Excerpt: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your NumberBy Sophie Kinsella

I’ve lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her ‘happy ever after’ begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents… she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Goodreads Summary

“You have to stop him. Go up to him and stop him leaving the hotel. Go up to him now. Do whatever it takes.”

“What?” I stare at the phone. “Look, I’m sorry, but I’ve never even met you–”

“Nor me you,” he rejoins. “Who are you, anyway? Are you a friend of Violet? Can you tell me exactly why she decided to quit her job halfway through the biggest conference of the year? Does she think I suddenly don’t need a PA anymore?”

Aha. So Violet’s his personal assistant. This makes sense. And she’s walked out on him! Well, I’m not surprised, he’s so bossy.

“Anyway, doesn’t matter,” he interrupts himself. “Point is, I’m on the stairs, floor nine, the lift jammed, I’ll be downstairs in less than three minutes, and you have to keep Yuichi Yamasaki there till I arrive. Whoever the hell you are.”

What a nerve. “Or what?” I retort.

“Or else a year of careful negotiation goes down the tubes because of one ridiculous misunderstanding. The biggest deal of the year falls apart. A team of twenty people lose their jobs.” His voice is relentless. “Senior managers, secretaries, the whole gang. Just because I can’t get down there fast enough and the one person who could help won’t.”

Oh, bloody hell. “All right!” I say furiously. “I’ll do my best. What’s his name again?”

“Yamasaki.”

“Wait!” I raise my voice, running forward across the lobby. “Please! Mr. Yamasaki? Could you wait a minute?”

Mr. Yamasaki turns questioningly, and a couple of flunkies move forward, flanking him protectively. He has a broad face, still creased in anger, and a wide, bullish neck, around which he’s draping a silk scarf. I get the sense he’s not into idle chitchat.

I have no idea what to say next. I don’t speak Japanese, I don’t know anything about Japanese business or Japanese culture. Apart from sushi. But I can’t exactly go up to him and say “Sushi!” out of the blue. It would be like going up to a top American bussinessman and saying “T-bone steak!”

“I’m… a huge fan,” I improvise. “Of your work. Could I have your autograph?”

He looks puzzled, and one of his colleagues whispers a translation into his ear. Immediately, his brow clears and he bows to me.

Cautiously, I bow back, and he snaps his fingers, barking an instruction. A moment later, a beautiful leather folder has been opened in front of him, and he’s writing something elaborate in Japanese.

“Is he still there?” The stranger’s voice suddenly emanates from the phone.

“Yes,” I mutter into it. “Just about. Where are you?” I shoot a bright smile at Mr. Yamasaki

“Fifth floor. Keep him there. Whatever it takes.”

Mr. Yamasaki hands me his piece of paper, caps his pen, bows again, and makes to walk off.

“Wait!” I cry desperately. “Could I… show you something?”

“Mr. Yamasaki is very busy.” One of his colleagues, wearing steel glasses and the whitest shirt I’ve ever seen, turns back. “Kindly contact our office.”

They’re heading away again. What do I do now? I can’t ask for another autograph. I can’t rugby-tackle him I need to attract his attention somehow.

“I have a special announcement to make!” I exclain, hurrying after them. “I am a singing telegram! I bear a message from all Mr. Yamasaki’s many fans. It would be a great discourtesy to them if you were to refuse me.”

The word discourtesy seems to have stopped them in their tracks. They’re frowning and exchanging confused glances.

“A singing telegram?” says the man in steel glasses suspiciously.

“Like a Gorilla Gram?” I offer. “Only singing.”

The interpreter murmurs furiously in Mr. Yamasaki’s ear and after a moment looks at me. “You may present.”

Mr. Yamasaki turns and all his colleagues follow suit, folding their arms expectantly and lining up in a row. Around the lobby I can see a few interested glances from other groups of business people.

“Where are you?” I murmur desperately into the phone.

“Third floor,” comes the man’s voice after a moment. “Half a minute. Don’t lose him.”

“Begin,” the man in steel spectacles says pointedly.

Some people nearby have turned to watch. Oh God. How did I get myself into this? Number one, I can’t sing. Number two, what do I sing to a Japanese businessman I’ve never met before? Number three, why did I say singing telegram?

But if I don’t do something soon, twenty people might lose their jobs.

I make a deep bow, to spin out some more time, and all the Japanese bow back.

“Begin,” repeats the man in steel spectacles, his eyes glinting ominously.

I take a deep breath. Come on. It doesn’t matter what I do. I only have to last half a minute. Then I can run away and they’ll never see me again.

“Mr. Yamasaki…” I begin cautiously, to the tune of “Single Ladies.” “Mr. Yamasaki. Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki.” I shimmy my hips and shoulders at him, just like Beyonce. Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki.”

Actually, this is quite easy. I don’t need any lyrics– I can just keep singing “Mr. Yamasaki” over and over. After a few moments, some of the Japanese start singing along and clapping Mr. Yamasaki on the back.

“Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki. Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki.” I lift my finger and waggle it at him with a wink. “Ooh- ooh-ooh… ooh- ooh- ooh…”

This song is ridiculously catchy. All the Japanese are singing now, apart from Mr. Yamasaki, who’s standing there, looking delighted. Some nearby delegates have joined in with the singing, and I can hear one of them saying, “Is this a flash mob thing?”

“Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki… Where are you?” I mutter into the phone, still beaming brightly.

“Watching.”

“What?” My head jerks up and I sweep the lobby. Suddenly my gaze fixes on a man standing alone, about thirty yards away. He’s wearing a dark suit and has thick, black rumpled hair and is holding a phone to his ear. Even from this distance I can see that he’s laughing.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella, to be published Feb 14, 2012

I just wanted to give y’all a little taste of Kinsella’s brilliance before the book releases. I LOVED this book, and it’s become my favorite out of all her work. I may or may not have already read it twice in the last few weeks… 😉

 

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