Excerpt: Clare Lydon’s “This London Love”

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this london love bookIf you’ve read and enjoyed Clare Lydon’s romance novel London Calling, then you will definitely want to check out the follow-up, This London Love. The book was released on June 23rd and focuses on Kate, Jess’s flatmate, and her search for her London love.

Here at Wilde Times Tavern, we have not yet had a chance to give this one a read, but we can share a brief excerpt of the book with you below. And from what we hear, this one is just as a good as the first book.

Synopsis:

Could you make the leap and trust in love?

Kate Carter is a stylish and charismatic designer with the world at her feet – but that’s hard to remember when she’s single and everyone around her is annoyingly coupled up. Meanwhile, florist Meg Harding is all work and no play – far easier than trying to clear up the debris of her last relationship and move on with her life.

When Kate and Meg meet, their attraction is instant and undeniable. But will Meg be able to patch up her past so she can grasp the future with confidence? Can Kate make the leap and trust that this London love is worth a shot?

Two jaded hearts, one death, a tsunami of flowers & family overload. Get set for a sparkling romantic comedy, packed with British wit, played out in the UK’s love-struck capital city!

This London Love is the spin-off of Amazon No.1 best-seller London Calling, which was bought by thousands of readers around the globe!

***

Chapter One

Kate Carter picked up the bottle of Veuve Clicquot and refilled her glass. She pulled down the cuffs of her egg-white shirt, flexed her calf muscles under her black trousers and waited for the laughter to die down. She’d been at her company’s awards ceremony for over an hour now and the woman hosting wasn’t quite as funny as she thought she was.

The team from Kate’s magazine — Female Health & Fitness — were sitting at a round table at the centre of the function room in a swish Mayfair hotel, surrounded by at least other 50 tables, all filled with an excitable media crowd and an endless supply of Bordeaux, Chablis and Champagne. It wasn’t Christmas, but you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise because the room was already bathing in anticipation and sparkles.

Kate didn’t do dresses, so she’d opted for a black tuxedo, the first time she’d ever done so. It sat well on her tall, slim frame — she should have done it years ago. She leaned back in her chair and rolled her ankle, the light catching on her black patent brogues. More dazzle.

“Kate. Kate!” Her colleague Henry was not doing a good job of keeping his voice down, such was his eagerness for more booze. “Kate! Psst! Pass me the bottle!” Henry held out his hand, his cheeks already alight with Champagne splotch, his pupils periodically sparking then slumping. Kate could already tell that Henry’s lovingly conditioned hipster beard was going to be hiding some food by the end of the night, and if he didn’t lose his phone as he did on most of these occasions, she would eat her bow tie. But she passed him the bottle anyway — Kate wasn’t a killjoy.

On stage, music blared as the winner of Feature of the Year trotted up to collect her gong. Kate had seen her walking the corridors in their building and she wasn’t a fan. The woman never held the door open if you were behind her, and Kate had witnessed her being rude to staff in the canteen on numerous occasions. Never trust people who are rude to serving staff, life lesson number one.

True to form, the woman shook out a speech with almost as many words as her lemon dress had sparkles, and Kate let her eyelids flutter shut. She didn’t mind these occasions, but the speeches could be a bit of a bore. Kate opened her eyes again when she got an elbow in her ribs.

“Are we next? I thought they said we were first half?” Magazine editor Dawn was chewing the side of her cheek and fidgeting with her red napkin. In recent years Dawn had never come to one of these ceremonies and not won anything, so Kate hoped she wasn’t let down today. The March issue of Female Health & Fitness was up for Cover Of The Year and they all thought it stood a fighting chance, adorned as it was with a Hollywood actress, a UK sprint sensation and the promise of a new you for summer. Something for everyone, as Dawn had rightly opined at the time.

Kate nodded. “I think so. Do you think if we win, management will spring for us to go abroad for a week?” She fixed her gaze on the air above her, painting the picture with her hand. “Sun, sea and sangria on them? What do you reckon?”

Dawn spluttered. “I’m sure it’d be no problem at all.”

Their conversation was interrupted as the winner on stage got a huge cheer for something she’d said. The woman grinned and waved at the crowd.

“And finally, thanks to my darling fiancée Hugo — you’re the best and I can’t wait to marry you next year!” To a cacophony of cheers and whistles, the previous winner tottered off the stage in heels the height of goal posts and the next award flashed up on the screens — Cover Of The Year.

“This is it!” Dawn dug her fingers into Kate’s arm in excitement.

Kate watched as the company’s art supremo, Simon, was called to the stage to present the winner. In all her years working as a designer, Kate had never won Cover Of The Year. It was something she was desperate to remedy, even if she was trying to underplay it tonight. She bit her lip and ran her hands through her platinum-blonde hair as Simon began to speak.

“It’s true what they say — people judge a magazine by its cover. If the image, coverlines and overall ethos don’t appeal to them, they’ll move on and you’ll lose a sale. The magazine market is a cut-throat, fickle business, so snagging consumers is all important in the battle to stay alive.”

Dawn turned to give Kate her best knowing nod, combining it with the raising of both eyebrows.

On stage, Simon continued: “All of these next five covers fulfilled that brief in terms of having vibrant imagery, must-do coverlines and engaging the reader, and thus improving sales. Let’s take a look.”

He stood back in his Armani suit as the covers flashed up one after the other on the giant screen, receiving rounds of applause and whoops from the appropriate tables. When it was the turn of Female Health & Fitness, their table lit up, glasses clinking, whistling and applauding.

A minute later, the screams had died down and the tension settled once again on the room.

On-stage, the envelope was ripped and Simon smiled, moving his mouth closer to the microphone. “And the winner is truly well deserved and a personal favourite of mine… Well done to Female Health & Fitness magazine for its March cover!”

Kate’s heart rate soared and her mouth dropped open — they’d only gone and done it.

Dawn flung herself at Kate. “I can’t believe it — we bloody won!” When Dawn released her, Kate looked around the table at her team, arms raised in the air, volume racheted to the max as they celebrated in unison.

***

To continue reading this excerpt, check out the author’s website here or check out the book on Amazon.

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Shawna prefers fantasy books for the most part, but will read pretty much any type of fiction with LGBT characters. She prefers books with great secondary characters as well as main characters. And, she is really tired of lesbian romance novels where one character is/was straight and/or married to a guy. Despite that, she recently enjoyed Clare Ashton’s That Certain Something.

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