Welcome back to Bella Osborne and the blog tour for part two of a four-part serial, Wildflower Park. This part is called A Budding Romance.
When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?
Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.
Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…
Bella has shared an extract with us today. Enjoy!
***** beginning of extract*****
Once out of the canoes there was lots of congratulatory blokey back slapping, a few playful remonstrations and lots of Karl shaking his wet head over people like a naughty puppy. When he knew Liam was watching, Hudson leaned into Anna’s ear.
‘Nice job, honey,’ he whispered, making her shudder.
She hoped Hudson assumed her squirming was all part of the act. If you weren’t gay, you would make an excellent boyfriend, she thought. If she wasn’t careful she’d soon be suffering from Sophie’s complaint.
As the victors they were first to eat lunch, which was a barbecue by the water’s edge.
‘You okay?’ Anna asked Sophie who was munching down a large hamburger overflowing with salad.
‘Starving and a bit knackered but I had fun this morning and the lie-in was bliss. It’s lovely not to be woken by someone jumping on your bladder.’
‘You should stop Dave doing that,’ said Anna drily and Sophie gave a smirk.
Sophie’s gaze drifted over to Hudson in his tight white T-shirt. ‘Do you think if I paid him he’d re-create the Mr Darcy scene from Pride and Prejudice for me?’
‘You are aware you said that out loud?’ said Anna, rolling her eyes. ‘He’s gorgeous but you know he’s gay. You need to have a word with your hormones.’
‘I noticed you two seemed a bit cosy on the bus earlier,’ said Sophie, with a suspicious look in her eye.
Anna checked around her like an amateur spy. ‘I was going to explain on the way home away from the others, but Hudson is pretending to be my boyfriend so we can …’ Why were they doing this again? Anna was no longer sure. ‘Get closer to Liam.’
Sophie frowned hard and inclined her head. ‘Makes no sense to me.’
‘I’ll explain later,’ said Anna, as Liam strolled over.
‘Hiya, Sophie, how’s Dave and the kids?’
‘Great, thanks. How are your scruples? Oh, I forgot you don’t have any,’ said Sophie, and went to get another burger leaving him somewhat shell-shocked by the snub.
Anna avoided eye contact and followed Sophie into the salad queue. ‘Don’t piss him off, Sophie, he has the fate of our jobs in his hands.’
Sophie shrugged. ‘I’m not sure pretending you’re Hudson’s girlfriend isn’t going to do that anyway.’ Anna could already see she wasn’t happy about it but they could hardly backtrack now they’d come this far.
***** end of extract*****
Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.
In 2016, her debut novel, ‘It Started At Sunset Cottage’, was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.
Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Her novels are often serialised in four parts ahead of the full book publication.
Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.
She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).
For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com
Say hi to Bella on Twitter – @osborne_bella
Click here to read Bella’s past columns for Novel Kicks: https://www.novelkicks.co.uk/category/bellas-scribblings/
A Budding Romance was released on 4th February by Avon. Click to view the book on Amazon UK.