The Flip Side by James Bailey – extract

The Flip Side by James Bailey was published by Penguin on 26 November 2020.

Today I have an extract from the book.

One hundred and thirty five metres above London, with one of the most spectacular city views in the world as your backdrop, who could say no?

I now know who could say no.

Jade Toogood.

The girl I had called my girlfriend for four years. The woman who, until just a few moments earlier, I planned on spending the rest of my life with. The person who I am now trapped inside a glass capsule with, 443 feet above ground.

She could say no.

Rather, she had said no.

New Year’s Eve. The London Eye. The girl of my dreams. A ring. A future together. What could possibly go wrong?

I planned everything so meticulously. It was all meant to be perfect. The perfect end to the year, the perfect start to the next. I spent months secretly scouring websites, magazines and shops, looking at rings, thinking of ways to ask, waiting for the right moment. It was only when Jade mentioned how much she wanted to go on the London Eye that I settled on it for the chosen place. The venue for the story we would repeat over and over again to our friends, family and future grandchildren.

The glossy brochure advertising the ‘Proposal Package’ certainly sold it – if you ignore the exorbitant cost, what could be more romantic than hiring a private capsule? The pages were full of joyous couples smiling, laughing, kissing. It featured beautiful-looking people shedding tears of happiness. There were high-definition images of the magnificent view. The word ‘magical’ was emphatically printed in bold type. ‘Special’, it said. ‘The perfect romantic setting’. There was no disclaimer declaring that it might not always be perfect. There was no small print proffering the warning she may say no. There was no money- back guarantee if she did. After all, as the tagline declared, who could say no?

We are not even high enough to witness the promised iconic skyline when it all starts to go wrong. We have only just boarded our capsule. Our private capsule which, for the next thirty minutes, is reserved for just us, a box of luxury chocolate truffles and a bottle of champagne. I don’t even like champagne. But what with the nerves, and the pressure of the situation, I down a glass before we even set off.

I pop both the bottle and the question too early.

About the Book

It’s love . . . what could go wrong?

When Josh proposes in a pod on the London Eye at New Years’ Eve, he thinks it’s perfect.

Until she says no.

And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together.

Realising he can’t trust his own judgment, Josh decides from now on he will make every decision through the flip of a coin.

Maybe the coin will change his life forever.

Maybe it will find him find the girl of his dreams . . .

About the Author

James Bailey was born in Bristol, and currently lives and works in his home city. A graduate of King’s College London, James has previously carried the Olympic Torch, made a speech at the House of Commons, and worked as a red carpet reporter. The Flip Side is his debut novel. James can be found on Instagram @JamesBaileyWrites, and at


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