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Sphere acquires debut adult novel from the author of The Kissing Booth

Sphere have acquired the rights to the debut adult novel from Beth Reekles, author of the bestselling YA series and worldwide Netflix sensation, The Kissing Booth. UK & Commonwealth rights were acquired by Rebecca Farrell, Commissioning Editor at Sphere, from Clare Wallace at the Darley Anderson Agency, and Sphere will publish in the UK as a paperback original and ebook in February 2022.

Author, Beth Reekles, began writing Love, Locked Down during the first national lockdown in 2020 and released early extracts of the novel on Wattpad, where it accumulated over half a million reads worldwide. A heart-warming and hilarious, pitch-led modern love story, Love, Locked Down, tells the intertwining stories of an apartment block in sudden lockdown and a week its residents won’t soon forget.

The synopsis reads: ‘When an apartment block is put on lockdown, its residents are in for a whirlwind week. Wild and reckless Imogen is stuck with her one-night-stand in Flat 14 whose name she can’t remember, while new couple Isla and Danny are still in the honeymoon period and a warts-and-all week together could make or break their romance. Meanwhile, Zach and Serena’s steady relationship is on tenterhooks and pineapple on pizza might be the last straw, and in Flat 22, Olivia’s Maid of Honour duties are pushing her to the edge as a wedding-planning weekend refuses to end… And speaking of weddings, this whole thing has made Ethan realise he wants to spend the rest of his life with Charlotte, if only he can surprise her with the perfect proposal – and find a way to sneak her into the building . . .’

Commissioning Editor Rebecca Farrell said: ‘Love, Locked Down is one of the best romantic comedies I’ve read in a long time. Brilliantly fun, expertly written, with laugh-out-loud humour and breath-taking romance, I read the submission in one night and fell completely in love with the apartment block community of Beth’s imagination – I knew immediately this was a book we had to publish at Sphere.’

Beth Reekles said: ‘I’m thrilled to be publishing Love, Locked Down with Sphere! The early draft of this book on Wattpad gave me a connection to the outside world when everyone was going through a weird time, and gave me a fun, light-hearted project to work on with some larger-than-life characters all navigating totally different stages of their twenties and their relationships.’

Clare Wallace said: ‘Beth is such a warm, funny and astute storyteller. She is a joy to work with and it is no surprise to me that out of being locked down alone Beth came up with this brilliant novel founded on connection, friendship, and love. Rebecca responded to the manuscript with such passion and vision – I’m delighted that she and the Sphere team will be publishing.’