Shortlisted for Choc Lit’s 2019 Search for a Star competition
Love & Pollination is my debut novel. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had in writing it.
Perdita Riley is facing the greatest dilemma of her life. Why had she taken Violet Freestone’s advice on how to make herself look more alluring? It led her into the arms of a womaniser. And now Perdita has to deal with a huge setback. Actually, Setback Number One isn’t huge yet, but it won’t be long before it is.
To cheer herself up, Perdita goes shopping, where an extraordinary encounter deposits her, literally, into the lap of Saul Hadley. She would like to stay there, but Setback Number One is going to get in the way.
Will she find a way to deal with what has happened? Can she manage the complications of her growing attraction to Saul?
This hilarious situational romantic comedy will keep you gripped until the very end.
Love & Pollination is my first whacky romance set in the Bristol area of the UK. Perdita lives and works in Clifton and Saul works in Clifton – but lives in the fictional town of Westbridge. Some places mentioned in the book are real – such as Clifton Suspension Bridge, ASDA, Central Library and The Berkeley Square Hotel (check out the photos to see where Perdita went – twice – and this: The Square Club @SquareClifton). Others are fictional – such as the department stores (so I could make them suit the purpose of my plot), the special shop next door to the imaginary pet shop, the orphanage and convent and Perdita’s previous place of work, F&Z Financial Planning.
Buy now on Amazon
Read an extract on 1618 Words that will help with your understanding of the book cover. Had you guessed what the image represents?
A note to readers outside the UK
The British education system may not be like yours. Love & Pollination was published in 2020. Perdita was 28-years-old. At the time Perdita attended high school, faith schools did not have to follow the state rulings on Sex and Relationship Education – so Perdita’s Catholic convent school was not obliged to teach about sex in the context of relationships, or contraception. Read the book to find out how the nuns dealt with teaching this aspect of biology in preparing students for the exam! (Although, please note that even in Catholic convent schools not all the teachers are nuns. In fact nuns can be in the small minority. But usually lay teachers are practising Catholics.)
Also, in the UK, students are expected to start specialisation at the age of 16. They do not have a broad and balanced curriculum between the ages of 16 and 18 – unless they study the International Baccalaureate, which is far less common than A Levels. But that doesn’t mean they would have to choose human biology as their science subject. At university (which is sometimes called college), only the degree subject is studied. So since Perdita read maths at university, there was no opportunity for her to gain further knowledge. Perhaps there was a lecture in Freshers’ Week – but this is more likely to have been on teaching students about consent as there would have been an assumption that effective sex education had already taken place.
Now, in 2020, the British Government is playing down the sex part in Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) as it talks about Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). (Perhaps to put an emphasis on having a relationship before one has sex. Perdita would have missed out on this subtle difference as she’d left school long before and RSE wouldn’t have been taught in her school anyway.) Take a look here and note that even in 2020 the government allows: Flexibility for schools in their approach, including for faith schools to teach within the tenets of their faith.
How good was your Sex and Relationship Education? Or was it as bad as Perdita’s? Did you go to a faith school?
In Love & Pollination, Violet needs to shut Frank, Perdita’s black rescue cat, in Saul’s car to further her scheming…
See Frank’s Page
BUT read Love & Pollination first so as not to spoil part of the plot!