Read The Baby Group Online

Authors: Rowan Coleman

The Baby Group

BOOK: The Baby Group
8.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents
About the Author
Rowan Coleman lives with her husband, and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in the opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.
Rowan has written eleven novels, some of which include
The Memory Book
The Accidental Mother
and the award-winning
Dearest Rose
, which led her to become an active supporter of Refuge, the charity against domestic abuse. She is donating 100% of royalties from the ebook publication of her novella
Woman Walks Into a Bar
to the charity.
Rowan does not have time for ironing.
Praise for Rowan Coleman:
‘Painfully real and utterly heartbreaking, every page will leave you an emotional wreck but, ultimately, this is a wonderfully uplifting novel about mothers and daughters' Lisa Jewell
‘I can't tell you how much I loved this book. It did make me cry but it also made me laugh. Like
Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes, I couldn't put it down. A tender testament to maternal love' Katie Fforde
‘Written with great tenderness,
The Memory Book
manages to be heartbreakingly sad yet uplifting too. You'll hold your loved ones that little bit closer after reading this novel. I absolutely loved it!' Lucy Diamond
The Memory Book
is warm, sad, and life-affirming, with an unforgettable heroine who will make you laugh and cry. It's a tender book about treasuring the past and living fully in the present; you'll finish it and immediately go give your loved ones a hug' Julie Cohen
‘Warm, funny and totally heartbreaking,
The Memory Book
is a wonderful read' Polly Williams
‘. . . just stunning . . . incredibly beautiful . . . the story took me on a journey that was at turns, devastating and then so uplifting. It made my heart soar at the strength of the human spirit and how capable human beings are of true, selfless love. An unforgettable and courageous story . . . This story has the ingredients to capture the world' Katy Regan
‘A heart-breaking story that will stay with you long after you've finished the book' Carole Matthews
‘. . . terrific . . . incredibly moving but also witty and warm' Kate Harrison
‘. . . breath-takingly gut-wrenchingly heart-breakingly wonderful. Exquisitely crafted and with huge emotional depth . . . extraordinary' Veronica Henry
‘An absolutely beautiful, stunningly written story - you HAVE to read
The Memory Book
by Rowan Coleman!' Miranda Dickinson
‘Heartbreakingly good stuff – just be sure to stock up on tissues'
Fabulous Magazine, The Sun on Sunday
‘This is a heart-rending story, but it's also completely absorbing, uplifting, tender, sad and wise'
Sunday Mirror
Also by Rowan Coleman:
The Memory Book
Dearest Rose
Lessons in Laughing Out Loud
The Happy Home for Broken Hearts
The Baby Group
Woman Walks Into A Bar
River Deep
After Ever After
Growing Up Twice
The Accidental Mother
The Accidental Wife
The Accidental Family
Writing as Scarlett Bailey:
Just For Christmas
Married by Christmas
Santa Maybe
(digital short)
The Night Before Christmas


Rowan Coleman

For Kate, Steve and their son Oscar
Born 11 August 2006
I consider myself extremely lucky to have two wonderful editors working on my books and I want to say thank you so much to Georgina Hawtrey-Woore who has been so supportive and dedicated during the writing of
The Baby Group
and to Kate Elton whose early input was so important to the book. Georgina and Kate, I hope you know how highly I value you both.
Thank you to all of Random House, and especially my heroes in the sales, marketing and publicity departments who have done such sterling work on my behalf for which I am truly grateful.
Thank you also to my agent and good friend Lizzy Kremer, who is a constant source of support, ideas and most importantly laughs – she always keeps me sane.
To my stalwart friends who are always there even if I don't see them often enough: Jenny Mathews (Mrs Basquille), Clare Winter, Lynne Smith, Sarah Boswell, Cathy Carter, Rosie Wooley. Thanks for generating the sales, girls! I miss all of you.
Very many thanks to the dear friends I see every day and who have given me so much support over the last year: Margi Harris, Kirstie Seaman and Catherine Ashley.
My mum has always been extremely supportive of my career and I don't think I have ever thanked her enough for everything she's done for me over the years, so thank you mum. I love you.
Finally, thank you to Erol, who always makes me smile and laugh and whose dedication as a husband and father I learned to truly appreciate when trying to imagine life without him. It's something I never want to have to experience for real! And to my darling little girl Lily who is a constant source of inspiration and ideas and who lights up every day.
Natalie Curzon had been stuck on the Northern line in the half dark on the day she met the man who would completely change her life in the most unexpected way.
She had been feeling sticky, hot and mildly anxious on that unseasonably warm April morning because she knew that she was going to be late for her meeting with the lingerie buyer at Selfridges, a meeting it had taken her and her business partner Alice months to arrange. Natalie didn't want to be late for that meeting; who knew how long it would take to rearrange it?
Firstly she noticed the man looking at her, or rather she felt his gaze as she read over her presentation notes again. For a second or two she kept looking down at the words without reading them and then as she looked up he looked down again, rattling his newspaper to smooth out the pages. Natalie saw him shift slightly in his seat as he studied his paper with infinite care.
Natalie wondered if he had been admiring her. It would be nice if he had, but she remembered only too well the time she had thought that the whole world was admiring her because everybody she passed was staring and smiling at her. In fact, it had turned out that her wrap dress had slipped open at the front revealing a grey and much machine-washed bra to the public at large. The incident had caused her considerable embarrassment and her friends and colleagues much hilarity not least because she was the co-director of a sexy lingerie company. She had never again gone out in public in anything less than her finest underwear.
After giving herself a quick once-over to check that she was fully dressed, Natalie decided she could let herself think he was admiring her. He probably wasn't, he was probably scrutinising the Tube map over her left shoulder. Still, even the possibility gave her a small inner glow. She would have let the moment pass without incident, taking enough satisfaction in a potential unknown admirer and never given him a second thought. But as she looked back down at her notes she sensed the man watching her again.
The second time she looked up he did not look away. Hesitantly, Natalie glanced over her shoulder to see if he really was looking at something else. When she looked back he was still watching her, and this time he smiled. Natalie returned the smile instinctively. He was about her age – perhaps a little older – dressed in a good, dark blue tailored suit. His left hand was bare and there were no telltale tan marks on his ring finger. He wasn't handsome exactly, but he had something about him, a kind of mobility in his face that made him interesting to look at, with his closely shaven pale skin and slightly ruddy cheeks. He had thick, dark, longish hair that curled over his collar and as he held Natalie's gaze she noticed he had very dark eyes, almost black.
‘This is a nightmare,' he said lightly, gesturing generally at their predicament. His skin glistened with a light sheen of perspiration that made Natalie worry that her nose was shiny.
‘It is dreadful,' she replied with a resigned shrug.
‘That's my whole afternoon blown now,' he said, before adding decisively, ‘You know, now I come to think of it, what's the point in me going back to the office at all? I'm going to take the rest of the day off.'
‘You're probably right,' Natalie replied, thinking he must be someone quite important if he could just take time off like that. She thought about her missed meeting; it had taken her and Alice weeks and weeks of persuasion to get Selfridges to even think about stocking their lingerie range in-store. She looked at the man and wondered if he was going to continue this conversation or let them both slip back into the silence of strangers.
‘I might as well take the rest of the day off,' he repeated, almost to himself. He shifted in his seat restlessly, looking as if he couldn't stand to spend another second stuck on the underground train. Natalie sympathised.
‘Lucky you,' she said, a touch wistfully. She glanced at the woman sitting to her right who was quite obviously eavesdropping on their conversation to pass the time. Natalie couldn't work out if the man was chatting her up or not. Maybe he was just being friendly, because if he was chatting her up he wasn't being very obvious about it. If she wanted to know for sure, and frankly she did – then she had to try to think of something to say that would elicit a reaction from him that would make his intentions clear.
‘I should get back,' she said. It wasn't exactly the alluring and inviting sentence she was reaching for, but it was the only one that came out. She tried again. ‘I run my own design company called Mystery is Power with my business partner and best friend, Alice. Lingerie, sexy but very high-class, you know the kind of thing. We're really busy at the moment, but I must admit on a day like this and after being stuck in here it would be nice to be out in the fresh air . . .'
The man looked impressed but not embarrassed or intimidated by the word ‘lingerie', and he didn't snigger like a schoolboy. Natalie liked that about him, because it was surprising the amount of fully grown men who did snigger or blush when confronted with the posh word for pants.
BOOK: The Baby Group
8.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

White Witch by Trish Milburn
Rain Girl by Gabi Kreslehner
The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann
Rain by Melissa Harrison
Johannes Cabal The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard
The Journey's End by Kelly Lucille