Meet Mikey, every girl’s best friend – he bakes the creamiest cheesecake, loves movie nights and is a great dance partner.
For Jasmine, Mikey is the perfect flatmate – he owns a 50s diner that turns out the best food around, gives the best bear hugs and amazing romance advice – after all they’re scoping out the same hot guys! So when her boyfriend proposes in the worst possible way, Jazz knows her best friend will be there to pick up the pieces with gourmet popcorn, Pinot sleepovers and a shoulder to lean on.
But Mikey isn’t about to let Jasmine give up on love, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to mend her broken heart – even if it means helping the one person who sees him as the enemy… Because at the end of the day, all’s fair in the pursuit of true love… right?
I’m delighted again that being involved in a blog tour has – yet again – got me reading an author that I somehow thought I’d enjoy but has never made it to the top of my reading list. How To Get Hitched In Ten Days by Samantha Tonge was published on 11th February for kindle by Carina UK. I don’t read novellas very often – they only become a positive choice for me around Christmas, when reading time can be more difficult to find – but this one was a lovely read, and its length quite perfect at 96 pages.
If I’m absolutely honest, this novella was something I might not have picked up if it hadn’t been for the blog tour. I’m not a particular fan of romantic comedy, and for it to appeal to me it has to be particularly well-written and have a bit more depth to it than just the romance and the laughs. And this novella really did tick all the right boxes for me. I simply loved Mikey – the loyal and loving friend, gay or otherwise, that everyone should have. He’s wonderfully sensitive, caring and loving and throughout his efforts to make the course of romance run smooth for Dave and Jazz I really hoped that there’d be a way of him getting his own happy ending. I was a little more ambivalent about Dave – I thought he swung backwards and forwards a bit between grumpy sod and the romantic dream – but that really had no impact whatsoever on my enjoyment. Jazz’s history – a pretty traumatic one – was really well handled, and I loved her relationship with Mikey, especially their nights in with DVDs and popcorn.
The alternating chapters from Mikey and Jazz were the perfect device for telling the story – the characters were far better developed that way, and the whole novella seemed more substantial than its actual length. The setting was great too – the Polka Dot Diner, its food, its customers, its decoration, were all exceptionally vivid. There’s a lot packed into this short read – a really good story, a wonderful character in Mikey, enough secrets and twists and misunderstandings to keep you guessing, a touch of darkness in the history… even a touch of salsa dancing. It was a really enjoyable read, a great way to pass an hour or two, with a lot more substance than I ever expected. But no, of course I’m not going to tell you whether Mikey gets his happy ending…
My thanks to netgalley and publishers Carina UK for my advance reading copy, and to Jenny In Neverland for hosting the tour.
Meet the author
Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath.
A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard.
She has sold over 80 stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, from Carina UK HarperCollins, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones won the 2015 Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.
Follow Samantha on Twitter and Facebook: she also has an excellent website.