Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents' summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie's flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it's not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn - one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It's all there for the taking.
And then, all of sudden, Christie's world is turned upside down.
Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.
I've read quite a few of Carole's books now and for me this is the best one yet. It could be because I also love craft, have met the muse of the book Christine Emberson and regularly follow her blog. So a lot of the story line rang so true for me as most of it had been told by Christine on her blog as it happened. Carole has obviously embellished the story a little as she states at the beginning of the book.
Carole herself is a crafter and also consulted Christine. This comes across strongly, in what could otherwise have been a book where you realise someone is writing about something they know nothing about. I chuckled to myself at quite a few of the crafting references as they rang a bell with me. I loved visualising all the craft supplies arriving and could just imagine the emotions as I would have been going through them myself. I also have one of those heated blanket things - oh dear could it be because I am a fan of shopping telly?
I loved the characters they were so well written - Brian who Christie meets on her daily commute, Robyn her boss in the office. Christie's parents - who I wish would adopt me! But most of all her son Finn - Carole managed to capture that teenager speak so well and I loved the relationship between him and his Mum.
Then there is Max - Christie's crafting boss - I went through so many emotions over this character as I decided he was wonderful/despicable/a chancer - he really did spring to life from the pages.
It's not all craft related, there is also a heart breaking side to the story. I really felt for the characters as this part of the book played out - it was very emotional. Although even at the worst of it the characters still rallied round and had the odd cheerful word and quip to make.
I could write so much more about the book as it really gripped me, but I don't want this to be like one of those film trailers where you feel its not worth watching the film because you just about seen it all! I was hanging in there hoping for an happy ending. I'm not going to spoil it for you - but I was sooo happy with the ending of the book.
I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.