Artistic License by Katie Fforde

Artistic License by Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde comes to the blog with a wonderfully sweet romantic comedy with

Artistic License

Thea is a mid-thirties woman who, after finding her last photojourno boyfriend trying to sell one of her photos to a tabloid, has reimagined her life and career, and now has a houseful of university students as lodgers, and works part-time. With no real interest in money and fame, Thea’s also rather sort of rolling through life, sometimes smoothly, other times being stepped on under the boots of those more assertive. But, when her friend Molly insists she go on a 6 day tour of Provence at short notice, it opens a series of questions and opportunities for Thea, many of which she’d never considered. And the introduction to the lector for the history of Cezanne, while horrible, turns out to be a rather charming Irishman who ‘dabs about’ with paints, and offers Thea a place to stay and getaway in the West Counties, the idea of returning to her home with the knowledge of the mess to clean and the bone-deep knowledge that she just doesn’t WANT to be there – she hooks a ride to Stanstead and is on the first plane to Ireland.

Rory is much more than a crap art lecturer who ‘dabbles’ with painting. While he makes a living painting horses, dogs and portraits, his true ‘art’ is tucked in a shed. Gloriously colorful landscapes with light and presence that shines through, wall-sized oils that are as beautiful and atmospheric as the views from his little cottage. This unknown ‘gem’ has a horrible history, having behaved more than badly at his first showing, panned by all the critics, and sent off home with a tail between his legs. Thea- recognizing something wonderful in the work contacts Molly, who knows EVERYONE, to get Rory some notice.

Oh this was fun – the ins and outs of the ‘art scene’ and Thea’s determination that Rory’s work should not only stay in Britain but that she’d very much like to be the one who owns a gallery that reintroduces him to the art world. When you add in Molly’s cousin Ben and his young son, one very frustrated by Thea’s naivete and willingness to go so far out for Rory, the other finding her hominess and willingness to bake cakes and let him muck about in the kitchen. And there is a mastiff with her litter of puppies, some unexpected showdowns in the pouring rain, and a lovely happy ever after with a new gallery in the home counties – I love Fforde’s ability to take a heroine who isn’t truly confident, turn her about and have her find her feet with the help of determination, friends and good humor.

I’ve plucked this copy from my overly full bookshelves full of titles purchased for my own library, an #OffTheShelf read. I was not compensated for, nor obligated to write a review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Artistic License by Katie Fforde

Title: Artistic License
Author: Katie Fforde
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Friendship, Romantic Elements, Setting: Ireland
Published by: Arrow
ISBN: 0099415283
Published on: 6 June, 2002
Source: Self-Purchased
Pages: 320
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

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There’s an art to choosing men, but Thea’s just discovering it. A wonderfully romantic novel from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Recipe for Love, A French Affair and The Perfect Match.

Fed up with looking after a houseful of students, Thea Orville throws caution to the winds and takes off to Ireland with Rory, a charming but feckless artist.

But Thea's old life isn't so easily cut off. The arrival of Molly, her bossy friend, demanding to see Rory's stunning paintings (and to find out what Thea is up to) is bad enough, but why did she have to bring Petal, Thea's most annoying lodger, along for the ride? And worst of all, Petal is accompanied by her uncle, the enigmatic Ben, a man Thea has sworn never to like.

The timing is terrible - Rory's dog is about to have puppies - but even more alarming is that the more Rory pursues Thea, the more maddeningly attractive she finds Ben...


About Katie Fforde

Catherine Rose Gordon-Cumming, aka Katie Fforde was born 27 September 1952 in England, UK, the daughter of Shirley Barbara Laub and Michael Willoughby Gordon-Cumming. Her grandfather was Sir William Gordon-Cumming. Her sister is fellow writer Jane Gordon-Cumming. Katie married Desmond Fforde, cousin of the also writer Jasper Fforde. She has three children: Guy, Francis and Briony and didn't start writing until after the birth of her third child. She has previously worked both as a cleaning lady and in a health food cafe.

Published since 1995, her romance novels are set in modern-day England. She is the founder of the "Katie Fforde Bursary" for writers who have yet to secure a publishing contract. Katie was elected the twenty-fifteenth Chairman (2009-2011) of the Romantic Novelists' Association. She is delighted to have been chosen as Chair of the Romantic Novelists' Association and says, "Catherine Jones was a wonderful chair and she's a very tough act to follow. However, I've been a member of the RNA for more years than I can actually remember and will have its very best interests at the core of everything I do."

Katie lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England with her husband, some of her three children and many pets. Recently her old hobbies of ironing and housework have given way to singing, Flamenco dancing and husky racing. She claims this keeps her fit


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