Century pre-empts Cook's 'page-turning' novel in two-book deal

Century pre-empts Cook's 'page-turning' novel in two-book deal

Century has pre-empted the “page-turning” contemporary debut novel by Lorna Cook, writing under the pseudonym Elle Cook, in a two-book deal.

Fiction publishing director Emily Griffin acquired world rights, including audio, to The Man I Never Met and one other untitled novel from Rebecca Ritchie at A M Heath. The first novel will publish in spring 2023.

Its synopsis reads: “The Man I Never Met tells the story of Hannah and Davey, who connect by chance when Davey misdials Hannah’s number when calling for a job interview. They form a long-distance friendship that soon turns into something more as Davey prepares to relocate from the US to London. But when Davey fails to show up in England, Hannah finds out that 5,000 miles isn’t the only thing that’s been dividing them. Are they fated to remain on different sides of the world, or does the universe have a different plan?”

Cook worked as a journalist and in PR before becoming a full-time novelist. She is the author of three historical time-slip novels under her real name Lorna Cook. The Forgotten Village, The Forbidden Promise and The Girl from the Island, published by Avon in the UK, have sold more than 230,000 copies combined and been translated into 10 languages, according to the publisher. 

She said: “I am so thrilled to have found such a fantastic publishing home with Century for my contemporary fiction and Emily and her team have blown me away with their enthusiasm and excitement for the book. The Man I Never Met is very close to my heart for personal reasons and I can’t wait to share the journey Hannah and Davey go on with readers around the world.”

Griffin added: “I devoured The Man I Never Met practically in one sitting—it broke my heart and put it back together again. This is everything I love in a book: a page-turning read with an unforgettable hook and characters you care wholeheartedly about. The will-they-won’t-they? romance at the heart of the novel will be loved by fans of Josie Silver and Sophie Cousens. We have ambitious plans to launch Elle Cook with a splash on the list and can’t wait to get started."