Baby Be Mine – Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 21st July 2011
Other Titles by this Author: Lucy in the Sky, Johnny Be Good, Chasing Daisy, Pictures of Lily
‘He’s not mine, is he? That’s the question I fear the most.’
You see, I have a secret. My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but by one of the most famous people that ever lived. And he doesn’t even know it.
Meg is terrified. She lives in the South of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and their beautiful son Barney who has just turned one. Life should be idyllic. But she is living a lie – a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out. Because, as every day goes by, Meg’s son looks less and less like Christian.
How much longer can she keep her devastating secret from him, from their friends and family, from Barney? How much longer before the world realises that the father of her child is none other than Johnny Jefferson, wild boy of rock, constantly in the headlines, constantly in Meg’s thoughts?
Before I begin this review I have to tell you just how much I love Paige Toon’s books and warn you of the fangirling that’s about to ensue. Read on if you dare...
I think that Paige Toon has a serious way with words. Her characters are instantly lovable and her prose is warm and extremely addictive. She also knows how to spin a juicy plot; sometimes they’re just downright emotionally traumatic! There’s just so much in her books! From loads of beautiful locations that transported me from sad, rainy England to sunny France, Barcelona and LA with a few well-placed words. I was dying to go on holiday by the time I finished this. I think Paige’s head would be a very nice place to live if she spends a lot of time with her characters!
The prequel to Baby Be Mine, Johnny Be Good, is one of my favourite’s of Paige’s books and ever since I turned the last page I’ve been dying to know what happened to Meg, Johnny and Christian. And boy did we find out! Living with Christian and her son Barney in the south of France, Meg spends her days worrying that the true identity of Barney’s father will be discovered. And I felt her worry and fear sharply. The distress that she felt over it was almost tangible and it broke my heart a little.
Meg has grown a lot since we were first introduced to her in the beginning of Johnny Be Good. She’s now a strong, independent and courageous young mother who feels so, so real. She’s also confused and consumed by feelings that she’d really rather she didn't have and so continues to deny them for quite a long time. But it was her relationship with Barney that really cemented her in my heart. The love and adoration that she has for that little boy leaps off of the page, to borrow a saying from a friend: it made my heart smile.
But Meg would be nowhere without her friends and family that she drags along for the ride. And of course there’s Johnny. Who I love. A lot. There’s just something ridiculously attractive about a drop-dead gorgeous bad-boy rocker who’s more than a little screwed-up. His reaction to Barney, however, completely took me (and Meg) by surprise and it just made me love him even more. As well as Johnny, Baby Be Mine boasts a cast of vibrant and distinct secondary characters that are more than just a backdrop to Meg and Johnny. You’ve got lively and cheeky best friend Bess who holds Meg’s hand through the rough patches; Johnny’s new cook, Eddie, who is incredibly sweet; the cute, gossip-mongering Santiago who we don't see nearly enough of and the utterly horrible Dana who I’m saying no more about... I also loved how Daisy and Luis from Paige’s third novel Chasing Daisy popped up; the crossover between Johnny Be Good, Chasing Daisy and Baby Be Mine is subtle and clever and one of my favourite author quirks.
Though I would recommend it for its complete and utter awesomeness, it’s not essential that you read Johnny Be Good before Baby Be Mine as all of the important and necessary moments are recounted either in memory or flashback. But I still really, really think you should. For Johnny.
As you can probably tell, I absolutely adored Baby Be Mine and I’m already counting down the days until I have Paige’s next novel, One Perfect Summer, in my hands.
For my British Books Challenge 2011