Fans of humorous and heartfelt contemporary romances are guaranteed to love The Sophie Drew series. These British books may not be as immediately familiar to American audiences, so here's a quick recap of the first two books:
In Nothing New for Sophie Drew, Sophie is thirty, broke, and single. She's determined to turn things around, and things are looking especially good once she meets Max, a very attractive charity worker. But then her ex Darius shows up, and Sophie's unsure where her heart lies.
The follow-up, When's It Due, Sophie Drew, sees our favorite funny heroine become pregnant! Her relationship with (spoiler alert!) Max is going well, but she can't figure out who has been sending her the most expensive items on her wish-list from a local baby boutique.
Now, the third novel is here: Something Blue for Sophie Drew. First came baby, and now comes marriage—if Sophie can handle it. After all, being a new mom and planning a wedding at the same time isn't easy.
Below, read an excerpt from the first chapter of Something Blue for Sophie Drew.
“Oh, Soph.” Eve let out what could only be described as a sigh of contentment as she rocked my week-old daughter in her arms. “You must be so in love. How could you not be? She’s perfect. I mean, look at her little fingers!”
As though on cue, Scarlett clasped Eve’s thumb in her tiny palm, and my friend melted all the more.
“I would have said you were cute anyway, even if you weren’t,” Eve said, her voice doing that ridiculous coochie-coochie-coo lilt that adults have a habit of putting on when talking to babies, “but you’re amazing, aren’t you? Yes, you are.” Her head wobbled as her face contorted into an exaggerated smile, hair bouncing around her face like sea foam. “And Auntie Eve loves you.”
“I would say she’s got you wrapped around her little finger already, but looks like it’s the other way round,” Max joked, nodding to where our little girl’s hand was still tightly wrapped around Eve’s thumb.
Eve rolled her eyes at Max’s lame attempt at humour. “Always the joker.”
“You need a sense of humour when your sleep pattern’s been thrown out of the window. We’ve been up since five and Scarlett was awake in the night three times.”
Max yawned. Anyone else would have thought it was for effect, but as I was fighting exhaustion myself I knew it was for real. Naturally, I caught his yawn, what with the universal sign of exhaustion being more contagious than impetigo.
“But you’re worth it, aren’t you, Sugarplum?”
My fiancé reached out and gently smoothed his hand over our daughter’s hair. Seeing the two of them together made my exhausted heart swell.
My own little family.
The rush of love was way beyond whatever I’d expected. My sister-in-law, Chantel, had told me it would floor me, but even so… Did every parent feel the same? Surely they must, but how did they ever manage to do anything other than care for their child? It was visceral, overpowering, this new type of love. I knew, without doubt, I would do anything within my power to keep Scarlett safe and care for her as best as I knew how to. Everything else would fall by the wayside.
My thoughts were still flying madly around my head (which seemed to be my new normal – ideas bouncing like the flat circular pucks on an air hockey table) when the familiar writhing began, the pink velour of Scarlett’s Babygro shifting in Eve’s arms. Scarlett’s face crumpled, scrunching up until she looked like a little old man who’d removed his glasses and taken out his false teeth.
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Her cheeks turned a shade or two darker than her name as she strained, angry determination in every push.
Next came the noise, a squelch squerch like in the book my parents had bought for Scarlett when they visited the hospital, followed by an unmistakable yet indescribable smell.
I knew what was going to happen next. The pattern was already predictable.
My worn-out body went into overdrive, Scarlett’s cries propelling me into action. I swooped forward, scooping her out of my friend’s arms.
“Sorry,” I said, with an apologetic grimace. “Nappy change time. She gets so upset when she’s dirty.”
“Hardly surprising, it can’t be comfortable.” A look of pity washed over Eve’s face, her lips
pressed together in a sympathetic line. “I wouldn’t want to be sat in my own mess.”
“Having a baby has made me think how hard it must be to rely on someone else for everything,” Max mused. “No wonder babies cry all the time, it’s their only means of communication. Must be so frustrating.”
Eve responded with something sciency that I wouldn’t have been able to process at the best of times and certainly not in my bleary-eyed state.
Max’s inane nods at random points suggested he was also struggling to take her knowledge on board.
Escape was appealing.
“I’ll just take her up. Back in a sec.”
The waft climbed the stairs with us and I tried to place what it reminded me of. It was a strange smell; definitely excrement, but almost more animal than human. Cowpat, maybe? Or manure?
“Come on now.” I laid Scarlett on the changing table, peeling back the poppers of her outfit before wrestling out her chunky legs. “No need to cry. You’ll feel better once you’ve got a fresh nappy on.”
As though on autopilot I ran through the sequence. Undo the nappy. Hold legs up with one hand, wet wipe in the other. Clean bum (always downward after the horror stories of infections). Pull out dirty nappy and slide a new one under my daughter’s bottom end. Release legs, pulling the new stiff nappy into place. Seal the tabs. Fight legs back into the Babygro, do up the poppers. Fold the soiled nappy in on itself – my origami experience came in handy for that bit – and put it in a film-thin yellow sack that smelt of pound shop perfume. Tie the handles together. Dispose.
The first few times I’d been nervous. Although I had occasionally changed nappies before when I’d been looking after my brother’s children, it was different with Scarlett. She was tiny. My hands seemed enormous by comparison and the fear of hurting her set me on edge, which was “made worse by her habit of going rigid as soon as she pooed. Getting her out of her clothes was a challenge worthy of “The Crystal Maze”.
When we were staying in the house I often dressed her in a long-sleeved vest and wrapped a blanket around her bottom half to keep her warm. It made changing her so much easier and I didn’t have to panic that I might break a bone as I did when I forced her limbs out of the snuggly little sleepsuits.
It was different when people were visiting. They expected her to be fully clothed, preferably in whichever outfit they’d gifted. The house needed to be tidy. Everything was an effort.
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Not to mention how much pressure I felt to make an effort myself. My skin was the worst it had been since my teenage years, the fluctuations in hormones causing painful acne breakouts on my face and neck. When half asleep my hands would automatically scratch the itchy patches and only when my fingertips were sticky with blood and pus would I realise what I’d been doing. I looked like I’d been mauled. Make-up would help, but my efforts applying it when drunk on sleep deprivation hadn’t been successful.
There wasn’t a word in the English language to encompass the overwhelming state of fatigue I was living in. “Drained” lacked the drama, “shattered” sounded too friendly. “Fucking exhausted” came close, but failed to capture how detached my brain felt from my body. “Zombiefied” was the only way to describe it. Half the time I wasn’t one hundred per cent sure if I was awake or dreaming. A blast of cold water shocked me into action, I found, but it took more energy than I could muster to force myself into the shower in the morning. Even trudging to the sink to splash my face was a gargantuan task.
I’d taken to dressing in loungewear (new, two sizes larger than my pre-pregnancy clothes) when we were expecting guests. Comfy, but smart enough for in the house. In fact, during my pregnancy I’d noticed how the yummy mummies in the neighbourhood had adopted a similar look. Admittedly, their outfits were designer originals rather than “Matalan knock-offs, but still… if comfort was good enough for them, it was good enough for me.
“Is that better?” I cooed, smiling to myself as Scarlett’s lips puckered as though to blow a kiss. The cries had stopped once the nappy changing process was complete, my little girl as angelic as the two cherubs in that famous painting in the Sistine Chapel by Donatello. Or was it Raphael? Italian art wasn’t my forte. One of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyway. “Better than that stinky nappy.”
Taking the bag of waste in one hand and my daughter in the other I made my way back downstairs and dumped the plastic sack by the back door.
I paused as I reached the entrance to the lounge, taking a deep breath that caused my ribcage to lift high up towards my pocked chin.
“We’ve got this,” I said to Scarlett who, once clean and content, was already close to sleep.
Then I plastered a smile on my face and opened the door.
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Something Blue for Sophie Drew
“Utterly lovely.” —Sunday Times–bestselling author Miranda Dickinson
“Delightful.” —Phillipa Ashley, bestselling author of Summer at the Cornish Café
And don't miss the first two books in the series!
Nothing New for Sophie Drew
Who ever said life was easy?
Sophie Drew is thirty, single, and stuck in a dead-end job. She’s convinced everyone around her has their lives in order while she’s stuck muddling through.
When a final demand from the bank makes her realize how dire her financial situation is, Sophie becomes determined to pay off her debts and take back control.
During her reinvention, Sophie meets attractive charity worker Max and things start to look up, but her best friends have other plans. With spendthrift ex Darius back on the scene, she finds herself in a dilemma . . .
Will Sophie fall back into her old ways, or can she find the confidence to make the right decisions and find happiness?
A great choice for fans of books like Bridget Jones’s Diary, as well as for readers of authors like Sue Roberts, Marian Keyes, and Sarah Morgan.
When's It Due, Sophie Drew?
Sophie Drew has been dealt the mother of all surprises—she’s having a baby!
Socializing with other mummies-to-be tempts Sophie into setting up a wish list at a local baby boutique. Although most of the items are unnecessary luxuries, she still finds herself lusting after designer changing bags and hi-tech prams.
When some of the most expensive items from her list start arriving, Sophie thinks her boyfriend Max has been splurging but when he denies it, Sophie is surprised.
Sophie is determined to find out who is sending the gifts and why. Will she find the answer she is looking for and can Sophie finally have everything she ever hoped for?
A heart-warming look at life, When’s It Due, Sophie Drew? explores the emotional aspects of trying to conceive and being pregnant with sensitivity and humor.