The World According to Vince

“The most adorable tosser you’ll meet this year”

Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick

The World According to Vince, a laugh out loud, feel-good RomCom from the authors of Undefeated and Model Boyfriend is available now!

A standalone story from the characters in Gym or Chocolate?

Standalone sequel to Gym or Chocolate?, giving starring roles to two much-loved secondary characters, Grace & Vince.

With British male characters, American female characters, the story is set in the present day in Manhattan where joyful silliness abounds and pandemics don’t exist.


Grace Cooper, corporate lawyer, isn’t falling for the dubious charms of British bad boy, Vince Azzo—but he’s a man on a mission, determined to change her mind—and lower her standards.

When Vince gets arrested, he needs Grace’s help. But not all the drama is in the courtroom.

Grace

The only thing I like about Vincent Azzo is that he’s 3,000 miles away. 

I don’t care that he’s a gorgeous 6’ 4” slab of manhood with a piercing gaze and blinding smile. He’s always crass and rude and swears all the time, and OMG, his Instagram feed is full of his manhood outlined in briefs, boxers, sweatpants and tighty whiteys—sometimes not even that much. He’s gorgeous, it’s true, and he’s modelled for Armani—what on earth does he want with me?

Vince

Grace Cooper is a class act—too smart to fall for my charms, but that won’t stop me trying. She’s a hard nut to crack—corporate lawyer on the outside, all woman inside. She’s not interested in me—luckily, I love a challenge.

Download your copy or read in Kindle Unlimited


EXCERPT ~ IN COURT

© 2020 Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick

All rights reserved.

“The defendant attempted to steal seventeen dogs? By himself? On foot?” “An attempt to re-home dogs from an animal shelter that the defendant now recognizes was ill-advised,” I said firmly to Judge Herschel.“You see the thing is, M’Lud,” Vince interrupted. “Three of them was about to be murdered and I couldn’t walk past and not do nothing. I’ll look after them and…” “Mr. Azzo,” the judge said sharply. “Do you wear spectacles?” Um, no, M’Lud,” Vince said earnestly. “Perfect 20/20 vision, me.” “Then you may have noticed the woman standing in front of you who claims to be your attorney?” “Yes!” Vince said happily. “That’s Gracie. She’s me mate!”From the corner of my twitching eye I saw Rick drop his head into his hands. He looked like he had a headache. I know I did.

The judge threw Vince a frosty, unamused look.

“She’s paid to talk for you. I strongly suggest you let her.”

“Ah, gotcha! Shut up, Vin!” he laughed good-naturedly.

The prosecutor handling the whole docket had finally woken up and was gaping at the show going on in front of him.

“Counselor, please approach the bench,” Judge Herschel said to me.

Feeling trepidation to the soles of my stylish shoes, I walked up to stand in front of her so she could address me privately.

“Is the defendant mentally competent to understand the arraignment and plea process, Ms. Cooper?” she asked in a clipped tone.

Oh, so many ways to answer that question.

I sighed heavily. “Yes, your Honor—he’s just … different. And British.”

“Not another word from him or contempt of court will be added to his charge sheet. Do you understand?”

“Yes, your Honor.”

“Can you make the defendant understand?”

I nodded firmly, trying to look competent, confident and professional.

“Hmm,” she said, her gimlet gaze making me want to squirm like a bug under a microscope.

I approached Vince at the podium and leaned forwards. He smelled surprisingly good after a night in the cells. Maybe it was the whiff of expensive cologne that clung to his skin. I wanted to grab him by his orange jump suit, crush it in my fists, then slap that silly smile off of his face.

Vincent Azzo brought out my inner Alexa Bliss, and the man in front of me was heading for a smack-down.

I laid my palms flat on either side of him on the podium, and spoke slowly and clearly.

“Do not speak. Nod if you understand me.”

Looking confused, Vince nodded.

“That nice lady sitting up there is a judge. Right now, she’s considering including contempt of court to the collection of felonies you’ve already acquired. Without speaking, nod if you understand.”

Comprehension dawned and a chagrined look passed across his face.

“For the rest of this arraignment, do not speak to me, do not speak to Rick, do not speak to the courtroom deputy sheriff, and especially do not speak to the judge unless I tell you to. Nod if you understand.”

Vince’s big blue eyes looked wounded, but he did as requested and nodded.

I took a deep breath.

“When you speak, you make things worse. Do you understand?”

He nodded again, his pouty lips pulling down.

“Good. Leave the talking to me. Okay?”

He leaned forward so the judge couldn’t see him. “Are you mad at me, Gracie?”

I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth three times before I answered.

“Yes, I’m mad at you.”

“Sorry.”

“Vincent?”

“Yes?”

“Shut up.”

He gave a small smile and mimed zipping his lips shut.

If only.


 MORE EXCERPTS

© 2020 Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick
All rights reserved.

GraceIt was close to midnight when my cell phone rang. I’d already worked another 16-hour day in the office plus another two at home, and I was wearing my pajamas, cocoa in hand, ready to call it a night and crawl into my enormous and comfortable bed, so when I saw the name ‘Knob-head’ flashing up on my phone, I let it roll over to voicemail. But then he rang again and again and again, and on the fifth ring, against my better judgment, I answered.

“Faith … I mean, Grace! Don’t hang up!”

Knob-head. Ugh. The stupid British guy could never even get my name right. Why had I answered? Oh yes, because he was the best friend of my best friend’s fiancé. 

“It’s late, Vincent,” I said sharply. At least I was able to remember that his given name was ‘Vincent’ and not ‘Knob-head’. “What do you want?”

“I’ve been arrested. I need a lawyer.”

“What? Oh my God, what?! You got yourself arrested three weeks before Cady and Rick’s wedding! What did you do?”

I may have panicked slightly, but Vince’s voice was annoyingly calm.

“Yeah, I know. Fookin’ bummer. I told the policewomen that, but they were hard arses. They said they had to take me in, asked for a couple of selfies and booked me anyway. They let me use my phone though—cheers, girls!”

I heard a woman laughing in the background and wondered if this was one of his stupid pranks.

“What have you’ve been arrested for?” I asked sceptically.

“That don’t matter but…”

“It really does matter, Vince! It kind of matters a lot.”

“Um, hang on,” he mumbled, “I’ve got a list somewhere.”

I could hear rustling and in the background drunks were yelling. My stomach sank—this wasn’t a prank, which had been my first guess and fervent hope. Then Vincent’s voice came back on the line.

“Alright, yeah: criminal trespass, breaking and entering, vandalism, criminal damage and theft. I think that’s everything.”

My eyes bulged. It sounded serious.

“I know a couple of criminal lawyers who can…”

“No! I need you, Fa— Grace. Please! I’m at the 20th Precinct police station, but they’ll be moving me to Central Booking and then the Tombs. Fook me! I don’t like the sound of that!”

“Vince, I’m a corporate lawyer. I do mergers and acquisitions. I’m not a criminal lawyer. I can’t help you.”

“Yeah, but I’m not a criminal, so that’s okay.”

“Vin, no! Listen to me for once! You need…”

“Please, Grace! For Rick’s sake! For Cady’s sake! For the sake of puppies and kittens—especially the puppies. Please! You’re my only hope!”

He made it sound as though he was about to be taken away and locked up for a hundred years, which might have saved the world a lot of angst.

I heaved out a long-suffering sigh. 

“Fine. I’ll come. I’ll do what I can … just … don’t talk to anyone. Don’t say anything. Don’t even comment on the weather.”

“Is it a nice evening?”

“Shut up, Vince!” I took a deep, calming breath. It didn’t work. “Anything else you want to tell me?”

My question was sarcastic, but I should have known better.

“Yeah, ta. Could you go to my flat and let me dogs out for a slash.” He paused. “And if they’ve shit on the floor, could you chuck it in the back garden.”

“What?!”

“Cheers, Grace. You’re a mate.”

He hung up.

I really, really couldn’t stand Vince Azzo.


© 2020 Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick
All rights reserved.

VinceI grinned at Rick as I studied my reflection in the mirror.

“I am a god and women can’t get enough of this fine specimen of manhood.”

“You’re an idiot, and no woman in her right mind will have anything to do with you,” he said, playing some game on his phone.

“Oi! You’re supposed to be me best mate!” 

“I am. The world is doomed.”

I stared at myself in the mirror, liking what I saw. I flexed my muscles, counted my abs, then turned sideways to check out the peachy globes of my amazing arse.

“Hot!” I grinned at my reflection. “Fookin’ hot!” I raised one eyebrow and turned to stare at Rick. “And you were supposed to be persuading Faith to go out with me and that tonight will be fab, but I didn’t notice you helping.”

“Her name’s Grace.”

“That’s what I said.”

“Yeah, well, I can’t help you.”

“Why not?”

“Grace is my fiancée’s best friend.”

I arched an eyebrow at myself in the mirror as I answered him. “So?”

“I like her. I’m not telling her to go out with a tosser like you.”

“Why are we best friends?” I laughed.

“Limited choices.”

“Nah, you love me really, mate.”

“I feel sorry for you.”

At that moment Cady came in from the back garden with Zeus and Tyson at her heels. Tap trailed behind looking sad. She knew that Rick and Cady were dog sitting for the evening and she hated it when I went out.

Rick pulled Cady onto his lap, which was a brave move since she wasn’t a small weight.

“Cady, tell Vince that Grace isn’t interested him,” he said.

“Course she is!” I defended.

“Sorry, big guy,” said Cady with a smile. “She thinks that you’re a jerk—ya know, a knob-head.”

Rick nodded in agreement but I turned back to the mirror, ignoring them both.

“Nah, she’s into me, I can tell. Otherwise why would she invite me to her office party?”

Cady sighed. “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you … wait, I actually really did want to tell you … but she thinks you’re a grade-A asshole, and the only reason she invited you is because her boss told her to.”

“Prime stud, me.”

Cady cringed. “I rest my case.”

I glanced over and grinned at her. She was wearing a red sweater and it really suited her.

“Yer tits are looking nice today, Cady. Very firm and fruity.”

“Oh my God! I can’t believe you said that!” she bellowed.

“Don’t talk about my fiancée’s tits, Vince,” Rick said, his voice a warning.

“What? I was paying her a compliment.”

“No,” Cady said patiently. “A compliment is saying my hair looks great or you like my dress. A compliment is not staring at the girls and leering.”

“I can’t help it,” I admitted. “Your tits are so big it’s like having another person in the conversation.”

Cady slapped her forehead as Rick scowled. “You’re a lost cause.”

“Nah, I just need the love of a good woman to put me on the right track. Like Faith.”

Cady and Rick yelled in unison: “It’s Grace!


© 2020 Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick
All rights reserved.

GraceI shut down any expression on my face and glanced toward the door where Vince was being brought into the courtroom in handcuffs by the Deputy Sheriff.He wore an orange jumpsuit and prison sandals, but his height and handsome face made him stand apart. The stubble on his face looked deliberate and just added to the raw glamor. He saw Rick first and gave him a wide smile and a double-thumbs up, then noticed me and winked. The judge saw it too, and raised her eyebrows.

I wanted to slap the smile right off of Vince’s face.

“The State of New York versus Vincent Alexander Azzo on the charge of burglary and larceny,” said Judge Herschel. 

“Yeah, but they was only little bugs,” Vince said seriously.

“Bugs?” the judge said, glancing up and frowning. “You stole bugs?”

“Ah, I’m Mr. Azzo’s attorney,” I interrupted, leaping to my feet.

“Then please restrain the defendant,” said Judge Herschel.

“I would if I had a muzzle,” I muttered to myself.

“Do you have something to say, Counselor?” the judge asked in a warning tone.

“No, your Honor. My apology.” My client makes me crazy.

Vince was asked to confirm his name, date of birth and address, agreeing that he’d only lived at his present residence a month. I knew this was a demerit in the judge’s eyes.

The judge then read the charge sheet, making the same astonished face that everyone had so far, while the prosecutor hunched in his chair, clearly uninterested.

“The defendant attempted to steal seventeen dogs? By himself? On foot?

“An attempt to re-home dogs from an animal shelter that the defendant now recognizes was ill advised,” I said firmly.

“You see the thing is, M’Lud,” Vince interrupted. “Three of them was about to be murdered and I couldn’t walk past and not do nothing. I’ll look after them and…”

“Mr. Azzo,” the judge said sharply. “Do you wear spectacles?”

“Um, no, M’Lud,” Vince said earnestly. “Perfect 20/20 vision, me.”

“Then you may have noticed the woman standing in front of you who claims to be your attorney?”

“Yes!” Vince said happily. “That’s Gracie. She’s me mate!”

From the corner of my twitching eye I saw Rick drop his head into his hands. He looked like he had a headache. I know I did.

The judge threw Vince a frosty, unamused look.

“She’s paid to talk for you. I strongly suggest you let her.”

“Ah, gotcha! Shut up, Vin!” he laughed good-naturedly.

The prosecutor handling the whole docket had finally woken up and was gaping at the show going on in front of him.

“Counselor, please approach the bench,” Judge Herschel said to me.

Feeling trepidation to the soles of my stylish shoes, I walked up to stand in front of her so she could address me privately.

“Is the defendant mentally competent to understand the arraignment and plea process, Ms. Cooper?” she asked in a clipped tone.

Oh, so many ways to answer that question.

I sighed heavily. “Yes, your Honor—he’s just … different. And British.”

“Not another word from him or contempt of court will be added to his charge sheet. Do you understand?”

“Yes, your Honor.”

“Can you make the defendant understand?”

I nodded firmly, trying to look competent, confident and professional.

“Hmm,” she said, her gimlet gaze making me want to squirm like a bug under a microscope.

I approached Vince at the podium and leaned forwards. He smelled surprisingly good after a night in the cells. Maybe it was the whiff of expensive cologne that clung to his skin. I wanted to grab him by his orange jump suit, crush it in my fists, then slap that silly smile off of his face.

Vincent Azzo brought out my inner Alexa Bliss, and the man in front of me was heading for a smack-down.

I laid my palms flat on either side of him on the podium, and spoke slowly and clearly.

“Do not speak. Nod if you understand me.”

Looking confused, Vince nodded.

“That nice lady sitting up there is a judge. Right now, she’s considering including contempt of court to the collection of felonies you’ve already acquired. Without speaking, nod if you understand.”

Comprehension dawned and a chagrined look passed across his face.

“For the rest of this arraignment, do not speak to me, do not speak to Rick, do not speak to the courtroom deputy sheriff, and especially do not speak to the judge unless I tell you to. Nod if you understand.”

Vince’s big blue eyes looked wounded, but he did as requested and nodded.

I took a deep breath.

“When you speak, you make things worse. Do you understand?”

He nodded again, his pouty lips pulling down.

“Good. Leave the talking to me. Okay?”

He leaned forward so the judge couldn’t see him. “Are you mad at me, Gracie?”

I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth three times before I answered.

“Yes, I’m mad at you.”

“Sorry.”

“Vincent?”

“Yes?”

“Shut up.”

He gave a small smile and mimed zipping his lips shut.

If only.


Buy your copy or read in Kindle Unlimited



Buy a signed copy




UK 17.00
EU (Airmail 2-weeks) 20.00
World (Airmail 3-weeks) 25.00