Synopsis: 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.
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: Christie Chapman is very ordinary and it's what makes her so likeable. She does a ridiculously long commute into London to earn the money to support herself and her 15 year old son Finn. Her ex-husband lives in Dubai with his new family but luckily for her, her parents live reasonably close to her and give her all the support she needs. Her evenings, weekends and any spare moment she finds is spent not partying or drinking, it's spent crafting and watching the Crafting Channel. SO far, so ordinary...right? Well yes, and that's what makes it so enjoyable. I reckon a good 70-80% of 'ordinary' people live ordinary lives so as a reader it's nice to read about people that are also ordinary. Christie and her son and parents are a close knit group and her Mum and Dad were just as enjoyable to read about. Finn was a great character although I am quite convinced I don't know any teenage boy of that age that is THAT nice.
Before long, an opportunity comes along and her Mum takes matters into her own hands opening up a massive opportunity for Christie. Unfortunately for her, the dreams she has may not even be a remote possibility when something serious happens. This story is certainly bitter sweet but was an absolute joy to read. There are many scenarios for Christie and I willed things to work out for her, especially when not one, but two men make an appearance in her life in one way or another. The story swept me along and I was totally and utterly engrossed.
The one thing I did notice which made a massively refreshing change was towards the end I thought I had it all planned out, but I was wrong. Carole Matthews was clever with the ending, giving the readers what they wanted, but not quite how you imagined it would be (if that makes sense). I loved it as it was more of a realistic wrap up and I finished it thinking...maybe that could happen to somebody out there! With Carole Matthews being an author I have read since my late teens, my habits appear not to have changed and with her writing better books than ever year after year, it appears I am a dedicated and lifelong fan...for very good reason! If you haven't read a Carole Matthews, seriously you don't know what you are missing!