Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
Publishing Date: 12th January 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)
The romantic, funny and unputdownable new novel from Jill Mansell, No. 1 bestselling author of THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT, THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU and YOU AND ME, ALWAYS – ‘A glorious, heartwarming romantic read’ Woman & Home. Perfect for anyone who loves Jojo Moyes, Marian Keyes and Katie Fforde.
Clemency isn’t looking for love when she meets Sam, and he doesn’t make a brilliant first impression when she sits next to him on a plane. Yet by the end of the flight a real connection has been made. Clemency senses this could be something special… until she discovers that Sam has deliberately thrown her contact details in a bin. Oh well, his loss. (But also… why???)
So Clemency returns to St Carys in Cornwall and gets on with her busy life and career alongside best friend, boss and local heartbreaker Ronan. When Clemency’s glamorous stepsister Belle appears, smugger than ever now she’s found the perfect man, Clemency’s happy for her, really she is… until she discovers Belle’s perfect man is Sam.
Heart-stopping romantic entanglements, crossed wires and sisterly dilemmas – all the ingredients for an unputdownable read!
It’s January, so it’s time for a new Jill Mansell’s book! I can’t imagine January without her new release, to be honest, I really hope the books will keep coming like this for ever and ever! I still can remember that “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” was my first book by Jill Mansell and it made me fell in love with this author, and I still can remember the joys of discovering her long backlist of titles and excitedly working through them. “Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay” reminded me so much of “An Offer…”, with it’s lovely, warm and light writing style and it being full of humour. Because I had a feeling that every book written by Jill after “An Offer…” was always a little more serious in tone and the author was touching upon some tender issues, and I believe that with this newest release it’s like coming full circle, coming back to the roots. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like the other books – oh no, on the contrary I freaking adored them all, but right now “Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay” is on the top of my Jill’s favourite books – it was such an easy, uplifting read, just what I needed at the moment. She has just this comforting, inviting way with the words that make you want to stay with the characters for as long as possible.
As usually with Jill Mansell’s books we have a great bunch of characters in the story. In fact there were three main characters but there were also plenty of background characters, with their own stories as well, and while you can think oh wow, so it can be that all the stories can be too much, that they can make you feel confused, you can’t be further away from the truth – nothing like this happened, the storylines were flowing seamlessly side by side or intertwining with each other. The author did a brilliant job with introducing the characters to us and let us to know them very well. Clemency and Belle are step sister, and they couldn’t be more different. There is, of course, the element of sibling rivalry between them, but it was great to see and it made this relationship even more realistic, though I must admit that to keep up with Belle you do need the patience of a saint. But appearances may be deceptive, guys, and when at the beginning Belle seemed to me very shallow and empty and very self – obsessed, at the end it turned out that…well, she is all of the above but there is also a side to her that she’s hidden and her secret was a real surprise, even though there was a moment or two when I started wondering. Yet seeing it happening for real totally surprised me but I was incredibly happy for her – and for Clem then, of course! Clemency, on the other hand, is this kind of character that you can’t not like. She was so natural and genuine, she was spontaneous, funny and loyal and I loved her from the very beginning. She is a very caring person, supporting her friends whenever she could and I’d love to have her in my life. What I also loved about her was the fact that she seemed so very content with her life and in her own skin, which doesn’t happen often these days, no?
Ronan works together with Clem at the real estate office – he’s very, very handsome and he preys on it, of course, but don’t think he’s shallow or arrogant – Not. At. All. On the other hand, he was charming and lovely and there was much more to him than meets the eye and I think I could be a little in love with him. Although I was also a little in love with Sam, so there. Ronan always steps up to the mark when he’s needed and he proved more than once that his heart is on the right place.
Three characters, different characters but there is one thing that they have in common – they want to find love. It was really great and wise from the author to divide the book into three storylines, as it made it so much more exciting, intriguing and interesting. Also all the other characters, with Belle, Sam, Marina and Josephine at the head, not forgetting Kate, were very well developed, they all had huge personalities, their own distinctive, loud and clear voices and they added tons of enjoyment to the story. The chapters were divided between them, and they were short and dynamic and made the reading somehow easier and quicker, and just the right amount of details and questions were given.
Reading this book was just like reading Jill at her best form – this tale was just a delight to read, from beginning to the end, with all its secrets being revealed at a steady pace and some twists that all came as surprises – yes, some of them seemed teeny tiny unbelievable but yet they worked incredibly well and made me smile or shed a tear or two, and they were actually things that you actually wanted to happen!
I also adored the setting of this book! I am growing to love Cornwall more and more and heck, must probably book a holiday there, right? I loved this little town St Carys (that, as it is, has already featured in one of Jill’s previous books), it sounds gorgeous and thanks to the vivid, colourful descriptions I know must be beautiful, no matter if it rains or with the sun shining. And also, Jill Mansell could make Cornwall a new, fresh and intriguing place to live, as to be honest, with so many books set there it could go a little tiring, but not with this author! And of course all the inhabitants of this town were absolutely brilliant, but this takes us back to the characters – please, see above for yourself how much I am gushing about them. The little town community feeling was there as well, with everybody knowing everything about others and harmlessly gossiping about each other.
Sometimes it is so hard to feel this famous chemistry, those sparkles between the characters and when reading I often feel like the relationship is being forced upon me. But not this time! Oh my, how well Jill Mansell has captured the feeling of attraction between Clem and Sam, and the undeniable chemistry was so easy to spot and feel through the pages. They were this couple that you knew is destined to be with each other but it quickly turns out it’s impossible, and it pained me so much to watch how brave they both tried to be in this situation. The author has really tried our patience, providing us with many problems and troubles till almost the last page.
I immediately felt at home when reading this novel. From the very first page I was engrossed in characters’ lives and following them on this rollercoaster journey was an utter pleasure, and unfolding this tangled web of fate, destiny and chances was brilliant and I completely lost myself in the book. Altogether “Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay” was a sunny, cute, light – hearted read about love, friendship, loyalty, secrets and surprises that kept me glued to the pages, and kept the smile on face, but with the extra addition of some more tender moments as well. It was heart warming, it was funny, tender and very romantic, and I loved every single word of this book. It was engaging and it immediately drawn me in and I didn’t want to put this book away. Jill Mansell at her best and I highly recommend it to all her fans!