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4,3 van de 5
34
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    Ms

    This is by far the least interesting book by Katie Fford the I've read so far. Clumsy plots that dont make sense and no flowing between details either Very disappointing!
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    Not my favourite, stupid heroine and sudden ending

    This started well and fizzled out by the end for me. After falling in love with a married man at work and a forbidden kiss under the mistletoe Bella Castle abruptly left her job and her home, moving away to avoid temptation. Three years later she is working for her boyfriend Nevil at a small estate agents ad living with her godmother Alice. Bella kids herself that she and Nevil are in love even though he wants her to pretend they aren't a couple while they are at work, he never listens to anything she says, he criticises her clothes and what she eats, he is patronising and belittles her. As with all Katie Fforde heroines, Bella is special. Although she is an estate agent (often considered the lowest of the low), Bella has a gift for finding the right property for her clients and will cheerfully take them round hundreds of properties pointing out issues and generally being a Disney princess. On the other hand, if her clients are selling properties she will persuade them to do some minor improvements to help them achieve a better sale. One of her clients is Jane, who is living in a large house which is too much for her to manage but she doesn't want to sell. Originally sent to try to persuade Jane to sell, Bella now just visits Jane as a friend and helps out with some of the minor chores. Jane's nephew comes to stay with her and turns out to be Bella's married crush from three years ago, Dominic Thane. Even worse, he has decided to move to the town and is looking for a home. Bella can barely ask about Dominic's wife and the baby they were expecting when she left. So here we are, a love triangle between the rebound guy who is just plain nasty and the married man from her past. Also, as a bit of light relief, Alice meets a younger man on the train and begins an unlikely romance. As I said, I quite enjoyed the start of this novel but by the end Bella had degenerated into an Enid Blyton teenager (something she kind of acknowledges) investigating nefarious deeds by Nevil and a mysterious man, she blunders around with no evidence whatsoever and is frankly TSTL. Also, I didn't buy into the Dominic love, either he behaved really badly while he was still married or Bella dreamed up a romance, then he is back in town and Wham! she is in love with him again. Someone pointed out in a review of another Katie Fforde novel that her heroes are always metaphorically patting her heroines on the head and telling them not to be silly,the big strong man will sort it out. Now while I agree that Bella was being silly, I found Dominic's condescension, especially when he hadn't declared himself, to be equally as obnoxious. If you like Katie Fforde escapist romance I am sure you will like this too, just not my favourite.
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    Light read

    A sweet novel. :)
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    Angel of Estate Agents

    I'm sure I've read this book before, so much felt familiar and yet the characters themselves didn't ring a mental bell with me. It just felt very familiar - maybe I've just read too much and now there can be no new plotlines. This didn't stop me really enjoying this book, and I'm not really sure why - it is relentlessly twee more or less all the way through and some big issues that are mentioned early on (When Dominic and Bella first meet after 3 years he "looks at her with hate in his eyes" and this is never touched on again - it's not just that it isn't satisfactorily explained it just isn't mentioned) are never revisited. Alice's relationship with Michael, gave me a really bad feeling. I kept fully expecting him to be a con man and, if I'm being honest, I'm still not convinced that he isn't out there trying to take her for every last penny she has in a long con. It's not because they are an older couple (it was actually refreshing to see physicality in an older relationship), it just felt so many shades of wrong to me. Then again Bella's relationship with Dominic is all about obsession - not a good starting point - and is, more or less, set up to fail too. There are so many bad things about this book - well, the relationships in it and the actions of the characters. The populace of the book are either really good or really bad with no shading of personality to them. The situations they find themselves in are verging on the bizarre - particularly the 11:30pm digging episode and the resolution of the Agnews and Jane's housing requirements is just baffling. Despite all this I have plumped a 4 Star review down for this book. Simply put it really entertained me and kept me reading until it was finished without a break for longer than it took to fix a sandwich for my lunch or take a toilet break. As annoying as I found Bella, as naive as I found Alice, as ridiculous as I found much of the plot I became invested in what was going to happen to them and how the happy ending would be manufactured.
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