I'm very excited to read the new Sophie King novel, Do You Take This Man? so I decided to spotlight it ahead of my review! Below is a description as well as an exclusive excerpt. If you haven't read anything by Sophie King yet I suggest that you fix that immediately! She writes fun fiction that often hits close to home.
About the Book
One bride, two choices. What if...
Do You Take This Man? The brand new novel by the bestselling author of The School Run.
Katie is getting married to Alec ... or is she?
Have you ever wondered ‘what if …’ you had made a different decision in life? Would another choice have taken you down a totally different path? Would life have been better or worse? Would you have ended up with someone different?
In Do You Take This Man? we follow Katie’s two lives and find out what happens to her if she says ‘I do’ and what happens if she stands up her groom.
In many ways, Katie’s two separate realities couldn’t be further apart. But we also see how there are some people and situations you can’t avoid, and that perhaps some things are meant to happen whatever choices you make in life.
In the tradition of the classic film Sliding Doors, Do You Take This Man? will keep you gripped and guessing to the end!
‘So you see, if I’d respected your mother more and considered her own needs, maybe none of this would have happened. All right, I grant you, the Spanish girl didn’t help …’
Katie winced. ‘Or the Italian.’
‘Who? Carlotta? She was just the catalyst, darling. It was all over by then. Look, what I’m really trying to say is that if you respect Alec and he respects you, you won’t make the mistakes your mother and I made.’
Looking out of the window – anything to get away from her father’s ‘You do forgive me, don’t you?’ baleful look, Katie noticed a small boy, clutching his mother’s hand. He was waving at her frantically so she waved back. As she did so, the child tugged his mother’s hand again and said something so that the mother looked up and smiled. When she’d been a kid, she’d liked to look at brides going past in their wedding cars too. It seemed magical. Out of this world. A slice of enchantment next to the pavement.
‘Are you listening, Katie? I was just saying that it’s important to have the same values. And you and Alec seem to have those, from what I’ve seen.’
What he’d seen? Her father had only met Alec on one occasion during their brief engagement. And that was to say that of course he was thrilled they were getting married but don’t expect him to pay for the wedding. Not after the very costly divorce he’d just been through with her mother. (Why was it that since the divorce, Mum seemed to have lost her name in Dad’s mouth and was now referred to as ‘your mother’ as though the entire mess had been her fault instead of Carlotta’s or Ingrid’s or Janine’s or whoever?)
‘So do you? Do you have the same values?’
Katie thought briefly of the conversation she and Alec had had last week about having babies. She’d always assumed they’d have a nanny like everyone else on Charisma magazine – at least the two women who’d been brave enough to jeopardise their promotion prospects and have children. But he’d made it clear he’d expect her to give up work when she got pregnant, like his mother who had been a shop assistant.
Still, the one thing they had agreed on was that considering she was only twenty two, there wouldn’t be any babies for at least five years until they could get a bigger house. A bigger house? Why? They’d only just completed on the airy, two-bedroom Victorian flat conversion in Bow. It wasn’t an area she knew but it seemed so different; so exciting from the boring north London suburbia she’d grown up in.
‘Now what’s happened?’ Her father was leaning forward and tapping impatiently on the glass partition between him and the chauffeur, as though he was paying him instead of her stepfather.
‘Can’t you go a different way? We’re going to be late at this rate.’
‘Sorry, guv. It’s the traffic. Nothing I can do about it. It’ll be clear soon.’
Katie looked out of the window again. The small boy with the pudding bowl hair cut had caught up and was waving again excitedly from the pavement. His mother was smiling; perhaps she was remembering her own wedding day. Oh God. She was going to be sick again. The taste of last night’s wine was still in her mouth; how could she have allowed Lauren to order another bottle when she knew she could only take one glass? If she hadn’t, it might never have happened …
No. She’d sworn, from the minute she woke up that morning, never to think of that again. It had been a mistake. Just as it had been a crazy mistake to ring that radio station. What had she been thinking of? What if someone had recognised her voice even though she’d put on that funny deep voice? What if this marriage was going to be as big a mistake as her parents’ had been?
‘Katie? What are you doing?’
Katie stared in horror at her hand which was on the door handle.‘Sorry. I can’t do this, Dad. I just can’t. Tell Alec I’ll … tell him I’ll ring.’
It was easier than she’d thought, to run. Exhilarating. Mad. Thrilling. Terrifying. Just as well she’d decided against the long train her mother had wanted, she thought irreverently, or she’d never be able to keep going. As it was, the heels of her lovely, spanking new white satin shoes, that Mum had bought from Fenwicks as part of her wedding trousseau, kept tripping her up.
‘Take them off!’ yelled someone.
Katie turned round. It was the mother with the small boy. ‘You’ll run better without them.’The woman’s eyes were shining. ‘Run love. Run. If you’re not sure, just run.’She slung the white satin shoes towards her and the woman caught them, like a bridal bouquet. Blast ‒ the bus had gone although she could see people on the top deck, turning round and staring at her. Someone hooted but it wasn’t the bridal car which was still stuck in traffic some yards back with her dad hanging out of the window, waving and shouting something. If he was that bothered, he’d get out and run after her.
Her chest began to hurt along with her feet. If she turned back now, no one in the church would be any the wiser. All right, so they’d be late but they could blame it on the traffic. Or she could just keep running. She’d overtaken the bus now and the bridal car was out of sight. If she didn’t turn right, she’d pass the church and she couldn’t do that. Right or left? Left. Right. Electricity boards. People were looking as she ran past and something sharp on the pavement cut through the 10 denier tights her mother had bought her along with the too-grown up shoes.
Across the road. Down the next. There it was. The comforting sign of the Metropolitan line. Down the steps. Oh God, she didn’t have any money! Why didn’t brides carry handbags? So they couldn’t run away, stupid. Katie allowed herself a wry smile.
‘Oy, Cinders!’ shouted out someone. ‘Off to a fancy dress ball, are you? Don’t forget your shoes!’If it wasn’t so unreal, she’d have curled up and died with mortification. But despite the stares and a few more ‘Are you all right, luvs?’ she felt something weird rising up inside her along with the sickening fear and pain in her ribs from running.
Something big. Something warm. She had done it. She had followed her gut instinct or whatever it was that had made her do what she had done last night. The realisation almost made her feel like a different person – someone she didn’t recognise. Someone who had taken over her body (not to mention her brain) and yet who still felt part of her.
There was only one problem. What on earth was she going to do now?