A witty modern-day take on an Austen classic.
Can you ever get a second chance at making a first impression?
Lottie, Ellie and Jenny are three young women looking for love. Their dating prospects at church are a motley bunch at best. Then into the picture comes the charming Nathaniel, his perfectionist brother Jake and their hapless cousin Chris. Throw in intrigue caused by family and friends past and present, and the course of true love will have a very hard time running smooth. Or anywhere at all.
Nathaniel jovially dug his brother in the ribs. ‘Wow, come on, Jake. You’ve got a face like a bag of spanners. Why don’t you get out there and strut your stuff, man?’
Jake sighed noisily (just enough to catch Ellie’s attention).
‘Yeah, right. With whom?”
Nathaniel sniggered at Jake’s response. Yep, even now, when they were meant to be kicking back and partying, his brother still insisted on proper grammar.
‘Whom, eh? Hm. I thought I was the short-sighted one…’ He waggled his spectacles for full effect. Jake did not seem impressed at Nathaniel’s levity.
‘Yes, haha. Very funny.’
‘That’s why I’m the wit of the family.
Jake allowed himself a small smirk as he finally rose to the bait. ‘Spelled with a silent ‘t’ at the start.’
Nathaniel gave him a retaliatory thump on the arm. Jake gave a wince and laughed. But Nathaniel was not going to give him an easy ride this evening. He was enjoying himself and was determined to see that his truculent older brother and intensely over-enthusiastic cousin also had some fun.
‘Jake, I refuse to leave you holding the wall up like some stupid, well, wallflower!’ Nathaniel eagerly searched the room and quickly found Chris displaying his devastating charm on any woman who couldn’t run away fast enough.
‘Look, Chris is getting on fine.’ Then he caught sight of their hapless cousin. Chris was trying to edge his way into a dancing circle of girls, only to have them close ranks like offended quicksand. Nathaniel continued with only the briefest pause. ‘Hang on, hold that thought. Perhaps he isn’t. But that’s not the point, Jake! He’s getting out there and he’s living the dream.’
‘More like a nightmare, Nathaniel. I know I never pranced around like that when I was an R.M.’
‘Lovely story. Tell it to your grandchildren. If you ever have any. Oh, for goodness’ sake, man! Just get out there. Make some friends. You don’t have too many of those, do you? We’re only here this evening. Go talk to some girls – just do something!
Jake blanched in genuine horror at the suggestion. ‘Oh, you can forget that one for a start, matey boy.’
‘No way, Nathaniel.’
‘If Chris can do it, you can do it. And trust me, if Chris can do it, you can definitely do it.’
Jake simply groaned. ‘Look, you were dancing with the only really nice girl in the room. Go on, you go and be Prince Charming, and leave me be.’
But Nathaniel refused to give up. He pointed Ellie out to Jake. She was sitting alone, smiling to herself as she watched everyone. She was also discreetly eavesdropping on their conversation.
Nathaniel nudged his brother again and nodded towards Ellie. ‘How about her? She’s really nice, friendly. Plus, she’s gorgeous!’
‘Her? She’s alright, I guess. I’m hardly likely to dance with one of Chris’s rejects though, am I?’
On hearing this, Ellie’s expression of amused serenity changed into one of restrained outrage. She got up and brushed herself down in a very precise manner. She then marched off with all the self-control she could muster. Wait till Lottie and Jenny hear this!
Unfortunately, as she walked away, she didn’t catch Nathaniel’s next comment.
‘Seriously? She’s easily as lovely as Jenny. Bright, witty…’
‘Jenny, eh? You’re not exactly backwards in coming forwards, are you? First name terms already.’
‘Jake, I love you like a brother. I have to. You are my brother. But sometimes though, you know what? Just sometimes, I wonder if you were swapped at birth… Now go!’
Released 18th July 2018 o- Amazon
Thérésa Hedges is a Welsh writer, living with her husband and furbaby in a seaside town on the South Wales coast. She is one of the writers with Pict Publishing, a company specialising in female authors.
She originally trained as a psychologist then (when the Ghostbusters thing didn’t work out) she went into teaching. All the while, she was writing, initially working on screenplays before moving on to be an award-winning playwright. She continues to work as a playwright/screenwriter, and recently completed work on the short “Like Glass”.
In 2015, Thérésa published her debut novel, the science-fiction thriller “Our Little Miracle”. 2016 saw the release of “Diary Of An Everyday Vampire”, and the story of a very different vampire – “Dominic”.
Her style is very visual, poetic, and has been described as “like Classic Gothic fiction of the best kind”.
She has a penchant for writing strong, independent female characters as can be seen in all her books, including the latest book “Trash”. Her latest book, “First Impressions” (inspired by her all-time favourite Austen novel) continues very much in this vein.
Thérésa describes herself as being ‘multi-lingual, hyperactive and outdoorsy’. She is also an actress, singer, and is learning to play the guitar. She is currently working on “Fortior Concordia”, the long awaited second book in the ‘Dominic’ saga. She jokes that if/when anyone makes a film of Dominic, she’d like to play his friend James’s formidable Aunt Melissa, please!