Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

 

38203743Publisher: Headline

Publishing Date: 24th January 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

(out on 13.06.2019)

 

Synopsis:

The deliciously uplifting new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY. Not to be missed by readers of Lucy Diamond and Katie Fforde.

When Mimi first visits her dad’s new home in the Cotswolds, she quickly falls in love with Goosebrook and its inhabitants. (Well, maybe not rude Henrietta, who lets Mimi walk miles in the rain rather than give her a lift.) There’s Paddy, with his flashing eyes and seductive charm. Friendly and funny Lois makes her laugh. And seriously gorgeous Cal is welcoming and charismatic. Mimi would be more than happy to return to Goosebrook if it means bumping into him again…

Time passes and Mimi comes and goes, and concentrates on her career. Yet as their lives continue to intersect over the years and emotions (or relationships) become tangled, it’s Cal who makes her feel most welcome whenever she does return to Goosebrook. But if he’s The One, will it ever be the right time for them both?

Rating: four-stars

 

In “Maybe This Time” we are introduced to Mimi, who’s just leaving London for a few days to visit her Dad in Goosebrook in the Cotswolds. Already the first visit there is very adventurous and includes rescuing a sheep and being totally drenched. But people in Goosebrook – with one exception – are really, really friendly and so Mimi soon finds herself on the way again. However, she doesn’t know that totally different circumstances are awaiting her this time… Fast forward some time and Mimi, after being betrayed by her best friend and her boyfriend, moves in her Dad and Marcus’s house, hoping to start a new chapter in her life. Perhaps with an extremely handsome neighbour at her side?

I loved the characters in this book. Jill Mansell has talent to create relatable, warm and full of life characters that she so easily brings to life and the dynamics between them is captured in such a realistic, true to life way. There are plenty of characters in this novel but they’re all so distinctive and different, and I never had a problem to know who is who and why, and I enjoyed all of them and their own stories. Mimi is so full of life, even though this life likes to challenge her, but she never gives up and I wanted to give her a standing ovation more than once. Even her crush on Cal was so charming – I know some may say, woman, get a grip, you’re old enough, but it involved so many embarrassing moments and jumping to conclusions and I simply loved it. The short period of time when she was working in Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca was hilariously entertaining and I truly enjoyed this bossy side of her. Heck, she was a real renaissance woman, our Mimi, she could do anything she was asked for, and she always did it with a passion. There are of course many other brilliant characters, the already mentioned Cal and his daughter Cora, Mimi’s Dad and Marcus and her new friends Lois, Paddy and Felix, and oh, of course, we can’t forget Henrietta – you can’t help but fell for them all, and you quickly become invested in their lives.

This book has it all what I know I can expect from Jill Mansell: it was light – hearted but with a depth, it was funny but also poignant, it was fast – paced and with brilliantly developed and fleshed out characters. I know that it’s also a bit predictable, but firstly I haven’t read it for its unpredictability, and secondly it was this kind of novel when predictable is good and comfortable. Although guys the author didn’t make it so obvious for the character and the majority of the book I spent wondering, rolling my eyes at “not again!”, wanting to bang my head on the wall – all of this I mean in a positive way! Because it was so obvious that those two should be together but the timing was never right, either there was another relationship, or they weren’t in the same place, mostly in different country. It was simply brilliant!

This is a fast – paced story, sometimes too fast I would say, especially at the beginning when so many things happens, but I was immediately at the heart of this book, drawn in. It took me on a brilliant, entertaining and also thought – provoking ride, with all the ups and down and highs and lows, through some gorgeous settings. Goosebrooks has all what a perfect place needs – it’s idyllic, there is of course this brilliant local pub and people who make this place so exceptional. As usual, the book dealt with a great range of topics and issues but there was not a single moment that it was too much or that I felt confused. It won’t be a surprise to you then when I tell you that Jill Mansell is my auto – buy author, will it. Her books are really worth dropping anything you do and spending some relaxing me – time. I always finished reading her books with a grin on my face, and it was the same with “Maybe This Time”. It was entertaining, funny and sometimes sad and I found myself engrossed in the story. Highly recommended!

 

This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell

This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell

 

34209819Publisher: Headline Review

Publishing Date: 25th January 2018

Source:  Received from publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Love, friendship and some delightful surprises will keep you turning the pages of this new romance from Jill Mansell, the bestselling author of MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY and YOU AND ME, ALWAYS. Not to be missed by fans of Katie Fforde, Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella. Fall in love with Jill’s books: ‘A glorious, heartwarming, romantic read’ Woman & Home

Essie has all she ever wanted – a perfect boyfriend, a beautiful cottage outside Bath, a great job and the kind of good, close friends all of us should have. Then Lucas Brook walks into her life and overnight everything changes for the very-much-worse. What Lucas does is unforgivable, and Essie definitely has no plans to see him again. But when their paths cross once more, she can’t help noticing how very attractive he is. What a shame he’s such a troublemaker.

Sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem, as Essie will soon find out…

Rating: five-stars

A proud owner of all Jill Mansell’s books speaking here (I must take a photo of them all standing on my bookshelf, totally) – no need to mention that I of course have read them all, and loved all of them, without exception. Every new release from this author is impatiently awaited by yours truly. The beautiful orange cover of this brand new offer from Ms Mansell catches your eye immediately – I can’t recall a book cover in such lovely, warm colours as this of “This Could Change Everything”. And what is between this beautiful cover is just Jill Mansell at her best – she presents us with a lovely, heart – warming story with a great heroine, some difficult situations and a fairy – godmother.

There is a great mix of colourful characters in this story. Essie very quickly, right at the beginning, gets herself in troubles by writing a round robin email that was supposed to land only in her best friend Scarlett’s inbox but somehow is sent to all her contacts. Round robin, where Essie writes what she thinks about her boyfriend and her prospective mother – in – law as well, so you can imagine the consequences, right. Who has sent it and why?
What I so adore in Jill Mansell’s book, so also in this one, is the fact that the characters come into each other lives by chance and usually stay friends, creating an incredible group of colourful, real characters. I was totally engrossed in all their ups and downs, problems, troubles and complications. They are all so well drawn, together with their fortes and flaws as well, and I loved their sense of humour and determination.

The darker and heavier issues are handled with gentleness and subtlety and light touch. I totally adored the idea of Zillah being the wonderful fairy godmother, making wishes come true for the residents of the hospice.
Sure, the things happened oh so very conveniently for our characters but oh my, so what? It didn’t bother me at all. And that the characters mostly were more lucky than clever? Let them!

Altogether, it was – as expected and awaited by me – a light and enjoyable read with some twists and turns and surprises on the way, and ha! Let it surprise you when it comes to the romances – let me just tell you that not everybody ends with people you think they’re going to end. There is everything in the book – plenty of the highest level humour, but of course mixed with some poignant moments and difficult situations, a budding romance or two that are not so straightforward, broken hearts, tons of friendship and warm feelings. It was like a sunbeam on a grey, dull day and it cheered me up ceaselessly. “This Could Change Everything” was a funny, moving, heart – warming, uplifting read, and I totally loved it – highly recommended!

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

 

29758025Publisher: Headline

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)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 15.06.2017)

 

Synopsis:

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!

Rating: 5/5

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!

 

You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell

You and Me, Always

by Jill Mansell

 37109-you2band2bme25252c2balways

 Publisher: Headline Review

Publishing Date: 28th January 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 368

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 16.06.2016)

 Synopsis:

On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.

Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.

Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…

Rating: 4/5

I have always loved books and reading, but it is essentially thanks to few authors, such as Marian Keyes, Jane Costello and Jill Mansell, that my love to women’s literature exploded so much and blossomed through the years. I am proud to say that I have read all of Jill’s books, I have all of them on my bookshelf, and not one of them had disappointed me – when picking Ms Mansell’s book I know that I am for a treat and for a few hours of utter delight. And it was the same with „You and Me, Always”. And let’s be honest – there is no January without new Jill Mansell’s release for me anymore.

The author effortlessly throws her readers to the heart of the story, deep into the characters’ lives – I have truly had a feeling I know them for ever! I felt on the right place in their company, and I laughed and cried with them all together. Jill Mansell, as always, describes the characters so well that we really understand each of them – their motives and their reactions. There are truly so many characters in this novel but I didn’t have a problem to know who is who and how they are connected. I loved how their stories linked together, how they were connected with each other and how effortlessly they were intertwined and how perfectly the story flows, in just the right pace.

Our main character, Lily, is twenty – five years old and each year she gets a letter from her mum for her birthday – mum that has sadly already passed away. I loved this idea, I simply loved it, it was so touching and so thoughtful. A pity that we could read only one of the letters but well, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush… In the last letter Lily’s mum is talking about her first love ever, and this piqued Lily’s interest… She doesn’t know it yet, but it is going to change her life – and not only hers, but also the lives of her friends Patsy and Coral.

As usual in Jill Mansell’s books, also in „You and Me, Always” there is great bunch of incredibly warm and colourful characters, that more than often put themselves into some awkward situations, that more than often made me smile/snort with laughter, such as Patsy’s dating disasters for example. Lily is the main one. I loved her from the very beginning, really. I was thinking, well, after her mum’s death she could grow up wallowing in grief, full of anger and bad feelings but on the contrary, thanks to the help of Coral and Patsy, she became a wonderful, lovely, funny young woman.
Patsy was a source of many funny situations, what with her online dating and the guys she went on dates with. But her story was also a very touching one, as we soon realise what her biggest dream is and that it’s more and more difficult for it to become true – will she get her happy end? I really liked her storyline and I kept my fingers crossed for her so much, and she was such a brilliant support to Lily.
Jill Mansell can create not only the loveliest, most realistic female characters but she is also a champion of writing the male ones. In this book we have Dan, Declan and Eddie, but firstly let’s stop and admire Dan for a while. The ultimate chick – lit hero. A pilot. Dan is incredibly handsome and he realises it, and yes, he uses it, but he’s neither bumptious nor does he treats women in an awful way. OH NO. Full of warmth and with a great sense of humour, just my kind of hero, mmmm. And – you may not believe it but he is unhappily in love with a girl that doesn’t know it. For years!

Sure, these three are only the tip of an iceberg, but believe me, all the other characters have their own cosy place in this story and the book wouldn’t be the same without them. They are so beautifully rounded and so well drawn and they welcome you to their world, and a lot happens to them all. A lot, and you have a feeling you know them for years.

Keeping in mind the title of the book, and also the fact that the letters Lily was getting from her mum were stressed as a very significant things to the story, I had a feeling that the novel is about everything but Lily and her mum. I’m not sure why but I was convinced that it’s going to be a story about these two women and I had a feeling that it strays away from it. Instead, there is a lot of things going on in this book, and truly, there is not a single flat moment there, especially as all the characters want to tell their own stories as well, and in the end I found myself enjoying the book, even though it took a little different angle to what I was expecting.

The setting of the story is also so beautiful – a small village in the English countryside, Stanton Langley, and the author brilliantly captured atmosphere of the place and its residents, and I really didn’t have a problem to feel a part of their world. The falling – for – Hollywood – star subplot reminds me so much of Karen Swan’s last novel, „Christmas at Primrose Hill”, but as I loved this book, I also totally enjoyed it in Ms Mansell’s novel. Well, I think all of the girls dream of meeting a big star one day, and even better when the star falls for them, no? It was a great part in the story and I absolutely adored Lily and the way she was around Eric – not star – struck, oh no, she was sharp – tongued and cynical and a real tough cookie for Eric.

Jill’s books are always like a comforting blanket, like a glass of latte with the most exquisite chocolate – to devour. „You and Me, Always” is such a feel – good story, with brilliantly written characters, lovely plot, some twists and turns, and what is so great in this story is that Jill doesn’t add any unnecessary drama to the plot, she keeps it down to earth and yet makes it colourful, fantastic read. It was an easy, light read with a touch of sadness and nostalgia to it and I enjoyed it immensely. „You and Me, Always” was a lovely book. It was bitter – sweet, with the right doses of fun and sadness, and it is only Jill Mansell who can take a great bunch of people and give them their own lives and personalities, create wonderful and unique stories for them and make the reader feel a part of the characters’ lives. This story has it all in fact. Characters, setting, twists and turns and some lovely romances, so very tastefully intertwined into the plot. It is an adorable book about unconditional friendship and love, with a beautiful ending, with everything perfectly wrapped up. I can be sure that when I have a worse day, when I’m feeling law, Jill Mansell’s book is going to get me out of this slump – her stories make me believe in happy – ever – after.

Blog Tour: You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell / Q&A with the Author

Hello there, you lovely people. Today I am super duper excited to be a part of Jill Mansell’s Blog Tour for her newest shiny novel „You and Me, Always”. I am even more thrilled because I have a Q&A with the Author herself – something that I always wanted to run on my blog! Thanks so much Elizabeth for making it possible and thanks so much Jill for taking your time to answers my questions! And you, guys, just enjoy :)

 

1. Jill, this is your 27th book. I know that asking an author if they have their favourite book is like asking which child they love more, but is there a book that is special to you? Why?

 I’d have to say Three Amazing Things About You was the most special to me, purely because as a result of reading it, so many people have been in touch to tell me they’ve added their names to the organ donor list.

 

 2. Can you say what all of your books are about or having written so many of them (and thanks heavens for this!) it’s not possible anymore?

 Haha, I have the most terrible memory, so it’s hard for me to recall plotlines. Sometimes when I have to look at one of my older books for some reason, I am astonished to see what’s in it – it all feels completely brand-new to me, as if the whole thing had been written by somebody else!

 

 3. Readers (me included) are loving your books – when writing a new novel are you afraid that you can disappoint them this time? That the book isn’t going to live up to their expectations?

 It’s something I always worry about, and the fear has worsened over the years. Luckily, readers continue to enjoy my books – if they didn’t, I’d probably think the time had come to stop!

 

4. What five words would you use to describe your new novel, „You and Me, Always”?

 Emotional, funny, sad, feelgood fiction. (I hope!)

 

7. How did the title get chosen?

 I always write the book first, then come up with a title afterwards. I usually end up trawling through song titles on Amazon until I find some that fit the story and sound nice. Then I submit my list to my publisher and agent, and they choose the one they like best. (Or they reject all of them and ask me to find some more!)

 

 8. How carefully did you plan this novel in advance?

 I don’t plan carefully at all. I begin with characters and a starting-off situation, and carry on from there, coming up with new ideas as I go along. I ran a poll on Twitter and Facebook to find out where to set this novel – a big majority of readers preferred my Cotswold-village settings, so this is why I invented Stanton Langley. Cotswold villages are fun!

 

9. There are usually many characters in your books and their stories intertwine – do you have a special system to keep on track with them and their lives?

 I construct a long timeline and fasten coloured post-it notes along it, to keep track of all the different characters and plot points in the book. It makes life a lot easier and I highly recommend it.

 

 10. After writing almost 30 books, is it still easy to find inspiration, ideas, characters, dialogues…?

 The characters and the dialogue are always easy for me, but sometimes I do struggle to come up with brand-new scenarios – everything I think of turns out to be a plot-line I’ve used before. Thankfully something always comes along in the end. It would probably be far easier to write sequels – maybe I should consider this at some stage!

 

  11. How does a publication day look like for you? Is it a special day or just a normal one?

 Well, this year is going to be especially exciting because my publishers are throwing a gorgeous launch party for me and I can’t wait – it’s going to be fantastic! In the last few years though, publication days have become much more fun thanks to the rise in popularity of social media. Hearing from people on Twitter and Facebook who are excited to be reading the new book makes a world of difference!

 

12. What is your recipe for success?

 Oh goodness, I have no idea. All I can say is, I love my characters – even the naughty ones! I think it makes a difference if you really care about them. Nothing stops me reading a book more quickly than discovering I don’t care about the characters and therefore have no interest in finding out what happens to them.

 

13. Last question (as I’m hoping you will be answering them after Christmas) – what did you get for Christmas?

 I got some black Ugg slippers decorated with Swarovski crystals and they’re fantastic – I might be the last person on the planet to discover how gorgeous and comfortable Uggs are! I was so impressed with them that I have since bought myself a pair of matching Ugg boots in the sales. I may wear them to my publication party, you never know!

 

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