Monday, 27 April 2015

Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Sophie May has a secret.

One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy ~ an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous ~ but ruthless ~ world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy?
And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered with the nation?

"A gorgeous, gloriously romantic read with buckets of charm ~ I absolutely loved it!" ~ Jilł Mansell.

I appreciate I'm a little behind the Billy and Me hype, but having read Giovanna Fletcher's latest book, Your The One That I Want, fairly recently, I made sure that this was on my to be read list. Luckily my friend passed me her copy and I'm pleased to say that I, like most of the reviews on this I've seen, completely fell in love with Sophie and Billy's story! 

Sophie May works in a little tea shop, Tea-On-The-Hill, with her good friend and the shops owner, Molly. It's perfectly clear from the outset that Molly is older and wiser than Sophie yet this doesn't effect their friendship. What was also clear was the fact that whatever had troubled Sophie in her past, it was Molly that helped her eventually come through.

One day, rumours between the regulars are rife that their quaint little village is to become the set on a new film being made, and when it becomes true we come across Billy, a budding actor who is a teen heartthrob! 
When he enters the teashop, Sophie is none the wiser to begin with until the usual teenage girls come in after school for their 'skinny muffins'and spot him... Credit to Giovanna for capturing the fan girl moments perfectly!

Sophie allows Billy to take her on a date and that is where the I love affair starts. What I particularly liked about this book is that whereas in most romance novels the couples don't get together until the end of the book, here they become inseparable fairly quickly.... So quickly infact that before we know it, Sophie is moving to London and in with Billy to be nearer him!

As their story unravels we follow them through the trying times of what it's like to be in the public eye, with Giovanna being married to Tom from the band McFly, her knowledge and understanding of the tabloids exploiting and twisting the truth comes through brilliantly, and over time we can see how the pressures of the job can effect relationships.... Here the final straw is when Billy gets too big headed and does anything to ensure he's career plunges forward, including explicit scenes in a new film with his ex girlfriend actress, much to Sophie's concerns.

Prior to Billy's mistakes, we discover Sophie's secret. Throughout the book we know that her dad is absent but it isn't until the second half that we know why, when a story is printed in the papers telling the world of her heartache at losing him when she was just eleven years old. 
Sophie blames herself for his death despite Molly and Billy telling her otherwise.

The story touches on several relationships alongside Sophie and Billy's along with trust, guilt, heartbreak, failure and dreams!
There's Sophie and her mother whom are struggling to build bridges after her fathers passing, both shutting each other out of their feelings rather than grieving an comforting each other.
Sophie and Paul, Billy's manager, who from the outset appears two faced and arrogant, being harsh in what he tells Sophie and then being all nicey nicey to Billy.
And of course, Sophie and Molly. Two great friends who have both lost people they love and confide in each other - well about most things...
Sophie's world is again turned upside down with tragic news about Molly but the outcome is a fitting tribute to Molly in which also shows Sophie finally doing something she wants to do.

Billy and Me had me smiling through to crying within the space of 24 hours with real character you feel like you know.
It's a real page turner as I waited to see whether Sophie and Billy got back together and could work things out and a fabulous debut novel for Giovanna Fletcher.. It might be the end of April but I loved these characters that much I'm tempted to download Christmas with Billy and Me right now!! 

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