the countryside. They live in a cottage that is a bit damp and outdated. There is enough room for the two of them though and it has a beautiful garden. After many years of living in the city the extra space is exactly what they need. Sian loves the village and feels completely at home straight away. She makes new friends, there are other children to play with for Rory and she can finally start working on her artistic career. Her neighbor Fiona is warm and welcoming and Rory immediately feels comfortable with her. Things are going well until Sian meets Fiona's son Gus...
Sian and Gus already know one another and they share a special memory. They didn't spend much time together, but the day they met is a day they will never forget. Gus is an explorer and he's traveled for years, which is why Sian never expected to see him again. However, sometimes fate has other plans. There's still a connection, but Gus is dangerous and Sian is looking for stability. Will she be able to resist him?
Summer of Love is a charming, uplifting story. Sian is a kindhearted, responsible woman. I loved her creativity and her loving and caring nature. Fiona is an amazing, strong woman. She's resourceful and she knows how to handle difficult situations. She has a great personality and she's the lovely friendly neighbor everyone wishes to have. Gus is adventurous and good-natured. He's gorgeous and he makes women's hearts beat faster. The main characters are the best part of this book. They're all fascinating and easy to like. I enjoyed reading about them very much.
Katie Fforde has such a vivid and sparkling writing style. Her stories always manage to make me happy. I love reading her books and when I open them for the first time it feels like I'm unwrapping a precious gift. Her settings are stunning and the food descriptions are mouthwatering. I like the way she describes countryside living. Being together with your loved ones is what really matters and there are plenty of touching moments in this novel. I'm sure this is a book I will keep thinking about for a long time. 
I always love it when I don't want a story to end. Summer of Love is a story that put a big smile on my face. It's the perfect romantic read. It's cheerful, it's heartwarming and it's incredibly sweet. It's a book that brings amusement, it brightens up a dark night and makes a cloudy day look sunny. It's brings the reader that glowing joy of summer, which is absolutely wonderful.


  1. Wow. I hope to read this book in the near future. Seems like a good one.

  2. I have read this book. I love Katie Fforde, I have all of her books and she is considered as one of my favourite authors xx

  3. Sounds like a great read . Love the interview . Thank you for the review .

  4. I completely agree with you - the food pics are scrumptious!

  5. This sounds like a charming book! Great interview as well!

  6. Great interview, the book sounds like a wonderful book to read.

  7. What a wonderful cover and the blurb sounds good :)

  8. This is a new author for me. I love the book cover, though, and the summary sounds like a book I'd like to read. I enjoyed the interview, too!

  9. Wow, survival course sounds like fun. Loved the interview and the review.

  10. "The food descriptions are mouthwatering" hahahahaha, that is an incentive to read this book. Sounds great!

  11. This sounds like such a lovely book!

  12. I adore stories of reunited love! This one sounds wonderful, and the cover is so charming.