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Julia's learning some lessons in love. This is a wonderfully romantic novel from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Recipe for Love, A French Affair and The Perfect Match. A combination of overwork and jet-leg propels Julia Fairfax into becoming engaged to a golf-playing wine buff called Oscar. But when she realises that she has fonder feelings for his adorable Labrador than for Oscar himself, she is forced to confront the fact that there is something drastically wrong. Ditching her fiance and jacking in her job, she decides to revolutionise her life. Her new career as a cook on a pair of hotel boats is certainly a departure, and teaches her more about life than how to get a couple of narrow boats through a lock. But even afloat, Julia's past catches up with her. Not only must she contend with the persistent Oscar (not to mention his frightful mother and her own mother's determined matchmaking), but also the arrival of her childhood enemy, the enigmatic Fergus Grindley...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099280231
ISBN-10: 009928023X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 12-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Passed over (in favour of a man) in the house-agency department she's built, Julia storms out of her job, and engagement to boring Oscar, to become a cook on a pair of canal hotel-boats. But Oscar isn't giving up and when childhood enemy Fergus arrives on the scene Julia's in double-trouble and must hastily learn some new 'Life Skills'. As always, Fforde blows a fresh summer breeze through the old-fashioned Romantic Novel - in a setting made vivid by the author's personal experience. Great holiday read. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Love triumphs as an agreeably surprise ending validates a story that otherwise often moves as slowly as the two British hotel barges on which the protagonist is resident cook. English writer Fforde, whose popular fiction celebrates strong women who don't fall easily (or at least immediately) in love, now tells the tale of a young woman determined to succeed on her own, without a man's help even when she's about to give birth. When thirtysomething Julia Fairfax is replaced by a man in the position she worked hard to develop, she decides to leave and find a job that will be fun rather than remunerative. She also breaks off her engagement to Oscar - since she realizes that she was essentially attracted by his dog and charming Queen Anne House rather than by him - and signs on as cook for two hotel barges that ply the British canals. Her boss, beautiful Suzy, is trying to turn the boats into a successful business, though help is short and the barges are run-down. Julia learns to navigate, work lock gates, and cook meals in a small space, but the men are less easy to handle. There's Fergus, whom she's known and disliked since childhood, who suddenly appears and is surprisingly helpful; then Oscar, who doesn't give up easily, arrives with dog and snotty mother for a two-week stay. Though still determined to be free and footloose, Julia is attracted to Fergus and even goes to bed with him once; but though she spurns his further attentions, their lovemaking has its usual consequence. A pregnant Julia returns home to fred other work. Fergus is delighted with her pregnancy and proposes marriage, but she refuses because she thinks he's motivated by duty rather than passion. By the close, though, the ever-resourceful Fergus has devised a proposal that persuades even Julia. A stylish contemporary love story with lots of barge lore for those who love to mess with boats. But not Fforde's usual fast-paced best. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Katie Fforde

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.

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