An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Addition: Paperback
Genre: Chick-Lit
Rating: 3 out of 5
Synopsis:

Nothing could tear Lola and Dougie apart, except his mother Seventeen-year-old Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend’s snobbish mother offers her a huge bribe to break up with him. Then Lola discovers a secret that makes her think again, and the only way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world is to take the money and break Dougie’s heart.

Ten years later, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. She’ll do almost anything to get him back, but she can never tell him the truth. Can she overcome his bitterness and win his heart? She’s attractive, persuasive, and endlessly optimistic, but even Lola’s got her work cut out for her this time.

I enjoy Jill Mansell’s books, she never lets me down! I have several of her novels on my bookcase waiting for me to read. I’ve had this one for a while, so it qualifies for the TBR Challenge :-)

This novel follows Lola, a girl of just 17 who is offered £10,000 to dump her boyfriend – by her boyfriend’s mother. She believes Lola isn’t good enough for her son Dougie. Lola shoots her down, but then discovers she needs the money to help her step-father get out of trouble. She promises to tell no-one about the money, or why she took it, so she dumps Dougie and leaves the country. Ten years later, back in the UK, she stops a mugging, only to later find out the lady who was being attacked was Dougie’s mother. Whilst she is round at the celebration meal, Dougie overhears her on the phone telling Gabe, her cute next-door neighbour about the money. When he hears this all he can feel is anger and hate. However, in her distress, Lola strikes up a friendship with Sally, Dougie’s older sister, who ends up living across the hall from her. Lola can’t believe how she feels for Dougie though when she sees him again and finds ways to keep seeing him – of course this is helped by her friendship with Sally. Yet Dougie is not interested at all…can his heart be changed?

I liked Lola. I felt sorry for her having to take that money to help out Alex, her step-father, after he lost everything gambling. I loved that she refused to tell anyone that was the reason why she took the money too. However, her persistant longing for Dougie was a bit annoying after a while – she seemed to pine for him all the time! I actually found Doug arrogant and a bit annoying! He was the injured party but he seemed to think he was better than Lola because he came from more money (like his mother in face – who I really didn’t like!) I did like Sally though! She seemed like she would be a fun person to hang out with! I liked Gabe too and felt sorry for him that the new job direction he was going down wasn’t going well!

This is an entertaining book, a chick-lit novel about first love, friendship and what we will do for those we love. If I’m completely honest, this isn’t my favourite Jill Mansell novel. It was a simple story with a predictable outcome – the only shock being that Lola’s biological father turned up out of the blue. I didn’t find myself desperate to know what was going to happen, but that said, I did read it to the end and I did enjoy it. This didn’t challenge me or move me in anyway, but I did enjoy it and it did entertain me.

This was a fairly quick read, even if it was over 400 pages long! The outcomes – the different romances – didn’t surprise me at all. I thought that there was an excessive amount of talking about sex – wondering if they were having it, why they weren’t etc. It didn’t add anything to the story and I was a bit fed up of it by the end. This is a light read though, entertaining and fun. This isn’t the best Mansell I’ve read but it hasn’t put me off her books. I’m glad I’ve finally read this book and I did enjoy it.

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Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Addition: Library hard back

Genre: Chick-lit

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Cleo Quinn doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to men, but now Will’s come along she’s optimistic. Handsome, attentive and an absolute gentleman when it comes to her questionable cooking skills, he could be her Mr Right. Things are definitely looking up for Cleo… apart from one small problem with a rather large ego. Johnny LaVenture, sculptor extraordinaire and her childhood adversary, is back in Channing’s Hill and tormenting Cleo as if he’d never been away.

But life never goes to plan, does it? Johnny isn’t the only one stirring up trouble and, for Cleo’s family and friends, all kinds of sparks are starting to fly. If you think you can put the past behind you, think again…

I read this book back at the beginning of the year, and really enjoyed it. It is a book that had me glued to it all day. I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in a day. I have read a couple of other novels by Jill Mansell, and really enjoyed those too.

Mansell writes really good chick-lit. Her books are fun and hard to put down. They always perk me up and I always enjoy them. In this novel, Cleo is the protagonist. She used to work hard at school but a bout of bullying put an end to that. As an adult she makes a living driving limos. She is happy and content with her job and her boyfriend Will. Then the man who made her life miserable at school comes back to town for his father’s funeral her world is shaken. Her sister’s world is also being shaken. She has just discovered that her husband has an eighteen year old daughter. Did he cheat? Why didn’t he tell her?

Mansell weaves a web that revolves around two sisters, Cleo and Abby. Cleo is settled, enjoying life, her man and her friends. Then Johnny returns. His attention is on her, and her head is being turned toward him. She tries to cling on to her current relationship – to discover Will is actually married with children. She feels awful and won’t forgive him. What she doesn’t expect is to become friends with his wife. And what about Abby? Whilst putting away her husband’s socks she discovers a photo of his daughter. How and when did this happen? She discovers that the mother is the surrogate they wanted to use when they discovered Abby wouldn’t be able to carry a baby to full term. The woman had claimed she didn’t get pregnant, but she had in fact lied and kept the baby – a little girl called Georgia. There are twists and turns throughout the book and it is so enjoyable.

Mansell writes a whole host of readable, realistic characters. I liked Cleo. She was caring and concerned about her family. She is sensitive and she is not easily wooed. I felt so much for Abby. She was a damaged woman, as she couldn’t have children. Then to discover her husband had a child, and then for Georgia to come and live with them was tough. She was sad and angry and lost. Her character was realistic and heart breaking. I liked Cleo’s best friend Ash. I found it fascinating how he was a radio DJ who really was very shy and not that good looking. However, he cared and was fun with Cleo. I liked Johnny as well. Once he realised how he had made Cleo feel he was apologetic and watching him chase Cleo was great!

There is a lot in this book – affairs, barrenness, family, surrogacy and love. There is so much to get your teeth in. I felt every story line was handled really well. I was sucked into this world and really enjoyed being there. The ending is fairly predictable, but who doesn’t like a happy ending?!

I can easily give this book 4/5 because it was so good. From start to finish, I was hooked. Really worth reading if you like chick-lit.

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Rumour Has It by Jill Mansell

 

Amazon Description:

When newly single Tilly Cole impulsively quits her London job for a fresh start in the small town of Roxborough she finds she’s arrived in a hotbed of gossip, intrigue and rampant rivalry for the most desirable men. Tilly has no intention of joining in – she’s just happy with her new Girl Friday job. Then she meets Jack Lucas. Jack is irresistible… and he’s got his eye on Tilly. But there are shocking rumours about his wicked reputation. Tilly doesn’t want to be just another notch on anyone’s bedpost. But is she being mature and sensible – or is she running away from the love of her life?

This is the second Jill Mansell book I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. I found it an easy, girly read. The main character, Tilly, has moved to Roxborough where her best friend lives to get away from her ex-boyfriend. She is always running from relationships when she feels that they have turned sour. In this story she is running again, this time away from a man who has seemingly slept with all the other women in the village.

I liked this book. I found the story engaging and amusing. I wanted to know what happened in the end – although of course I could guess. There were storylines in the book which surprised me and kept me on my toes, which added to the enjoyment of the book. Although Tilly is the main character, Mansell has written in some excellent co-stars; such as Max, who Tilly lives with. I loved his dry sense of humour and just his presence in the book.

This is unashamedly chick-literature. This is a romance novel with all the right trimmings. It has a lovable cast, a great location and a fun storyline. There are some parts which are predictable, some bits I didn’t believe, but that didn’t spoil the book for me. Mansell seems to be a good women’s author, and if you like this genre, you will like this book. Not the best I’ve read, but highly entertaining and worth reading.

8/10

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Head Over Heels by Jill Mansell

head over heels

Synopsis from Amazon:

Jessie has kept the identity of her son Oliver’s father a secret for years. She’s stunned when she discovers that the man in question, actor Toby Gillespie, has just moved in next door. The truth’s about to come out.  One glance at Oliver, and a little mental arithmetic, and Toby has the situation sussed. Meeting the son he never knew he had is the shock of a lifetime. It’s a shock, too, for Toby’s wife, the beautiful Deborah, though she seems to take it in her stride. Would Deborah be so relaxed if she knew just how close Toby wants to get to the mother of his firstborn? As the attraction between them flares up again, Jessie just can’t see her way to a happy ending. But no one is quite what they seem, and there are more surprises to come…

This is the first Jill Mansell novel I have read, and I enjoyed it. The story stars Jessie, who for 21 years has kept the identity of Oliver’s father a secret. But that is revealed when Toby Gillespie, a celebrity shows up. He quickly works out that Oliver is his son, but that does not bother him nor his wife. However, what Deborah does not realise is that Toby is still in love with Jessie. But Deborah has secrets of her own – as do most of the people in this seemingly quiet village…

This was a gripping chick-lit novel. Mansell’s style of writing draws you in. You connect with the characters and want to know what surprises are in store. Some of them were predictible but others came as a surprise – Bernadette’s being one of them.

This is another book that I have read recently that has slated men. In this book they were playing away from home and expected their women to do everything for them.

The more I read of this book the more I wanted to find out what would happen. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any chick-lit lovers.

8/10

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