Many thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo.
Title: The Cornish Village School – Breaking the Rules
Author Name: Kitty Wilson
Previous Books (if applicable): N/A
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: 11th June 2018
Book Blurb: Rosy Winter is definitely not looking for love
Following heartbreak, Rosy has rebuilt her life in the beautiful Cornish village of Penmenna. Now, headmistress of the local school, she is living by The Rule: no dating anyone in the village. Easy right? But Rosy Winter has a new neighbour, handsome gardener Matt.
In Penmenna for his new gardening TV show, this guy next door will do everything he can to persuade her to break her rule and win her heart. Meanwhile, Penmenna Village School is threatened with closure and it’s up to Rosy to rally the local community and #SaveOurSchool. Can she bring her worlds together and accept help from the most unlikely of sources? One thing’s for sure… she won’t be giving up without a fight.
This heartwarming romance is perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and A. L. Michael.
Links to Book:
Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.
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Rosy opened one eye just the merest crack. The inside of her head had never felt quite so empty or so tender. Even moving a squillimetre on her pillow seemed to make her brain hurtle from one side to the other and hurt as it bounced.
Ow ow ow.
She decided that the best thing to do was just lie there, really, really still until it all passed. It was Sunday so it didn’t matter if it were hours rather than minutes. If she just lay here until she got really bored then the boredom would indicate that she was well enough to move. Problem solved.
She had read somewhere that NASA paid people to stay in bed for seventy days. Maybe if this morning went well she could join them in the summer holidays, top up her finances and see a bit of America. From a window, admittedly, but that was still more than she had seen up to this point.
Hmm, you could do all sorts in bed for seventy days. Keeping her head very still, and thanking God she had duck-feather pillows supporting her in cushioned heaven, she thought of all the books she would read and the ice cream she could eat during that time.
She could take up sewing or needlepoint – after seventy days she could probably have a wall hanging like those littered over Tudor castles and Renaissance palaces. People could come from miles and miles to see her work progressing and bid against each other furiously for each artisanal tapestry. Mind you, she’d have to be careful not to get the ice cream on them.
She was liking this idea the more it developed. What else could she do in bed all day? Whoosh! From nowhere and straight into her diminished and sore brain was an image of her new neighbour. Stop it! Imaginary Matt’s smile widened. To make things worse the camera eye of her brain started to pan down. No, no, no! She sat bolt upright and shook her head violently to try and disperse the image. That way madness lay!
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow. His image was replaced by a bright white flashing and a spinning bedroom.
For goodness’ sake, she and Lynne had only drunk a couple of bottles last night. Bottles, ah! Rosy wasn’t a big drinker, partly because she had form for the world’s worst hangovers, but mainly because of her active decision after uni to always be aware and alert. Hence The Rule. And she did love The Rule.
But yesterday the combination of Perfect Hair and Matt, and her own godawful hell-date, meant alcohol had seemed like the best way forward. And Lynne was only too happy to help, so much so that they had sung ABBA’s whole back catalogue until the early hours when Lynne’s husband Dave decided to walk Rosy home.
Lying here hungover and trying to keep images of Matt, naked Matt, out of her head was not how she wanted to spend her day.
She was going to have to take more proactive action. Action that made a difference. Action like Emma Peel would take. Emma Peel was Rosy’s role model – a fearless, arse-kicking superspy that always had the answer, and did it all in heels (although Rosy would be quite happy to successfully arse-kick in plimsolls). Emma Peel would not have muddled the words to ‘Dancing Queen’ quite so tunelessly and then lain here the next morning just whimpering. No, what would she have done?
It would definitely involve a catsuit, but seeing that Rosy didn’t have one maybe some paracetamol would be a good start.
She rolled off her bed and onto all fours and padded to the bathroom – this seemed like the best way to do it this morning and had the plus of being dead Avengers-like. Once there, she winched herself up onto the sink and scrabbled in the cabinet to find painkillers. Standing properly now, she managed to knock back not just the paracetamol but threw some ibuprofen in at the same time. It was a medical emergency after all. Maybe whilst she was here she should brush her teeth, see if it was possible to do it without moving her head. Look, see, as soon as the pain diminished, today was going to be OK.
Just as she was finishing, there was a loud knock at the door. A very loud knock. Oh, Jesus, the last thing she needed now were visitors. Very, very slowly, muttering just a little bit, she headed down the stairs, pyjama-clad, to answer it.
Matt knocked again; he was sure she was in this time. Why was she taking so long? They weren’t exactly big houses. Beautiful but not big. And there had definitely been noises a minute ago, signifying she was awake.
Suddenly he wondered if that was kind of creepy. Had he turned into one of those guys that obsessed about their neighbours, listening to every sound and mapping every movement? Was his next step on the inevitable path to serial killerdom preparing a basement? Perhaps he should step away from the door right now so things didn’t escalate.
He’d give her one more minute and then head home. After all, it was quite clear what she – beautiful, sparky, single – would have been doing out last night when he had knocked and why she was now taking her time answering the door on a Sunday morning. Why was he blundering in here? This was madness and he was an idiot.
Mind made up, he turned to go before he embarrassed himself – just as the latch scraped and the door opened. Great! Now for his idiocy to be shown publicly. He turned and smiled, bracing himself for feeling foolish. Yet the sight of her made him glad he had come over. This was ridiculous.
‘Oh, hello.’ She slowly opened the door, and gave him a weak-looking grin and a ‘How are you? How can I help?’
Neither were an invitation in, he noted, but this was no surprise when he had just worked out what he had worked out. But still she looked so adorable in that little shorts set, all wrapped up in a dinky little printed package with hair that was very definitely tousled. It may not be today but maybe, one day, he’d be able to wake up to that exact smile, with that exact hair and that exact pyjama set.
But he was getting a bit ahead of himself. How did he even have time to think all of this? He needed to answer, stop staring and answer quickly. Preferably in a way that didn’t make him look like a pervert or the serial killer he was panicking about being just a few minutes ago.
‘Hi, I hope it’s not too early but I thought I heard you up and um… thought I should return your plate.’ He proffered said article and watched as she scrunched her eyes up tight and then moved her hand out very slowly and deliberately to take it.
‘Um, thank you, I hope you liked it.’
‘Oh God yes, it was delicious. I just thought you had better have it back.’ Christ! He was a stammering idiot, she was definitely going to think the worst of him. Where was cool confident charming Matt? The Matt that women swooned at – he knew it happened. He needed him back right now.
‘OK, good, right then.’ She smiled again and started to close the door.
‘Oh, just a minute.’ Matt stopped her. ‘I was just wondering, um, if you were free later. Maybe? What do you think?’
Momentarily he saw her eyes blink, almost suspicious. Was this an odd thing to do? Weren’t people super friendly with their neighbours in rural villages? Then her eyes went back to the full Rosy beam he had experienced yesterday morning, and the smile returned to her face.
‘Oh OK, well, um… er, yes. I’m just doing regular Sunday stuff. I’d invite you in but… um … well… I can’t at the moment.’
‘Oh, that’s OK, I wasn’t expecting to come in…’ Persevere, man! ‘I was just wondering if you were free because, um… I could really do with some help.’
That should work, and it was true, he did. Did that make him manipulative? Possibly. Or maybe just his inner alpha male was returning, returning to rescue the situation and move things on. Yes, he’d stick with that.
‘Ah, um, yes, I can be, this afternoon. What do you need?’ Rosy answered, just the hint of pink in her cheeks. Which was a change from the green that had been sweeping across her face seconds earlier.
‘Well, I was going to impose on your good nature, maybe ask if you could show me around. I’m completely new and I could do with a guide. Even the lanes around here are a nonsensical warren if you’re not local. It was just an idea. It’s all so beautiful, and it seems daft that I don’t really know where anything is. I mean, I’ve found the main street obviously, but, well, a little bit of local knowledge could really help me out.’ He shrugged his shoulders and smiled in what he hoped was a winning way. ‘Maybe we could eat too? You could show me the best local Sunday lunch, if you like, my treat obviously,’ Matt continued. She was smiling so he may as well cement the deal if he was in with a chance.
Suddenly Rosy started to wobble. A very strange expression passed across her face and the pink flush had gone, replaced again by the green. Had he gone too far, turning it from neighbourly favour to lunch date? Don’t backtrack, man. Stand firm.
‘Um, Rosy, are you OK?’
‘Yes, fine,’ she replied in a woozy not-fine-at-all way. ‘Umm, come knock for me at about one-ish, look, now is difficult, I can’t um… really talk. But just before one should be fine, come back then.’
And then with no further explanation she shut the door in his face.
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