“Little White Lies” by Bernadette Strachan
Little White Lies follows the story of Billie Baskerville – seen as a failure in her family, she decides to make a Fresh Start (capitals required!) by taking over her Great Aunt Babs’ wedding dress shop in Sole Bay. She takes up (illegal) residency in Herberts Dream II – A tiny beach house with no modern facilities but with all the sea side charm. Billie is a cynic when it comes to Weddings, having been left at the alter by her fiancee James, however running the wedding dress shop seems to soften her opinion once she is introduced to her unique team and her quirky customers.
Throughout the book, we see Billie settle into life in Sole Bay – making friends with people from many different walks of life. There is also a love interest for her – Ed, who works as a firefighter. There are some interesting side stories with the lovable supporting characters too which really enhances the overall story. About halfway through the book we see Billie’s friend Jackie make an appearance in Sole Bay. A good friend to Billie before she and James broke up, Jackie causes some trouble between Ed and Billie, leaving Billie back at square one – Broken hearted, lonely and isolated. But this time, she had the wedding shop to fall back on, and Billie discovers that love doesn’t have to be traditional.
Having spent most of my time reading young adult fiction novels, it was a bit of a change when I started reading this. The sentences are long and chock-a-block full off analogies which can get a little bit tiresome once you’re about halfway through the book. Some of them are really clever, but that being said, some of them just aren’t really necessary.
The general plot of the story though is really good. Obviously, this is a romance book (as in the “chick-flick” movie genre) but it’s not as predictable as some of the other ones I’ve read recently. Strachan keeps you guessing right until the very end who Billie is going to get together with. What I like about this book is that there isn’t an emphasis on the sexual side of relationships. Most romance writers (think Susan Elizabeth Phillips) seem to get into the nitty gritty of sex and describe it to the point where the reader feels uncomfortable – Strachan thankfully implies the act and skims around the awkwardness! I know that sex comes with the romance genre, but it’s still refreshing to read a book where that isn’t the main feature in the story.
The only disappointment is the ending of the book – While I didn’t expect a great lavish wedding (that would go completely against the traits of Billie as a character), I did expect a little bit more from the ending than a quick wrap up in the form of a letter from Billie to her Great Aunt Babs.
Aside from the ending and the fluffy analogies, I really enjoyed reading this book! I like the style of humour throughout the book and the characters are really lovable, especially the quirky shop assistants Dot and Debs. Overall, very engaging!
Overall rating: 4/5