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by author "Katie Fforde" in All Categories
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Stories to Make You Smile
The Reading Agency
Fanny Blake, Mark Watson, Veronica Henry, and others
Samantha Bond, Hugh Bonneville, Adjoa Andoh, and others
Length: 2 hrs and 34 mins
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
A seriously entertaining collection of feelgood stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by 10 best-selling novelists. From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.
1963, a chateau in Provence: It's late afternoon when Alexandra arrives, and the chateau before her is old, substantial and its four large towers seem to grow out of the soil. It is, she thinks, reassuring in its permanence and solidity. Less reassuring are the three silent, rather hostile, children waiting for her inside. They are to be her charges for a month: a boy and two girls badly in need of some love, attention, and an English education.
Allie is bored with her job and starting to wonder whether she even likes her boyfriend, Ryan. The high point in her day is passing a café on her walk home from work. It is the sort of place where she'd really like to work. Then one day she sees as advert on the door: assistant wanted.
Caro Swanson has taken a job in a remote part of Scotland. She’s answered an ad in The Lady: being a companion to an elderly gentleman who lives in a country estate could be perfect! Surely it is time to make a change and do something different for a while? The fact that she may also see Alec, the young man whom she met some years previously and whom she has always thought of as her ‘one who got away’, is of course purely incidental. Soon Caro is falling in love - not only with Alec but with the stunning house and grounds she is now living in.
Anna, a newly qualified interior designer, has decided it's time to put her money and her expertise where her mouth is. She's risked everything on buying a tiny but adorable cottage so she can renovate it, sell it on and prove to her family that she can earn her own living. Outside, the chocolate-box cottage is perfect, but inside all is chaos: with a ladder for a staircase, no downstairs flooring, candles the only form of lighting and a sleeping bag and camping mat for a bed, Anna's soon wondering whether she's bitten off more than she can chew.
Take one aspiring cook, one judge, and a spoonful of romance...When Zoe Harper wins a coveted place in a televised cookery competition she's thrilled. It's a chance to cook her way to fame and fortune and the little delicatessen she's set her heart on. The first task has hardly begun when she finds herself with rather too much on her plate. Not only has she got to contend with the fiercely competitive and downright devious Cher, but she's fast developing an inconvenient crush on one of the judges - the truly delicious Gideon Irving.
Sophie Apperly has spent her whole life pleasing others - but when she realises her family see her less as indispensable treasure and more as general dogsbody, she decides she's had enough. So when an old friend offers her the chance of a lifetime, she decides to swap Little England for the Big Apple, and heads off to the land of opportunity.
From the moment Sophie hits the bright lights of Manhattan she's determined to enjoy every minute of her big adventure.
Lorna is a talented gardener, and Philly is a plantswoman. Together they work in the grounds of a beautiful manor house in the Cotswolds. They enjoy their jobs and are surrounded by family and friends. But for them both, the door to true love remains resolutely closed. So when Lorna is introduced to Jack at a dinner party and Lucien catches Philly's eye at the local farmers market, it seems that dreams really can come true, and happy endings lie just around the corner.... But do they?
Nel is the owner of a houseful of animals and the organiser of the farmer’s market in the picturesque Paradise Fields. She is always super-busy, but not so busy to want to preserve the meadow and market she loves when its owner dies. But who can she trust to help her save Paradise Fields? Her sensible boyfriend, Simon? Or Jake, the devilishly handsome man who kissed her under the mistletoe?
When Perdita Dylan delivers her baby vegetables to a local hotel and finds that her unpredictable ex-husband, Lucas, has taken over the kitchen, she is horrified - particularly when she discovers he's being groomed as the latest celebrity chef and needs her picturesque, if primitive cottage, and her, in supporting roles. Her life is further complicated when Kitty, her 87-year-old friend, has a stroke. Perdita needs someone to lean on - and Lucas seems so keen to help that she starts to wonder if he's really such a villain.
Sarah Stratford is a wedding planner hiding a rather inconvenient truth - she doesn't believe in love. Or not for herself, anyway. But as the confetti flutters away on the June breeze of yet another successful wedding she somehow finds herself agreeing to organise two more, on the same day and only two months away. And whilst her celebrity bride is all sweetness and light, her own sister soon starts driving her mad with her high expectations but very limited budget.
Random House presents the audiobook edition of Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde. Polly Cameron is happy being 35 and celibate, living in a small Gloucestershire town with a possessive cat for company and a Rayburn for comfort. After all, a relationship would only complicate things...but Polly's life is already complicated. In addition to her job in the Whole Nut cafe - and her part in the 'Save Our High Street' campaign - there's her pottery career to get off the ground. Not to mention dodging the efforts of her friends and mother to find her a husband.
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 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.
Gilly runs her own B&B business from her much-loved family home, which she doesn’t want to part with - at any price. But that's before she meets handsome estate agent Leo. Soon he has her wondering whether it's finally time to sell up and try something new in life. Meanwhile, Gilly's daughter Helena has a budding romance of her own. A talented weaver, she's becoming very close to her new landlord, Jago, who's offered to help her at an upcoming craft fair that could give her dream career a major boost. It’s what friends do, and they are just friends. Aren’t they?
Gina and Sally Makepiece have inherited a stall in the French House - an antiques centre nestled in the heart of the English countryside. Gina is determined to drag the French House and its grumpy owner into the 21st century. Bearing all the attributes of a modern-day Mr Rochester, Matthew Ballinger is less than happy with the whirlwind that has arrived on his doorstep. The last thing either of them want is to fall in love. But will a trip to France change their minds?
Flora Stanza has sub-let her London life in a bid to join the family antiques business. Her knowledge of antiques extends only to the relics of information she has crammed from frantic daytime TV watching, but what she lacks in experience she makes up for in blind enthusiasm. So she is more than a little put off when she doesn't receive the warm country welcome she expected.
Sian Bishop has only ever experienced one moment of recklessness – a moment that resulted in her beloved son Rory. It’s not that she doesn’t love the outcome of that wild night, but since then she has always taken the safer route. So when dependable, devoted Richard suggests a move to the beautiful English countryside, she leaves the hustle and bustle of the city behind, and she throws herself into the picture-postcard cottage garden, her furniture restoration business, and a new life in the country.
Hetty Longden's mother thinks that looking after Great Uncle Samuel's crumbling stately home will be just the thing for Hetty's broken heart. Hetty doesn't mind; at least she can be miserable in private. But 'private' is a relative term in a village which revolves around the big house. Particularly when you are expected to thwart Great Uncle Samuel's awful heir and his nefarious plans for his inheritance. Pitchforked into the community's fight to save the manor, Hetty has no time to wallow.
Laura Horsley, in a moment of uncharacteristic recklessness, finds herself agreeing to help organise a literary festival in the English countryside. But her initial excitement is rapidly followed by a mounting sense of panic when reality sinks in and she realises just how much work is involved - especially when an innocent mistake leads the festival committee to mistakenly believe that Laura is a personal friend of the author at the top of their wish-list. Determined to rise to the challenge, she sets off to meet her literary hero.
Althea is the mother of three strong-minded children - one of whom is a Buddhist - and owner of a finicky dog named Bozo. Saddled with too large a house (albeit in a beautiful Cotswold village), worrisome mortgage payments, a bossy younger sister and irksome ex-husband, Althea still manages to muddle through life comfortably enough. Until she loses her job....