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Just The Way You Are by Lynsey James


‘Dear Ava,

How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?

Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can’t remember the last time she had a second date. It’s a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.

Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she’s in love with someone else. Someone she’s never even met.

It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer… but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.

Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she’s determined to unmask Mr Writer… and find out once and for all if he’s Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!’

Today I am a part of the blog tour for the very lovely Lynsey James and she will be telling us about some rather terrible dates!

One of the ways I can relate to Ava is that I’ve been on my fair share of disastrous dates! In this post, I’m gonna share my top 5 with you guys…

1. The date that takes the top spot has to be the one that inspired one of Ava’s dates in Just the Way You Are. On my first date with a guy I’d met a few months before, I arrived at the restaurant really hungry (I’d skipped breakfast because. I was nervous/dreading it). Every attempt I made at a conversation was shot down, but that’s not the worst part. It was a lunch date but since I was hungry, I saw no issue with ordering a cheese and tomato pizza. When it came and was put in front of me, the guy had the cheek to say “Well I thought you would’ve ordered a salad rather than a pizza” in a very unamused tone. Needless to say, that was a total mood killer. He was clearly very disappointed that I wasn’t a salad-loving gym bunny. Ashamed to say this wasn’t the last date I went on with him, but he was dumped after date number two!

2. I managed to get a date with this really hot guy who had collar-length black hair and looked like a musician. It was just after I split up with my ex so I was kind of nervous about dating again. I wore flats as he’d said he was 5’7 and I didn’t want to tower over the bloke. He text me the morning of the date to say he’d lost a bet and had shaved his lovely hair off. I assumed he was joking. He wasn’t. I arrived at the restaurant and he was TOTALLY bald…and about 5 inches shorter than he’d led me to believe! I towered over him even in flats. Not good.

3. My first ever date was with a bloke from work, who for some reason didn’t tell me his real name. Later found out the name he gave me was a combination of Valentino Rossi and Cristiano Ronaldo. We went to Pizza Hut where he talked about himself the whole time and stared at my breasts. He told a total of eight lies that night, including his name, his  parents’ holiday villa in Capri and that he had a yacht. When he tried to kiss me later that night, I ducked and got into a waiting taxi.

4. Around Christmas one year, I was dating this guy whose sister used to do my hair. He said he was taking me somewhere ‘really special’, which turned out to be a completely rammed restaurant full of corporate parties out for Christmas. The pizza was burnt, I couldn’t hear myself think and the guy told me he wasn’t having a good time. We went back to his to exchange Christmas gifts, which went about as bad as it could go. We hadn’t been going out long, so we’d agreed not to do anything big. He’d asked me what my favourite perfume was, ignored what I said and bought me the wrong one. To make matters worse, he threw in a slightly bashed box of biscuits he admitted he’d got on sale! I found out a few weeks later he’d been seeing someone else…

5. When I was sixteen, I went on a date with a guy I’d liked for ages. We didn’t have much money, so we ended up at the local beach. After talking for a bit, he moved in for a kiss. It was all very romantic – the sound of the waves, the sun setting in the background and hardly anyone else on the beach. However, it was quickly ruined by a little kid shouting “YOU HAVE BIG BOOBIES!” I ended up having to walk all the way home in really uncomfortable shoes too, as the bus driver didn’t have change for a tenner.




I was born in Fife in 1991 and have been telling people how to spell my name ever since. I’m an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. I started writing when I was really young and credit my lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with my love of telling stories. I used to write my own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of my family (in fact I’m sure I put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told me writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, I believed her. I tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When I left my job a couple of years ago, I started writing full-time while I looked for another one. As soon as I started working on my story, I fell in love and decided to finally pursue my dream. I haven’t looked back since.

When I’m not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, I’m daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises we’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…


2 thoughts on “Just The Way You Are by Lynsey James

  1. Oh Lynsey I can empathize with you regarding your disastrous dates. I’ve also had my fair share.
    I went on to the look inside section of your book and after reading the first few paragraphs I logged unto the Amazon Canada sight and ordered your book. You’re opening immediately caught my attention. 🙂 Anxious to read you and wishing you all the best.

  2. Oh my goodness this interview made me laugh! I recognise Ava’s dates from the book in Lynsey’s experiences above. I loved this book and Ava’s search for Mr Writer.

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