Grigory (a.k.a Grisha) Ryzhakov grew up in the Russian Far East, bathing in the icy waters of Seas of Okhotsk and Japan and playing hide-and-seek in the snowdrifts that carpeted his native town of Korsakov.
He later travelled thousands of miles to vibrant London, on the way collecting his MSc degree in biochemistry at Moscow State and PhD in molecular biology at Cambridge University.
Meanwhile, Grigory has been ceaselessly creating poems, songs and prose until eventually he wrote his debut novel "Mr Right & Mr Wrong".
"Usher Syndrome" was his first published story, also adapted for the stage and performed at London's Barons Court Theatre in 2010.
To connect with Grigory, please visit his blog: http://www.ryzhakov.co.uk
You can also find him on Twitter/Facebook - @GrigoryRyzhakov
His songs are available on SoundCloud - http://soundcloud.com/grishamcarrow
Having two admirers can be a real headache, especially when a tough agronomy course at Imperial College comes on top of that, not forgetting a part-time job at a florist’s and a mother desperate to marry you off.
Have I mentioned a stalker who keeps sending roses, and a Professor who thinks it’s fine to bury you under an extra pile of academic papers? Arrrgh!
Blake may be cute and charming, but Terrence is no less attractive in his business suits. What is a poor girl to do? Dating both of them is the right thing if you listen to Trish and that’s exactly the way Kurt handles his men.
Party after party, you have to deal with these bouts of guilt mixed with hangovers while mulling over the same dilemma over and over again – Blake or Terrence? Terrence or Blake?
Think, Chloe, think!
Mr Right & Mr Wrong is a wonderfully warm and witty yet thoughtful romantic comedy, from which you will not only pick up tips on the intricacies of London dating, but also discover a few moral and ethical aspects of plant neurobiology. Not so much chick lit as chic lit, offering sophistication alongside Chloe’s amusing complications.
Out in the garden I see the fire set up in the barbeque mangal. The garden furniture is scattered around. There’re still at least ten people present. Blake goes inside to find a bottle of wine for me, while I get to know everyone.
I sit on the sofa, which, I remember from last time, is normally located in the lounge. I’m immediately offered a roasted marshmallow on a stick. Blake sits down next to me.
“It’s for you,” he says. “Is Merlot okay?”
“Yes, thank you. Do you have glasses?”
“Just drink from the bottle, you’re the only ‘winepire’ here.”
“What have I missed?”
“Only the feast.”
Our conversation is interrupted by the sound of a guitar. The guy with a ponytail, whom I remember from that night out at The RIM, starts singing a tune, ‘The Sulphur Man’ by Doves as Blake tells me. I’m impressed with the guy’s strumming technique. It’s not the easiest song to play at all. My own guitar skills don’t stretch as far as three basic chords. I put my head on Blake’s shoulder and surrender to the song.
Then I ask if there’s another marshmallow I could have. Blake hands me the packet so I roast my own. I wait for the brown crust to form, and then wait a little more for it to cool down and then devour it.
“It’s the best with wine,” I tell Blake and give him a piece to try.
He smiles as his mouth takes the marshmallow from my fingers; he looks cute, like a mountain cat. I kiss him on the cheek, which startles him.
His eyes seem to become wider and the fire is reflected in them. We kiss, this time properly. Our hands catch up and we end up with our arms around each other. He tastes of beer, but I don’t care.
When our lips part we just look at the fire without saying a word and keep holding on together.
“Are you ready for flying lanterns?” he asks me after another song finishes.
“Come with me.” He takes my hand and we go back to the house. I suspect it is simply a cunning plan to lure me inside.
I’m wrong. In the kitchen he opens a cardboard box sitting on the floor.
“I’ve ordered all this from China. Wax candles, rice paper lanterns and string. Have you done this before?”
“No,” I reply.
“You’ll love it.”
“I pick green, it’s my favourite colour,” I say.
“Okay, I pick red then.”
“Your favourite colour?”
“How did you know?”
He takes a round bamboo frame with two aluminium wires forming a cross inside it and embeds a candle in the hole in the centre of the cross. The paper lantern has four flaps on its open end, which Blake uses to wrap around the hoop and fixes them with staples. I copy what he does. We attach fishing lines to the metal wire as a precaution to make sure the lanterns won’t fly away and set fire somewhere.
He brings a hairdryer and we inflate the lanterns. Then we ignite the candles and carry our masterpieces outside. I’m paranoid that I might release the string, so I attach its free end to the back of a garden chair.
“Good idea. Now make a wish,” Blake says as we still hold our lanterns.
I look at him and think, “Be mine.”