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Would Like to Meet
Cover of Would Like to Meet
Would Like to Meet
Borrow Borrow
Can you fall in love like they do in the movies?
It's Evie Summers's job to find out. Because if she can't convince her film agency's biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? He thinks rom-coms are unrealistic—and he'll only put pen to paper if Evie shows him that it's possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.
Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she'll do what it takes to save the job that's been her lifeline . . . even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends—and Ben and Anette, the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations—Evie is determined to prove she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who's given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?
Can you fall in love like they do in the movies?
It's Evie Summers's job to find out. Because if she can't convince her film agency's biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? He thinks rom-coms are unrealistic—and he'll only put pen to paper if Evie shows him that it's possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.
Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she'll do what it takes to save the job that's been her lifeline . . . even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends—and Ben and Anette, the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations—Evie is determined to prove she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who's given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?
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  • From the cover


    Chapter 1

    Code Red

    INT: A BASEMENT BAR IN SOHO-FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 10 P.M.

    EVIE stands in a small crowd of well-dressed twentysomethings, holding a scuffed plastic "glass" of house white wine, nodding in time to the conversation happening around her. She checks her phone, too tipsy to be anywhere near as surreptitious as she thinks she's being.

    Two Weeks Earlier

    Sarah: I'm going to email the presentation to you all to help your planning session next weekend. Check your inboxes!

    Maria: we really don't mind planning your hen do ourselves

    Jeremy: which isn't to say that we don't mind planning your hen do

    Sarah: but this way you'll KNOW I'll love it. While we're on my wedding, can we talk about your plus-one situation, Evie?

    I slipped my phone back into my bag. Sarah had been trying to get me to talk about my "plus-one situation" since she got engaged. As if I had some sort of condition that I'd been ignoring.

    As I turned my attention back to the two achingly trendy young women with me in the bar, I noticed two things: 1) Their beautiful, pristine, untouched-by-worry baby skin. And 2) That I was much tipsier than I realized, despite sticking to my strict three-drink rule.

    That was the curse of the assistant drinks. Once a month, every assistant working in TV and film talent agencies met in a different yet equally terrible bar in Central London to "network" (i.e., gossip). There was never any food available at these events, though there was always an abundance of a very particular type of white wine (the cheapest). I could only assume everyone else here was too young to have experienced hangovers as adults, and were therefore blissfully unaware of what it's like to wake up feeling like every single one of your twenty-nine years has smacked you in the face.

    Myself, on the other hand . . . I had an egg sandwich in my satchel that I was dying to eat, but hadn't yet found an appropriate moment. While my practical side was telling me I needed something to line my stomach, I also conceded that normal people probably don't bring their own sandwiches to networking events.

    One of the girls, Jodi, swept the curtain of blond hair from her face and gave me a little smile that made me feel like the young one. I had the feeling she'd just asked me a question. She was an assistant at one of the biggest talent agencies in the business, and one of those people who collected gossip like it was currency.

    "What was that, sorry?" I squeezed my plastic wine cup tightly. It wasn't that long ago that I had someone by my side at these events.

    "I'm whisking young Geraldine here around to introduce her to the cool kids," Jodi said. She had one of those drawling London accents that made me feel more northern with every syllable.

    I turned to the teen with round glasses. Most of her long hair was pulled up into a messy bun, leaving the rest down in the sort of tangled waves that said "Just look at how much I don't care about my appearance." Beneath her overalls she wore a white T-shirt with greta gerwig across it in large black lettering. I immediately wanted one, though I'd never be cool enough to pull it off.

    "Who are you interning with?" I asked.

    There was a moment of silence.

    "Evie, you big nerd," laughed Jodi. "She's an assistant."

    "But she's a kid!" I clamped my mouth shut, as if that could somehow take back my words.

    Geraldine let out a low, throaty laugh and placed a hand on her chest. "Thank you. I'm almost prehistoric in assistant years." She dropped her voice to a whisper. "I'm actually twenty-three. I was worried everyone would think I was too...

About the Author-
  • RACHEL WINTERS is single and living in London. In addition to completing a creative writing MA, she's spent most of her twenties freelancing for local papers and online magazines—including editing a craft magazine and writing a weekly column about pets (though she doesn't own any). It's very Sex and the City. She likes long walks in the country, big cities and firmly believes there are few problems that can't be solved with good friends and very large glasses of wine. She's currently an editor at Orion Books.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 7, 2019
    Winters’s charming debut combines tropes from classic romantic comedy films to hilarious effect. Ambitious 29-year-old Evie Summer is tired of being an assistant, but to advance in her job at a TV and film talent agency she must convince narcissistic screenwriter Ezra Chester, the agency’s top client, to fulfill his lapsed contract and write the rom-com he owes to his movie studio. Ezra, disillusioned with romantic clichés, refuses to meet his deadline unless Evie can convince him that real relationships can be just like the movies. He gives her three months to find a man via “meet-cute” and fall in love; if she can’t, then he won’t deliver his script and Evie will be in hot water with her boss. The subsequent whirlwind of contrived meet-ups that Evie arranges, each inspired by a different film, is a laugh-out-loud disaster. Her first romantic failure happens to be witnessed by shy single dad Ben, who, along with his precocious daughter Annette, becomes Evie’s audience and provides a grounding influence in her chaotic life—even as Annette attempts to set Evie up with him. Winters employs self-aware, genre-savvy characters to expertly balance humor and heart. This adorable romance is a love letter to cinephiles. Agent: Rebecca Ritchie, A.M. Heath Literary Agents.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Laura Hobson's British accent and lively narration are perfectly suited to the high-spirited protagonist of this diverting story. Evie Summers, a career-driven talent agency assistant, is struggling to persuade Ezra Chester, an egotistical screenwriter, that romantic meet-ups really do happen. If she succeeds, he will complete his manuscript and save her job. Hobson's quick pacing brings out the humor of Evie's often desperate and awkwardly hilarious set-ups in pursuit of a rom-com-perfect match. Her texts with her circle of friends are conveyed in lilting tones that highlight the closeness and comedy of the teasing exchanges. Hobson's soft voice also effectively captures endearing elements in Evie's interactions with a possible love interest, Ben, and his young daughter. M.F. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
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