Always with Love
by Giovanna Fletcher
Publishing Date: 2nd June 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!.
Number of pages: 400
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
The next much-anticipated romantic chapter in Billy and Sophie’s love story from bestselling author Giovanna Fletcher.
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 . . .
„Always with Love” was one of my most anticipated books this year. I’ve read Giovanna Fletcher’s debut novel „Billy and Me”, then adored „You’re the One that I Want” and haven’t had a pleasure to read „Dream a Little Dream” – yet! – even though it’s on my TBR pile. (And I know. There are two novellas as well). Keeping in mind that „Always with Love” is continuation of „Billy and Me” and we are going to meet the lovely Sophie and the super – handsome Billy, I started to read the book almost immediately after tearing open the envelope. „Always with Love”, even though it’s a sequel, can be easily read as a stand – alone, because even without many significant flashbacks you can quickly understand what happened before. So – did the book live up to my expectations?
Well, yes and no. Ms Fletcher’s writing style is fluent and vivid, though somehow I just couldn’t connect with it. You know, when reading some books it feels as if they are reading themselves, they’re so quick and easy to follow, but here I was struggling a little with the writing style. I can’t put my finger on what exactly the problem was, but for me it was just a kind of struggle to go through the book. I also couldn’t fully engage with the story. After reading the blurb I was expecting something rather very exciting, some LA/Hollywood adventures and even though the blurb itself was suggesting troubles in paradise and you could easily guess what kind of troubles they’re going to be (which was not a bother to me!), the story felt somehow flat, without twists, turns, ups nor downs. It was as if you were reading on the same level, as if it was written on a very straight line and the author was very careful not to move beyond this line. Which is a shame, really, as I think Ms Fletcher could use the setting and the brilliant idea in a much more exciting way.
I also, funnily enough, as in the first book I didn’t have any problems, couldn’t engage with Sophie and Billy. They seemed a little too flat for my liking, their dialogues felt wooden and too forced and it really surprised me, as I still can remember the lovely feeling I had about them from „Billy and Me”. I am also not sure what to think about Billy’s family, maybe except for his brother and one of his sisters. The rest of the family was, well, I don’t know, lazy? In any case, they benefited from Billy’s fame and money. I could understand that his mother was bothered and wanted him to continue his career, but I also couldn’t stop thinking that she was doing it for her own comfort and convenience. I don’t know, there was something in her that made me want to yell at her, shake her and point her in the direction of the next job. And these are not only Sophie and Billy that are so different, but their families as well, they couldn’t be more different – while Sophie’s is small and quiet, Billy’s is large and loud, and it was nice to see those contrasts.
I liked the dual setting of the story, as we travelled between Los Angeles and England, Rosefont Hill, a place where Sophie lives, has her family and her beloved tea – shop. We spent a lot of time at Billy’s home in Los Angeles but also Sophie went on some sight – seeing trips, and we also have a very briefly described visit to Disneyland (I could thought it was a significant visit, what with it being such an occasion and with the fuss being made around it, but no, nothing, just a quick visit to Disneyland with a personal guide and bodyguards…) and I really liked her enthusiasm and that she really enjoyed the sights.
I was waiting how the author is going to bring together lives of two so very different people and well, the outcome was really OK, but you must read the book for yourself of course and see how it ends. It was also interesting to see if the real love is going to conquer all the problems and obstacles, because it is crystal clear that Sophie and Billy are madly in love with each other (which give me hope, haha, as I also have a little crush on some pop star Please, don’t say old and stupid ). Despite all my problems with the book I liked to see how the relationship between those two love birds developed and matured and it was great to see that the author has made it a „real” relationship, with ups and downs and not only a bed of roses. She shows how it really is when we have to do with a working relationship, with long – distance relationship, when family comes in the way.
Yes, you’re right, I am SO torn about this book! I wanted to love it so much, I had so high expectations, but somehow, it just didn’t work for me. It lacked life, excitement and action that I got in Giovanna Fletcher’s previous books. It was nice, please don’t get me wrong, and it is probably my fault that I couldn’t connect with it as much as I wanted and it’s not that I didn’t like it, as there were moments that I enjoyed. But sometimes you just don’t get on with the book and it was, sadly, the case. However, I am of course not crossing Giovanna Fletcher out of my list of favourite authors and am already looking forward to her next release.