Paperback: 288 pages

Published: Lightning Books (September 2022)

ISBN: 9781785633294

The School Gates

Nicola May

£9.99

They all meet at the school gates but their kids are the last thing on their minds

At 3.10pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary in Denbury to collect their children. For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows.

When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child’s father, she doesn’t expect the consequences to be quite so extreme. Earth Mummy (and former au pair) Dana finds happiness in her secret sideline, but really all she longs for is another child. Slummy Mummy Mo’s wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Super Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow. And what of Gay Daddy Gordon? Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?

Four very different mothers. One adorable dad. And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings.

OUT SEPTEMBER 2022. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

Extracts

‘Joshua P said if I give him a pound, we can kiss at playtime,’ the red-headed six-year-old announced at the breakfast table.

‘Did he indeed?’ Alana Murray sighed, wishing that after several years of abstinence, it could be that easy for her too.

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Extracts

‘Joshua P said if I give him a pound, we can kiss at playtime,’ the red-headed six-year-old announced at the breakfast table.

‘Did he indeed?’ Alana Murray sighed, wishing that after several years of abstinence, it could be that easy for her too.

‘So?’ Eliska continued, bashing her spoon annoyingly against the cereal bowl.

Alana Murray straightened down the skirt of her smart black suit.

‘Come on, Eliska, please be a good girl. Mummy has got a really important meeting today.’

‘You always have important meetings.’ The little girl stuck out her bottom lip.

‘And where’s bloody Inga? She should have been here an hour ago,’ Alana barked.

‘So, can I have a bloody pound?’ Eliska suddenly screeched at the top of her little voice, pushing her chair back violently.

‘No!’ Alana shouted back, pushing her hands through her sleek blonde bob as the doorbell rang and her daughter tore past her and ran up the stairs.

Then: ‘Thank God, Inga,’ she said weakly. ‘I thought you were never coming.’

Inga Gowenska, current au pair to the Murray famille-à-deux, was a stunning, waif-like Polish girl of eighteen.

‘I am so, so sorry, Alana. My bus, it didn’t come so soon. Did Eliska have her breakfast already?’ She looked at the mess in front of her.

‘Yes, yes. Look – I have to go. I’ll be home seven-ish.’

‘No, you will be home at seven exactly,’ Inga stated sternly. ‘It is my night off.’

Alana went upstairs to find her red-haired, red-eyed daughter lying on her bed sucking her thumb.

‘Darling, I’m sorry I shouted.’ She kissed her lightly on the cheek. ‘You know Mummy can’t be late for work. I’ll bring back a new computer game for you.

‘Promise it will be Make-up Studio.’ Eliska jumped up in excitement.

‘Yes, yes, of course. Now come on down and let Inga sort your ponytail before she takes you to school.’ Eliska ran towards the stairs. ‘And young lady,’ Alana added, ‘don’t ever let me hear you swear again.’

Alana pulled into the Chiswick courtyard and turned off the ignition. As she stepped out of her sporty Mercedes, the wind suddenly gusted, sending colourful autumn leaves swishing around her legs.

Stephen McNair, the proprietor of SM Public Relations, greeted her in the plant-laden reception with a kiss on both cheeks.

‘Look at you, Ms Murray, arriving all windswept and sexy. It’s been far too long.’

‘That’s not really appropriate talk for one of your key clients now, is it?’ Her heels clicked on the polished floor as she followed him to his office.

Facing him across his green-leather-topped desk, she sat back comfortably while crossing her legs to reveal a little too much thigh.

Her motive – distraction. It was getting so much harder now to keep him off the scent. If he started questioning her about her daughter again, what on earth would she say?

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ABOUT

Nicola May

Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of sixteen romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year. It spawned three sequels, followed by the hit Ferry Lane Market trilogy.

She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.

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