Asking for Trouble

Asking for Trouble

4.3 38
by Elizabeth Young, Liz Young

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Unmarried, thirty-year-old Sophy Metcalfe told a little white he to soothe her nagging mother. The white lies name was "Dominic," the ideal boyfriend: charming, successful, the kind of prospective son-in-law that would make any mother proud. But now that Sophy's thin and beautiful sister, Belinda, is getting married, Dominic is going to have to make an

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Unmarried, thirty-year-old Sophy Metcalfe told a little white he to soothe her nagging mother. The white lies name was "Dominic," the ideal boyfriend: charming, successful, the kind of prospective son-in-law that would make any mother proud. But now that Sophy's thin and beautiful sister, Belinda, is getting married, Dominic is going to have to make an appearance in the flesh -- which should be a pretty neat trick ... since the genuine article vanished from Sophy's life after a single, singularly unmemorable evening. So she resorts to a very drastic measure -- aka Josh Carmichael, the escort she hires at the very last minute, sight unseen.

But the trouble with white lies is that they tend to multiply. The trouble with rugged, too-sexy, and independent Josh is ... well, that Sophy's actually beginning to like him! Even if they make it through the Wedding Day from Hell together -- with its new intrigues, old flames, and all-too-familiar faces -- there's the night that follows... and, of course, the morning after. And that could end up being the biggest trouble of all!

A hip, witty, and freshly fantastic delight, Asking for Trouble is the most hilarious and knowing novel to make the scene since Bridget Jones first set pen to paper to record her most intimate innermost thoughts.

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Editorial Reviews

Susan Andersen
The British are coming! Prepare yourself for a jolly good time! .
Sujata Massey
Book your seat for a funny, yet romantic romp through modern England, with the delightfully sarcastic Sophy as your guide.
Publishers Weekly
Young's first novel is a silly and harmless yarn set in modern England concerning guess what the romantic tribulations of a self-deprecating 30-ish woman. Like Nick Hornby's About a Boy, it is predicated on a white lie that spirals out of control. Sophy, a charmingly sarcastic London recruiter on "the cutting edge of human-resource management," is in no rush to get hitched and only mildly disheartened when her long-standing boyfriend dumps her. Her fretting Mum believes that "an unattached daughter who's just hit thirty is a Serious Worry," so to keep her happy, Sophy fabricates a handsome, attentive, successful suitor named Dominic. But when younger and prettier sister Belinda decides to marry, Sophy is forced to produce her new bloke. Ever resourceful, a desperate Sophy hires Josh from a London escort service to play the part of Dominic and accompany her to her sister's wedding. Predictably, within hours of meeting her paid companion, lusty Sophy finds herself attracted to him. Lies are piled on top of lies as the duplicitous Sophy suffers the "strain of spending a whole evening and night with a man I fancied the pants off while pretending I didn't (to him), while at the same time pretending I did (for the family)." Despite Sophy's near inability to tell the truth, she's charming and the author does a fine job of conveying her appeal. Readers who enjoy the wisecracks, parenthetical asides and flaky characters that are the bread and butter of contemporary British romantic comedies will be happy to drag this breezy book off to beaches or onto planes. But the hard-to-follow tangle of falsehoods, giddy banter that all somehow winds up sounding the same, and contrived plot twists willexhaust everyone else long before the novel's end. National ad campaign. (Sept.) Forecast: Once in bookstores, entries in this oversubscribed genre may be fated to be judged by their covers and the cutest will always win, of course. Asking for Trouble has the pastels down pat, but a subdued shot of lacy underwear on a line lacks spirit. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When an imaginary boyfriend isn't enough . . . hire an escort. Sophy Metcalfe is almost 30, and her interfering mother thinks it's high time she got married. Sick of the nagging, Sophy invents "Dominic," a tall, handsome, up-and-coming investment banker who seems to have a lot of excuses for never showing up in person. But Mum insists he not wiggle out of escorting Sophy to her sister Belinda's wedding. Desperate, Sophy calls a highly respectable London escort service, which supplies Josh Carmichael, former Royal Marine. Josh is predictably tall and handsome, with a "crookedy" smile and "greeny-browny eyes like a river with the sun on them." Not that a sophisticated woman like Sophy would fall in love just like that. First, there must be much irritable banter as she and Josh get to know each other before the ceremony. While Josh convinces the clueless, chatterbox mother and pompous father that he is indeed Dominic, Sophy's dirty-minded friends know about her scheme and tease her relentlessly. Sophy simply sniffs, points out that theirs is just a business relationship, and continues to invent adjectives ending in "y." After the wedding, she yearns for his company and starts playing girlish games to get his attention, like pretending her scruffy friend Ace is really her lover to make Josh jealous. Josh's countermove: showing up with an infant under each arm. Sophy is outraged, assuming he's married, but softens when she finds out he's babysitting his sister's twins just to be nice. The thin plot thickens a bit when Belinda jilts her new husband just before the honeymoon. Sophy, meanwhile, decides there are no sure things in life and she might as well gather her rosebuds. Fortunately,Josh is waiting for her with open arms. Another Bridget Jones clone, with similar obsessions about weight, drink, fags, and all the sex nobody's getting. Mostly familiar debut, with a few funny lines.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
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Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.98(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I blame it entirely on the pressure of work, but for the next couple of weeks Dominic and I were still officially an item at the bottom of my in-tray. Every time it rose to the surface, saying, "Well?" I told it to bugger off, I was far too busy and important to deal with it just now.

It finally caught up with me on a Sunday morning, nineteen and a half days before the wedding. Having him dump me would obviously have been the simplest way out, but that wouldn't keep anybody's end up, least of all mine. I suppose I'd been hoping my imaginative autopilot would suddenly whack me on the head with a brilliant way out, but since "Abduction by Aliens" was all it had managed, I was still dithering over alternatives. These consisted of a) giving him the elbow, and b) plan B, which I still hadn't thought of.

Nobody was helping me think of it, either. Alix was still asleep, and although a vaguely human body was sprawled on the sofa, it was absorbed in the football pages and therefore suffering from TMD, aka Temporary Male Deafness. The headline said, USELESS TOSSERS or something equally rude. This was nothing to what Ace had said the previous evening, when his beloved Tossers United had been thrashed three-nil by Thessalonika Under-Thirteen Girls, or whoever it was they were supposed to have thrashed.

Ace was Alix's "little" brother, though at five foot eleven he'd overtaken her by five inches. He was twenty-six, quite nice looking under the scruff, and his light brown ponytail was usually in vibrant condition, thanks to my Pantene 2-in-1, whichhe pinched constantly. With it he wore one gold earring and, except when Tossers had screwed up, a chilled-out air I defy anyone to beat.

"You might make some suggestion, even if it's completely brainless," I muttered. "You could at least show willing."

Not so much as a primeval grunt.

In the absence of even Ace's input, I looked out of the window for something to be irritated with besides myself, for having got into this mess in the first place. For once, there wasn't even a crisp packet dancing in the breeze. Just occasionally this corner of southwest London could look quite passable.

After a thirty-second time lapse, he uttered, "I'd make him a perv, if I were you. Tell your mum you went round one night and found him poncing around in high heels and one of your bras, all upset because he couldn't find enough socks to stuff it with."

"Dominic's not like you," I said testily. "He doesn't have to hunt under the bed every morning for any two putrid socks that haven't actually walked to the washing machine by themselves. He's got whole drawersful, all neatly rolled up and color-coded." In fact, he was such a perfect, tidy, organized pain, a knife in the guts would have been no more than he deserved.

"S&M, then." The little toad was grinning his face off "What if he suddenly asked you to do the Miss Burnwhack bit?" He put on a lecherous, gasp-and-pant voice. "'I've been a really, really bad boy -- I was playing with my winkle all night-'"

"For God's sake, he'd never call it a winkle. Anyway, I refuse to have a relationship with a perv."

"Suit yourself. Sling me a couple of those chocolate fingers, will you?"

I slung. There were four left in the packet on the coffee table. Four, and I'd bought them only an hour previously, while picking up the papers at the Pop-In News 'n' Grocery round the corner.

He bit half off both of them and continued with his mouth full. "Your mum was bound to resort to emotional blackmail in the end. It's a mum's favorite weapon, and if you haven't sussed that out by now, then quite frankly, I despair of you."

In fact, I could almost have written a learned paper on Emotional Blackmail, Maternal Variety of. Well before phoning home an hour and a half previously I'd been psyching myself up for a hefty dose of precisely that.

The conversation had gone roughly like this:

"I'm terribly sorry, Mum, but I don't think Dominic's going to be able to make it, after all."

"Oh, Sophy, really! I knew you'd let me down again, just when everybody's dying to meet him. I told wretched Maggie he was almost definitely coming and you know what that woman's like -- do please try to persuade him."

"I really can't promise. He's terribly busy."

"Nobody's that busy, dear." At this point her voice had taken on a plaintive note. "Sometimes I wonder whether you're ashamed of me and Daddy."

"Mum!" (I did my best to produce an appalled little laugh here.) "How can you say such a thing?"

"Well, I can't help wondering, dear. Every single time you've promised to bring him home, something's cropped up at the last minute. I'm sure you can persuade him if you try -- but I really can't talk now -- I've got a million things to do -- nobody has any idea how much organization goes into a wedding -- I'm worried sick about the seating plan for lunch -- Sue and George still aren't speaking and Granny hasn't a clue what's going on -- I hope to heaven they don't start rowing at the table -- you know what Sue's like after a few drinks -- and the florist I picked has changed hands and the new manager's lost the order -- I've had to go and see her twice -- still, must rush, and I'm sure you can talk him around if you put..."

Asking for Trouble. Copyright © by Elizabeth Young. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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