Monday, January 21, 2013

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde

Paperback : 376 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction 
Publisher: Arrow books 2012
Source: Gift from a fellow Bookcrosser
First Sentences: 'Er, hello!' Sian put down her fork and looked over the garden wall. A woman was smiling at her, holding a bottle of wine in one hand and a jam jar full of flowers in the other.

Review Quote:Captivating ... Fforde's novels are notable for their gentle humour and this one is no exception... Summer of Love is as deliciously addictive as Fforde's earlier books...if you're after an escapist novel that fizzes with warmth and wit, then this is perfect. (Daily Express )
My Opinion Met my expectations from an author I have been enjoying since 1995!

Feel good romance with a happy ever after ending, just the sort of read I expect and enjoy from Katie Fforde whose novels I have been reading since 1995! Her characters are always believable and set in places we can imagine in real life, stories that are easy to read but with enough drama to keep you interested. 

'Summer of Love' revolves around Sian Bishop and her life changing decision to move from the city to create a better life for her and her young son, Rory. She immerses herself in country life, enjoying her garden, making friends with the locals, her furniture restoration business and settling her son into new routines. Of course love is the last thing she is looking for as she already has a dependable male friend in Richard, the person in fact who wanted her to make the move. In fact it is obvious that he is interested in far more than friendship but Sian is just not interested in him in that way. Sian however is thrown into confusion when the charming son of her new found friend and neighbour Fiona Berresford, Angus returns home after a long absence. Does this unexpected meeting change her life as she tries to convince herself that this exciting young man is an inappropriate person for her to consider getting involved with and anyway she is not looking for love! Or is she? 

In recommending this I would have to say you need to be a fan of  Katie Fforde or contemporary romantic fiction if you have not yet read any of her novels. She is perfect reading for when you are in the mood for a touch of romance, families and village life presented in a readable novel with the inevitable happy ending that one can relax with. The world of Katie Fforde is always a pleasant one to escape to for a few hours, where life always seems relatively unstressed, lovely escapism.

The following two short videos are well worth listening to if you have a few minutes as Katie Fforde talks  first about her research for the novel and in the second one about her heroine.

                                           Katie Fforde talks about her novel Summer of Love

                                                             Katie Fforde talks about the heroine of Summer of Love

Author Profile

Catherine Rose Gordon-Cumming was born on 27 September 1952 in Wimbledon, London, UK.  She has lived near Stroud, Gloucestershire  for over twenty years, with her husband and three children. It was after the birth of her third child that she started writing using her married name of Katie Fforde.  She is founder of the Katie Fforde Bursary for writers who have yet to secure a publishing contract. She was for many years a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and was elected its twenty-fifteenth chairman (2009–2011) and later its fourth president. In June 2010 she was announced as a patron of the UK's first National Short Story Week.

I am also sharing here what she has to say about herself on her website as she says it so well.

About Katie
I was born and brought up in London but I am basically a country girl. I’ve lived in Stroud with my family for thirty years and while I love London and visit it frequently, I don’t think I could actually live there.

My husband Desmond and I started married life on the water, where we took two 70’ x 6’10 narrowboats around the canals as a hotel. It was very hard work! From there we went to Wales where we had two baby boys and narrowly avoided keeping goats. It was while we lived in Wales that I became addicted to Mills & Boon novels. My husband was away at sea for a lot of the time, leaving me with two small children who didn’t sleep well. I loved the fact that you could pick up a Mills & Boon and be able to follow the plot and enjoy the escapism even if you’d had little sleep. They were my reward for every household task. I’m so glad I was addicted to reading and not chocolate or Valium.

I did have the idea that I wanted to write Mills & Boon novels but didn’t do anything about it until my mother gave me a writing kit for Christmas. By now we lived in Stroud, and I also had a daughter as well as the two sons, Irish Wolfhound and two cats we had in Wales (although not the hens.). I didn’t think I had time to write but my mother thought differently and I took up the challenge. Ten years later I had a book on the shelves. It wasn’t a Mills & Boon, although I had tried to write one for eight years; it was Living Dangerously.

I had met an agent through the Romantic Novelists’Association and, when I was about to give up my ambitions to become a writer, she convinced me I could write something else. I was extremely lucky that the novel was chosen as part of a WHSmith’s Fresh Talent promotion, which gave it a terrific start in life.

There have been over seventeen novels since, as well as some grandchildren and a few stone of extra weight. However, I love being a writer. It gives me the chance to have all the jobs I couldn’t get now even if I did know anything about horses or pottery or indeed almost anything else. I love doing the research, although it has taken me way out of my comfort zone at times. I have been a porter for an auction house, learned how to gut fish, and taken part in a Ray Mears survival course. I loved it!

My hobbies, when I have time for them, are singing in a choir and flamenco dancing. Watching television is research and so I call it work.


  • Living Dangerously (1995)
  • The Rose Revived (1995)
  • Wild Designs (1996)
  • Stately Pursuits (1997)
  • Life Skills (1999)
  • Thyme Out (2000) aka Second Thyme Around
  • Artistic Licence (2001)
  • Highland Fling (2002)
  • Paradise Fields (2003)
  • Restoring Grace (2004)
  • Flora's Lot (2005) aka Bidding for Love
  • Practically Perfect (2006)
  • Going Dutch (2007)
  • Wedding Season (2008)
  • Love Letters (2009)
  • A Perfect Proposal (2010)
  • Summer of Love (2011)
  • Recipe for Love (2012)

Flora's Lot is the only other novel I have reviewed here and even that was copied from my  Bookcrossing journal entry where the book last checked in from Spain! 

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing. 

Twitter Profile   Goodreads Author Profile  Katie Fforde - Official Website   Katie Fforde - Wikipedia


  1. Hi Linda. I hope that David is making good progress. I loved this review and it sounds like the perfect book to read whilst snuggled up cosy and warm indoors, during this cold snap that we are having.

    1. Thanks for asking about David, it is going to be a long job to get him back to full health but at least we are now together. So glad this one appeals to you, are you not already familiar with Katie Fforde's writing though Diane?

  2. Nice to read your review after a long time.
    Hope the book does good.

    Best wishes!

    1. Thanks Divenita. Reading lots but finding time to write the reviews is harder with looking after David.

  3. Thanks for the great review. I haven't read this book yet, but I do love Katie Fforde's books and have read most of them. I look forward to reading Summer of Love too.

    1. I am delighted you enjoyed the review and will look forward to hearing if you enjoyed it when you get around to reading this one Debs.

  4. Interesting that the name is used for different authors. It sounds like it might be a bit like Jill Mansell whom I love.

    1. Ann, if you love Jill Mansell I think you will definitely enjoy Katie's writing. :)


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