A picture-perfect riverside location, romance in the air and a spectacular diamond ring. It's much like the setting for one of Carol Kirkwood's novels when we meet the newly engaged BBC Breakfast weather presenter for our exclusive photoshoot and interview in this week's HELLO! magazine to celebrate the publication on 21 July of her latest book, The Hotel on the Riviera.
"It is surreal," she tells us of adding 'author' to her already successful career. "To go into a shop and see your book with your name on it, thinking: 'Wow, that's me.'
"But, of course, I don't want to be caught staring at my own book, with people thinking: 'Check her out!'" she says, laughing.
WATCH: Carol Kirkwood confirms engagement live on BBC
A beautiful heiress, a neglected hotel in Cannes and a rare pink diamond ring are intrinsic to her latest tale of intrigue and love, however, today, it's another sparkler that catches our eye: Carol's exquisite engagement ring.
"My other half, Steve, chose it himself. I was very impressed – and he got the size right. It's what they call a halo ring with a central diamond and then diamonds around it. It is gorgeous," she says.
Carol's partner Steve proposed by the river near their Berkshire home
The proposal took place on one of the walks they enjoy close to the home they share in Berkshire, a couple of weeks before Carol celebrated turning 60 on the 29th of May.
"It was a lovely, sunny day and we had taken a picnic with us, and we were sitting by the river, watching the boats going by. Steve started fidgeting; I turned to say: 'What's wrong?' He was on his knee, and he proposed. At first, I thought he was joking, but he said: 'No no, I really do mean it, Will you marry me?' I said: 'Yes!! Of course!'"
"I met Steve in my 50s; we were friends before we were romantically linked," she said
She may not have won the Glitterball when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing seven years ago, but she has certainly found The One.
"I met Steve in my 50s; we were friends before we were romantically linked. He is funny, gorgeous and, also, he is really kind, thoughtful and romantic."
The Hotel on the Riviera is published by HarperCollins on 21 July.
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