Little Pieces of Sophie (77,000 words)

Set in Lancashire, 2003, 26-year-old Jack Willoughby introduces Kate to his parents. As Kate finds out more about Sophie, his long-lost childhood friend who saved him from leukaemia with her bone marrow, she questions his obsessive interest in Sophie. Jack still hasn’t got over Sophie’s abrupt departure to be with her Māori family in New Zealand when he was twelve. He can’t imagine never seeing her again. When Kate discovers Sophie works for a cosmetics company in Wellington, she realises Jack doesn’t want to settle down and needs to decide what he wants to do.

After arriving in New Zealand, Jack is scared of approaching Sophie first and develops a plan where she discovers him. It works, and as he gets to know Sophie again, she introduces him to her employer and owner of Melay cosmetics. Jack is offered work and, once he has settled into his job, they are asked to visit their subsidiary company in Bangladesh for two weeks. In Dhaka they discover Melay’s unethical promotion of toxic skin lightening products and infant formula. Reminiscing about their failed attempts as kids to deface a Nestlé billboard, they pledge to make the world a better place. As they commit to stopping Melay, they realise they love one another.

However, Sophie discovers Jack’s scheme that got them together and is devastated. She thinks he was stalking her, whereas he believes he had to control chance because of his fear of rejection. Their relationship is jeopardised even further when Jack insists on an unscrupulous plan to stop their boss. Jack will have to learn the difference between obsession and passion and realise he can’t control chance with the one he loves. And Sophie will have to decide if the end justifies the means in stopping their boss.

First page of 'Little Pieces of Sophie'