I always eagerly await the next Milly Johnson novel to be released – I know I’m going to thoroughly enjoy whatever world Milly has created – and had Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage on pre-order.
My all time favourite of Milly’s novels was from 2013, It’s Raining Men (it won the RONA 2014 Romantic Comedy of the Year Award). Milly’s novels since have been fabulous entertainment but didn’t have that something special that I thought It’s Raining Men did have. Did you pick up on the past tense in that first sentence? Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage DOES have that special something that makes a book a keeper for me and has surpassed It’s Raining Men … becoming my favourite Milly Johnson novel.
New beginnings, old secrets, and a place to call home: the heartwarming new novel from top five bestseller Milly Johnson.
Viv arrives at Wildflower Cottage, a tumbledown animal sanctuary, for the summer. Her job is to help with the admin, but the truth is she is here for something much closer to her heart…
Geraldine runs the Wildflower Cottage sanctuary. She escaped from her past to find happiness here, but now her place of refuge is about to come under threat. Can she keep her history at bay and her future safe?
Back home, Viv’s mother Stel thinks she might have found a man who will treat her right for once. Ian is kind, considerate, and clearly head over heels for her. That’s what she has wanted all along, isn’t it…?
Escape to Wildflower Cottage this summer for love, laughter and friendship…
Milly has a writing style that means it’s easy to get into the plot from the beginning and as with all Milly’s novels there’s a great cast of characters in Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage. Selfless Viv had me intrigued for pretty much most of the story. From the beginning I had questions about her motives (although because of her character you know they’re not going to hurt anyone but herself). I love it when I don’t work out completely what’s driving a character’s behaviour. I didn’t think she would ever get involved in the care of the animals at the sanctuary but not only are there some humorous moments but plenty of emotions as she takes on more than the admin at Wildflower Cottage. Geraldine’s background also had me intrigued. Despite there being a sense of something hidden by them both, I loved the way their friendship blossomed and the way that Geraldine championed Viv to Heath. Heath is the dark and brooding character we all love. One of the oldest families in Ironmist there’s feud plus emotional baggage along with misunderstandings that causes conflict.
Whilst Viv is away the story also focuses on her mum Stel and her group of friends back home giving us several subplots running through the story. Whilst it’s clear what is happening for some of Stel’s friends, Caro was another character that had me intrigued. And of course I have to mention Ian … I had my suspicions which only grew stronger. When I had worked out one part of the plot the other part merged in beautifully.
I loved both settings and the communities. It was easy to become emotionally attached to everyone. Milly Johnson writes sensitively about social issues and their devastating effects. I don’t want to say too much as it would give the plot away but I was cheering when one character made a stand despite the fear that was provoked by the past.
There’s plenty of tension and conflict – not just with the characters but with the timing of the closure of the animal sanctuary too. Again it was easy to become attached to the animals, Milly brings them to life and I came to love their personalities and even learn something too.
Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage does have humour (I’m still chuckling at the first time Viv meets Antonio Leighton) and romance. There’s also a sprinkling of magic with the ghost mist and Isme. The feeling of having come through emotionally wrought times to find joy, peace and hope will stay with me for a long time.
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