Thursday, 23 May 2013

A French Affair by Katie Fforde

Sisters Gina and Sally know nothing about antiques so they're a little overwhelmed when their aunt Rainie leaves them her stock and pitch in the French House in her will. The French House, owned by the perpetually grumpy Matthew, is an antiques centre within the village of Granmore-on-the-green, where stall holders rent space to sell their pieces. Rainie has left the sisters a little money to start them off and a challenge to make a profit.
With the help of Matthew, the sisters decide to give it a go but it is Gina who really rises to the challenge, learning the art of antiques by getting stuck in at the French House and at markets and fairs. Gina is starting to fall in love with both the antiques trade and her new colleague, Matthew when she discovers the French House is in trouble. If Matthew loses the antiques centre, a business he inherited from his father, Gina, Matthew and the other stall holders will lose their livelihoods. Not willing to sit back and lose everything she has worked hard for, Gina hatches a plan to save the centre.
A French Affair is a lovely, light read that thankfully isn't too laden with antiques, despite the the storyline as, like Gina in the beginning, I know nothing about antiques. It is much more about saving the failing business and thwarting its enemies, such as Yvette, Matthew's vindictive ex. There is also the matter of Gina's attraction to Matthew. The course of true love certainly doesn't run smooth in this book!
In the beginning, Gina and Sally seem very close as sisters so I was quite shocked by Sally's attitude part way through and couldn't believe how selfish she was being. Sally is the more laid back and fun of the sisters but this did put me off her for a while. I also wish Matthew could have been a bit softer around the edges and less stubborn at times. I know he's under a lot of stress due to his failing business and money worries but I would have liked to have warmed to him a little more.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and liked how Gina breathes new life into both the French House and its owner.
Thank you to Century for sending me a copy to review.

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