Review

This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell

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Published: Hachette NZ
Date: 25th January 2018
Format:  Paperback
Pages:
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ

Rating
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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 never would have met Zillah and Conor – not to mention Lucas. And she’d never have found out just how much life there is to be lived…

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This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell was a joy to read. One of those books you can just pick up and relax into. It was a great mix of wonderful and endearing characters, with a little fun and a bit of romance thrown in.

I loved Zillah, what a character, the kind of person I’d love to be at eighty three. She was warm and generous, loves dressing up and going out and having a good time, yet very thoughtful of others. She’s quite human so has a little guilt and regret thrown in there as well.

Essie is another easy to like. She has the horror of her email sent out accidentally to her whole address book. In it she is very honest about some people and it doesn’t go down well. However really it sets in motion the next phase in Essie’s life… which was so good.

Then there is Connor who rents the flat above Zillah, he keeps an eye on her, and is an excellent photographer.  I liked that he had the courage to change his life completely, be honest and move on.  He makes a few mistakes in romance but it all added to the fun.

Lucas is an adorable character, a very handsome one too and very much part of the story. I don’t want to give too much away about his involvement in things because it would spoil the story but just let’s say he has an interesting back story which makes him just that little bit more vulnerable.

If you like a light hearted, quirky story then this one will satisfy. I was charmed by it and it will certainly be one I remember.

Review

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. Jill Mansell

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Published: Hachette NZ
Date: 10th January  2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 405
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Hachette NZ
Rating:
4 stars                      Add to Goodreads

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.

My thoughts banner
Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay – what an entertaining, laugh out loud read. I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s light, yet it could be your neighbours next door, facing issues such as the ones the characters in Jill Mansell’s latest book have to work through.
I fell in love with the characters, all over again with the lovely Cornwall setting at St Carys. It has a small town story feel to it, but with Jill Mansell’s very own voice and way of presenting to readers a story they will enjoy.
There are a variety of characters. Firstly two sisters or rather step-sisters, Clemency and Annabelle. They have had their ups and downs since their parents married when they were teenagers, and they are still sorting out how they see each other. 
Ronan works with Clem, they are amazing friends and co-workers. And when Clem requests Ronan to pretend to be her boyfriend to help her out, he does, leading to all kinds of mix ups. Kate the post office worker who might have an attraction and something more for Ronan has to take a back seat. 
Sam a guy that Annabelle is with, also has links to Clem unknown to Annabelle. They once met on a plane. In fact that scene opens the book, it was a great hook in, and by the time that chapter finished I was in.
In fact there is a host of charming characters and lets just say after some misunderstandings, heart to heart talks and sorting out things all end very satisfactorily. It would make a very relaxing and heartwarming beach or holiday read. A little intrigue, some secrets eventually revealed and long lost relationships restored.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Review

You and Me Always. Jill Mansell

book cover

You and Me Always
Jill Mansell
Published: Headline/Hachette NZ
Date: 27th January 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 358
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
Rating:
4.5 stars                   Add to Goodreads

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…

My thoughts banner
You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell is only the second novel I have read by her. I know for sure it won’t be my last. How does she do it, make you chuckle out loud one moment and swallow with emotion the next. I don’t know, but she has talent and does!
Do you ever come out of the movie theatre, a little teary eyed but satisfied that you’ve seen a good movie and sort of blink at the daylight. That’s how I was as I finally put down this book after finishing it.  What a delightfully quaint village and quirky characters who fill this book. A place where people unabashedly listen in to others conversations and even occasionally offer their opinions.
So who are these characters who just slip into your heart? Well obviously there is Lily – a down to earth, honest, charming and hard working woman. She lost her mother at eight and has been brought up by Coral and Nick, good friends of her mother. She is the the centre and all the others circle around her. 
Patsy, ten years older and earlier on Lily’s babysitter. Now they are good friends. Patsy has not been lucky in love and seems to have an ongoing situation of hapless meetings with potential internet dates. Then Tom, her brother. All time – long time friend of Lily. In the early times he showed his liking for her by teasing, as boys do. But guess what there are deeper feelings there.
But wait, arriving on the scene is Eddie, a movie star who just happens to get caught up with Lily in a surprising meeting. He is rather nice and well… Lily and he might just turn into an item.
In the last letter to Lily her mother gives her a gift that was given to her by a man she loved but lost. This leads Lily into searching him out, and then that leads Declan to becoming involved in her life and the village. Then surprise, surprise – the father Lily has never known arrives on the scene. And the plot thickens!
Characters you will fall in love with, a village you’ll want to visit, definitely an entertaining and heartwarming read.
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Review

The Unexpected Consequences of Love. Jill Mansell Spotlight, Review and Giveaway

The Unexpected Consequences of Love  Book Cover

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Date: February 3, 2015
Genre:Women’s Fiction
ISBN: 9781492602088
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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…

My Review 

This is the first book I have read by Jill Mansell and I was very pleasantly surprised.  I found it a very enjoyable read.

SIX REASONS WHY I WAS HOOKED:

  • There is a wide array of characters, some young, some older – all with a story and so interesting.  Sophie a photographer who will never consider another romantic relationship, Tule her friend who ‘means well but often ends up in awkward situations’. Dot a hotel owner who has ‘a witchy ability to know things other people wouldn’t have a clue about’, Josh her grandson who is is part owner with Dot and just returned to help her manage the hotel. Lawrence – Dot’s ex husband who chose the bed he is now lying in. Marguerite the writer of popular books and her no good lazy nephew Riley who is her PA. These and an array of minor characters all go into the mix and as that happens things change.
  • There is a very cute minor character Grill who has an amazing ability to make an entrance!
  • That leads me on to the humor in this story.  It is not over the top, but the story is well written and had me laughing out loud a few times at situations or from Jill Mansell’s way with words.
  • There is a low key and gentle exploration of some issues and values that at times portrayed the courage it takes to deal with difficult things or on the other hand the shallowness and stupidity others can bring to life.
  • Through Margeurite there was a small window into the world of the writing and publishing world.  As a reader, I always enjoy that when it’s part of a book.
  • A plot that moves along with good pacing, with enough twists, turns and surprises – and change of viewpoint to keep me reading on.

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

Excerpt from THE UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE by Jill Mansell
“Nearly done… Oh, it’s you.” Turning, she glimpsed him in the doorway and straightened up. Nodding at Griff, she said, “Have you come to get him? He’s shattered now. I’ve just finished the shoot.”
“I know, I saw the family driving off. And I am sorry. Dot did warn me about the door-opening thing,” Josh admitted. “I just forgot about it. Can I blame it on the jet lag?”
She gave him a look. “Only if you’re a complete wuss. You’ve had a whole week to get over it.”
Her eyes were bright and sparkling, silver-gray with very white whites. Her well-defined eyebrows were dark but tipped with gold and there was a smudge of mud on her left temple.
It wasn’t an expression he’d ever thought of using before, but it occurred to him that she had joie de vivre.
“True.” He dipped his head in acknowledgment. “All my own fault. So how did it go in the end?”
“Come over here and I’ll show you.” Leading the way across the room, she picked up her camera and began scrolling through the shots, starting with the half dozen or so pre-Griff originals, then on through the second stage of the shoot.
“These are great.” Josh nodded at them, genuinely impressed. “So it ended up not being such a disaster after all.”
“Thanks to me being a complete genius,” she agreed happily. He liked her attitude. “What’s your name?”
“Sophie.”
“Hi, Sophie. I’m Josh.”
“I know. Haven’t you noticed everyone whispering about you since you’ve been back?”
“Not really. Well, maybe a bit. You don’t take much notice after a while.” He paused. “Do you have a business card?”
She took one from an envelope in the side pocket of her black canvas camera case and handed it over.
Sophie Wells Photography. Portraits, Weddings, Commercial was written in silver on a black background, along with her contact details. Josh noticed that as well as the bracelets on her left wrist there was a key attached to a plain silver bangle. He reached out and touched it briefly. “What’s this for?”
“It’s the key to my secret Swiss bank account.” “Amazing. I didn’t know Swiss banks used Yale locks.”
A dimple appeared in her left cheek. “I started wearing it after I locked myself out of my flat three times in one week.”
“Look,” said Josh. “I still feel terrible about the photos.” “No need. I told Emma I’d do them for free.”
“But that means you’re losing out. Which is even worse.” Sophie shook her head. “They all like what we ended up doing instead. Emma’s still happy to pay.” “But their clothes…”
“They live on a farm. She says the mud’ll come out in a boil wash.” “But when I came back here with Griff, she was in tears.”
“I know, but you weren’t actually to blame for that. Relax,” Sophie said cheerfully. “It’s your lucky day. You’re off the hook.”
Women, he’d never understand them. Still, it was a positive result. Somewhat distracted by her eyelashes—were they also gold- tipped beneath the mascara?—Josh said, “Fine then. So long as you’re sure. Can I ask you a personal question?”
“You can try.”
He was charmed by her easy smile, playful humor, and feisty can-do attitude. Okay, and her body was pretty amazing too. “Are you single at the moment? Or seeing someone?”
If she were, he would have to say with good-natured regret, “Well, that’s a real shame,” and leave it at that.
“Me? Oh no, I’m not seeing anyone.” Sophie shook her head. “Completely and utterly single, that’s me.”
Excellent. Enjoying her honesty, Josh said, “So would you like to come out for dinner with me one evening?”
“It would have to be an evening.” Sophie nodded gravely. “Otherwise it wouldn’t be dinner; it’d be breakfast or lunch.”
“Definitely evening,” he agreed. “We could do it tonight if you like.” This is going so well.
“Oh, I can’t.”
“Yes, bit short notice. Friday, then? Or Saturday? You choose, whenever suits you best.”
But even as he was saying it, Sophie was shaking her head. “Sorry, no… I mean, thanks for asking, but I can’t meet you for dinner.”
“Right.” Taken aback, Josh said, “Not at all?” “No.”
“Okay. That’s fine.” It wasn’t remotely fine. What was going on? Did she have a small baby at home, or an elderly relative who couldn’t be left unattended? “Am I allowed to ask why?”
Her eyes sparkled. “Oh dear, are you offended?” “Of course not,” lied Josh.
Sophie gave him a who-are-you-kidding look. “I think you are. Don’t be. I’m just pretty busy right now.”
“So maybe in a couple weeks?” He couldn’t quite believe he was still asking.
“Look, thanks again, but no thanks. I just don’t really want to go out to dinner with…anyone.”
Aaaand another knock-back.
“No problem.” Josh wished he’d never started it. “Sorry.”
He managed a rueful smile. “Hey, all I need is a few months for my ego to recover. I’ll be fine.”
“It’s not you.” Sophie’s mouth was twitching. “It’s me.”
Okay, now she was making fun of him.
“Well, obviously,” said Josh.

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