Sophie’s got used to being the girlfriend of Billy Buskin, the biggest movie star in the world. Sort of.
But when she and Billy take a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles, she quickly discovers she’s totally unprepared for the chaos of Hollywood, the paparazzi and Billy’s controlling mother.
And when Billy extends his stay in LA, leaving Sophie to fly home to Rosefont Hill alone, it seems there’s more than just miles between them.
Now Sophie must decide if they can overcome their differences for good. Because not every love story lasts the distance…
I have read the first two of Giovanna’s novels (and have her third novel ‘Dream a little Dream’ on my shelf) and I really enjoyed them, especially Billy and Me, so when I realised that was getting a full length sequel, I was over the moon.
Giovanna’s writing is so easy to read, it invites you in and you know you’re in good hands as the story flows. It starts off in LA where Sophie has flown to spend a couple of weeks over the new year period to spend time in Billy and his family in their plush pad in LA.
When introduced to the family, they are friendly, funny wand warm, everything you can dream your in-laws would be on first meeting. However as soon as a party was mentioned to ‘Welcome Billy Home’ my intuition kicked in and I found myself wondering Billy’s mum, Julie’s intentions.
Billy is obviously well off, and shares his wealth by buying his family a house and employing staff to their every whim. This is all well and good but the family (except 2 of Billy’s siblings) seem to be happy living the dream lifestyle while doing nothing. Great you don’t have to work adult 9-5, but they could volunteer for charity, try something to better themselves. But no, they seems to be happy being socialites in the case of the twins, or in Julie’s case being the hostess with the mostest. This is all well and good but at one point Julie decides to behave incredibly childish in my opinion, and rather than be grateful, she almost throws it back in Billy’s face unhappy he’s not acting (earning money) after all, they did support him by moving all the way to LA. Poor Lamb. That scene was completely infuriating, I had to put my kindle down and leave it for a day, I was that angry with Julie, and it’s very unusual for me to get angry at a fictional character.
Once I got over my frustration at Julie, I carried on and got captured into the story. I was hoping for a fair chunk of the book to be set in LA but we were soon back to Rosefont Hill in no time, where Sophie continues in her tea shop and making good headway into her relatively new business, especially employing her first employee, the lovely Rachel, who was a really bright addition to the book.
During the time when Sophie is back in Rosefont Hill, the book takes a slower pace, which has its moments when it’s beautiful, the letters were fantastic to read and really started to show the characters I fell in love with from ‘Billy and Me’ shine through. However at times not much seemed to happen, outside of Sophie pondering the meaning of her life and where it’s going, especially regarding her relationship with Billy. It’s understandable that she is unsure, especially given the distance between them. It’s another situation in a book that would be clarified by just talking about the future, though I realise they didn’t have much time between the time differences and careers, so I know it wasn’t easy. The more I think about it, the slow pace kind of suited the book, and the funk it kind of put Sophie in. It was still incredibly readable!
The time at Rosefont hill wasn’t all as doom and gloom as I appeared to have painted it, Sophie is busy, not only with her business but helping with her mum’s wedding, causing some great scenes like trying on the wedding dress and some heart to hearts regarding the house. Sophie and her mum’s relationship was almost as key to this book as Sophie and Billy’s and that was really warming to read about.
I enjoyed this book, it was funny and heartwarming. It drew out a mixture of feelings which was unexpected, I expected it to be quite a light read, which it is for the most part, I just never expected the infuriation or the worry I felt for Sophie at times, and where her life was going.
Published by: Penguin
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review