Saturday, March 26, 2011

Staying at Daisy's by Jill Mansell

Life is easy, it's men she'll never figure out...

When hotel manager Daisy MacLean meets cocky sports hero Dev Tyzack, it's a no-brainer - stay away. He is arrogant and sarcastic - but also incredibly sexy. Daisy tries her best to steer clear of him, yet soon comes to realize he is the one guest she can't bear to see leave.

Then she learns a devastating truth: most people are now who they seem to be, for better or for worse.

The other Saturday morning I woke up feeling pretty average. After cancelling the usual Saturday morning gym session, I lay in bed but couldn't get back to sleep, so I went and perused the shelves for a perfect pick me up read. When my eyes lit upon a Jill Mansell book, I knew I had found what I was looking for, and it helped that I knew that I needed to read it for a review. Three hours later I closed the book with a sigh. Of course, you don't need to be feeling sick to want to read this author, you can read them anytime. What I do know about the Jill Mansell books that I read is that I might cry but I will also definitely laugh. I don't mind if I am crying when reading a book because it means that I am emotionally invested in the characters to care! There is also something extremely satisfying about getting lost in a book so much that you can finish it in one sitting.

Daisy runs a successful high end hotel in a quintessentially English country village, and she is good at what she does - usually. Things don't quite go to plan when she meets the former professional rugby player Dev Tyzack in his capacity as best man at a wedding, especially given that their initial run in is due to her best friend Tara being caught in a compromising position with the groom on his wedding day. Dev is devastatingly handsome (no pun intended), charming and cocky, and Daisy knows that he is not only a former player, but he is something of a player when it comes to the ladies. There is no way that Daisy is going to open herself up to that kind of humiliation. She dealt with that with her former husband, and it is not going to happen again.

One thing that I love about Mansell's books are the supporting cast of characters, and once again we have the full set here. There is Daisy's completely over the top Dad, her lovable ex boyfriend, her best friend/chamber maid Tara, the new porter Barney who is an organ donor recipient who is looking for a new start, Mel, who has a secret that could change everything if it gets out, and Tara's aunt Maggie. One of my favourite scenes in the book is when Maggie gets fed up of dealing with incompetent tradies and takes matters into her own hands with hilarious results.

As Dev tries to prove to Daisy that he is not the type of man that she thinks he is, her father Hector is embarking on an affair with a famous film star, her best friend Josh comes to stay, and she finds out a secret to do with her dead husband that will devastate her completely, life in the hotel for Daisy must go on.

I don't read a lot of chick lit all that often anymore. When I do though, I like authors like Marian Keyes and Jill Mansell, who not only do the single woman looking for the right man storyline but who also deal with issues. Mansell is particularly adept at incorporating these issues into the storyline without losing the balance between them and the rest of the story elements. 

If I was going to quibble about one thing it would probably be only how neatly all the loose ends are tied up at the end of the book. Really though, that is a pretty minor complaint.

While I was thinking about what I wanted to say about this book, I read through some of the other reviews I have written of Jill Mansell's books and I realised that I was pretty much going to be saying many of the same things over again. What this tells me is that her books are consistently entertaining reads and so I will continue to read her books.

If you haven't ever read one of this author's books, or it has been a while, maybe now is a good time to pick up a Jill Mansell book to read.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me a review copy of this book.


  1. I've read short stories by Jill Mansell before and enjoyed them. Never a novel though! I'll look out for this one for my ereader.

  2. Thanks so much for your lovely review - I'm so thrilled you liked the book. I know the endings are annoyingly neat, but they have to be that way, or readers complain!
    Also, I don't write short stories, so samstillreading might have been thinking of another author. I can't do short ones, only long!
    Jill xx

  3. I haven't read any Mansell, but I might give her a try. I usually don't read much chick lit but maybe I'd find her the perfect choice for a lazy weekend afternoon.

  4. I haven't read any Jill Mansell, but this will be on my Nook soon. Thanks for the new author-I love recommendations so I don't have to buy blindly.

  5. I think the neat endings don't bother me with these types of books because they're meant to be fun and light. I loved this one, too.