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.