Blog Tour: Virtual Strangers – Sam Canning

*I received a free DRC of this book with thanks to the author, NetGalley and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: Two people. One desk. A million Zoom calls. What could go wrong?

When Ada and Fraser find themselves freelancing from the same café together every day, they strike up a mutually beneficial friendship. Fraser saves her the best biscuits and Ada protects the best table when he’s running late.

As they work side-by-side Ada can’t help but notice how attractive Fraser is, and how well they get along. But then Ada signs up to an Agatha Christie fan fiction site and she starts chatting with a guy online. His interests are the same as hers, and the anonymity helps them both be more honest and open. As Ada’s messages with the mystery man become deeper and more honest, she thinks she’s falling for him.

Ada is torn between Fraser and Myster-E – but can you have real feelings for someone when you’re virtual strangers?

A modern You’ve Got Mail meets When Harry Met Sally.

I knew this would be a five star read for me within the first few chapters, as I simply adored main character Ada in a somewhat obsessive, want to be her/her best friend kind of way!

I also loved the side characters, who were full of character and verve, including Ada’s mum, Fraser, Amal and Aidan, Myster-E and even bloody Steve! (I read the bit about him and the puppy more than once because it made me smile in a warm, glow-y way).

The plot, too, was great fun to read – romantic, funny and sadly touching, all in the right places. There is a bit of a trigger warning around struggling in the post-natal period, which forms an important part of the side plot but is mostly touched on ‘off-page’ through discussions, rather than seen directly by the reader.

As is always the way with romantic drama novels, there is a point in the story where the main character loses everything and everyone and hits rock bottom, so for those that get anxiety acid like me, I just want to reassure you that you do get a HEA eventually, and it is a lovely, satisfying one (more warm, glowing smiles).

In terms of suspense, the main myster-e is fairly obvious to the canny reader, but I didn’t care that I had sussed what was going on before the big drawing room reveal scene (this is a Christie reference… there is no actual drawing room here), as I enjoyed spending time in Ada’s head and reading about her misadventures anyway.

Speaking of Agatha Christie and mysteries though, I could just see Ada and her Raymond/Hastings equivalent returning for sleuthing adventures in the future now that the romantic outlook has improved… I would definitely be up for reading some investigations from the casebooks of Myster Marpel! 😉

‘I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve asked you here.’ Veronica’s voice cut through the silence, dragging me back into the room. She took a deep breath. Was she nervous? Surely not? ‘This is an incredibly delicate matter and not something I would ever normally get involved with, but this is a small team and I don’t want to put you or anyone else in a… a difficult position.’

‘Uh, OK?’ I didn’t see the point in hiding my confusion. She watched me for a moment and her eyes felt like laser beams cutting into my head. Shit, did she know about Dan?

Anxiety laced through my veins.
No, that was ridiculous, she couldn’t possibly know. And even if she did, it wouldn’t matter, would it? OK, so he was the festival’s main – only benefactor, really – but it wasn’t as if he was my boss. Plus, we were both single, consenting adults.
‘How long have you been in a relationship with Dan Townsend?’
And there it was.

– Sam Canning, Virtual Strangers

Purchase Link: Virtual Strangers on Amazon

About the author

Sam Canning is a Northern Irish born writer based in Edinburgh. Virtual Strangers is her debut novel. In her spare time, she can be found roaming the city to find the weirdest things she can and desperately trying to keep her one and only plant Stanley alive.

Twitter: @yesshescan

Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!


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