For those of you who like your lighter “women’s fiction” romantic comedies, I’ve got a wonderfully cringeworthy scene for you today from this month’s release, Finding Felix by Jo Platt! This is a contemporary mash-up of a few romance tropes: friends-to-lovers, fake relationship, and second chance. If you like these and want to read about a couple finding their way back to each other in their 30s after more than a decade apart, Finding Felix is just waiting to download onto your preferred device!
About the book
Finding FelixAuthor: Jo Platt
Release date: August 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Comedy
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | iBooks | Kobo
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A family wedding. A fake boyfriend. A recipe for disaster! A funny, feel-good romantic comedy from bestseller Jo Platt
Singleton Dot Riley’s grandmother, Nanny Flo, is on her deathbed, surrounded by family and distraught at the thought of Dot being all alone in the world. Desperate to make Flo’s final moments happy ones, Dot invents a boyfriend – plumping in panic for her childhood friend, Felix, a firm favourite of Flo, but whom Dot hasn’t actually seen for 15 years.
But when Flo makes an unexpected recovery a few weeks before a family wedding, Dot is faced with a dilemma. Should she tell her frail grandmother that she lied and risk causing heartache and a relapse? Or should she find Felix and take him to the wedding?
Dot opts for finding Felix. But it’s not long before she discovers that finding him is the easy bit: liking him is the real challenge.
An uplifting romantic comedy about the angst of adult relationships and the joy of rediscovering the child within. Finding Felix is perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Tracy Bloom and Debbie Viggiano.
As it turned out, I had to wait to see Felix whether I liked it or not. Because when I phoned his office, with Kate standing over me, at 9.05 a.m. two days after Becca had handed me his phone number, I was told by his secretary, Linda, that Mr Davis was out of the office all week and that the earliest available appointment to see him would be the middle of the following week.
I explained to Linda that I was an old school friend, and that the visit was social not professional, but this made no difference. She advised that she did not manage Felix’s social diary, but that I was most welcome to leave my phone number and she would ask him to call me on his return. I did this, but then, concerned that my details might get shoved to the bottom of a post-holiday pile, I asked if I could perhaps have his mobile number or personal email address. Unsurprisingly, this request was refused and I was told, now with more than a hint of impatience, that I should instead email Felix at the office, although I was warned that all emails were automatically forwarded to his business partner, Kevin Bailey, as well as to Linda herself. And so it was, with a sense of defeat and disappointment, that I was forced to accept a 2.30 p.m. appointment to see Felix at his Cheltenham offices on Wednesday 19 July.
But although I had been disappointed by the delay, it was still with an undeniable sense of fear and trepidation that I at last found myself seated in the reception area of the tall white Regency building in which the offices of Bailey and Davis were located, waiting for Felix to come down from the second floor to collect me. Because, despite having left my phone number, I had still had no direct contact with him. I tried to tell myself that his failure to call must be because Linda hadn’t prioritised the matter to him. I was almost certain that had he been directly handed my name and number, he would have been as eager and intrigued to talk to me as I was him. But this argument wasn’t quite enough to settle my nerves entirely, and the situation left me far more uncertain of his reaction to my wedding proposal than I ideally would have liked before a face-to-face encounter.
Adjusting the beige culottes and sleeveless white shirt I had chosen with great care that morning, I shifted my position on the firm black leather sofa in order to scan the somewhat clinical reception area. I had been waiting for Felix for almost fifteen minutes now, with nothing to distract me but several very dry magazines provided for visitors, and the intermittent phone calls taken by the receptionist, to which she responded in a tone which could be best described as homicidally hormonal.
I was just plucking up the courage to ask her if she could double-check that I hadn’t been forgotten, when the lift doors on the far side of the reception area opened to reveal a tall, and exceptionally round, man. I felt my pulse unexpectedly quicken as he ran a hand through his dark, slightly wavy but thinning hair and adjusted the collar of his open-neck shirt. He then exited the lift and began to walk hurriedly towards the receptionist, before catching my eye, veering towards me and breaking into the broadest of grins. ‘Dorothy Riley,’ he exclaimed, with just a hint of a query in his voice. ‘I am so sorry that you’ve been kept waiting.’
I smiled back at him, using the moments it took him to cross the floor to adjust my eyes to this new, older Felix. So the wild hair had all but gone – that was a bit of a shock – but the easy smile, the dancing blue eyes and the slightly bouncing stride were just the same, and, of course, he was still cuddly.
I felt myself relax and, stepping forward, without thinking enveloped him in a hug. ‘Felix Davis,’ I laughed, ‘I’ve waited over ten years, so another ten minutes doesn’t matter. It’s just so, so lovely to see you again.’
I sensed only the slightest of hesitations before he lifted his arms and returned the hug, adding a pat on the back for good measure. I continued to smile, uplifted by the reconnection and feeling instinctively that our relationship was, despite the intervening years, unchanged. After a moment, I released him and took a step back. ‘Now, let’s have a proper look at you.’
Starting at his feet and working my way upwards, I nodded appreciatively at his smart brogues, well-cut dark grey suit and pristine white shirt. ‘You look fabulous!’ I exclaimed, laughing. ‘And you haven’t changed a bit!’ I added, pointing at his reassuringly rotund tummy.
But on raising my eyes to his face, I discovered that his expression was now one of combined confusion and terror. It was difficult to know which emotion had the upper hand, but at that moment I had the distinct impression that, had he been several stone lighter, he would without hesitation have legged it into the street.
My hand went to my mouth and I felt myself blush. ‘I’m so sorry, Felix,’ I said, aware that I had completely misjudged the situation and spoiled things from the off with a presumptuous hug and an inappropriate reference to his size. ‘I was just so pleased and excited to see you after all this time.’
Still flustered, and now with an unmistakably sweaty sheen to his balding brow, Felix nevertheless managed a wobbly smile and waved a hand. ‘Not at all, not at all,’ he said breathlessly. ‘Just a misunderstanding.’
I nodded. ‘It’s just that I’ve been thinking about you rather a lot over the past week – you know, remembering the laughs and feeling nostalgic about our schooldays. I was forgetting that it’s all much more unexpected and out of the blue for you.’
He looked at me for a moment before removing a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and mopping his forehead. And then, his composure apparently recovered, he laughed. ‘Completely unexpected and totally out of the blue,’ he agreed, the broad grin now back in situ. ‘Because, you see, I’m not actually Felix.’