Read Shopaholic on Honeymoon Online

Authors: Sophie Kinsella

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Women's Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Comedy, #45 Minutes (22-32 Pages), #Contemporary Fiction

Shopaholic on Honeymoon

BOOK: Shopaholic on Honeymoon
10.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Contents

Cover

About the Book

Letter from Sophie Kinsella

Title Page

Shopaholic on Honeymoon

Preview of
Shopaholic to the Stars

About the Author

Also by Sophie Kinsella

Copyright

About the Book

A special gift for Sophie Kinsella fans – a new free Shopaholic short story, revealing what happened on Becky and Luke’s honeymoon, and including two chapters of Sophie Kinsella’s latest book,
Shopaholic to the Stars
.

The new Mr and Mrs Brandon are on honeymoon, and Becky has big plans! They’ve got a whole year to explore Venice, learn yoga in India, sleep in little wooden huts in South America . . . maybe even see penguins in the Arctic. And of course they’ll need to buy just a few, essential souvenirs along the way (everyone needs a set of Murano glass goblets, after all).

They’re not just tourists, they’re travellers. Becky is sure it is just the thing that Luke needs – time to unwind. He’ll come back a changed man . . . with all the good bits still intact of course.

But it soon becomes clear that Luke has different plans entirely. Can Becky help him let go, or will this little disagreement threaten their whole honeymoon?

Dear Reader

As readers of the
Shopaholic
series will know, I have never described Becky and Luke’s honeymoon, which happens after they get married in
Shopaholic Ties the Knot
. So as a free update for
Shopaholic
fans, I have decided to share with you one of the adventures of the newly-wed Becky and Luke.

I hope you enjoy it!

Sophie Kinsella

SHOPAHOLIC ON HONEYMOON
Sophie Kinsella
Venice

OK. Don’t panic.

Don’t
panic
. The water taxi isn’t going to sink. We’ll just have to rearrange our packages. Venetian water taxis must be used to a bit of shopping, surely?

‘What the hell’s this?’ Luke is sweating as he manhandles our last purchase into the water taxi: a massive bundle of bubble wrap and corrugated card and Sellotape.

I look at him indignantly. How can he ask, ‘What’s this?’

‘It’s our set of twelve Murano glass goblets!’ I say. ‘You were there when we chose them! All the different colours, remember? Weren’t you concentrating?’

‘Right.’ Luke looks at the huge parcel again. ‘Did we have to buy twelve glass goblets?’

‘They’re
Murano
glass,’ I repeat patiently. ‘We’re in
Venice
, Luke. Everyone buys Murano glass in Venice. It’s practically the law.’

‘But we bought some Murano glass,’ he points out. ‘When we were actually on Murano, yesterday. The dish. Remember?’

I’m silent for a moment. I know we bought a dish on Murano. But what’s a tiny little dish compared to twelve amazing goblets? I’m already imagining all the dinner parties we’ll throw, using the goblets for aperitifs. We’ll have our dining room totally Venetian. People will say, ‘Have you
seen
the Brandons’ Venetian goblets?’

‘Everyone needs goblets,’ I say at last. ‘Come on. Sit down. Enjoy the sunshine.’

Luke makes his way past all our bags and lifts a hand to the water taxi driver.


Scusi
,’ he says. ‘
Finito
.’

As we move off down the canal, I lean back, put on my shades and beam at Luke. We’re having the perfect honeymoon. No, the über-perfect honeymoon.

To be honest, we needed it. Our whole wedding situation turned into a bit of a saga, and we’ve both been really tense. In fact, at one point I actually thought we might both have nervous breakdowns. Or heart attacks. (Or some kind of horrible, stressy skin complaint, which would have been the
worst
.) Anyway. That all seems ages ago, now. We set off last week from Oxshott, and spent a week in Rome, then flew on to Venice.

We’ve been here for two days and already I’m completely used to travelling about on canals. In fact, I don’t know why we don’t use the Thames more when we’re in London. Why don’t we have gondolas and water taxis whizzing about all the time?

And look at the way they’re all dressed so smartly in matching stripy tops and boaters. Why don’t London taxi drivers wear matching costumes? You’d think the Mayor would have thought of that. In fact, I might write him a letter about it.

‘Luke, when we get back to London, I think you should commute to work by boat,’ I say firmly. ‘It makes total sense. And it’s probably greener, too. Maybe we could buy a boat, even!’

Luke turns to look at me. His face is silhouetted against the backdrop of an amazing Venetian building with crumbling shutters, and I can’t quite read his expression.

‘Darling, are you going to be like this all the way round the world?’ he says at last.

‘What?’

‘When we get to Sri Lanka, are you going to tell me I should really start commuting by elephant?’

‘No!’

‘When we get to the Arctic, are you going to want to buy a skidoo?’

‘No!’ I say, immediately wondering what a skidoo is and how much they cost. ‘Anyway, we’re not going to the Arctic.’

‘Glad to hear it.’

I squeeze his hand and beam at him. I’m in charge of our itinerary and I haven’t divulged it yet, except that we’re going round the world. I want to surprise him as we go along.

Also, I want to stay flexible. Maybe we’ll want to spend longer in one place … leave out another … think of somewhere completely new … Perhaps we
should
go to the Arctic. I’ve always wanted to see penguins. Or are they at the Antarctic? Could we do both?

Anyway. The point is, we’ve got a year to fill. Just the thought of it makes me feel exhilarated. We’re free! Luke has temporarily handed over his company, Brandon Communications, to his old friend Michael. We have no commitments. So we don’t need to be on some rigid schedule. We’re not tourists, we’re
travellers
.

* * *

It takes two journeys to struggle into our hotel with all the packages, and the receptionist watches us with growing concern. She’s a dark-haired girl with luscious dimples and has already become my new best friend after a slight hair-related emergency I had on the first day. (It turns out you
can
buy Frizz-Ease in Venice, if you know where to look. But the proportion is one bottle of Frizz-Ease to 55,000 Venetian carnival masks. They might want to look at that.)

‘You’d like to ship your purchases?’ She comes out from behind her desk and looks dubiously at the package of goblets. ‘Would you like us to arrange it?’

‘Yes, please.’ I beam at her. I’d already thought of this solution in the glass shop. We don’t need to struggle round the world with all our mementoes. We’ll just send them home!

‘Won’t it be fun when we get home and open everything we’ve bought?’ I turn to Luke. ‘It’ll be like Christmas!’

‘Yes.’ Luke looks a little doubtful. ‘Becky, we must keep track of everything we send back.’

‘Of course we will!’ I say, a bit impatiently. ‘I’ll remember everything.’

Luke has such a way of inventing problems that don’t exist.

‘Come on.’ I tug at his hand. ‘Let’s go and have a cup of coffee and decide where to go next.’

Our hotel was once a palazzo, and has a beautiful courtyard where you can sit and have cappuccinos and look at everyone’s outfits. Plus the coffee is delicious, so I’d be quite happy to sit here for a while and just chill. But Luke has already got his guidebook out and is riffling through the pages.

This is the
only
tiny difference between Luke and me. He likes reading about buildings and exhibits and history, whereas I only have to read the words ‘Built in 1755, the church was originally …’ and I fall asleep. (Which is quite handy on planes, as it happens.)

‘So, I was thinking about going to the Peggy Guggenheim,’ he says cautiously. ‘It’s supposed to be spectacular. But if you’d rather not …’

‘Why would I rather not?’ I say, puzzled.

‘Well,’ he says after a pause. ‘The Guggenheim has … history for you. Doesn’t it?’

What
? I nearly spit out my coffee, I’m so offended. How can he bring that up? OK, so I did have a slight issue over the Guggenheim museum in New York a while ago. But we’re
married
now. This is our
honeymoon
. Everyone knows that when you get married the slate is wiped clean and neither party should refer to any unfortunate incidents in the past, either Guggenheim-related or non-Guggenheim-related.

‘I’d love to go to the Guggenheim,’ I say haughtily. ‘I’m actually developing quite an interest in art. In fact, I got talking to some artists yesterday, while you were paying the restaurant bill.’

Which is true. They were Americans, over here to study. They were standing at their easels in the square, sketching a church, and they all looked really cool and one of them had the cutest little dog called Beanie.

‘Oh.’ Luke seems taken aback. ‘I didn’t know.’

‘I was actually thinking I might study art in my spare time,’ I add for good measure. ‘Maybe do a fine art degree.’

‘I thought you were going to study pasta-making?’

I stare at Luke blankly for a moment, before I suddenly remember saying that in Rome. I was so inspired by the scrummy ravioli.

‘Well, I’ll do both. Evening classes. When I’m not doing yoga.’

Yoga is the other art I’m determined to learn on this holiday. My best friend, Suze, is really into yoga and she’s told me about this brilliant place you can go in India to learn it. Or Sri Lanka. Somewhere, anyway. It’s on my list.

‘I can’t wait to get to the Far East,’ I add longingly. ‘I’m going to get you into yoga, too.
That
’ll de-stress you.’

I prod him with my toe and he laughs.

‘So, where’s next after Venice?’

‘Prague.’

‘Prague! Great.’ He nods. ‘And then?’

‘Don’t be so impatient! Wait and see! There’s plenty of time.’

The truth is, Luke’s not brilliant at going on holiday. He doesn’t really get the whole chilling-out-and-doing-nothing thing. He always wants a plan and a timescale and to have our daily schedule on his BlackBerry. But that’s the whole point of this year. To unwind him. To turn him into a different Luke Brandon.

I mean, not
totally
different, obviously. He can keep all his good bits.

‘What are you thinking?’ He smiles at me, and for an instant I imagine telling him the truth.
I was thinking about how I want to change you, all except your good bits.

‘Er … nothing!’ I smile back. ‘Let’s go.’

* * *

It turns out the Guggenheim in Venice is the perfect museum! Number one: it’s not really a museum, it’s a house. Number two: it’s got a gorgeous garden and a view over the Grand Canal. Number three: there’s just the right amount of art. Enough that you can nod and go ‘Mmmm,’ and appreciate it and everything, but not so much that your eyes start to blur over and you start wanting to die.

Luke is really into modern art, and he spends ages staring at a couple of paintings that look just a
teeny
bit like random, senseless scribbles to me, so I decide to go and appreciate the art in the garden, where you can sit on a bench and close your eyes and just soak up the vibe in more of a holistic way.

After a while, I feel a tap on my shoulder and look up to see Luke in front of me.

‘That was great!’ I say at once. ‘Amazing concepts. I was just thinking about them.’

‘Isn’t it a fantastic exhibition?’ Luke nods enthusiastically. ‘I thought I might pop into the gift shop,’ he adds. ‘There’s a book I want to buy. Do you mind if I just have a quick look?’

I stare at him, flummoxed. Something about this conversation feels back to front.
I
’m waiting for
Luke
to shop?

‘Of course,’ I say at last. ‘If you want to pop into the shop, I don’t mind. No problem. Take your time.’

As Luke heads into the gift shop, I can’t resist leaning against the door, looking a little bored, just like Luke normally does when we’re out shopping. Then I get out my phone and start tapping a text to Suze, which is even
more
like Luke. Whenever I’m buying shoes, he always suddenly has a million urgent emails to do, and barely even glances at what I’m trying on. Well, now he’ll know what it feels like.

‘What do you think?’ He brings two big hardback books over for me to see. ‘I can’t decide.’

‘They both look good,’ I say, looking up politely from my text.

‘One’s quite a lot more expensive than the other, but it’s more substantial …’ He riffles the pages, frowning. ‘Shall I get both?’

‘Do you
need
both?’ I reply innocently.

Ha! This is fun. Next I’ll say, ‘Surely you’ve got lots of art books at home already, Luke?’ or ‘Do you really think you’ll use them?’ or ‘They both look the same to me.’

I’m about to look at my watch and sigh, which is
another
thing Luke always does when we’re shopping … when something catches my eye, perched on a display in the middle of the shop. It’s a triple-layer, all-in-one art set. It has a palette of paints in every colour, brushes, sketching pencils, pastels … even a little artist’s mannequin.

BOOK: Shopaholic on Honeymoon
10.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Progressive Dinner Deadly by Craig, Elizabeth Spann
The Severance by Elliott Sawyer
Winter Storm by Winkes, Barbara
The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton
Incarnation by Cornwall, Emma
Death and the Princess by Robert Barnard
The Wizards of Langley by Jeffrey T Richelson