ShortBookandScribes #BlogTour #Extract from Just My Type by Hannah Doyle @byHannahDoyle @headlinepg #RandomThingsTours
I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from Just My Type by Hannah Doyle today as part of the blog tour. My thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for the place on the tour.
He’s my type on paper . . . but IRL?
– The quirky/cool photographer to a superstar blogger
– She’s going on a date with a SUPER hot guy on the London Eye tonight
– Best friend Mila is her wifey for life
– This millennial is #LivingHerBestLife
But fast-forward a few hours, and the reality isn’t quite so picture perfect. Jasmine hates her stuck-up blogger boss. She can barely afford rent in her stupid London flat. Her best friend seems to have all her sh*t together. Oh, and that date she was so excited about? She got dumped. On the London Eye. In the middle of a thunderstorm. With a bunch of tourists watching…
Best friend Mila decides that Jasmine needs a new ‘type on paper’, because Jasmine’s current criteria is so off that her dating history is one long line-up of fools. So Mila challenges Jasmine to look once, if not twice, at the guys who wouldn’t normally fit her ‘type’. With nothing to lose, Jasmine accepts. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll surprise herself.
Date One: Too Much Thierry
I’m on the back of a moped fearing for my life, even though Thierry handed me a helmet when we met and is driving at a relatively sensible speed. But, guys, where are we going and why the heck did I agree to this? What if he’s still furious about champagne-gate and murders me on this quiet French road in the middle of France? I squeeze my arms tighter around his waist and try to focus on the fact that this is a very sexy way to travel, before my mind drags me back to scary places… like heart-shaped regrowth.
We pull up in a small town perched on top of a hill, where fairy lights decorate the tress. All you can hear are grasshoppers and the gentle, low hum of conversation while, far below us, the Mediterranean sea glistens in the twilight.
‘Wow,’ I say, stepping off in what I hope is a super cool, I totally ride on mopeds all the time, kind of way. Thierry reaches out to stop me from wobbling. Ah well. ‘This place is stunning. It’s so much more peaceful than Cannes and yet just as beautiful, if not more so?’ I feel my fingers twitch for my camera as Thierry leads us into the main square, a fountain bubbling in the middle.
‘I grew up here and this is my family’s restaurant,’ he says, grabbing me by the hand and taking me through to a courtyard out back, where a dozen or so tables are set with white table cloths, candles twinkling on each one. The feel of his fingers wrapped around mine sets the hairs on the back of my neck on end in a HELL YEAH kind of way and I feel myself relax. I wasn’t murdered on the way over here and Thierry’s restaurant may just be the prettiest place I have ever been on a date.
And he hasn’t called me stupid once tonight! I glance across the table at my date, who seems much less shouty this evening. His blue eyes are setting off his lightly tanned skin and he is no longer sporting yesterday’s unmentionable do.
‘Are you licking your lips at me?’ Thierry asks, eyebrow raised.
‘Absolutely not.’ PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, JASMINE.
‘We should eat,’ he grins. ‘Do you like fish? It’s fantastic here.’
Lovely company, delicious food, a canopy of stars dazzling overhead. A warm breeze musses up my hair and I shiver, trying not to lose my shit when Thierry offers me his cotton jumper like it’s nothing.
‘You must meet lots of beautiful women working in a club in Cannes,’ I say.
‘Yes, I do,’ he agrees. ‘Most of them look straight through me though. They don’t even register the guy carrying the drinks when there are millionaires with yachts to chat to. I could tell straight away that you were different. You didn’t look through me, you looked right into my eyes while you gave me an awful lot of information about your dating history. I thought that was sweet.’
I allow myself a couple of glances over at him, feeling strangely bashful to be sat here on this date. It’s so funny to think that I’d have missed out on this beautiful setting if I’d stuck to my original type.
‘Do you want to try mine?’ he offers, scooping some cod onto his fork. I lean across
and take a bite.
‘So good!’ I stretch my arms out wide and breath in the candlelit courtyard.
‘A little bit like you,’ Thierry replies, quick as you like. ‘I would like for us to make love later, Jasmine.’
And… I’m back in the room.
‘You know what I’m talking about. L’amour.’ He reaches his hand out past the candles dancing on our table and I instinctively inch my own out of his reach.
‘But… we haven’t even finished eating!’ You’ll have to let me off for that one, guys. I’m shell-shocked and I always say ridiculous things when I’m feeling awkward. The night had been going so well! Thierry ticked none of my old boxes and loads of my new ones!
‘Don’t worry, we will finish food first, make love later.’
Holy smokes. I fiddle with my knife and fork, completely unused to being propositioned like this on a first date.
‘Let me get this straight, first you tell me I’m coming on a date with you and then you tell me we can have sex after we’ve eaten dinner?’ Flabbergasted does not cover it, which might explain why I’m now nervous giggling.
‘These are the things I would like to happen Jasmine. You are cute, I am hot, we should definitely bang.’
Use of the word bang has not helped Thierry’s cause. Ditto calling himself hot.
‘I think we may be dealing with a culture clash here,’ I say, sloshing my wine glass at him. ‘In the UK, I don’t tend to date men who are so, um, forthright.’ (Unless you count Hot Tom, in which case an aubergine emoji and a couple of peaches are often the entirety of our pre-date conversation. Not that Thierry needs to know about that right now.) ‘Call me old-fashioned, but I quite like a bit of build-up to getting naked.’
‘How long are you in Cannes for?’ he asks eagerly.
‘A couple more days.’
‘Is that enough time for this build-up you talk of?’
‘No it is not!’ I shake my head primly. ‘And tonight was the only time off I have for the whole trip so…’
‘So… we bang!’ he concludes, looking like he’s come up with an ingenious solution.
‘No we do not bang,’ I whisper. ‘I’ve only just met you!’
Thierry tuts. ‘You are so English.’
‘Yes, so you keep telling me.’ I cast around for a way to rewind the conversation by five minutes. It was all going so well. Despite my reservations, Thierry the shouty waiter seemed like the perfect ‘not my type’ date. He ticked a lot of things on Mila’s anti-list, might be the first man in the world to call me sexy when angry, and that jumper move just now gave me goosebumps.
‘What a fall from grace, Thierry,’ I sigh. ‘There will be no banging and I would like for you to take me back to Cannes now, please.’
‘What about your dessert? It’s a chocolat crémeaux, mon favorit.’
‘Doggy bag?’ I suggest.
Thierry’s eyes light up. ‘Doggy…?’
‘NO THIERRY!’ I shout, slapping my hands down on the table. The motion makes our candles go out. ‘Doggy bag. BAG.’
I close the door to my hotel bedroom and lean my body against it. It’s completely quiet in here, the roar of the moped long gone and Thierry safely dispatched back to his lecherous lair. I threw a considerable amount more sexy anger his way when he dropped me off, just to make sure he got the message that no, I categorically would not be inviting him back to mine for a nightcap. Or ‘capnight’ as he called it, which was actually quite cute. Now that I’m alone, I feel a smile dancing around my lips. Sure, my date was a perve in need of immediate dispatch but I still got a huge kick from tonight. The surprise of being asked out while champagne socked into my socks, the beautiful restaurant and a very charming Thierry… until he blew it.
My phone starts to buzz with renewed wifi and I open up a couple of hundred messages from Violet, still on her date with Chip. It’s going ‘swimmingly’ and she’s now drip-feeding me a masterplan full of ideas on how to blog about their romance when they go public. I feel my brain automatically kick back into work mode until I remember that it’s the middle of the night and I just went on a date of my own. I know someone who will be dying to hear about it.
Mils, I JUST WENT ON A DATE. A shouty blond French waiter called Thierry asked me out and I lost my mind and said yes, and it was going super well at first! Really romantic, amazing setting. Then bam, he turned into a sex pest and I had to ditch him. Too much, Thierry. Still buzzing about it though, definitely better than a night in! New type on paper score: 3 / 7.
Shit the bed Jasmine I’m so proud of you! You’re on a journey now, boo.
Oh dear lord.
Hannah Doyle is a celebrity journalist who used to spend her time interviewing stars and swanning around fancy parties. The closest she gets to a canapé these days is half a stolen sausage during teatime with her toddler twins. She lives in Yorkshire with her family and writes books. She loves books! JUST MY TYPE is her second novel – her first novel, THE YEAR OF SAYING YES, was published in 2017.