Love might be closer than you think . . .
Gemma isn’t sure what upsets her more. The fact she just caught her boyfriend cheating, or that he did it on her brand-new Heal’s cushions.
All she knows is she needs to put as many miles between her and Fraser as humanly possible. So, when her best friend suggests a restorative few days in the West Country, it seems like the perfect solution.
That is, until the country enters a national lockdown that leaves her stranded. All she has for company is her dog, Mabel. And the mysterious (and handsome!) stranger living at the bottom of her garden . . .
Packed full of laugh-out-loud moments, this hugely uplifting, feel-good and sparkling romantic comedy is simply unputdownable. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Sophie Kinsella, Beth O’Leary and Laura Jane Williams.
Gemma finds herself and her Labrador Mabel on a train on their way to Crowthorpe after finding Fraser – Gemma’s now ex-boyfriend at it with another woman in the apartment they shared, and to make matters a million times worse than they already are, they were all over her beloved Heal’s cushions!
Following a conversation with her best friend Caro, who offers Gemma the escape she so desperately needs, she begins her journey to Caro’s parents old, currently empty house. This is meant to be nothing more than a short break for Gemma, allowing her to gather herself together once again before returning to London, but then lockdown strikes and she finds herself facing several weeks in this small village.
Matthew walks in to Gemma’s life – quite literally, when he see’s lights on within the usually empty house so he comes to check all is well, and of course everything is fine – other than Gemma being a rather hungover mess!. When Gemma realises that Matthew in fact lives in the converted barn at the end of the garden, she realises that avoiding him, and further embarrassment, may not be as easy as she first thought.
Gemma and Matthew find themselves being thrown together throughout this troubling time, and the more Gemma allows her guard to come down, the closer they become. But things are far from straightforward, as Gemma battles to overcome the insecurities she carries from her past, and both herself and Matthew openly admitting that they aren’t the best in the relationship department, she goes in to panic mode and decides that now is definitely the time to leave – but with her heart saying something else entirely, can move on from her past and embrace her future?.
I absolutely adored this story from the very beginning. Heidi Stephens manages to bring light to an otherwise dark situation we have all been going through lately, along with some much needed humour which I know I certainly needed.
The characters are just wonderful! I loved Gemma’s character from the first time we met her. Although she has a lot of insecurities to overcome, and doubts herself far too much, she has the most loving heart and you want nothing but the best for her. And then of course there is Matthew, a character who it is quite honestly impossible to not fall a little bit in love with as you learn more about him throughout this story. He is a much loved member of the community, and will go above and beyond to help others – and the love he has for his family is so lovely to see too. I adored the romance that blossoms between them, and the ways in which they both help one another find happiness once more is dreamy.
Beautifully written, full of charm and a story that will capture your heart, this is the perfect read!
About the Author
Heidi Stephens has spent her career working in advertising and marketing; some of her early writing work includes instruction manuals for vacuum cleaners, saucepans and sex toys. For the past ten years she has also freelanced as a journalist and, on autumnal weekend evenings, can be found liveblogging Strictly Come Dancing for The Guardian. She lives in Wiltshire with her partner and Labrador, Mabel.
Two Metres from You is Heidi’s debut novel.