A new bestseller from one of the UK's biggest authors.A number of years ago I was given at least two Jill Mansell books to read. I read them, enjoyed them, but then didn't really continue reading any of her books. So when I was offered this book for review, I jumped at the chance to renew my acquaintance with Mansell's work.
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 is one of Jill Mansell's later books, having originally been released in the UK last year. It is the first of the books that Sourcebooks are planning to release into the US market this year. One of the things that I did wonder was how some of the more British language would translate to the US market. I lived in the UK for a number of years, but there were still a few terms that I didn't easily recognise. For example, what on earth are Toasta Bags? If my interpretation of what they do is correct, I want some, if you can toast a sandwich in the toaster without making a mess!
In terms of the actual story, the characters follow a fairly typical chick lit arc in the storyline. Lola is a young woman who is desperately in love with Dougie. When his mother offers her a sizable amount of money, Lola would ordinarily have said no, but due to an unexpected situation she realises that this is a chance to make someone close to her happy, even if it means that she must never see Dougie again.
Fast forward a number of years and Lola has just returned to the UK after living overseas. She has no way of knowing that by helping out a woman who is being attacked in the street, that she is going to bring herself into contact with Dougie, and his family again.
Whilst the story does focus on Lola and Dougie, the author also manages to fit in secondary stories for Lola's friend Gabe (his adventures in his new career as a paparazzi are both funny and poignant), Dougie's sister, Lola's mother and at least one other person from her past.
If there was one small criticism to be made of this book, it is that all the loose ends were so completely nicely tied up at the end, but that is a small thing really. If you want a fun chick lit read, then from my experience, both with this book, and with the other books I have read from this author in the past, you can't go wrong with Jill Mansell.
Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me this book for review.
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