Victoria Cooke shares an extract from her novel, The Secret to Falling in Love.

Mel is desperate to find a man and settle down. Being a modern woman, she’s been unsuccessfully using the internet to help find her perfect match. This scene highlights Mel’s determination and dedication to the cause.

Back at my apartment, I found myself curious about the whole Tinder thing. I’d tried plenty of dating websites over the past few years, and none of them had resulted in a meaningful match. At the rate technology changes, dating websites may well be old news, and Tinder might just be where all the decent men are.

I opened the app; Gemma had linked it to my Facebook account, so I didn’t have to worry about choosing a new profile pic. The one from Facebook was taken last year on holiday. I was tanned and lean – having done the mandatory pre-holiday crash diet – and my blonde hair had miraculously fallen into beachy waves. The simple red strappy dress I was wearing added some eye-catching colour that might help me to stand out.

I’d read online somewhere that research showed having a cute pet in the picture increased your chances of being selected. I half considered sneaking back in through Gavin’s dog flap for a selfie with his dog, but I didn’t think becoming a dog rustler was what the research had in mind.

I still needed a short bio to complete my profile. I tapped my fingers on the keys whilst I thought about it.

Fun-loving 35-year-old.
Nope, even I was bored by that.

Easy-going single lady.
Definitely no. That made me sound like I was up for a bit more than I ought to be, as did my third attempt:

You had me at mojito 😉
Still tapping, I tried:

35 years old, perfectly preserved and still in original packaging.
Well, at least it was true. And it might have worked if I were putting myself on eBay.

I want marriage and babies.
Would at least set my stall out, but anyone who responded to that would be a definite candidate for bunny-boiler status.

I settled for:
Sociable city girl who loves laughing, walks and cocktails.
It dawned on me that I should probably update my entire online marketing campaign, as I wasn’t exactly attracting many matches and the ones I did were missing something – usually their personalities.

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, instas and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…


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Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, The Secret to Falling in Love, in 2016.

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