the oc meets The unhoneymooners in this shipwreck romcom when the reunited cast of a hit show get stuck on a deserted island with nothing but their complete lack of survival skills, simmering drama, and the sneaking suspicion that someone is up to no good.

Agnes “Ness” Larkin has been out of the spotlight for twenty years since her quick departure from a starring role in a hit teen TV drama. When the show is tapped for a reboot, no one is more surprised than Ness that she signs on to rejoin the cast, leaving behind a normal—if not exactly thrilling—life in Toronto. Also back for round two are Libby, Ness’s former best friend and soon to be makeup empire magnate, and Hayes, Ness’s one-that-got-away who has risen to A-list fame (and somehow gotten even better looking) in the years she’s been gone.

When they set off for filming near the Bahamas, a storm leaves the seven actors and one production assistant stranded on a small island with only an abandoned, derelict mansion to wait out the storm. But when the weather clears and a new day rises—their boat is gone too.
Stuck in a bizarre, crumbling house on an uninhabited island with possibly the most useless survival group in history, Ness and her co-stars are forced to revisit a minefield of past transgressions and come to terms with the adults they’ve become as they work together to ride out the storm. Or at least pretend to—they are actors, after all.

Interspersed with weather reports, fictional memoir excerpts, a dating profile and Perez-Hilton-esque blog posts, Not How I Pictured It is a rollicking novel of delightful absurdity, pithy dialogue, and no shortage of heart.

critical praise

“There’s no one I’d rather be trapped on a desert island with than Ness Larkin and the rest of the hilariously dysfunctional cast of Not How I Pictured It. Both a nonstop-entertaining survival romp and a heartwarming exploration of second chances, Robin Lefler’s sophomore novel is a MUST for your 2024 beach bag.”

Nicolas DiDomizio, author of Nearlywed

Not How I Pictured It was full of suspense, adventure, backstabbing old friends, middling survival skills, and best of all, a swoony second chance romance with a sexy movie star. When the entire cast of a decades old TV show gets stranded on a Caribbean Island on route to film their reboot, they have no choice but to mend their relationships and learn to work together to survive.  I loved seeing Ness grow as she came to terms with her past…and wrestle with a snake! What an incredibly fun book!”

Farah Heron, author of Jana Goes Wild and Accidentally Engaged

Not How I Pictured It is a zany, rollicking good time with a powerful emotional reckoning at its core. Lefler grapples with fame, growing up, and what we owe the people we love, all the while keeping up the Romancing the Stone-style hijinks.”

Jenny Holiday, author of Canadian Boyfriend and Earls Trip

“What if the cast of 90210 unwittingly reunited for a season of Survivor? Not How I Pictured It is fun, funny and full of drama. The perfect beach read from one of my must-read authors!”

Chantel Guertin, bestselling author of Two for the Road

“Robin Lefler fires up the page with sharp wit, dazzling imagination, and pulse-jumping plot twists! Not How I Pictured It is an epic adventure romcom where top-tier tropes meet a gripping mystery. The end result is a sexy, thrilling, and at turns hilarious modern nod to Gilligan’s Island. I could not put this book down.”

Courtney Kae, author of In the Event of Love and In the Case of Heartbreak

“Devastatingly funny and a delight from the first page. It’s smart and it made me laugh out loud over and over. In other words, I adored this book!”

Susan Juby, author of A Meditation on Murder

“Gilligan’s Island meets Gossip Girl—this is a rom com that will have you reaching for the popcorn. SO. MUCH. FUN.”

Amy T. Matthews, Someone Else's Bucket List

a swanky new gig at a luxury artists’ retreat in muskoka, a delightful canine companion and a chance at a clean start. it should be smooth sailing from here . . .

Everything has fallen apart for Kate Rigsby: she is freshly single—separated from an ex she never really liked—and freshly fired—from a job she never really liked, either. Somehow, she’s reached the age of thirty-one and the only things she truly cares about are her goldendoodle, Eric, her two best friends, and proving to her parents (and, if she’s honest, to herself) that she made the right choice moving to the city. Except, instead of thriving, she finds that her life has taken a nose-dive. So when a job at Treetops Creative Retreat suddenly lands in her lap, she’s thrilled. Three months at a glorified arts and crafts workshop for grown-ups that boasts five-star cuisine and a helipad, and she’ll be well paid? The perfect escape. So what if her contract spans the depths of winter? Neat! A charming life experience! She can learn to snowshoe.

But when Kate arrives at the retreat, nothing is as she imagined. She didn’t read the fine print, her targets are impossible, her boss seems committed to seeing her fail and there happens to be an extremely off-limits fellow staffer who has no business being so gorgeous.

Part self-discovery, part rom-com and part comedy of errors, Reasonable Adults is a hilarious debut about finding yourself—and maybe love—along the way. A little summer-camp romance never hurt anyone, right?

critical praise

Reasonable Adults is a smart, romantic comedy filled with madcap moments that will leave you laughing out loud. An absolute delight!”

Trish Doller, international bestselling author of The Suite Spot

“Smart and stylish, Reasonable Adults is a fresh, funny, vividly told story of one woman’s journey from down and out to up and coming. A sparkling debut destined to become the must-read romantic comedy of the season.”

Bobbi French, author of The Good Women of Safe Harbour

Reasonable Adults has everything I look for in a rom com; a relatable heroine, dialogue that zings, an original setting and most importantly – a dog. This is fresh, fun, feel-good fiction.”

Sophie Cousens, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year

“A sparkling debut novel about reinvention, self-discovery, and second chances. With a memorable setting at a troubled artists’ colony, a quirky cast of characters, and a double serving of romance and redemption, Reasonable Adults is sure to satisfy.”

Kate Hilton, author of Just Like Family, and Better Luck Next Time

“Written with humor, passion, and oh-so-much romance, this book is spell-binding. I couldn’t put it down. Robin Lefler has built a world that rivals the like of all the great rom-coms onscreen and off. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Her wit, warmth, and honesty shine through these pages. I will be returning to Treetops as frequently as I re-watch When Harry Met Sally, which is to say I will be re-reading it once a month every month.”

Ava Bellows, author of All I Stole From You

about robin lefler

After high school, Robin spent one semester attempting to become an English teacher before settling on equine massage therapy as her career of choice. She graduated two years later and made the only reasonable choice, fleeing to Australia. Doing everything from leading trail rides through rainforests to being a fit model for a clothing company catering to women of retirement age, Robin continued to fail at finding her life’s work and eventually returned to Canada.

Throughout this time (and, like so many, for as long as she can remember) Robin wrote. Short stories, blog posts, the first fifteen pages of countless novels. After stumbling into a job in tech sales, she experienced publication for the first time – a personal essay about buying her first home in The Globe & Mail.

More than a decade later, Robin found the gumption to push past those first fifteen pages. Not How I Pictured It is her second novel. Her first, Reasonable Adults, was published in 2022. Robin Lefler still lives in her hometown near Toronto with her family and two very needy canines.

Agency:

Claire Friedman
InkWell Management

Publicity – Canada:

Alice Tibbetts
HarperCollins Canada

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