Such an easy decision for BotW this week – I absolutely loved Annie Darling’s Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. It is so much fun, and ticked so many of my book buttons.
Posy Morland loves her job at Bookends – a crumbling bookshop tucked away in a Bloomsbury mews. But when the shop’s owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy her life is turned upside down. Posy’s got lots of plans to turn the ailing bookshop around, but she’s also got to contend with Lavinia’s autocratic grandson Sebastian – nicknamed The Rudest Man in London by one of the papers, and seemingly searching for the national title. With her friends and co-workers to help her, can Posy turn the shop around as well as dealing with Sebastian’s machinations? And why is she having lurid fantasies?
The back of my proof copy says it’s for fans of Georgette Heyer (waves) and Jenny Colgan (waves) and for people who’ve dreamed of opening their own bookshops (falls over waving so hard) and I would totally agree. Posy is a great heroine – she’s likeable, a little bit damaged and totally relatable. It was great fun reading about her figuring out what to do with the bookshop and trying to stand up to Sebastian. It’s also crammed full of gems for the romance reader – whether it’s obvious ones (like name checks for historical romance authors) or more subtle ones (not telling, find them yourself).
This whistles along at a tremendous pace, with twists and turns and heaving bosoms in empire line gowns (you’ll understand if you read it). I was cross it was over so quickly – because I could have spent another 200 pages with Posy and her band of misfits at the bookshop and as there’s an ad at the end for a sequel, my wish may yet come true. The back of my advance copy also has the author’s top five novels in it which include Heyer’s Regency Buck – which I adore – Pride and Prejudice (ditto) and a Courtney Milan. What’s not to love. And on top of that it has a bookshop list which includes not one but TWO name checks for my beloved Chalet School so basically I think Annie Darling and I would really get on.
I got sent an advanced copy by a publicist who I chat to on Twitter – who had spotted that I love Georgette Heyer. It’s not out in paperback yet (August 25th) – but it is out in Kindle (£2.99 at time of writing!) and you can pre-order the paperback on Amazon and Waterstones and Foyles will email you when they get it in stock. I suspect as it’s published by Harper it may make it to the supermarkets too. I would’ve saved my ravings for closer to the time, but as the Kindle is out and I think that this would make a great beach read I thought I’d alert you all now. Go forth and read it!