Sunday, 23 February 2014

Rules for Dating a Romantic Hero - Harriet Evans

I was given this book as part of The Quick Reads 2014 promotion.

About the author...
Harriet was born in London in 1974 and grew up on the mean streets of Chiswick, where she went to school. She was a completely undistinguished pupil in every way, except she absolutely loved reading and drama. Her only achievements from the age of 5 to 18 were, a) winning a doodling competition at primary school (of a witch flying in the sky with balloons in her hand), b) I was head chorister of the church choir, which believe me is not something that wins you cool points with anyone you know apart from your granny.

After school she went to Bristol University and did Classical Studies, which she absolutely loved at the end of which she headed straight back down the motorway to London again.

She wanted to get into magazines, but the only place that would employ her was the Lady magazine, which turned out to be one of those awful first jobs where you think your working life will always be like this: she was wholly unequipped for office life, its politics, its mundanity, its tensions. She did, however, learn how one polishes chandeliers and a lot about interesting road signs in Devon.

A couple of months later she was lucky enough to get into publishing, first at Penguin, where she worked for seven years, progressing from secretary to editorial director, publishing mainly women’s fiction. She left in 2003 and went to another publisher, Headline, where she worked until May 2009.

In the meantime, she started writing in the mornings before work, and in 2003 sent the first few pages of her book to an agent under a pseudonym. Eventually, to her great joy, this led to a publishing deal with HarperCollins in the UK and Simon and Schuster in the US, who have now published all five of her novels. FIVE books, that’s crazy!

In 2008 she left her job to write full time. She was extremely happy at Headline, working with authors such as Penny Vincenzi, Emily Barr, and Louise Bagshawe, and coming up with initiatives like re-jacketing Jane Austen’s novels to appeal to a younger female audience. But it became harder to balance the two jobs, and writing won out, and she knows she's very fortunate to be in a position to write full time. 

About the book...

From international favourite and bestseller Harriet Evans, the charming sequel to beloved novel A Hopeless Romantic that asks the question: Do you believe in happy endings?

Laura Foster used to be a hopeless romantic. She was obsessed with meeting her own Prince Charming until she grew up and realized real life doesn’t work like that. Then she met Nick. A romantic hero straight from a fairytale, with a grand country estate and a family tree to match. They’ve been together four years now and Laura knows that what really matters is the two of them, not everything else around them. She can’t imagine ever loving anyone the way she loves Nick.

Now, though, people are openly asking when they’ll hear wedding bells, and Nick is keeping secrets from Laura. She’s starting to feel she might not be ‘good enough’ for his family. Can an ordinary girl like Laura make it work with one of the most eligible men in the country?

My thoughts...
I was given this book as part of the Quick Reads 2014 promotion - I was very happy and excited to be part of this initiative and more than happy to review this wonderful Quick Read.

It wasn't until I had finished reading this book did I realise it was a follow on to a previous book A Hopeless Romantic.  At no point did I think I was missing something - I treated it like it should be as a bite sized story which stood well alone.

Laura lacks confidence and can't quite believe she's hooked Nick so when a series of misunderstandings, his family and a big dollop of non-communication occurs things start to un-ravel resulting in Laura bolting back to London.

Harriet did such a good job writing this novel, I was cursing every other page willing Nick to see what was under his nose and for Laura to stand up for herself. Then, just when you think it's all done and dusted Harriet throws a curve ball - did we get the happy ending after all?  You'll have to read it for yourself to find out.  

I want to say thank you to Quick Reads for sending it to me. It was a lovely, short, story, written in such a way that I was immediately drawn into the novel. This was a  perfect length to give a taster of an author's writing style. I hadn't previously read anything by Harriet Evans but look forward to doing so in the future.  I can see it would also be the perfect length for trying out new genres without being over-faced by a long book that I might not enjoy.

I commented on twitter about how much I enjoyed this book and through the course of a conversation ended up posting this book to Belgium for someone else to enjoy! All in all a job well done Quick Reads.

I gave this book 4/5 stars

For more information on Quick Reads follow the link - Quick Reads