Carol Kirkwood can’t stop smiling over major achievement away from BBC Breakfast

Carol Kirkwood’s third novel, Secrets of the Villa Amore, is published in paperback today, and the author could scarcely stop smiling as she held up a framed book celebrating its status as a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller.

In an image posted by her publisher, the 61-year-old looked full of life in an eye-catching red floral dress, while she was also gifted a chocolate cake, iced with the words “Congratulations”.

Although she is also the author of two other travel-themed novels, The Hotel on the Riviera and Under The Greek Moon, there are hopes that her latest effort will be the most well-received so far.

She was inundated with warm wishes from fans on social media today, who told her she “deserves” the accolade.

“Well done Carol… You and Sally [Nugent] are like a ray of sunshine these dark cold mornings xx,” one fan wrote.

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Another simply stated: “Massive congratulations… You are a delight to watch on TV.”

As the cold nights draw in here in the UK, some fans have been enjoying a spot of escapism, immersing themselves in the sunny Amalfi Coast where Carol’s celebrated novel is set.

The hardback edition has been hugely successful, but unfortunately, the BBC Breakfast star has decided against putting her voice on an audiobook, as she insists her Italian accent is “so bad”.

With the written version grabbing the attention of plenty of readers, she detailed the plot of the book during an appearance on Chris Evans’ Virgin Radio Breakfast Show.

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“The story follows two wine producing families [whose] lives are intertwined,” Carol explained, revealing that the siblings from each family are expected to have a fairytale marriage but that not all goes to plan.

“Everyone has been invited [to the wedding] from glamorous Hollywood starlets to the mafia, but both families have secrets that could ruin lives and ruin relationships as well,” she teased.

“Murder, jealousy, intrigue, betrayal and romance are all about to be revealed.”

She added that she wanted readers to be transported to the Italian idylls she herself has visited on her holidays in the past.

“It’s really an escapist kind of book to take you somewhere glamorous. Visual imagery is so important to me,” she mused.

Meanwhile, she offered her gratitude over on Twitter earlier in the year to all those who’d helped her book climb the Sunday Times charts.

“Just wanted to say a sincere THANK YOU to you, if you helped make my third book a bestseller! I am beyond thrilled,” she wrote.

The paperback edition of Secrets of the Villa Amore is out today.

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