The perfect birthday present – a new Milly Johnson book! At least that’s what my husband thought when he pre-ordered it for my birthday, not bargaining on the fact that I’d be so eager to read it, I’d buy it two days before my birthday and read it in one sitting!
But how could I say no to these glorious blue edged pages (the special edition from Tesco). I’m a sucker for a coloured-edge, and I’ve not seen one this bright before, I could hardly not buy it!!
But I’ll stop fangirling over the outside now, and get down to the important bit – the inside.
I have to say, I think this is my favourite Milly yet (and there’s a lot of history to compete with). Our main character Sophie (Pom) is such a strong-willed woman (once she gets out from underneath her controlling bastard of a husband), and I fell in love with her character immediately.
The back-story we get from her about her school days really broke my heart. All she wanted was to be loved; she didn’t get that from her parents and she definitely didn’t get that from school – what a horrible place. But Sophie is fixed on the good memories, namely one special summer where she could be a child and have fun.
The opening chapters were completely gripping – we know we’re counting down to ‘doorstepgate’, where Sophie is going to claim back her life, but it’s teased to us so gradually that I was so tense by the time I got there. And through that unravelling, we come to see just how much of a piece of work her husband is.
John is a politician with aspirations to be Prime Minister and he’s surrounded by yes-men who are determined to smooth over any transgression and paint him as the perfect man – but we see that he’s far from it. Unfortunately, John’s yes-men also include Sophie’s parents, who see John as the son they always wanted, and they prioritise him completely over her, no matter the consequences.
So when Sophie finally runs away and finds herself in Yorkshire, she has a dilemma. She knows that she can’t run away forever, but the people she meets there are so lovely that she wishes she could.
The first person she meets is Tracey, a lovely warm character who makes Sophie feel immediately at home. And when she’s introduced to Tracey’s brother Elliot (the local vicar) and his son Luke, it feels like it’s going to be impossible to leave.
I loved the gradually unfolding relationships between all the characters in the book, you could see Sophie growing as her own person, and through that, helping the other characters to grow too. And the idea in the book for prom-dress recycling – what a great idea!
I won’t go into too much more detail on the plot so I don’t completely spoil it for you, but I will say that the romance in this book was spot-on. With Milly, you know that it’s always going to capture you and have you rooting for them from the start, but I liked the way that this romance seemed more ‘innocent’ and more like two friends coming together than anything that could have been more scandalous. As I said earlier, I think this may be Milly’s finest romance yet!
Bravo, Milly! I’m looking forward to book 17!