Ok, to begin with I guess I should state that Jill
Mansell is amazing! She is one of my favorite authors – I love her books so
much that I order them from Amazon UK and have them shipped over so I can read
them – like I said: amazing!
Anyway, with that out of the way…I have recently read
to of her amazing books and will be reviewing them today. On a sad note, this
means I am all caught up on her books – even the titles that were not released
in the US and I special ordered…which means I will have to wait for a new one.
This kind of makes me want to cry because like I said – I love her books!
If you are a fan of chick lit, story lines that
revolve around multiple characters, contemporary adult, and/or UK authors –
then these are definitely books for you. Go now – run, don’t walk and try out a
book by Jill Mansell!
As with all Jill Mansell books, we are introduced to
an assorted cast of intriguing and engaging characters, each of different ages
and experiences.The settings, as to be expected, are charming English ones
that just pull at you and makes you wish you were there. Each story feels real
to me, has pieces and characters that feel real to life – and I often find
myself wanting to be friends with the characters. Each story is filled with
moments of love, laughter and tears – these books are perfect. They are the
books I look forward to after a long, stressful day – I just want to sit with a
warm blanket, my pups, and warm beverage and one of these books to relax with.
by Jill Mansell
Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope?
Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbours. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself. (Goodreads)
First, I once again loved the characters, and I loved the sub-plots. I adored the village and the neighbors – I wanted to go live there while reading! I found Molly (one of the main characters) to be very relatable, and warm – I just really enjoyed her: bad decision making and all.
I really enjoyed that the story was made up of both serious and light moments. I found myself absorbed in the story from start to finish and was very sad when it came to an end. The writing flows, and really draws you in.
I really enjoyed the Molly and Dex story line; I also really adored the Dex and Delphi storyline. I loved that the story was about a love that grows, that starts as friendship and just progresses over time – I’d like to see more stories like that.
I know many people would state the predictability of the story and wish it was less so…however I just can’t do that. You see, I actually expect and enjoy some predictability in my Chick Lit. I want the couple to get together in the end, I want a happy ending that cheers me up and gives me hope. For me, the enjoyment of the story is in the journey the how and why of reaching the happy ending, and yeah a bit in the ending itself and it’s resolution – each one is a little different.
So I can’t really complain or have any wishes with this book. At times I found myself frustrated with characters like Dex and Frankie’s husband, but ultimately it was part of the journey and growth of the characters. I also really liked these characters and found them relatable because of their flaws and frustrating bits.
Overall, I would definitely give it a thumbs up and recommend it - so go ahead and grab yourself a copy and a cozy spot to read and relax! :)
**For Recommendations see below second review**
4 out of 5 Doxies – Liked it a lot, definitely worth a read!
The Unpredictable Consequences of Love
by Jill Mansell
When Josh Strachan, newly returned to his home in north Cornwall from sunny California, first meets Sophie Wells, he's immediately smitten. Sophie's pretty, she's funny, she has lots of friends and she clearly loves her job as a photographer, despite the sometimes tricky clients. There's just one problem: Sophie has very firmly turned her back on love. It's nothing personal, she tells Josh, but she just doesn't do dates. And no one - even Sophie's scatty best friend Tula - will tell him why. Josh is sure Sophie likes him, though, and he's just got to find out what's put her off romance. And then put things right... (Goodreads)
Ok, to begin with I LOVED this book. I mean, I truly love all of Jill Mansell’s books, but with any favorite author you have your favorites – this one was definitely one of mine. For me, it hit all the right notes and feels, and I just really enjoyed myself while reading it.
I adored the characters (as I so often do with Ms. Mansell’s books) but in this one I was just really attached to all of them. I really loved feeling like I was experiencing it all with them – the characters were spunky and fun. I wanted to be friends with them and hang out and I definitely wanted them all to get their happy endings – though I really didn’t want it to end!
I thought the back-stories were great in this, and particularly enjoyed Sophie’s. I really felt for her, and I was invested and interested in seeing how things would pan out for her. And I really thought the flashbacks were great, and appreciated them as a means of experiencing some of the back-story. I also really liked watching her growth throughout the book, and her getting some closure.
I appreciated once again, the delicate balance that was made between the more serious and light moments of the novel. These more serious explorations always make it feel real, but the lightness makes it enjoyable and hopeful. I also delighted in the fact that once again, various ages and generations were accounted for in the story. That is something that has always appealed to me about Ms. Mansell’s books – it isn’t all teens, or twenty-somethings, or even thirty-somethings. She strives to provide a varied cast of relatable and likeable characters with their own storylines in each book. Life isn’t all about one age group, and I enjoy seeing different points of views, and experiences across a span of people.
Although I enjoyed the book immensely, and would definitely recommend it (in fact I lent it to a friend already), like any great book you still usually walk away with a wish or two. In this case, I might have liked a bit more of a build up to Josh’s feelings/infatuation with Sophie. Although at the same time, the author did only make him infatuated with her – not in love – which is totally believable.
My biggest wish however would have to be with Laurence, I liked him but I also hated him. It wasn’t his personality that bothered me, in fact, based on that alone I really enjoyed and liked him. It was part of his story line/actions – I’m not a big fan of love triangles or falling in love with someone while in love with someone else. Personally I do believe in true love, I don’t believe there is more than one person out there for each of us – I believe in true love and working on a relationship over time. So, this was really just a matter of personal preference – and it wasn’t an active part of the story, it was part of his back-story. But it still irritated me throughout – mostly because I liked him and I wanted to despise and dismiss him out of hand based on the back-story.
Anyway, overall this book was an amazing read that I would definitely recommend and/or lend (or force) on others. J As my friend Lizzy can attest too. Once again, Jill Mansell has done it – left me with another book to love, a book hangover and a prevailing sadness as I realize I now have to wait for her next book to come out. Luckily I have all the others to reread in the meantime.
If you enjoyed this book and are looking for more romantic, Chick Lit type reads:
I’ve Got Your Number – Sophie Kinsella
Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service – Beth Kendrick
Do or Di– Eileen Cook
The Little Lady Agency – Hester Browne
Faking It – Jennifer Crusie
5 out of 5 Doxies – Loved it! A must read, reread, and own it book!
Tale of Two Doxies