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Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

Reader Reviewed
A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

A Summer at Sea

Romantic Fiction   Books of the Month   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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March 2017 Book of the Month.

A comforting, delightful tale about taking chances, trusting instincts, nourishing friendships and finding love. If you’re a fan of Katie Fforde, then you know you're about to be wrapped up in a delightfully familiar cosy blanket of romance. Midwife Emily takes time off in order to help her friend, she discovers a beautiful part of Scotland, and the potential for a whole new life, but will she embrace it? Katie Fforde writes with a soothing, light touch, it is easy to relate to her characters, from teddy loving nine year old Kate through to Fair Isle knitterholic Maisie. ‘A Summer at Sea’ encourages you to take some time off from the real world in order to sink into a gentle, engaging and enjoyable read. ~ Liz Robinson

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Katie Fforde by Mary Hogarth.

If you like Katie Fforde you might also like to read books by Amanda Brookfield, Lisa Jewell and Victoria Henry.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read the full reviews here.

  • Lucy Copes - 'Fantastic book! Gripping, funny, relatable: all the best things for a book to be. Recommended it to everyone I know.'
  • Jill Peters - 'This is Katie Fforde at her best, entertaining her readers with pure escapism.  An ideal book for holiday packing in readiness for the sun lounger or in front of the fire during the winter months.'
  • Verity Langley - 'Being a big Katie Fforde fan I was expecting a lot from her and A Summer at Sea didn’t disappoint.'
  • Samantha Lewis - 'having not read one of Katie Fforde books before I'm now hooked!'
  • Claire Simms - 'A lovely romantic story, definitely worth a read.'
  • Becca Jayne - 'With breath-taking pictures painted in my mind of the picturesque landscapes of A Summer At Sea, I was swept away into a charming and magnificent summer read.'
  • Lisa Keast - 'A fun and addictive read from the very beginning. Great characters that draw you in to the story. A warm and fun romance to escape to.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'The plot is interesting and the characters are relatable but even better is the setting of the story on the Puffer Boat.'
  • Sue Burton - 'Good feel factor book.'
  • Pam Woodburn - 'A pleasant, undemanding book which is ideal to read whilst the winter rain batters the windows. Very relaxing.'
  • Nicola Lowes - 'An enjoyable, relaxed read in the style we've come to expect from Katie Fforde. Emily is a likeable character and the scenery descriptions are mouth-watering. Heart-warming and uplifting.'
  • Carneika Washbrook - 'A Summer at Sea is a heart-warming book you can just pick up whenever you want, read a few chapters, then come back to it another day. It’s an easy read that takes you away on a romantic holiday.'
  • Jane Pepler - 'I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well written and there were enough twists in the plot to keep me interested until the end of the book along with plenty of humour and romance.'
  • Christine Waddington - 'This is a book where you are involved with the characters from the very first page - and they are a very engaging cast...With many twists and turns - and lots of knitting - this is a novel that romps along.'
  • Tracey Copeland - 'the characters in this book are easy to get to know and likeable too, I was keen to know the outcome, even though it was pretty predictable, an easy read, enjoyable as always.'


A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

Emily is happy with her life just as it is. She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she's also feels it's time for a change and a spot of some sea air. So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she'd like to spend the summer cooking on a 'puffer' boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance. But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate. Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there's Emily's competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily. And there's Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice. Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?


'It's a delightfully engaging read.' Sunday Express

'Warm, brilliant, and full of love, drop anchor and curl up with this.' Heat

'A supremely engaging book from the doyenne of contemporary is Fforde's characters that give this book its irresistible emotional pull...a thoroughly modern tale of love, career and family, perfect for a relaxing afternoon on the sofa.' The Lady

'A lovely read.' South Wales Evening Post

'If I had to choose the perfect writer to cheer me up on a shivery winter's day I'd definitely go for Katie Fforde...' Emma Lee Potter blog

About the Author

Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family, and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She’s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she's even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Katie Fforde by Mary Hogarth.

I met Katie through the Romantic Novelists Association, whether you're a published novelist or not, you can still join and get some great tips. Katie is as much fun as her heroines who make me feel that nothing is impossible in life even when you're negotiating unexpected corners. One of my all time favourites is Wild Designs.

Author photo © David O’Driscoll

Below is a Q&A with this author

1. Did you always want to become an author?
No, I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until my late twenties. Before that I ran a narrowboat hotel business with my husband and then had babies, but I would have liked to be a counsellor if I wasn’t a writer.
2. Do you miss anything from your life before?
I had a very good life before I became an author, with a lovely husband, children and house. But when I started writing I realised what I had been missing. I think it’s to do with having an overactive imagination and wanting to communicate (which can be a posh word for chat!).
3. What’s the best thing about being an author?
The best thing is getting to try out lots of jobs I could never have had in real life through my characters. It’s also lovely to hear from people who have enjoyed my books – it can give me the impression that I’m doing something worthwhile, even though what I write is for entertainment.
4. How do you start writing a new novel?
I start with a theme. I have several subjects I long to explore bubbling around at any one time and when one comes to the top I start to think about my characters. Then comes the plot. I don’t usually know at the beginning what the ending will be – I have to wait and find out! Although I know that it will be happy.
5. What are the essentials of creating a good romance?
I think a good hero is absolutely key, and then a heroine who the reader can recognise – not too perfect, but likeable. Plot is very important, so then it’s a case of creating a few really romantic scenes. Not necessarily hearts-and-flowers romantic but unexpected romance in surprising places.
6. Why is research important?
It’s hard enough to write a book as it is, let alone without knowing about your theme – you need to know your stuff. That said, some things can be impossible to research, like the judging at the Chelsea Flower Show, or when the Queen visits! I do quite a lot of research personally. I remember a writer friend saying to me, ‘But you write contemporaries, you don’t need to do research’, but that is very far from the truth. My early books were set around my own life – working in a cafe and being a cleaning lady were things I had actually done. However, eventually I ran out of life experience and had to do research. I love finding out fascinating things about subjects that interest me.
7. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you try and relieve this?
Writers block happens often in a small way. A change of scene helps to relieve it for me. This might involve shopping, a drive in the car (scenery often gets my creative juices going) or just being with friends. Luckily it never lasts for long with me and is often caused by being a bit tired.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th February 2017


Katie Fforde

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Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone


368 pages


Romantic Fiction
Books of the Month
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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