Gina and Sally Makepiece have inherited a stall in the French House – an antiques centre nestled in the heart of the English countryside. Gina is determined to drag the French House and its grumpy owner into the twenty-first century. Bearing all the attributes of a modern-day Mr Rochester, Matthew Ballinger is less than happy with the whirlwind that has arrived on his doorstep. The last thing either of them want is to fall in love. But will a trip to France change their minds?
This review first appeared on Mrsbbooks2011/blogspot.co.uk.
Gina Makepiece and her sister Sally have been left a small legacy by their Aunt Rainey, a stall in The French House, an antiques centre in the Cotswolds. Neither of them know anything about antiques and while Sally displays little interest in old things, Gina is determined to make a success of the business and learn all she can about antiques. She has to contend with the taciturn Matthew Ballinger the owner of the French House. As she learns more about the antiques business and Matthew she slowly comes to realise she has fallen in love with antiques, the French House and its owner.
When she learns that the French House is in danger of being sold she uses all her PR skills in an attempt to raise the funds needed to save it, all the while wondering if Matthew returns her feelings.
I’m sure I’m like other people in that I have a group of authors I can turn to when I’m in a reading slump. For me that group includes Jane Austen and Katie Fforde. I have read all of her previous novels, some a number of times and have never been disappointed. I have always enjoyed the journeys the female protagonists have taken and watching how they fall in love. I know that when I settle down with a Katie Fforde novel I’m in for a treat. A French Affair was no different. I liked Gina, who was just the right level of feistiness and determined and her sister Sally who was more emotional and romantic.
The relationship between Gina and Matthew develops at a realistic pace, whereas in some romantic novels I have read the protagonists go from barely knowing each other to practically married in the space of a couple of chapters.
As always I found myself racing through this book, with the last couple of chapters a blur as I eagerly wanted to find out what would happen to Gina, Matthew and the French House. This was a lovely read and Katie Fforde fans won’t be disappointed. The only disappointment I have is that I have to wait until next year for the next book!