Published: 2nd June 2016
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…
Thank you to Penguin for kindly sending me a review copy.
Billy and Sophie are BACK! The narrative opens a thousand feet in the air with the couple on their way to LA to spend quality post-Christmas time with Billy’s family. The pace of the plot was perfection from the very get-go allowing old readers to slot back into familiar territory with the duo whilst giving new readers a chance to do a little bit of catching up. Billy’s family are crazy, kind, energetic, friendly but most of all, it felt like I wasn’t meeting them for the first time. Giovanna creates her characters with such comfort and that comes across extremely well in her books.
“There’s a reason such stories have become classics and are still bought in bookshops today…”
Early on, it’s crystal clear that Sophie isn’t a fan of being in the spot light and who can blame her? She’s been thrown into the celebrity world just because of who she is dating, therefore all the media are in her face 24/7. I really enjoyed how Giovanna wrote those particular segments of the book as it gave readers a real insight into the famous life. Being part of a big family means a fair share of drama is included and when Billy’s Mum claims that Sophie may not be “the one,” my fictional love for the couple went into meltdown. Of course, no relationship is 100% perfect and Giovanna portrayed that brilliantly throughout the plot but in the back of my mind, I worried for the duo. The love letters which were included were such a beautiful touch, they somehow added even more to the plot than I thought possible.
“How wonderful to be part of a village community like ours where you can go away for months, of even years, and still feel so embraced by everyone when you come back.”
With the distance between the UK and LA biting away at their relationship, I desperately wanted Giovanna to write them being together quicker than ever before. Those were the chapters I enjoyed the most and when they were apart, I could feel the misery seeping through the pages and into my imagination. There was one big goodbye in the plot (not a spoiler, calm down) and it was such a nostalgic moment for Sophie as it was all she had ever known. It was written with such deep emotion, it was beautiful. Being back with Sophie and Billy was brilliant and I’m really happy that Giovanna continued their story as it was truly wonderful from start to finish with heart warming characters, a turbulence filled narrative and the comfort of brilliant writing. I haven’t read a book in a day in such a long time yet I just couldn’t put Always With Love down.