Read on for an extract of Lucy Coleman’s brand new book, The French Adventure.
‘It’s time you told me exactly what happened with Will, Anna. How else can I be a good friend and understand what’s really going on inside that head of yours?’
I gaze down at my half eaten purple berry with sparkling vanilla frosting, cupcake. It’s delicious but my appetite seems to have suddenly disappeared. I look around and today only half of the tables are occupied so it’s not as if anyone can overhear our conversation. With that, I take a big breath and begin.
‘As you know, Will and I were really close friends all through secondary school. When he told me he, too, had accepted a place at the University of the West of England, I was over the moon. I knew his father wanted him to go to Reading and with two firm offers I assumed he’d bow to family pressure. I could hardly contain my joy, even though we were still only
at that point. Will standing up to his father was a shock and, silently, I loved him even more for it because I thought he’d made that decision so we could be together. I was facing the future confident that our relationship would develop on a more personal level.’
I notice that Lizzie too, has now stopped eating. She waves to the waitress to order two more coffees and I find myself shifting around in my seat, uncomfortably. Reliving this incident isn’t easy, even after all this time.
‘Over the next eighteen months our friendship developed into a passionate love affair and we became inseparable. Always together, always having fun and always at the centre of what was happening. We were the couple our friends envied, as they went through the trials of falling in and out of love.
‘Will often joked about the pressure on guys to make a huge deal over the proposal; he warned me not to expect any more than flowers and a Chinese takeaway. We laughed about it and even talked about finding our dream flat overlooking Bristol Harbourside once we had both graduated.’
‘Ah, that’s heart-breaking, Anna. So what exactly happened to make the relationship fall apart?’ Lizzie looks at me anxiously and I can’t bear to see the sadness she’s feeling on my behalf.
‘Something changed between us and I found myself looking for any reason at all to avoid facing the truth. I told myself he was under pressure with a project he was working on and that’s why I was seeing less and less of him. I believed his excuses.’
Lizzie stares at me, letting out a gasp. ‘Oh no—’
I nod. ‘I realise, with hindsight, that there were three of us in the relationship at that point. The third person was a girl named Cassandra. She was always around us and it had been that way more or less since we’d arrived on the campus. It was understandable in a way, as she was on the same course as Will. Or, at least, that’s what I told myself.’
‘Why didn’t you tell me there was someone else involved? I just assumed it fizzled out between the two of you. Honestly, Anna, it’s not good to keep a hurt like that a secret.’ Lizzie’s reaction makes me feel guilty for holding this back.
I shake my head, busying myself putting sugar in my coffee to avoid eye contact.
‘I was young and naïve; I just didn’t see it coming.
About The Author and Book
Lucy lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy. Her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Lucy won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ house in France to work out what to do next. A story about love, loss and starting over, with the perfect French twist!
Packed full of French flavour and idyllic settings this is a romantic, heart-warming and unputdownable new novel about life and love, perfect for anyone who loves Milly Johnson, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson.
Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.
Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…
Where can I buy the book?
For the chance to win an eBook copy of The French Adventure for yourself, enter via the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends at 23.59pm GMT on the 17th of February 2018. Open worldwide to all who can receive eBooks. Good luck!