Highland Fling by Katie Fforde

Before I start writing this review, I would like to mention that I haven’t read any other books by Katie Fforde before. So, I rely on the opinions from other reviewers of her previous books.

I really loved the book Highland Fling when I finished it. But then I started to wonder whether it was really the book that I liked so much, or whether it is it just the fact that I’m still a little girl inside who loves to read this kind of romantic stories. I’m afraid it is the latter.

The plot of the book is an ordinary and predictable one. It’s about a stubborn girl called Jenny Porter, who is a Virtual Assistant and finds it hard to say “no” to anyone. She lives in the UK with her boyfriend, Henry. But they have small arguments almost all the time. Then her ‘client’ asks her if she could go to the Scottish Highland to look at a failing business (a mill) and report back.
Jenny stays with the family of the founder of the mill, the Dalmain family. But already the second day she concludes that the mill is really failing and she thinks that her client (Grant-Dempsey) has only sent her to do the ‘dirty work’ and close the mill down. But that’s not Jenny’s character, certainly not after she met the Dalmain family and the workers of the mill. Jenny feels sorry for them if she would have to close the mill down because so many families will lose their income. Therefore, she is determined to save the mill.

Meanwhile she meets the business man Ross Grant, who after a while turns out to be her client.
In the book Jenny says that she hates Ross, but every time she sees him she gets butterflies in her belly..

I won’t have to tell you how the books ends. It is quite predictable.

Katie Fforde’s last book, Artistic License, was not a major success according to other reviewers. One anonymous reviewer on http://1girl2manybooks.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/artistic-license-katie-fforde said in the fifth paragraph of her review that she bought the book for about $3.33 and that ‘she got what she paid for’. She ends her review with ‘it’s probably going to find its way into a donation pile sometime soon’.

Another reviewer on http://www.theromancereader.com/fforde-artistic.html said in the first paragraph of her review that ‘Katie Fforde is falling behind the rest of the British Chick Lit authors’ and that ‘Artistic License won’t do much to put her back in the forefront’.

Unfortunately I have to conclude that also this book isn’t going to get her back on the forefront either. The content was nice, but the whole book was too predictable and a little implausible.
Once, Jenny got lost in the snow on a mountain. Suddenly Ross appeared as part of the local mountain rescue team, and they spent the night in a ‘snow igloo’ almost at the top of the mountain. I find that a little implausible.
I’m glad that several reviewers agree with me on this opinion:
‘The trouble is that her novels are all very much the same’ – http://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/index.asp?id=1079
‘It’s time for me to leave this author’s books behind’ – http://www.theromancereader.com/fforde-fling.html (first paragraph)

It’s, however, an entertaining book and I’m not going to leave this author’s book behind. I’m too curious for that. But it’s certainly not going on a donation pile sometime soon because it’s a perfect book for a sick day in bed, when you can do nothing else than sleep and read.

Natasja van der Brug – V5F

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