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Stately Pursuits
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New or Used: $8.95
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Just the thing for a broken heart. A wonderfully romantic novel from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Recipe for Love, A French Affair and The Perfect Match.

About the Author

Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family, and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she's even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories. To find out more about Katie Fforde step into her world at www.katiefforde.com, visit her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KatieFforde.

Reviews

Hetty has taken a job house-sitting a 600-year-old place named Courtbridge, which proves to be in dire need of renovations and extensive repairs. She agrees to tackle the assignment because, reeling from a rather humiliating romantic break-up, it seems like a good hideaway in which to mend her heart and ponder her future. Unknown to Hetty, the hospitalized owner, Samuel, has sent his rather beefy but handsome nephew Connor to keep an eye on her as well as his crumbling ancestral home. Hetty hatches a scheme to restore the old home to all its former stateliness by opening the mansion and charging for tours, weddings, and other social occasions. However, Connor would prefer to tear the old thing down, sell the property, pay off some old loans, and be done with the architectural dinosaur. Needless to say, these two opinionated and obstinate people discover in spite of their different views a remarkable attraction to each other. A satisfying although somewhat anticipated conclusion bodes well for the house, the couple, and even the cat, Clovis. Library patrons who enjoy the romantic novels of Jayne Ann Krentz and Nora Roberts will find a similar story here but with a delightful British accent; from the author of The Rose Revived (St. Martin's, 1996).ÄMargaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Hts. P.L., MI

Cheery, good-natured and predictable, British writer Fforde's latest stylish romance (after Wild Designs) relates the story of a young, freshly jilted and heartbroken protagonist, Hetty Longden, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to house-sit for her ailing elderly uncle Samuel while he is hospitalized. Hetty finds Courtbridge, Samuel's stately manor home, in desperate need of renovation; moreover, Samuel is deeply in debt. Even more threatening than loan officers, though, is Connor Barrabin, Samuel's gruff and irascible heir (known as "Conan the Barbarian" to locals), who intends to raze the house and erect a theme park on the property as soon as Courtbridge comes into his possession. Hetty, like the other residents of the small English village, is horrified by the potential loss of this piece of their national heritage and is determined instead to fix up the stately home and open it to the paying public for tours and parties. Rallying the help of the multitalented townsfolk and the local Brownie troop, plucky Hetty gets the house in shape, meanwhile managing to rebuild her shattered confidence and make some wonderful new friends. Also, not surprisingly, Hetty finds a sensitive and loving man beneath Connor's abrasive exterior, and the two fall in love despite their opposing views about the fate of the house. Although the plot isn't terribly imaginative, the novel has a warm and fuzzy charm, some nice comic scenes and the usual romantic contretemps. (July)

"Fforde's appeal is her ability to reproduce the eccentricities of daily life" * The Times *

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