As mentioned in my earlier post, I have had a really busy week and was looking forward to a weekend of doing very little and, apart from some gardening today, that is what I have done.
Spent a nice lazy morning in bed reading Recipe for Love. Wide awake at 6 am so nipped into the kitchen, made cup of tea and plumped up the pillows, opened page one and that was it - two hours later I finished, got up and feeling in a very happy mood indeed, cooked breakfast.
Katie has tapped into the current fascination for baking and cupcakes (I have been making these for years but in my day they were called fairy cakes...) and our interest in cooking competitions. The Great British Bake Off comes to mind immediately when we discover that our heroine Zoe Harper has won a coveted place in a televised cookery competition. She hopes that this will set her on the road to owning her own little delicatessen that she has set her heart on.
The contestants are a mixed bunch but Zoe finds she has to share accommodation with Cher, a glam The Only Way is Essex girl who is only interested in fame and fortune: "I intend to win you know....I always achieve what I set out to do....this time I'm going to be famous which means I have to win this competition...I might not be the best cook there, but I will be the prettiest and the sexiest so I'll win"
And she sets out to sabotage Zoe's chances by locking her out of her accommodation one night and wiping all her recipes off her laptop and, on another occasion, leaving the window open so Zoe's bed is soaked and she has nowhere to sleep. This means that Zoe has to go and find somewhere to bed down in the main house of Somerby. And that is where one of the judges, Gideon, is staying. And there are not too many spare bedrooms around, in fact there are none.
OK going to stop there as no prizes for guessing what happens next. I have already said that romances are, by their very nature, formulaic but that does not stop them being pleasurable and when they are as well written as Katie's, then they are sheer delight. The author has written seventeen of these witty and warm romantic novels. I have every single one and I love every single one.
Now Katie may describe Gideon as having "curly, slightly too long hair....actually a very dark red. He had green eyes and curving mouth and a large, slightly hooked nose. She couldn't decide if he was very handsome or really quite ugly, but she did have to admit he was extremely sexy" but as far as I was concerned he was Paul Hollywood. He shot into my inner vision from page one and no matter how hard I tried to kick him out there he stayed. I was aching for Gideon to say 'good bake' and then my happiness would have been complete.
Who Paul Hollywood I hear you cry, those of you on the other side of the Pond. Well, here is a pic. He is one of the judges of the Great British Bake Off and he is a bit chunky and not a young Adonis, but when I spotted him at the Bloomsbury Party last summer, surrounded by women I was riveted to the spot as he is, like Gideon, 'extremely sexy'.
Lovely book, great descriptions of food and cooking, country setting, all delivered in Katie's inimitable style. I simply loved it.