Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review: Solo by Jill Mansell

Posted January 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Solo by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
Solo by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 1st 2017
Pages: 480
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

"Mansell's...gentle humor and enormous heart always ensure a treat for her readers." -RT Book Reviews for Making Your Mind Up 4 Stars
It all starts at a party, as these things often do...
- A one-night stand with far-reaching consequences - Momentarily enamored guests going home with all the wrong people- An unfaithful wife struck by jealousy and getting a dose of her own medicine- A shocking family secret revealed at the worst possible moment
One fling follows another, and now the whole community is embroiled in a great big web of deceit, the untangling of which will charm you, amuse you, make you laugh and make you cry.
Whatever's going on in your life, Solo by Jill Mansell is the perfect distraction right about now...
"A graceful blend of heartbreak, humor and redemptive love." -Kirkus for The Unexpected Consequences of Love

Jill Mansell is a master at writing contemporary romances set in English small towns. They’re always filled to the brim with characters, storylines, and laughter. This book was no different…except that the more that I read this book, the more pissed off I got. The different stories worked for me and while I was more invested in Max and Holly, I was still interested in what was happening with everyone else. Everything was going swimmingly until about halfway through and the stuff that worked was still happening with no kind of growing happening. There was a lot of infidelity, a lot of boneheadedness and the characters that showed promise in the beginning, I started to hate.

Ross and Tessa drove me nuts, I wanted to knee Max in his balls every time he went running back to that old hag, hurting Holly in the process and then the whole thing with Antonia, Richard, Mattie, Grace, all of it made me either roll my eyes around the room or seriously pissed me off. I was Team Max for Holly until he kept right on hurting her because then he stopped deserving her. Same with Ross. I was frustrated with Tessa’s inability to ride things out. She was always running away and that annoyed the snot out of me.

By the time the end came, I was glad to be done with these characters. Ross was a huge disappointment, and while Max came around, I thought Holly let him off the hook too easily. The character that I probably liked the most was Grace. Her story was funny because she fell in love with her Dad before she knew that he was her Dad and then once she found out, she was so grossed out. That was funny.

Overall, this was a miss for me. It started off great but kind of veered off into the OMG what the hell is going on right now? land. I just couldn’t get behind all of the dumbass antics of everyone involved. Such a disappointment.

Grade: 1 out of 5


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon

Posted December 5, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Other Sister by Dianne DixonReviewer: Rowena
The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 386
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

One sister has everything. Her twin hates her for it.

Would life be better without Ali? Probably. At least then people might think about Morgan. Ali's always gotten everything ― she doesn't even realize how much Morgan resents her.

Ali also doesn't realize that when she shuts Morgan out entirely, she will unleash a chain of events that show just how dangerous the underside of love really is. As their lives spin toward something neither one of them can control, a terrifying crime reveals how those who know us best can destroy us...or save us.

It’s been a couple of days since I finished this book and already, I’ve read 3 books. I zipped right through the books that followed this one but it took me for-ever to finish this one. I couldn’t figure this one out for a little bit. It starts off as Women’s Fiction but then veers into Suspense and Thriller and then back at it again with the Women’s Fiction so with all of that madness, it was no wonder that it took me so long to get through. I read The Girl on the Train a couple of months ago for my book club and I didn’t like one person in that book. That entire book was filled with unlikeable characters and I found that I felt the same way about this book. There were just a whole lot of unlikeable characters in this book.

We have fraternal twins Morgan and Ali. Ali is the golden twin while Morgan is the forgotten one. Morgan is insanely jealous of Ali and while Ali feels bad at first, their relationship is just one hot mess. There’s a husband that I wanted to sock in the nuts, a Mom that I wanted to punch in the throat and just a whole lot of different things going on that I wasn’t a fan of. I’m a fan of multiple storylines and lots of things going on in a story if it helps the story along or really, if it’s done right and I just didn’t feel it in this one. I kept having to take a break from reading this one because there was just too much of everything. Too much hatred, too much dark and while some of it was compelling, for the most part, my thoughts ran along the lines of…meh. I guess because I hated everyone in the story, I was never invested in what happened. I almost DNF’d it and I’m glad that I didn’t because the last part of the book was good. You see some character growth, you understand some things but unfortunately, I still didn’t like anyone.

There’s a darkness to everyone in this book that I couldn’t connect with and that really messed with my interest as the story progressed. So while the ending was good, it didn’t really make up for everything else so this isn’t a book that I would re-read or even recommend easily. I also couldn’t really tell if this was a mystery suspense or a dark Women’s Fiction novel and so I couldn’t even properly prepare myself for the kind of story I was going to get and I like to be prepared.


2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

Posted October 4, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
Three Amazing Things about You by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: October 1st 2016
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Jill Mansell's enchanting new novel will drive readers to seize life with both hands and make the most of every minute...Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more. Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong. THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Jill Mansell writes great contemporary stories that promote strong female characters and Three Amazing Things about You is no different. She also writes stories that will break your heart but mend it right back up by the end of the book.

Three Amazing Things about You follows Hallie, a young woman suffering from cystic fibrosis and Flo, a young woman who inherits a cat after her boss dies and who has to move into her boss’ house since the cat inherited a house and last but not least, Tasha, the serially single Tasha who falls in love with a man while she’s digging into a trash can looking for her credit card.

Each woman was as different as can be but over the course of the book, you see their lives come together through a shared connection and the book ends with all loose ends tied together and a great big smile on your face.

Each woman falls in love, gets their heart broken and then put back together again and each story wiggled its way right into my heart and stayed there. I think of the three women, Hallie’s story was the one that broke my heart the most. She’s in love with her doctor and he doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings she’s bogged down with this disease and just wants to live a normal life. Flo’s story also hurt my heart but I was thrilled to see her grow and count her blessings with each passing day. Tasha was probably my least favorite of the three women as I was a bit frustrated with fear of adventure. I was mostly frustrated with it because I didn’t understand it and I can’t even remember where those fears stemmed from but alls well that ends well. I was really happy with the way that this story came together and then the way that it ended was just great.

This is a heartwarming story of three women and the directions their lives take toward each other. It was another hit from Mansell for me and I’m looking forward to more from her.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Royal Pain by Megan Mulry

Posted December 4, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Royal Pain by Megan MulryReviewer: Rowena
A Royal Pain (Unruly Royals, #1) by Megan Mulry
Series: Unruly Royals #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 1st 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Bronte Talbott follows all of the exploits of the British royals. After all, they're the world's most preeminent dysfunctional family. And who is she to judge? Bronte's own search for love isn't going all that well, especially after her smooth-talking Texan boyfriend abruptly leaves her in the dust.

Bronte keeps a lookout for a rebound to help mend her broken heart, and when she meets Max Heyworth, she's certain he's the perfect transition man. But when she discovers he's a duke, she has to decide if she wants to stay with him for the long haul and deal with the opportunities-- and challenges-- of becoming a royal.

This book follows Bronte and Max on their very bumpy journey to their happy ending.  Bronte and Max first meet up when Bronte moves to Chicago and sees a very good looking Max in the bookstore.  Max is just as smitten as Bronte is and they agree to go out.  Bronte isn’t in the right frame of mind to jump into another relationship (after her last relationship just went up in flames and she moved to Chicago to be with him, to boot!) but she does want someone to keep her company so upfront about all of this with Max, they start a friends with benefits relationship.

And it works for them…until it doesn’t work anymore because they’re nearing their end date and Bronte is completely smitten with Max and doesn’t want to let him go.  Well, lucky for her, Max doesn’t either.  I forgot to mention this but Bronte has a thing for the British royalty.  She loves to keep up to date with what Kate Middleton is up to and Prince William and Harry too….so when she finds out that Max is a real life Duke, she has a conniption fit. One, he lied to her about it (omitting the fact still counts as a lie) and two, he expects her to move to England to be with him and well, she already did that for some other guy and she’s not too wild about jumping to do that again.  Drama ensues.

Now, I was expecting a chick lit type of book when I picked this up for review and though the story starts off that way, this book ended up being more of a contemporary romance than anything else.  Not that I was complaining, I’m all about romance.

The romance between Max and Bronte starts out as something to pass the time and turns into so much more and I really liked Max for Bronte.  He kept what he was from her because he wanted her to get to know him as he is before she found out what he was and I was okay with that.  Understandably, Bronte was pissed when she found out but I was okay with that too.  What I liked about Bron was that she said what she meant to say and meant what she said.  If she was mad at Max then she told him.  She wasn’t the most perfect of people and I was good with that.  She made mistakes, Max made mistakes but in the end, I liked them together and really enjoyed their story.

I definitely recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance, this book was a cute contemporary romance and I’m glad that I read it.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Sourcebooks. This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell

Posted November 28, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Walk in the Park by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: November 6th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 446
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

It's been a while, but Lara Carson's back in Bath and lives are set to change as a result. Because Lara left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no one heard from her since? Her childhood best friend Evie is thrilled Lara's back and able to share her happiness. Evie's about to walk down the aisle with her dream man, Joel. Or so she thinks... Then there's Flynn Erskine, even more attractive now and stunned to see Lara again. The spark between them is as strong as ever, but how's Flynn going to react when he discovers the secret she's been keeping from him? Oh yes, there's a lot of catching up to be done...

This was another enjoyable read by Jill Mansell.  What I like about her books is that in one book, we get many stories.  There are so many different storylines being woven together to tell the bigger story and I liked it.

This story follows Lara Carson as she makes her way back to her hometown after being gone for 18 years.  She left when she was 16 and is back now, in her thirties and carrying some 18-year-old baggage.  When Lara left, she didn’t keep in touch with anyone.  Not her best friend at the time, not her boyfriend who she loved more than life itself, not anyone.  When her father dies and her childhood best friend camps out at the funeral to catch Lara, Lara is surprised…but happy.  Evie was a good friend to her and when Lara is invited to Evie’s wedding, she’s glad.

Lara wasn’t prepared for seeing Flynn after all these years apart.  She’s changed so much over the years and there are things that he just doesn’t know about her.  Like they have a daughter together and she’s 18 years old and her name is Gigi.  With Lara’s father out of the picture, Lara inherits the house that he lived in all these years.  When he kicked her out of the house way back when Lara went to live with her Aunt Nettie.  Going to live with Nettie was probably one of the best decisions of Lara’s life.  Her life turned around and she finally got the stability and the home life that she always wanted (and never got) with her father.  She also found a love that she didn’t expect to find when she had her baby.

When things don’t work out the way that they were supposed to work out, Evie finds herself going to stay with Lara at Nettie’s house for a few weeks before coming back to live with her and Gigi back home and well, things get a whole lot interesting.

Jill Mansell knows how to string along tiny stories into one huge story that keeps me interested, keeps me laughing and keeps me sighing all over the place.  It’s no different with this book.  There are tiny little stories wrapped up in the bigger story and I enjoyed it all.  I enjoyed getting to know Lara, Flynn, Gigi, Evie and well, just everyone.  They all added a little something special to the story and I ate this book up.  Now, there were times when the story dragged a bit but Mansell picked it right back up and I was able to finish the book with giant, dopey grin on my face.

Lara isn’t perfect and even though there were times when her stubbornness was going to be the death of me, I never not liked her and I really enjoyed getting to know her.  Getting to know Gigi.  Seeing Flynn and Gigi building a strong and lasting relationship together.  I really enjoyed seeing Evie learn to live on her own and really find herself without Joel.  I also really enjoyed getting to know Harry and see his friendship with Enjay.  There was a lot to like about this book and it really made the slow bits fade into the background.  Overall, I was a happy camper with this book and I’m anxious for the next Mansell book to devour.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Sourcebooks. This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,