The Secret To Falling In Love

Victoria Cooke

Book Cover



    Core Theme











    Career woman and social media addict, Mel, wants to settle down and find a man. The trouble is, online dating isn't working and after a long line of losers, she decides a social media detox is in order. Will she find love the old-fashioned way?

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34

    Target Gender: Female leaning


    Manchester, England and Scotland.

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: HQ Digital (UK) an imprint of HarperCollins

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta's and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is. That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can

    Ending Description

    Mel realises that she needs to be more present, a social media balance is in order, she also stands up to herself against her evil boss. In her love-life, and after a series of misunderstandings, she finally gets her 'happy ever after' with guy-next-door, Scott.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available



    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity, Nudity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message, Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Mel is career-driven, upbeat and doesn't let things get her down, even when things are going badly. She doesn't stand up for herself much early on but grows in confidence. She is worried about her biological clock ticking.

    Age: 35

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring, Charming, Faithful, Funny, Modest, Romantic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Dee

    Age: 45

    Gender: Female

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Beautiful, Decisive, Leader, Manipulative, Sophisticated, Badass, Blunt, Confident, Outspoken, Unapologetic, Aggressive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Scott

    Age: 35

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Sexy, Charming, Confident, Funny, Heartthrob, Heroic, Honorable, Masculine

    Additional Character Details

    Name: James

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Charming, Confident, Engaging, Heartthrob, Lone Wolf, Leader, Beautiful, Narcissistic, Seductive


    Career woman and social media addict, Mel wants to settle down and find a man. The trouble is, online dating isn't working and after a long line of losers, she decides a social media detox is in order. By going back to old-fashioned ways of communicating, she reconnects with herself and finds her way to love.

    What We Liked

    This is an entertaining story about unplugging and finding love the old school way. It's Bridget Jones for today's times, and has the makings of a modern rom-com.

    The story follows a complete arc in that it follows the life of Melissa, a 30-something successful career woman who is looking for love. Being made into a film would give the story the space to play out - showing how she has to first rediscover herself, through a technology detox, before she can find someone else to love. The drama of having two potential love interests and how she decides which one to follow gives the audience something to invest in right until the end.

    The issues Melissa grapples with as a single woman in today's times could make for comedic episodes of a television series. Her two best friends have their issues too, one of whom is newly out as a lesbian, and so they would round out the subjects and scenarios that get played with during each episode. An audience could get to know each of the characters through the episodes, as they deal with love and life in the age of social media.

    Key points: It's a story for our times; the lead character is endearing; it's set in Manchester, and not London, which would be typical; it's an entertaining story; there is a satisfying payoff.


    Melissa, a writer who is single and living in Manchester, is on the cusp of her 35th birthday. When she wakes up from another drunken one-night-stand, she decides enough is enough. She can’t be doing another walk of shame again, so she vows to clean up her act and take a more proactive approach to finding love. She has spent her life working on her career and is fairly successful but her biological clock is ticking, and it’s only getting louder with every Facebook post she sees of her friends with their husbands and children. Her best friend Gemma signs her up for Tinder. Melissa goes on a date with a man she meets through the app, but it goes badly, leading her to want to swear off finding love for good. She’s become fed up with how much social media and technology have fueled her anxieties and wishes the world would be a little less connected to our phones. Inspired by watching The Matrix late one night, she decides to write about it for the column she has at the magazine where she works.

    It goes viral, becoming a hot talking point, and bringing good exposure for the magazine. Melissa’s editor, Dee, gives her a follow-up assignment to go without technology for a month and write about it. Without any warning, Dee takes away Melissa’s phone and she is left without any access to the internet. Melissa embraces the challenge and goes to visit her sister, instead of Skyping her, as she usually would. While babysitting her sister’s kids, she finds out her mother and her mother’s neighbor had wanted to set up her up with the neighbor’s newly divorced son, but they’d written a list of reasons why the match wouldn’t actually work. Melissa is strangely intrigued by this person she is supposedly a terrible match for. With no way of reaching her friends and family, through her usual means of texting and calling, Melissa starts to find new ways to communicate - traveling to Gemma’s house, writing her a note and asking her to tell their mutual friend, Amanda, and her parents about her work assignment. She takes herself out to celebrate the success of her column and, without a phone to distract her, meets an elderly woman to share the experience with. When she goes to her local coffee shop, without her iPad or iPhone, she notices a handsome man and they end up talking. His name is Joseph and he invites her out on a date.

    It goes well, even though he pulls out all the over-the-top stops, including hiring a limo and wearing a tux. Melissa is attracted to him and they stop short of having sex. But she finds out Dee had organized the date, as a way to spice up the article. She goes to her dad’s birthday party and meets the mysterious neighbor’s son, Scott. There is a spark between them - or at least she thinks so, and they arrange to meet for a skiing lesson. Without being able to text, Melissa gives her mom a note to give to Scott’s mom, to confirm the time and place. They meet up and it’s clear there is chemistry between them, even though Melissa doesn’t want to be a rebound after his divorce.

    As a means of apologizing, Dee sends Melissa to her house in Scotland for a week of relaxation. Coincidentally, this is where Scott is skiing with some friends on holiday. Joseph, too, shows up, to try apologize for what Dee did. Joseph and Scott get into a bit of a fight a lá Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Melissa tries to fix things with Scott, who she realizes she has feelings for. When she goes to his place to apologize she sees a picture of his ex-wife and it looks oddly familar. When Gemma goes to see her at work to tell her she’s fallen in love with a woman and shows her a picture of her girlfriend, she is stunned to see it’s Emma, Scott’s ex-wife. She goes to tell Scott that his wife is actually lesbian and dating her best friend, and he reacts by leaving her in haste.

    Melissa gets her phone back and reflects on all she’s learned and experienced without it. Scott comes to see her at work to tell her he and Emma talked it out they’re both okay with the situation. He wants to take Melissa out that night, but not before giving her an epic kiss. In the rain, of course.

    At the story’s epilogue, Melissa and Scott move to Scotland, where they are living as a happily married couple, whose friends and family are coming to celebrate the forthcoming arrival of their baby.

    About The Author

    Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester but now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters. 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' is her first novel, and she has written two more since, including 'Who Needs Men Anyway?' which became a digital bestseller in 2018.