Tag: Jill Mansell

Review: Solo by Jill Mansell

Posted January 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Solo by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
Solo by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 480
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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

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
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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

Review: Making Your Mind Up by Jill Mansell

Posted June 24, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

making up your mind
Rowena’s review of Making Your Mind Up by Jill Mansell.

Lottie Carlyle isn’t looking for love when she meets her new boss, Tyler Klein. Living in a beautiful cottage with her two adorable – sometimes – kids in an idyllic village in the Cotswolds, on good terms with her ex-husband and with friends all around, she’s happy enough with her lot. But Tyler’s perfect for Lottie and quickly she falls for him – and he for her. Unfortunately, there’s a problem. For reasons that are totally unfair, Lottie’s children HATE Tyler. When a rival for Lottie’s affections comes on the scene in the shape of charmer Seb, the children adore him, and he’s certainly a distraction. But he’s not Tyler – and he’s not even at all what he seems. Lottie’s got a problem – but thanks, in classic Jill Mansell style, to a tobogganing accident and a delicious series of mix-ups, all will be revealed and true love will find a way.

I don’t even know where to begin with this review. Jill Mansell is one of my go to authors for cute and funny contemporary romances on the other side of the pond. I can usually count on her for the kinds of romances that will keep me up late into the night, reading away. I stayed up until almost 2am on this book but not because I was loving what I was reading. No, I stayed up because I hoped that things would turn around but that never happened.

So as with most Mansell books that I’ve read, this book follows numerous story-lines for a bunch of different characters. The main story (romance) was between Tyler and Lottie. Tyler is an American wall street type of guy who bought a bunch of vacation homes in England after his best friend died of a heart attack because the pressures of their job got to him. Tyler relocates to England to settle down and live a life worth living and Lottie is the assistant that comes with the job. Their first meeting was a funny one. It was cute and what I’ve come to expect from Mansell. It made me excited to see how their story would unfold but all of that stopped when Lottie’s kids came into the picture.

What a bunch of bratty little shits! The crap that they pulled to get Lottie to NOT go out with Tyler boiled my blood and the thing that made me even more mad was they brought Lottie to heal. Lottie gave up Tyler because her kids pulled some shady shit. They were smart mouth little brats that needed a sound thrashing, not to be coddled and given their way. It was disappointing that Lottie let her kids get away with every little thing.

What I didn’t get about this story line was Tyler was American but he talked like a straight up British guy. Like he grew up there, it didn’t make sense to me at all.

So Lottie gives up Tyler because her kids hate his guts and starts dating this other guy named Seb. Her kids LOVE Seb but I didn’t. I didn’t even like him a little bit. I thought he was immature and stupid. I didn’t see what Lottie saw in him at all. I knew he was a slime bucket the minute he came onto the scene and when his story line comes to an end, I rolled my eyes because I saw that crap coming a mile away.

My favorite part of this story line was in the end, when Tyler starts giving Lottie’s kids shit. They hate him? Tough shit, they still had to deal with him. I loved seeing Tyler win them over even if I thought he deserved better from those freaking brats.

The next story-line in the book revolved around Lottie’s ex-husband, Mario. Mario is father to Lottie’s brats and I found his story line to be another disappointment. Mario is a flirt. He doesn’t know how to turn it off and it’s what ended his marriage with Lottie. Mario is in an eight month relationship and when the girlfriend goes away on vacation, Lottie goes into full on cock blocking mode to make sure Mario doesn’t cheat on the girlfriend while she’s away. I don’t know how Mario didn’t get so rip roaring pissed that he cussed Lottie out..especially considering how this whole story line turned out. Pissed me right off. Lottie annoyed the crap out of me in this story line.

There there was Lottie’s friend Cressida who fell in love with one of her customers that was vacationing in town for a little bit. Cressida was a big time pushover to her ex-husband and his new wife and that annoyed the crap out of me. It also didn’t make a lick of sense that the ex-husband left Cressida because she couldn’t have kids, goes and has a kid with someone else and then treats that kid like shit. How that made any kind of sense, I’ll never know but she fell in love with the customer, the customer fell in love with her, they couldn’t make meeting up work until they did and blah blah blah. This story line was the least interesting to me and I actually liked the kids involved in this one…but the way that this one ended? Another giant bowl of WTF?

The last story line is Freddie’s. Lottie’s old boss. He gets sick, can’t continue on with the business so he sells to Tyler and Lottie helps him gets his affairs in order. She also helps him with his bucket list and that bucket list was something else. LOL. Freddie lived a colorful life and I was glad to have read that part of the book but the rest? Even the end didn’t save it.

This isn’t a book that I would read again. I’m surprised that I didn’t end up DNF-ing this book because there was a lot about the book that I liked. The characters all drove me crazy and the ending didn’t make up for all of the blood boiling that went on in the beginning and middle. Of the entire book, I only liked Freddie and the way Tyler stood up for himself at the end but other than that? No.

Grade: 1 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Landmark. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell

Posted February 2, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

unexpected consequences of love
Rowena’s review of The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell.

Sophie has no interest in finding love. But what happens when love finds her?

Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family’s hotel, he can’t understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him-or any man for that matter-into her life. He also can’t understand how he’s been duped into employing Sophie’s impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited. Both girls remain mum about the reasons behind Sophie’s indifference to love. But that doesn’t mean Josh is going to quit trying…

I’m always up for a Jill Mansell book and this one didn’t disappoint. This book follows three different sets of characters and tells three different stories about the consequences of love. It should have been confusing and it should have felt rushed but it didn’t.

The first story, the main story was the story of Josh and Sophie. Sophie has given up on love and relationships. Something burned her on the idea of being in a relationship, of men in general and she made the decision to focus on her career and give up men. She’s been doing a pretty good job of that until Josh comes into her life and asks her out. She turns him down and instead of going on his merry way, Josh and Sophie keep seeing each other around town and they get to know each other. Josh really wants to get to know Sophie and is mighty curious about why she’s given up on men. He wants to find out why but she’s not offering the story and her best friend (and his new employee) is keeping mum on the subject as well. Bits and pieces of her story come together for him and in an effort to help Sophie, he tries to help her with her past.

The second story is about Josh’s friend Riley and Sophie’s best friend Tula. Tula grew up struggling. Her Mom was always with some loser who couldn’t hold a steady job and her father was a poor excuse of hard work and now Tula doesn’t want to go down the same road her Mom went down so she stays away from guys that don’t have a good work ethic. Riley is the guy who spends his days sleeping, surfing and his nights bar hopping. He’s the most easy going guy in town and everyone knows this about him so it just figures that the girl he falls for wants nothing to do with him, right?

Then there’s Dot and Laurence. Josh’s grandparents. They were married for a long ass time before Laurence met and fell in love with someone else…while he was still married to Dot. Talk about drama. This story was kind of sad because Laurence left Dot to be with this other woman and then all of these years later, Laurence is all alone and still hanging out with Dot who he’s learned that he never stopped loving. The consequences of his love for the other woman is that he’s spent so many years alone because Dot doesn’t trust him.

So there are lots of things going on and Mansell does a fantastic job of juggling each story.  I really enjoyed getting to know each character and I just enjoyed the heck out of the whole thing.

Josh and Sophie were such a great fit for each other and I thought their love for each other came together wonderfully. Meeting Sophie, you wouldn’t have thought that she went through such a huge ordeal and came out on the other side whole. Her story was heart breaking and I couldn’t imagine going through something like that. Once you find out what her story was, everything about the way she lives her life makes so much sense and you hurt for her. The lengths that Josh went through to help Sophie was sweet. I teared up a little when their story wrapped up because Sophie was so deserving of a happy ending and I was glad with the way that her story ended.

As much as I enjoyed Sophie and Josh’s story, my favorite story of the bunch of was Riley and Tula’s. Seeing their struggles with life and finding out that there is so much more to Riley than meets the eye made for some great reading. I thoroughly enjoyed their story and getting to know their characters. I figured out Riley’s real deal almost from the beginning but it was still delightful to read about. I enjoyed Tula because she was the character that I connected with the most. I have the same struggles that she does and I saw a lot of myself in her character so I really liked her.

Dot and Laurence were another great addition to the story as a whole. Seeing them reconnect after so many years and watching Laurence try to be happy with the life that he has, even with all of the regrets that he carries around. I thought Mansell did a great job of showing his struggle with his feelings for Dot and still staying true to his love for the other woman.

The entire story was great. I like the way that Mansell tied the stories in with the title of the book. It was an enjoyable read all the way around.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Sourcebooks Landmark. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Exclusive Excerpt: The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell (+Giveaway)

Posted February 1, 2015 by Rowena in Promotions | 3 Comments

unexpected consequences of love

Jill Mansell’s Countdown to Valentine’s Day!

To celebrate the U.S. release of The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell, we’re sharing excerpts from the book to get you geared up for some Valentine’s Day love – from your book boyfriend or otherwise – with an excerpt from her newest book!

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Excerpt from The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell

Sophie stretched, satiated. As well as the blackberry ice creams, they’d had fish and chips and malt ball candies. And Diet Coke. It had been a lovely day, spent gossiping, swimming, then later joining in with a game of volleyball on the beach. Now they were enjoying the last couple hours of sunshine and listening to the chatter and snippets of conversation going on around them. Children were engaged in building sand castles and digging moats, couples were idly bickering and the group of posh girls directly behind them were eyeing up the talent and providing a running commentary on their various attributes.

“The one in the yellow board shorts? He’s pretty fit.”

“Not bad. I’d rather have the blond one with the tan. Nice abs.”

“But he’s got one of those noses. There’s big and there’s too big.”

“Oh, come on, it’s only a nose. That can be fixed! See the guy with the long, dark hair? He’s good–looking but his body’s too long for his legs… Now that’s something you’re never going to be able to sort out.”

Cue giggles. Sophie opened her eyes and tilted her head to the left to see what Tula was doing. True to form, she was propped up on her elbows, surveying the view. Which included, naturally, the men in question.

Of course it did. Tula would never miss an opportunity to ogle.

Following her line of gaze, Sophie saw Josh Strachan emerging from the sea with his surfboard. He shook water from his hair and glanced over in their direction, prompting a flurry of interest among the posh girls.

“Now that’s much better. That’s what I call a body,” the loudest of them said in admiration. “How did we manage to miss him before?”

The answer to this was quite simple: for the last hour or so, Josh had been busy surfing, and it was presumably the first time he’d left the water. Sophie, who’d spotted him earlier, watched as he made his way over to the café.

“Unzip your wet suit, unzip your wet suit,” one of the other girls chanted quietly. “Come on now, let’s see your chest.”

“Ooh, spoilsport,” said the loud one as Josh disappeared from view with his wet suit still zipped. “I may have to go over there and get myself a drink. Show him what he’s missing.”

“Hang on, here he is again, and he’s got a dog with him now! Ooh, look at that, sooooo cute…”

Because that was the thing about Griff: he did have the knack, when he wasn’t being a mud–spattering, havoc–causing holy devil, of looking ridiculously cute. Sophie, plugging her earphones back into her ears, turned the volume on her iPod up to maximum to block out the chatter of the girls behind them, and closed her eyes once more.

Less than a minute later, someone was licking her toes.

Or, more accurately, something. Having done a shuddery, whole–body twitch, Sophie jackknifed into a sitting position and saw that it was Griff at her feet, tongue lolling and tail wagging away happily.
At the other end of his leash was Josh.

“Sorry.” He grinned down at her, evidently not meaning it. “Thought it was you earlier. Hello again.”
The last time he’d seen her, she’d been upright, wearing jeans and a top, and her hair had been loose. Today she was prone in a bikini with her hair tied back and dark glasses half covering her face. Lifting the glasses, she said, “You’ve been in the sea the whole time. I’ve been here. How could you know it was me from that far away?”

It had all gone quiet behind her. Josh Strachan looked briefly surprised. At last he replied mildly, “I recognized your bag.”

Oh. Right. Sophie glanced over at the oversized holdall she carried with her everywhere. Made of bright turquoise leather and studded all over with nuggets of silver that reflected the sun and glittered like camera flashes, it probably was quite…standoutish.

Fair enough.

“And how about you?” Josh’s tone altered. “How are you feeling now?”

What? What was that supposed to mean? Opening her mouth to ask, Sophie belatedly realized he was addressing Tula.

Which made even less sense.

Tula, clearly thinking the same, said, “Excuse me?”

“I saw you swimming earlier. And playing volleyball. Seems like a pretty miraculous recovery.” He paused, tilting his head to indicate the shopping bag at her side, containing all the empty drinks cartons and food wrappers. “After last night’s questionable prawn curry.”

Last night? What was he on about? “You’ve got the wrong person,” Sophie protested. “Tula wasn’t even here last night.”

Josh smiled and replied pleasantly, “I didn’t say she was.”

If it were possible to have an awkward silence on a noisy, crowded beach, this was it. Even more bizarrely, Tula had gone bright red. The girls behind them were doubtless agog.

With all the finesse of a five–year–old, Tula shook her head and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She never had been able to tell a convincing lie.

“Don’t you?” Josh Strachan was evidently finding the situation entertaining. “So the girl I saw sitting on the grounds of our hotel earlier, the one talking to someone on her phone about how incredibly ill she was, thanks to a prawn curry…that wasn’t you?”

“Fine,” Tula blurted out. “Great, brilliant, thanks a lot. The whole point of doing it up there rather than down here, believe it or not, was because I was trying to be discreet.”

“Okay. Sorry,” said Josh, although he clearly wasn’t. “Anyway, looks like you’re feeling much better now. So that’s good, isn’t it?”

“Josh! You off?” Another surfer arrived, greeting him with a slap on the back. “Are we going to see you at the party tonight?” Flashing a dazzling white smile at…well, pretty much every girl in the vicinity, he added cheerily, “Hello, ladies!”

Behind Sophie and Tula, evidently entranced by the sight of two attractive men in wet suits, the posh girls chorused, “Hello!”

Sophie hid a smile, because that was Riley Bryant for you: the ultimate charmer in a “hello, ladies” kind of way. With his long, sun–bleached hair, caramel perma–tan, and sea–green eyes, he was Joey from Friends personified, only blonder and thinner and with a trace of a Newcastle accent. He loved women, any women, flirted incessantly, and his vanity knew no bounds.

What saved Riley from being insufferable was his talent for self–mockery. Outrageously and unapologetically hedonistic, he lived a life designed to suit only himself. Since holding down a proper job didn’t appeal, he survived instead on the proceeds of a trust fund set up by his doting aunt. Any criticism of his choices simply rolled off his back; he had the ability to laugh at himself and didn’t take offense. He spent his days surfing, traveling the world, partying like there was no tomorrow, and sleeping with girls. If they had the choice, he argued, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to do that?

Basically he’d be every parent’s nightmare son–in–law. But if you regarded him simply as harmless entertainment, he was always good value and amusing company to have around.

One of the posh girls, evidently coming to the same conclusion, seized her chance and said, “Actually, you look like the right person to ask. We’re just down for the weekend, wondering where’s the best place around here to go for the evening. Is there anywhere fun you can recommend?”

Riley raised a playful eyebrow. “Fun?”

“And lively,” her friend chimed in. “Some place we can let our hair down.”

Glancing at them over her shoulder, Sophie noted that they did indeed all have plenty of hair, the gleaming, swishy kind. And teeny–tiny bikinis. They were also wearing the full complement of jewelry, fake tan, and makeup. Which wasn’t something you saw that often down here on the beach.

“Well, we’re going to the Mermaid.” Riley turned and pointed in the general direction. “It’s at the far end of the esplanade. A friend’s celebrating his birthday there… It’ll be lively, I can guarantee that.”

“And he wouldn’t mind us turning up?”

“Are you kidding? More the merrier, wouldn’t you say?” Riley turned to Sophie for confirmation. “You know what CJ’s like. Hardly going to complain, is he, about a bunch of gorgeous girls showing up at his party?”

Sophie shrugged and shook her head, because this was undoubtedly true.

The posh girl in the teeniest pink and white polka–dotted bikini said, “Awesome!”

The Unexpected Consequences of Love
By Jill Mansell
Sourcebooks Landmark
Women’s Fiction
February 3, 2015
ISBN: 9781492602088

Sophie has no interest in finding love. But what happens when love finds her?

Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family’s hotel, he can’t understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him—or any man for that matter—into her life. He also can’t understand how he’s been duped into employing Sophie’s impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited. Both girls remain mum about the reasons behind Sophie’s indifference to love. But that doesn’t mean Josh is going to quit trying…

Buy THE UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE by Jill Mansell: Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo

With over 9 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

Connect with Jill Mansell: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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