Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.
Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?
There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.
With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.
Praise for Nicola May’s books
‘This book will twang your funny bone & your heartstrings’ – Milly Johnson
‘A fun and flighty read’ – The Sun
‘A funny and fast-paced romp – thoroughly enjoyable!’ – WOMAN Magazine
About Nicola May
Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chick lit with a kick.
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‘Are you sure you’ve got the right person?’
Rosa took off her bright red woolly hat and scratched the back of her head furiously, causing her dark brown curly hair to become even more unruly.
The tall, pinched-faced solicitor nodded. ‘Yes, of course we have. Evans, Donald and Simpson do not make mistakes. You, Miss Larkin, are now the official owner of the corner shop in Cockleberry Bay.’
He handed the bewildered twenty-five-year-old a battered leather briefcase and pointed to a small combination padlock on its brass clasp.
‘Here. The will stated that you – and only you – can open this, using your date of birth.’
‘This is all very strange,’ Rosa said. ‘And where exactly is this Cockleberry Bay?’
‘Devon, dear, Devon.’ The solicitor looked under his rimless glasses. ‘I take it you know where that is?’
‘I may have a cockney accent, Mr Donald, but I’m not stupid.’
‘Well, open it then.’ The solicitor was shifting from foot to foot in anticipation. He confided, ‘We’ve been wanting to know what’s in there for days.’
Showing no emotion, Rosa gazed at him with her striking green eyes and asked coolly: ‘Is there anything else I need?’
‘Er, no – but are you not going to . . .?’
‘I need to get to work.’ Rosa put her hat and scarf back on, zipped up her fur-lined bomber jacket and headed for the door. ‘Thank you so much for your help.’
And she was gone.
The solicitor peered crossly out of the window of the offices in Staple Inn and watched as the young woman, the briefcase in her arms, strode across the frosty cobbled courtyard and out into the bustle of London’s ancient legal quarter.