An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Rating: 3 out of 5
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.
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.