Blog Tour: True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop
Exciting times here today guys! The lovely True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop was released earlier this month and to celebrate I get to share a fun little extract with you.
Also if you want to know more about this book then the Blog Tour is going on til the end of the month:
I read True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop when I was on holiday at the beginning of July and I don’t mind telling you that it’s a fab holiday read that also happens to be full of things I approve of: a main character that reminds me a little of my own self; a bookshop; lots of references to Pride and Prejudice; and a cat. Oh and a love story, obvs (the clue is totally in the title here guys, this is not a spoiler) which is reminiscent of The Proposal. You’ve seen that film right? With Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds? LOVE IT. Anyhow, I digress. Basically, Verity Love is single and actually quite happy that way. The problem is her friends and family are less happy and so, to get them off her back Verity invents a boyfriend. As you do. It’s all going fine until there is a terrible case of mistaken identity and she ends up all flustered and introducing an attractive stranger as said fake boyfriend and shenanigans ensue and YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING, RIGHT? It’s a romp though, and even though you know where the story is going, it’s plenty of fun getting there and Verity’s family are marv and this book is just fun. It’s a fun light-hearted read and you know what – enough of me waffling on, read the extract: let that convince you that this book will more than likely make you chuckle some...
|Here is a picture of Darcy just because P&P is talked about lots in the book. You're welcome.|
They only backed away when Verity turned and gave them a look that said very plainly, ‘I can think of at least ten ways to kill the pair of you and make it look like an accident.’ She could have quite happily stayed like that forever, but Posy and Nina were at the door, giving her double thumbs up and mouthing things like ‘Get in there!’ and ‘You go girl!’ until Johnny pointedly cleared his throat and Verity had to turn around.
‘I’m so sorry. I panicked and I couldn’t think what else to do,’ Verity confessed, as she stared down at her white-knuckled hands clenched around the lip of the table. She had a splodge of black ink on her thumb.
‘Probably not as sorry as Peter Hardy, the oceanographer.’
‘There is no Peter Hardy. Look, I really am sorry and I’ve taken up enough of your time—’
‘What exactly do you mean when you say there’s no Peter Hardy?’
Johnny’s voice was cultured and precise, which was just a fancy way of saying posh, but also warm, like he was smiling, though Verity could neither confirm nor deny this as she was still gazing at the ink splodge on her thumb.
Verity looked up. There hadn’t been time before to do anything other than check that he was in full working order, but now she could see why Posy and Nina had been practically shoving each other out of the way to get a better look at him.
But who could blame Posy and Nina when this Johnny was actually very handsome in a Brideshead Revisited, oh-yes-in-my-spare-time-I-do-a-spot-of-modelling-for-Burberry way? He was high of cheekbone and if he weren’t smiling then his full lips, lush and pillow-y, would look positively sulky. He had thick, glossy brown hair cropped close at the back and sides, then left free to roam on top so he could keep pushing it back, all the better to display his ridiculous cheekbones and eyes which were bluey green or maybe even greeny blue and it would probably be a good idea to stop gazing into them like a small woodland animal trapped in the crosshairs. He was a grown-up version of the pale, sneering boys doing Foundation Art at the local college that Verity had yearned after when she was a teenager. Sadly, those boys had always sneered at her yearning because she was one of the vicar’s five odd daughters and she wasn’t beautiful enough for the oddness not to be an issue.
She wasn’t hideous either, not by any stretch of the imagination, but still Verity had never once managed to get their attention. Not like this stranger who was waiting a little impatiently, if the drumming of his fingers on the table was anything to go by, for her to start speaking.
Peter Hardy, oceanographer. Where to begin?
Well, she could always start with the truth.
‘So, um, Peter Hardy started from a silly conversation with my sister Merry about what my perfect boyfriend would be like. Eventually we had a whole back story for him but he was only ever an imaginary boyfriend, until my friends . . . they mean well . . . but you see, they kept trying to set me up with any random man going spare or signing me up for dating sites and, oh God, do you know about that dating app, HookUpp?’
He shuddered. ‘Everyone in my office under thirty is obsessed with it.’
‘I was forced to install it on my phone because it was easier than explaining for the hundredth time why I wasn’t interested in a relationship, then one night I left my phone on the table in the pub while I went to the loo and when I came back, they’d been up-swiping some absolute horrors and I suddenly heard myself saying that I already had a boyfriend and his name was Peter Hardy.’
‘The oceanographer.’ Johnny nodded again. ‘Do you want a drink, Very Love?’
Hearing her name said in that dark-grey velvet voice made her name sound less like a cheesy Valentine’s card translated from English to Japanese and back to English again. She suppressed a shiver. ‘It’s Verity, really. My name. But everyone calls me Very. Sorry.’
Verity really should have made her excuses and tucked herself away in her usual corner, but she agreed that a drink would be nice and then Luigi hurried over so they could order a glass of Malbec each.
It was easy to pick up the thread again that stitched together all of Verity’s dating woes. She’d been single for three years, after her first, last and only relationship had imploded spectacularly and messily and painfully. After the fallout of fallouts with Adam, Verity was happy to be single, but the world wasn’t happy that she was happy.
‘They’re not being mean, my friends. They’re really not. It’s just most of them are coupled up or obsessed with being coupled up and they expect me to want to be one half of a couple too. Also, they have very low standards when it comes to picking out dates for me.’ Verity winced at the memory of an awkward blind date with a man Nina had met at a party who turned out to be what he called a ‘full-time dominant’ and wanted to know if Verity ‘needed a man in her life who could wield some affectionate but firm control?’ Verity hadn’t known what to say but luckily her most glacial look had said it all for her.
‘I get set up by my friends too. It hasn’t been a great success,’ Johnny said as their drinks arrived. He lifted up his glass so Verity could clink hers against it. ‘Cheers. And judging from the women they try to pair me with, it seems like my friends think very little of me. Usually it’s girls who are so young that I feel like I need to ask them to provide photo ID, or bitter divorcees. The last one wanted to take out a hit on her ex-husband. Of course when I complain, my friends accuse me of being picky. Say that I should settle.’
‘That’s why I went with the fake boyfriend. It’s also very convenient that his job means that he’s not around much.
True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop is available now.