Newest Review: ... people, often having to cook for them. These would include an unpleasant but utlimately manipulatable matriarch; a wise old woman or slig... more
A Formulaic, Fun, Fling
Highland Fling - Katie Fforde
Member Name: Stripery77
Highland Fling - Katie Fforde
Advantages: Pleasant, light escapism
Disadvantages: Not one for the lads
Whenever I'm looking for a few hours of escapist romance I'll turn to Katie Fforde and her offerings of safe and enjoyable storytelling with the lightest touch. I've read and enjoyed several of her novels including Artistic Licence, Thyme Out, Stately Pursuits and Wild Designs and so with a firm understanding of the type of tale I could expect I settled down to 376 pages of Highland Fling.
I've discovered having read a few of Ffords novels that she has a fairly formulaic approach. Essentially a girl next-doorish headstrong girl/woman finds herself (usually by career move) heading to another part of the country (UK) to work for or with a family or group of people, often having to cook for them. These would include an unpleasant but utlimately manipulatable matriarch; a wise old woman or slightly older companion who won't take no for an answer drives our heroine out of her comfort zone with friendly support; a few soppy blokes who aren't a good enough fit but are essentially good guys; and a gruff and ruggedly handsome hero whose meeting with our heroine always begins badly and continues to duck and dive throughout the story in a will-they won't-they (of course they will) sweep of senarios and misunderstandings. Highland Fling presents us with no such deviation from this tried and tested structure.
~the basics (a breakdown of the backcover)~
When 'Virtual Assistant' Jenny Porter's boyfriend accuses her of being impulsive, soft-hearted and unbusinesslike, dashing off to Scotland to sort out the failing mill for one of her clients may not be the best way of proving him wrong. and promising to help run a mobile burger bar before she's even found her feet doesn't help matters. When she finds herself determined to save the mill - whatever her client's wishes - it seems that Henry's accusations may have contained more than a grain of truth.
So when Jenny's awkward encounters with the abrasive but disconcertingly attractive Ross Grant develop into something more complicated - just as Henry arrives in Scotland to reclaim her - it's time for Jenny to make some decisions. Should she follow Henry back to London? Or is her Highland Adventure more than just a fling?
It didn't take me long to whistle my way through this book and I think it's clear from the outset what's going to happen, the joy comes in getting there. Fforde has a really light touch and writes with good pace and honesty. She creates warm and witty scenes and characters that I find easy to identify with. I know what I am going to get when I sit down with a Fforde novel and I can just switch off for a few hours and escape into a Cinderella like fantasy.
It's never going to win any literary prizes but if your looking for a holiday reas then you can't go far wrong with a Katie Fford romance. I usually pick one up in the 2 for £8 supermarket deals along with something more meaty.
Summary: It runs to a pattern, but the pattern isn't horrible