Saturday, March 12, 2022

Falling for the Competition by Jen Smith - Book Tour


Falling for the Competition

It’s going to be the best summer ever for ambitious, overachieving Quinn. A huge history buff, not only has she landed her dream job interning in the archives department of the local castle, but her best friend will be working there too.

However, Quinn isn’t the only one to be working in Archives this summer; Quinn’s academic rival, Patrick, is sharing her office in Muniments. They’re competing for the Letter of Recommendation (singular) from the research historian that Quinn needs to get her dream future placement.

Their emotionally-loaded and competitive rivalry turns into a reluctant friendship, as they spend every day working together in silence (and sharing the occasional Twix). Until the Re-Enactors arrive. Between Patrick and Harry – the Golden Knight of the jousting team – Quinn’s carefully planned summer is thrown into complete disarray. Meanwhile, her best friend’s relationship may look perfect on the outside, but Quinn is starting to realise that there’s more going on than there seems.

Although Quinn is determined and single minded about planning every detail of her sparkling future, she comes to discover that the best things in life are the spontaneous ones – and that some people are more important than any Letter of Recommendation (singular) could ever be.

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“Quinn!” Mum calls, “There’s a horse outside!”

“Oh no,” I mumble. If Ned has come to pick up Frankie, then I’m going to be late because it’s too late for me to walk in now. Late is not an option, especially with Patrick sitting there smug in his knowledge of Latin and the probability that he’s going to get the Letter of Recommendation, Singular. “Can you take me in?” I call as I race down the stairs.

“I don’t think it’s for Frankie.” Mum’s peering out of the little window next to the door.


“I said, it’s not the same guy as it was who picked up Frankie, and he’s stopped outside our house.” She didn’t say that but whatever. I open the door to have a look.

It’s Harry. On a horse, a massive horse, outside my front gate. It’s either a very expensive palfrey or a destrier. Either way, I’m not getting on it. He smiles benevolently at me and holds out his hand.

No. Just no.

“Who is that?” Mum whispers in my ear. I’m not sure whether she’s awed or thinks it’s really weird for a knight to be picking up her daughter on horseback. Oh god, and he’s wearing full leg armour (minus the sabatons, pointy feet things) and a pig’s face bascinet, you know the helmets that are pointy in the front? Yeah. That.

“That, mother, is Harry.” I snap.

“He’s picking you up on a horse.” She states.

“Apparently so.”

“Do you even like horses?”

“No.” I state. “I do not like horses.” I glance across and see Frankie by her front gate, car keys in hand.

“I am here to escort you, Lady.” Harry says imperiously.

“Does he always speak like that?” Mum asks.

“Yeah. And I’m not getting on that horse.” I say to her. She’s trying not to smile, because she knows how much I hate being laughed at. And this is definitely going to be one of those things that she’s going to laugh at me for. For the rest of my life. I take a couple of steps forward and Frankie’s grin nearly splits her face.

“Hi Harry,” I say calmly. “I don’t need you to… but thank you, it’s a very nice gesture.” I wave my arm in Frankie’s direction. Yep, still sore from attempting to shoot yesterday. “I’m going in with Frankie.”

“But I’m here to take you in,” He says, genuinely confused that I would not want to get on his massive snorting horse with him.

“I’m not really dressed for riding a horse.” I say, diplomatically.

“Then change.” I bristle at his tone. I’m not changing, and I’m certainly not being told to do so by him. He’s genuinely confused. “What? Girls love this.”

Seriously! “Girls, Harry, may love this, but I am not girls and I do not.” I cross my arms and scowl at him. I’m burning inside, I’m a roiling ball of liquid magma.

1. He’s turned up unexpectedly (poor show)

2. He’s expecting me to change my clothes (good one)

3. He’s expecting me to ride a horse (I do NOT think so)

4. This isn’t anything new for him, he does it with girls and girls love it (just who does he think he is?)

I don’t know why I’m more angry at him.

“Can you move your horse so I can get out of my garden?” I grind out. The beast is blocking the gate to my house; it’s so big it’s practically blocking the sun.

“Fine,” he shrugs and turns the horse. “See you later.” he calls over his shoulder. The horse rears and I hate to say that I’m impressed, but I am, and Harry gallops off carelessly down the road.

“Um, okay, well this is something we can talk about later.” Mum says, standing next to me.

“We’re definitely not talking about this later.” I say to her. “What a dick,” I say under my breath.

“He’s not like that Percy Jackson boy.” Mum muses. I roll my eyes at her and head to the Mini Monster.

But she’s right, Harry is not at all like Patrick.


Author Bio – Jen lives in the Midlands with her husband and two children. With a Masters Degree in Medieval History, Jen loves castles and King John a little too much. Strangely un-British, she does not like tea, oranges or marzipan, but adores French cheese, guava juice and Chinese food (not together).

When not writing, Jen can often be found pointing out historical inaccuracies in period dramas, being a Lady that Lunches with close friends and playing board games with her family. Note: her handbags are always heavy due to multiple books (just in case she needs them). 


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