This was the first Milly Johnson book I ever read. I bought it when browsing for “chick lit” type books a couple of years ago and Milly Johnson’s books seemed to get very good reviews. I decided to buy this one as I mistakenly believed it was her first. It wasn’t, but I’m glad I made that mistake. This book is fantastic – warm, funny and cosy while at the same time resonating with an emotional truth that was quite compelling. I couldn’t put it down. The characters were so believable and the male lead was a real surprise. At first I couldn’t believe that he could be the book’s “hero” as he is not the usual type described in this genre of fiction, but as the story progressed and I got to see the real man with all his personal demons my heart just went out to him. Milly Johnson knows just what makes a fictional hero and puts that knowledge to great use here. Big, strong, misunderstood, kind, loving, good with children, personal tragedy and insecurity, lonely and vulnerable…basically irresistible which is odd because when he first appeared I couldn’t imagine ever growing to like him. By the end I was desperate for our heroine to recognise him for the wonderful man he really is!! The heroine of the book is also well-rounded and likeable and easy to understand and sympathise with.
The other characters are also beautifully observed and I loved little Danny and loathed Jo in equal measure. I can’t think of anything negative to say about this book. I even loved the cottage she lived in! I have since read other books by Milly and enjoyed every one of them, but this has a special place in my heart. If you haven’t tried The Birds and the Bees yet, give it a go! Bet you’ll love it. 5/5