First off I would like to thank Jamie Frost from HarperCollins for arranging this blog tour and NetGalley for the free ARC copy I received.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?
Another delightful novel from the author of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan
Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.
Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise – not to fall in love with each other…
This book is part of a series, which I didn’t even realise when I first started reading it, but you don’t really need to have read the first, The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts, (although it can’t hurt can it?).
So I was initially drawn to this book by the blurb and the gorgeous cover. It’s not the kind of book I usually read but I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and this book proved to me that sometimes you have to break out and read something different.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was light-hearted, sweet and an easy read. I will warn you now that there are heavy references to Pride and Prejudice throughout the book, (like Verity’s favourite saying ‘What would Elizabeth Bennett do?’), which if you have not read it may not get. Also the whole fake relationship storyline is not that original but I think the author makes it her own. But still I really loved the character of Verity, she doesn’t like socialising, prefers books to people and is a little taciturn (reminds me of myself to be honest!). Okay I do think it’s a little strange that she does have so many friends as introverted as she but it is fiction after all.
Q&A with Annie Darling.
Where did the inspiration for True Love at The Lonely Hearts Bookshop come from?
It’s the second book in the Lonely Hearts Bookshop series and each book takes a trope of romantic fiction and turns it ninety degrees. So with True Love, I wanted to take the trope of The Other Woman and it’s actually Johnny, the love interest, who’s The Other Man. And also Pride & Prejudice, Verity, our heroine is obsessed with the novel (as am I!) and is also one of five sisters, like Elizabeth Bennet. And one final inspiration was the book Quiet by Susan Cain as I really wanted to write about someone who is introverted, I think a lot of people are and there are so many misconceptions about what being an introvert is.
What is your favourite scene in the book?
I do love Verity and Johnny’s meet cute in an Italian restaurant but then I also had so much fun writing any scene where Strumpet, Verity’s cat, appeared.
Do you read a lot of romance/chick lit/romcoms or is there another genre you prefer?
I love love stories, whether that’s a classic like Pride & Prejudice, literary fiction like Atonement by Ian McEwan or something more contemporary and commercial like Marian Keyes or Mhairi McFarlane, who I both adore.
Who is your literary hero/heroine?
I know I sound like a broken record but Jane Austen is everything to me. Her novels are romantic without being mawkish, incredibly funny and the characters she created are just as real today as they were then. Mr Collins is the original mansplainer and Emma is that friend we all have who says, “I’m just being honest” before they skewer you with a few home truths.
What are you currently working on?
I’m hard at work on Nina’s story, On The Shelf At The Lonely Hearts Bookshop, which takes bad boys and Wuthering Heights as it’s inspiration.
Thanks for having me on your blog. xxx
The tour doesn’t end with me, the rest of the dates are below: