But that's not all as thanks to Joanna's lovely publicist Alainna at Quercus I also have a copy to give away to an UK follower. So enjoy the extract and don't forget to enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.
Rule 1: Never ask him on a first date. Rule 2: Laugh admiringly at all his jokes. Rule 3: Always leave him wanting more.
Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It's a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don't own a copy. What is it, 1892?
But I'm a journalist, and I've promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Nevermind that my friends think I'm insane, I'm stalking men all over town and can't keep my mouth shut at the best of times.
My name is Cat Buchanan. I'm thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I've been single for six years, but that's about to change. After all, I'm on a deadline.
I Followed the Rules and this is what happened.
I get back to the house and throw myself down on the couch. On the weekends I try to catch up on housework, as when Grace is here with me she can destroy a room quicker than I can tidy it. Eventually I move my arse off the sofa, feed Heisenberg, open Grace’s window so he can go outside and then prepare to clean. If nothing else, it’ll help me forget that bloody awful date from last night.
I shuffle the music tracks on my phone, put my headphones on and begin tidying up to the soothing sounds of the Chemical Brothers. I couldn’t endure the pain of housework without tunes. Helen regularly tells me my musical tastes are ridiculous:
‘You’re thirty-six and listening to dance music. You’re not Jo Whiley, you know.’
‘I listen to all sorts of music, Helen: pop, disco, dance . . . just because it’s not Michael bloody Bublé or whatever—’
‘Stop right there. Michael Bublé is a god. A GOD. I won’t hear a word against him.’
'I have no idea how we’re related.’
I start hoovering just as Donna Summer announcing that she ‘feels love’ is rudely interrupted by a call coming through on my phone. It’s Rose.
‘Jason is making me take him to soft play. Fancy bringing Grace? I cannot tolerate that fucking place alone.’
‘Ah shit, I’ve just dropped her at Peter’s house. Sorry, love – otherwise you know I would.’
DAMMIT, now I’m going to have to endure other people’s children by myself for two hours.’
I feel for her. There’s nothing worse than other people’s children.
‘Take some trashy magazines, have a coffee and snarl at anyone who comes near you. Y’know – what you usually do.’
She snorts. ‘I know. It’s just more fun when you’re there. What you up to anyway?’
‘Bugger all, but I’m fine with that. I’m exhausted.’
‘You should get out and about! You need a man. Preferably one who works away a lot and brings you diamonds when he comes back.’
‘Like Jason’s dad?’ I ask, knowing the answer already.
'Two weeks on the rigs and two weeks at home?’
‘Ha, all Rob brings me back is washing. But he isn’t around long enough to get on my tits, so it works for me. Anyway, enjoy your weekend and see you next week!’
She hangs up first and I get back to cleaning with her words swimming around in my skull – ‘You need a man.’ Technically I don’t need a man; I’m an independent single woman, successfully raising a very clever, witty child and paying my way in the world. That said, I’m pretty tired of living a passionless existence; I do crave company and laughter and impulsive sex and, well, any kind of sex really. I miss the kind of intimacy I haven’t had since Peter – the kind that feels like a security blanket that’s permanently wrapped around you. I miss knowing I’m loved.
So, no, I don’t need a man . . . but sometimes I sure as fuck want one.
If you enjoyed this extract and would like the chance to win a copy of I Followed the Rules then enter via the form below (sorry UK residents only). The winner will be selected at random and contacted for their address to be passed to Alainna to send the book to you.
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