Synopsis: Mimi isn’t looking for love when she spends a weekend in Goosebrook, the Cotswolds village her dad has moved to. And her first encounter with Cal, who lives there too, is nothing like a scene in a romantic movie – although she can’t help noticing how charismatic he is. But Cal’s in no position to be any more than a friend, and Mimi heads back to her busy London life.
When they meet again four years later, it’s still not to be. Cal is focusing on his family, and Mimi on her career. Then Cal dives into a potentially perfect new romance whilst Mimi’s busy fixing other people’s relationships.
It seems as if something, or someone else, always gets in their way. Will it ever be the right time for both of them?
Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading “Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell”
Synopsis: On the one hand, if Essie hadn’t written that letter – the one that only her best friend was meant to see – then she’d still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding…
On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn’t accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn’t have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas…
And she wouldn’t have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn’t fall in love with…
Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading “This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell”
Synopsis: Love is in the air in St Carys, but you’d never know it – the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets…
The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings – but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed.
For the first time in Ronan’s life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option.
Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn’t quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface.
The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed…
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I have been reading Jill Mansell for as long as she has been writing and her books rarely fail to hit the mark. This latest offering certainly ticks the boxes, but for me wasn’t quite as good as her last book. Clemency is a lovely character and the usual descriptive offerings of the seaside town St Cary’s make you want to visit. I especially liked her colleague and friend Ronan. Clemency’s sister Belle also makes an appearance with her new boyfriend Sam in tow. The story is set around the town and many additional characters make their appearances all of which form part of the overall story and add depth to it all. However, although I really liked everybody I didn’t love them and I’m not sure why? Having said that this was certainly a hugely enjoyable book, but it seemed the extra ‘Mansell Magic’ was missing for me in this book.
There are certain more serious elements touched on such as adoption, race and sexuality but all done in a way that is easy to read about and not made too depressing! I read this in two sittings and the writing is as flawless as ever, yet I am not a huge fan of the cover of this book. I’m not suggesting that it affects my review it’s just so unusual as I normally LOVE her covers but this one seems too boring? Overall this was an enjoyable read but for me I felt like a little something was missing, however Jill Mansell is producing first class books and I remain a lifelong fan!
Synopsis: Suzy fell for Harry the moment she showed him her husband’s sperm sample. It didn’t really belong to her husband, though, because she wasn’t married. It wasn’t a sperm sample either, it was a drinks carton containing the dregs of her milkshake. But when you’re trying to get off a speeding charge you just have to improvise, don’t you? And it wasn’t actually love at first sight. Still, it was undeniably a healthy attack of lust. And it might just be the beginning of something special..
Kat’s Review: I have been reading Jill Mansell since my late teens and have always loved her books. Reading this certainly took me back a bit as it was first released nearly 7 years ago. However, with any Jill Mansell book as soon as I started reading I just fell into the story and characters without a problem. Suzy Curtis is a feisty character who makes for incredibly easy reading. She is the ex-wife (number 2) of Rock Star Jaz, and along with him we meet Leo and his brother Harry.
The opening of the book is very funny as we see Suzy get herself in a ridiculous situation that quickly spirals and ends up with her being in a situation she maybe shouldn’t be. As the book progresses we see a story line surround numerous characters and this just adds to the enjoyment of the book. Reading this book some 16 years after it was published certainly made me realise that Jill Mansell’s books have seemingly got better with each year that passes. I felt like this slightly failed to hit the marks if you compare it to her recent releases.
That aside, this really was a typically enjoyable read by Jill Mansell. Funny and lighthearted and very readable. I always find that her books are easy reads and normally a perfect book to take when you go on holiday. Although this wasn’t quite as good as her newer stuff, it was still great and I will as always look out for any new releases she has coming out.
Synopsis: On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
KAT’S REVIEW: I have always been a reader ever since a young age, but became an avid reader in my late teens. There were a couple of authors I always resorted to and Jill Mansell was one of them. The thing that I have realised is that Jill along with another long term author Carole Matthews have almost become the reading equivalent of a security blanket. Having read every published book by Jill Mansell I have never been disappointed with a book she has written. It seems in the last 5 or 6 years every book she has published (with the exception of 1) has been a solid 5 star read. This latest book is no exception to that rule, other than in one way. I think (although am not sure) I may have broken a personal record?!? I started this new JM last night at around 8pm, I read late into the night and this morning finished the final 3 chapters before I’d even made 3 stops on my train journey. Now I know I am a quick reader but this seems somehow like the quickest I have ever read a book! One of the reasons is that yet again Jill Mansell has created a wonderful book that meant everything else in my life stopped!
Lily is the main focus of this story but if I am being entirely honest this book felt like they all had lead parts. Lily is a 25 year old woman growing up in the village of Stanton Langley in the Cotswolds with her unusual family set up. Having lost her Mum at a young age, her Mum’s best friend Carol is her surrogate Mum almost along with Patsy her childhood Babysitter and Patsy’s brother Dan who happens to have been lifelong friends with Lily. It all sounds rather convoluted and unnecessary; however nothing could be further from the truth. The characters all feel so familiar almost instantly and the characters be it villagers or friends all make the story weave together seamlessly.
A strange and chance encounter means that Lily meets Eddie Tessler, a very famous Actor who is fleeing his unwanted press attention. This takes the story to a whole new level and there really are some wonderful book moments. Lily is a brilliant character who speaks the truth and when she faces Eddie with her honesty he is blown away and a friendship blossoms. There is so much going on in this story but I cannot stress how much of an easy and enjoyable read it was. Yes there is plenty of romance going on, but it’s interspersed with funny characters and a great plot line. It seems that Jill Mansell continues to show why she is an author that has been around for more than 25 years and can STILL produce Bestsellers. An absolutely wonderful, feel good read and perfect for to cheer you up on a dreary January
My Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: 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?
Kat’s Review: For some reason, although I had this copy early, it just got pushed out of my mind. When I took a look through my books I realised with horror I still hadn’t read it and it had been out weeks. I made an immediate start and as usual devoured this in one sitting. The book revolves around three characters and although the synopsis doesn’t say too much (and neither will I), it’s clear when you start reading that this isn’t all going to be plain sailing.
The three main characters were all extremely likeable and their lives were full and happy for the most part. Hallie is the one who has an illness. It doesn’t stop her trying to do things, but with the clock ticking it seems like she really doesn’t have much time left. I really liked Hallie and her condition (which I confess I know nothing about) was written about sympathetically without it being ‘poor me’. I really liked her and she seemed like a ballsy kind of girl that would give anything a try.
There is also Flo who is the caring and nurturing one. She realises she has a problem when she falls for Zander, as his sister absolutely loathes Flo and is determined to make Flo’s life as difficult as possible. Lastly there is Tasha who made me laugh as we see her circumstances as she meets her boyfriend for the first time. I loved reading about all of the characters and the storylines have plenty going on in each of them.
However, as the book continues, you just know that the murky ‘elephant in the room’ is there waiting to happen and you just don’t know who it’s going to effect. Eventually the reader discovers that all three women are linked, it’s just a hell of a journey to find out how. I am very aware this review may sound sketchy but I really don’t want to spoil the plot for people. All I will say is that this book is the usual exceptionally high standard from Jill Mansell and has a few tears as well as laughter along the way. This is a wonderful book that I truly adored and enjoyed from the first page to the last. Jill Mansell continues to amaze me with each and every release, and somehow never disappoints me. 5 Stars from me!
My Rating: 5/5
Meet Molly Hayes who lives in the dreamy village of Briarwood in the Cotswolds. She works drawing a cartoon strip for a paper and helps out at her friend’s café in the Village. Her love life is something of a shambles and she always making the wrong decisions. Meanwhile Dexter Yates is a handsome bachelor who is living the party lifestyle in London. Surrounded by women who fall at his feet and partying with his friends his life is just as it should be. Overnight, Dexter’s life changes when his sister dies tragically in an accident. When he discovers that his sister has left him as the sole guardian of her 8 month old daughter Delphi he has no idea where to start.
It took me a mere three chapters to fall in love with the calm but bad decision maker Molly. Easy to like, she is the sort of girl that you instantly warm to. I also loved the village she lived in and the characters that made it up. Dexter was also an easy to love character which makes a book so much more enjoyable. One of the more interesting themes to the book was the childcare aspect of it. A young, free and single man attempting to look after a young child, is both sad and at time hilarious. Jill Mansell has a way with words which is why she is still writing such successful books 20 years on. The writing flows easily and you are drawn into the story and see both characters progress. There are certainly some serious moments in the book, but along side that is balanced nicely with some characters that are so colourful they made me chuckle to see what they get up to. In addition to Molly and Dexter, the reader meets lots of other villagers that are drawn into the story in one way or another. Each person added another layer to the book and although my focus was firmly on Molly and Dexter, I loved the sideline stories going on in the background.
I have been reading Jill Mansell books since my teenage years and don’t get me wrong I haven’t thought every book was 5 stars, but I have never felt let down with one of her books. This newest release was a wonderful read that had me absorbed from start to finish. Many will say that the storyline is predictable, but to be honest if the story didn’t have the predictability and threw me a horrible curveball, maybe I wouldn’t like it as much 🙂 This was an absolutely wonderful read and I think that Jill Mansell’s fans will as usual be thrilled with it. As usual, I will be waiting patiently for her next book and would highly recommend this one!
My Rating: 5/5
Another year has passed since I read one of Jill’s books and I was so looking forward to her new one. I got mine in the post and realised that it was in usual Mansell style a reasonable sized book with over 400 pages and a gorgeous cover inviting me to start reading! Within the first four chapters I realised that my plans for the evening were finished. There would be no cooking or cleaning done, all that would happen is that traipse back and forth to the kettle whilst still reading the book.
Lara Carson starts the story off with a bang. She left her town at 16 and following events that unfolded has now decided to move back and start over. At the same time, her old friend Evie is getting ready to marry her man Joel. However, within the first quarter of the book, both women are up to their eyes in drama.
It is quite hard to review a book without giving away a lot of the story but all I will say about the storyline is that it certainly won’t disappoint. It had a lot going on and kept me on tenterhooks all the way through. As for the characters, this is what Jill Mansell does best. Lara and Evie were lovely women and you warm to both of them right away. In addition to them there is an eclectic and interesting bunch of people that all feature heavily in the story.
Gigi was an adorable character and actually reminded me of somebody I know. We meet Lara’s aunt Nettie, Don who owns jewellery shop in Bath and superstar rapper Enjay Seven. Like I said before the storyline I can’t mention but what I can say is that the scenes between Enjay and Harry had me laughing out loud. My favourite character (and a pretty central one too) was Flynn. He sounds like a truly wonderful bloke and I kept my fingers crossed that things worked out how I wanted the whole way through the book.
Overall this book is one of the best Jill Mansell has written and I loved every bit of it. Having read it in under a day I can only say that I suggest you get yourself a copy and settle yourself in for the night with a hot cuppa and a duvet. What better way to spend an evening? This book is a true testament to why Jill Mansell has been a successful author for twenty years. As for myself, I will settle back and wait another long year for the next one.
My Rating: 4/5
I was so excited to get Jill Mansell’s new book. It seems like forever since her last one although in reality it has only been a year. Thankfully Jill Mansell has produced a book that every chick lit fan will enjoy. When I first received the book I was please to see that even the cover looked inviting in a lovely sea blue! The strength of this author is the characters she creates and in my opinion this is what has crated her huge following of fans. This book is no exception to that rule and the main character Ellie Kendall is a great girl and one that you can imagine living next door to.
Her tragedy is the catalyst for the next stage in her life. Thankfully there is the crazy neighbour Roo who comes in to her life and reminds her what it’s like to be a `normal’ girl. As per usual there is a stunningly handsome man in the story, meet Zach McLaren. I must say that this particular male lead was an absolute corker and he worked a treat in this story. The three characters all have their own life and part to play in this story but they also all cross paths which makes the book that little bit more interesting.
The story itself is one tinged with sadness but is still not too dreary. We get to see Ellie try and re-build her life in the best way possible (that’s all I can say without spoiling the main plot too much). Roo was a brilliant girl and by the time I had read just a few chapters I had a real feel for the girls and Zach. This book was so pleasurable to read. It was light hearted and easy to read with a sprinkling of romance. Chick Lit in general is never going to throw many surprises up but shockingly this one did. We meet Tony Weston who is Ellie’s father-in-law and he brought a great thread to the story with a bit of a surprise at the end.
All in all as ever I have absolutely nothing but praise for Jill Mansell. She continues to produce great books that are a joy to read, I can only cross my fingers and hope that the next one is just as good.