Book Extract from TRUE LOVE AT THE LONELY HEARTS BOOKSHOP by Annie Darling

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop

Read an extract from Annie Darling’s new book in the LONELY HEARTS BOOKSHOP series

Following the hugely successful THE LITTLE BOOKSHOP OF LONELY HEARTS, author Annie Darling makes a welcome return with a brand-new book in the series, TRUE LOVE AT THE LONELY HEARTS BOOKSHOP.

TRUE LOVE AT THE LONELY HEARTS BOOKSHOP follows the life of Verity Love, a self-confessed Jane Austen fangirl and manager of London bookstore Happy Ever After. Fed up of her friends trying to hook her up with lonely individuals, Verity decides to make up a fictional boyfriend whose presence is very useful for getting her out of social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger (Johnny True) as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated and by the end of the summer, there’s a bad case of heartache that even Verity’s beloved PRIDE AND PREJUDICE might not be able to cure.

As part of her UK blog tour, Annie Darling kindly allowed us to share a special extract from her new book, which is available to buy now in book or ebook format. Check it out below:


Verity couldn’t believe that she was talking about her imaginary boyfriend with a complete stranger. ‘I’m absolutely one hundred per cent happy being single but I’m having a hard time getting my friends on board with that.’

Johnny pursed his lips thoughtfully, which did delightful things to his mouth. ‘Maybe you just haven’t met the right person.’

‘I don’t want to meet the right person. I have a busy job, great friends, an extremely needy cat. I don’t need anyone else in my life.’ Verity clutched her glass tighter. ‘So, what’s your story, then? Surely you can’t have any trouble meeting women?’

Johnny ducked his head. Verity was sure it was to hide his pleased but bashful smile. He must have mirrors in his house so he could see that he was very pleasing aesthetically. ‘No, no trouble meeting women.’

Of course! It was obvious. Now that she was no longer crucified on the altar of her own embarrassment, Verity could process the raw data sitting opposite her. No man could look like that and . . . ‘Oh, right. You’re gay. OK. And you haven’t told your friends? Really? Well, it’s none of my business, I suppose.’

‘I’m flattered that you seem to think that,’ Johnny said, his voice all barbed wire now, instead of velvet vowels. ‘You didn’t even make it a question, just an unequivocal state¬ment, but no, not gay.’
Verity put her hands to her crimson cheeks. ‘Sorry. I don’t usually run around outing people . . . One of my best friends from uni is gay. And two cousins. I’m all about the LGBT rights. I love the gays!’

‘Well, I’m glad to hear that but I’m still not gay.’

Johnny’s eyes were a very definite blue now. Like the sea in winter; frost-tipped and cold. Verity suspected that he was a Darcy. It was very rare to meet a Darcy.

It probably came from having read Pride and Prejudice so many times that she knew it off by heart, but on meeting new people, Verity always found herself assigning them roles in Pride and Prejudice. She’d met a lot of Jane Bennets and Charles Bingleys, far too many Mr Collinses, an occasional Wickham, but a Darcy was rarer than a single man in possession of a good fortune who was in actual want of a wife. And actually meeting a Darcy wasn’t that much fun.

In fact, it was unbelievably awkward for a count of ten, then Johnny’s phone beeped. As he picked it up Verity realised that there was no good reason to stay and suffer.

She said goodbye, quickly got up, though Johnny was riveted to his phone and gave no acknowledgement of her hasty departure. ‘Stick both glasses on my tab,’ she yelped at Luigi who still couldn’t hide his disbelief that Verity had broken with her usual Friday night routine for the first time in three years. Not only that, she’d also been seen in the company of a man.


If the above extract has whetted your appetite for more, be sure to head back to Frankly My Dear UK tomorrow to read our full review of TRUE LOVE AT THE LONELY HEARTS BOOKSHOP and for a chance to win a signed copy of the new book by Annie Darling.

TRUE LOVE AT THE LONELY HEARTS BOOKSHOP by Annie Darling is available on Amazonand Harper Collins.

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About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1