Archive for August 2008




An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell

 

I got this out of the library because I wanted to see what all the fuss about Jill Mansell was. I picked up the book the other night to have a flick through it just to see what it was like. 2 Hours later I was still reading and realising that I was loving the book.

Here is the synopsis:

Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend Dougie’s snobbish mother offers her £10,000 to break up with him. Then she discovers a secret that makes her think again. Dougie would probably have broken up with her in the long run, and this way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world.Ten years later, though, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. But she broke Dougie’s heart and he’s about to discover that she was paid to do it. She can never tell him the truth, so can she get him back? Well, Lola’s very attractive and very persuasive. But even she’s got her work cut out this time…

I thought I would never read another “Click-lit” book (not bec I’m snobby) but after the Freya North debacle, (see earlier review) I decided not to waste my time with “that sort of stuff” again. However, what I didn’t count on was Jill Mansell being a terrific writer!

Her writing is very modern and funny and witty and readable and….I could go on, but I think you get the drift!

The main character (Lola) is refreshing in that she is self-assured, she knowswhat she wants and she goes out to get it. She tries to get her ex-boyfriend (Dougie) back (asking him some outrageous things) and along the way many things happen in her life. Ordinarily I would of got bored reading the non-romantic bits, but Jill Mansell has a way of making the other stuff really interesting and page-turning.

What the synopsis doesn’t tell you is that there are other characters in the book who are given quite a lot of coverage in the book. Gabe and Sally are the sub characters who have a great story too and they made the book for me.

Couple of minor gripes – at the end when Dougie finally gives into Lola and takes her back, I kinda felt it was not quite beleiveable that he had an about face. But maybe thats just because the man’s point of view was never written. Also, I thought about 4/5ths through it was dragging a little.

Anyway, if you’ve not read a Jill Mansell book before, give it a try. It was really very very good. And you all know what a fussy reader I am!

Rating 8/10

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Add a comment August 31, 2008

Jack of Clubs by Barbara Metzger

This is a new author for me, recommended by one of the girls from Bookishly Attentive.

 

Here is the synopsis:

Year’s ago, Captain Jack Endicott’s young half sister vanished after a carriage accident. Now, hardened by fighting in the Peninsular wars, Jack sets out to honour his father’s dying wish that he find the missing girl. Disdainful of “proper” gentlemanly pursuits and refusing to live off his noble brother, Jack makes a bold play. He’ll open a lavish gaming parlour in London – and, by hiring only beautiful ladies to deal cards, possibly find his sister. All he needs is a little luck.

Schoolteacher Allison Silver is at her wits end. After an arduous journey escorting a precocious pupil to her grandparents in London, the old folks are not even home to take delivery! And the only possible alternative guardian is a known womanizer who runs a gabmling house, of all things.

Yet when the proud Jack meets the prim Alllie, the odds are surprisingly even – and all bets are off in the wild game of romance….

This is the second in a series of 3 books, and I haven’t read the first. There was no problem with getting into the book becasue it was the second and the author gives a well dispersed overview of the series storyline (that of the missing girl) so you know whats going on.

I did feel howwever, that the plotline of the missing girl was a bit of a misnomer and a little contrived. It wasn’t mentioned all that much, and instead of information about her being dispersed through the book, suddenly near the end, the bow street runners who were looking into the case found loads of information.

That aside, I did enjoy reading this book very much. All the characters were wonderfully written, and the author has a great and vivid way of drawing them. Certainly one of the most appealing things about this story was how different it was to other Regencies. Set in a gaming house, it was very refreshing from the usual country houses or town houses. The setting also meant that the secondary characters were more colourful (if you know what I mean)…

The story revolves around prim Allie and handsome Jack who are the perfect match if only Allie can get over her worry about losing her reputation and Jack can…well it’s just the usual man who is wealthy, has a mistress, why would he want to marry?

However, Jack is lovable and sweet and Allie can be a bit annoying at times. But this was a page-turner albeit more of a soap opera than an epic drama. Near the end I was expecting something major to happen but it never did. When I closed the book having finsihed it I was also surprised that there was no love scene. I don’t mind either way if a book has a love scene as long as it fits in with the story. In this book there was a lot of pent-up sexual tension and I was expecting it several times but it didn’t happen.

So overall, while I was reading this book I loved it. When I finished it and reflected back there were many plot points and issues with characters that just didn’t add up…and I feel a bit disappointed with it.

I will probably give Barbara Metzger another go maybe the 3rd book in the series.

Rating 7.5/10

Add a comment August 28, 2008

Blue Remembered Heels by Nell Dixon

Nell Dixon has a new book out with Little Black Dress, here is the synopsis:

Life is sweet for con-woman Abbey Gifford until, one ordinary Wednesday afternoon, she’s struck by lightning. They told her she might have some bizarre side effects, but nothing could have prepared Abbey for the fact that, since that fateful day, she can never tell lies again! Truthfulness is a big drawback for a con-woman, especially when suddenly she’s being followed by the suspiciously gorgeous detective Mike Flynn. If only Abbey could stop blurting out secrets every time he asks her a question! And if only Mike knew the real reason Abbey spends her life tricking other people out of their money!

I must admit, I’m not exactly the target reader for Little Black Dress, and I have tried a few before but not been overly impressed. However, they have struck gold with Nell Dixon. Having read most of her previously published work, I was sure whatever she had written for Little Black Dress would be good. I was correct.

This book has a brilliantly thought-out plot, and characters. The relationships between everyone (be it siblings, aunts, and others) are realistic, as are the characters themselves. In fact, as I read it, I thought perhaps that this book could have been longer and more in depth, but I realised that Little Black Dress don’t do long books. It keeps the reader wanting to turn the page, and I read it very quickly (always a good sign).

Couple of things: I loved the fact that Abbey was in the shadow of her sister – who is more attractive than her. I thought the scenes where Abbey had to answer Mike thruthfully were hilarious (I didn’t want them to end) and I almost (just almost) wanted Abby and Phillipe to get together…..

I was slightly disappointed that the romantic element of the book between Mike and Abbey wasn’t persued more. I’d have liked to have seen more interaction between them, especially when Abby had to answer his questions (as I’ve mentioned before), but this doesn’t take away from the fact that this was a great read, and I’d highly recommend it.

Rating: 9/10

2 comments August 8, 2008

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