Never Can Say Goodbye
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It looks, Frankie thought happily to herself, like a proper fabulous frock shop! Francesca Meredith has always had a penchant for vintage dresses. So when she inherits a retro dress shop in the quaint Berkshire village of Kingston Dapple, it's better than winning the lottery. Life is just perfect for Frankie, but it's about to get complicated when she sees a masculine vision setting up shop outside her door - heart-throb florist Dexter Valentine. As Frankie tries her best to make 'Francesca's Fabulous Frocks' into a success, Dexter's philandering proves the ultimate distraction. That is, until the village medium insists that Frankie's shop is haunted and Frankie starts witnessing some very strange shenanigans. Will Dexter think she's crazy? Will Frankie's terribly ordinary life return to normal ever again? Does she even want it to...?
me, I hope not. At least not for another eighty-odd years. No, as I’ve just told you, I’m as fit as a lop. Well, a few pounds overweight maybe, but otherwise I’ve just passed my MOT with flying colours.’ ‘Thank goodness for that.’ Frankie heaved a massive sigh of relief. ‘But please stop messing about. You can’t give me the shop – even in a game.’ ‘For the umpteenth time, it’s not a game and yes, I can. And as I won’t be here for much longer, it seems eminently sensible to tie up all the ends
Mind you, Frankie thought now, staring out across the marketplace, the whole of Kingston Dapple looked pretty spooky today. The wind and rain had given way to a cold, dark sullenness and a dawn to dusk swirling pea-souper fog. The Christmas lights across the square gleamed feebly in the grey, shifting gloom and the shoppers were spectral figures as they appeared and faded in the murk. Across the cobbles, Dexter’s flower stall had also undergone something of a transformation. It looked, Frankie
another splash of colour.’ He gazed round the shop. ‘This is truly incredible. Amazing. You’ve worked so hard.’ ‘Thanks.’ Frankie tried not to stare too obviously at Dexter to see if he showed any traces of being out clubbing until the small hours. He looked, she thought, stunningly sexy, annoyingly bright-eyed and wide awake, and definitely not debauched in any way. ‘And yes, Rita had some vases under the sink. I think they’re still there.’ He took the flowers and champagne and disappeared
duffle coat. ‘Got yours yet, gel?’ Cherish shook her head. ‘I don’t bother with any decorations or a tree. It’s only me. There doesn’t seem to be any point.’ ‘That’s terrible.’ Brian whizzed them round a corner and Cherish brushed against him. She righted herself quickly. ‘No, seriously –’ Brian looked at her through his unkempt hair ‘– that’s sad. You should put some decs and things up. Just for yourself. I’ve got mine up. You know I was dead lucky because Rita left me her bungalow? Well,
indulging in her favourite pastime of trying on newly donated dresses to while away the customer-free moments. The fictional bequest-making, Frankie assumed, was a new game invented for much the same reason. ‘Anyway,’ Rita continued, fluffing at her heavily hennaed hair, ‘with me being a titian, red’s not really me, is it? Red’s more your colour. You can get away with red seeing as you’re dark and dramatic and look exactly like Joan Rivers.’ ‘What?’ ‘You do, love. You know you do. Loads of