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review 2019-05-20 16:26
Early Jill Mansell Re-Release....Not my Cup of Tea
Kiss - Jill Mansell

I received this book for free via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 


So this book was published in 1993, and boy does it show. I think a few times Mansell probably went through and tried to update (she brings up Harry Styles at one point) but other dated references are still here (a new release of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie). I could have overlooked that if the story had been good. Too bad it wasn't. I think it's been a while since I disliked every single character in a book. And it didn't help that there is a whole romantic subplot that no one called out for the horribleness that it was. It was just glossed over with people thinking the other party in it was a slut. This book also is not a good send up of what makes a good relationship at all. 


"Kiss" follows several characters. Wanna be singer Izzy and her 17 year old daughter Kat. Gina who is newly separated. Sam who is friends with both Gina and her estranged husband. Andrew who should have been drowned at birth (estranged husband of Gina). A love interest of Sam who I can't recall and then another male character who I can't recall. 

The story gets going after Gina leaves her house in tears after her husband Andrew comes home and tells her that he is leaving her for someone else. And not only that, Andrew's mistress is pregnant. Gina ends up in an accident and hits Izzy who was on her motorbike. Izzy is in her late 30s and still trying to make it as a singer. She has her 17 year old daughter Kat and two boyfriends (I think they were named Mike and Rich) and everything comes to an ugly head and I wish I could have laughed, but I honestly disliked Izzy and even Kat for making sure that the two men were unaware of each other.

Gina feeling guilty due to Izzy losing her apartment tells her that she and Kat can live with her.  Then Gina's old friend turns up and moves in with them all. Then the whole book becomes a mess.

I honestly don't know what to say. Gina is awful. You are supposed to pity her. But seriously. She has no personality at all. She is bereft because Andrew left her, but then demands that Izzy not sleep with Sam while he lives there. It's none of her business and I would have laughed at her demands. 


Izzy is also awful. Her hiding having two separate relationships made me hard sigh. She's not some teenager. She is in her late 30s. If both men knew about the other and were okay about it that be one thing. And her deciding she had a thing for Sam, but playing games so he didn't realize it and want her more? Are you serious. Also I found her whole story trajectory to be 100 percent unbelievable. The whole thing read as soap operaish in a bad way after a while. 


Kat. Sigh. She's 17 and her whole "relationship" made me scream inside. Also I am guessing the age of consent in the UK is lower? Cause in America I would have hoped that her "lover" would have been reported to the police. And after that mess that goes on she has another love interest who plays mind games with her in order for her to "fall for him." Bah.


Sam. That's another no. At one point I just went what is the point of this guy and realized there really was none except for three separate women to be into him. His whole thing with Izzy was boring and the stupid why we can't really be together thing came out of nowhere. 

Andrew was garbage. 


The mistress was pathetic and also garbage. And there was some fat-shaming going on that made me cringe. 


There are other people but my brain refuses to remember.


The writing wasn't as crisp as other Mansell books. She has definitely learned how to juggle multiple story-lines. After a while I wondered if this book was ever going to end since it just jumped from character to character with no forward movement until everyone ends up making disastrous choices. Then the book gets into what I would call it's third act and some people get their shit together and others it takes until the ending.


The ending. I just can't applaud it. Ninety-nine percent of the characters sucked and there was very little development of anyone. There also seemed to be an underlining message of lie and manipulate the person you love so that they fall for you. See Gina and Kat's "romances." 

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text 2019-05-18 23:31
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Kiss - Jill Mansell

So this is a re-release and you can tell. The characters are not very developed and there’s a subplot about a 17 year old girl having an affair with a 40 year old married man and my head almost exploded. I really couldn’t take Izzy, Kat, or Gina. And I loathed that every man in this story pretended to either not be interested or faked a romance with someone else to get the woman he was interested in to want to be with him. This felt like a really bad romantic comedy where I want everyone to end up engulfed in flames. 

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review 2019-03-29 17:01
Five Stars, but Not a Favorire
Maybe This Time - Jill Mansell

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


So though I really enjoyed this book, the main reason why I didn't give it a favorite designation was honestly because I thought that Mansell should have Mimi with someone else that was introduced in the book. I thought all of the story-lines were very good and that Mansell did a good job of showcasing all of the stories though she doesn't juggle as as much as she usually does. For once, she stays focused on one character throughout the book with the secondary characters taking a back seat. The ending was a bit abrupt I thought, though often times Mansell's stories do kind of just end. I am a sucker for a good epilogue showing people over a good passage of time and having the author wrap things up in a more satisfactory way.


"Maybe This Time" follows Mimi Huish as she visits her father and his partner, Marcus in the new village they have moved to, Goosebrook. Mimi has what is a pretty funny meet-cute with Cal Mathieson.  Mimi wants her father and Marcus to become part of the village, so on her next trip down she meets Cal again, and then is able to introduce herself and her father to some of the villagers: Paddy (local heart throb), Lois (gorgeous), and Felix (super posh). She also has a run in in with Felix's overbearing mother, Henrietta.  Once Mimi's father is invited to participate in a local event she is glad that he is finally settling in. Unfortunately something occurs and Mimi doesn't visit Goosebrook for four years. I don't want to get into spoiler territory, but after the initial set-up of the book, I thought I knew which way that Mansell was going to go with things, but guessed wrong.


I loved the character of Mimi. She has a job doing PR which she loves and is very good at. When we see her four years later, she is still living with her best friend and has a new boyfriend she is crazy about. She eventually finds out though that what she thought was real was a lie and runs back to Goosebrook to lick her wounds. Being back there four years later has her catching up with all of the village that she hasn't seen in years. And now Mimi is having romantic thoughts about Cal though I honestly didn't see it myself. 


Mimi starts hanging out with Lois and sees how her life has changed. Their friendship was a definite highlight while reading.

Cal was just okay. I really didn't find myself invested in him. Probably because most of the time he felt like a coat rack come to life. You know that coat racks are nice to have. But if you decided to get rid of yours, would you really notice? So that's how he read to me.

I really enjoyed Mimi's interactions with Paddy and wanted more of them. It definitely seemed like there was a mystery going on there. And the way the book ended, I wonder if maybe there will be a follow-up story starring Paddy.

Mimi also gets a boss in this one, CJ, who was a hot mess. I laughed every time he showed up. 


The writing was good. I also have to say I was surprised by the turns this book took. It's not like Mansell hasn't written a book that has made me sad/cry before, see "Three Amazing Things About You." Starting off with introducing us to a lot of characters and then jumping four years later was pretty smart. And she ends up eventually moving through another full year (I think) by the time the book ends. I liked that, because it drives me nuts when a lot of books have life altering things happening in like 4 weeks book timeline wise and I go, this is not realistic every five minutes. The timeline issues still bug me whenever I re-read "The Proposal" by Jasmine Guillory. 

The flow was a little rough here and there, but not enough to impact my reading.I think that the book jumping back and forth from Goosebrook to Puerto Pollensa was one reason why the flow was a bit rough. 

The setting moves between London, Goosebrook, and Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca. The village of Goosebrook felt small to me though familiar. You quickly get used to the locals and everyone's relation to each other.  

The ending as I said was a bit abrupt. I also thought it was just okay. I wish that Mansell had gone another way with Mimi. That said, I was happy about the resolutions with Felix, Lois, Henrietta, and Paddy. 

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review 2019-01-27 16:41
Enjoyable Contemporary Romance
Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay - Jill Mansell

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. At first I hard cringed when I started reading and the premise was that one woman (Clem) had a meet-cute with a man who has now come back to her life in a surprising way. This leads Clem to faking a relationship with her best friend Ronan who has his own reasons for agreeing to go along with things. Clem's stepsister, Belle, doesn't know what is going on with Clem, but the two of them seem to be constantly battling each other with Belle refusing to let Clem get the upper hand. Since this is a Mansell book there are some other characters we follow too, Ronan's mother Josephine, a woman named Kate, and another woman named Marina. 


I honestly loved Belle's story-line the most. It was beautifully done and I loved the ending that happened there. And I have to say, that I was glad that Belle confronted Clem about her behavior and things she said. I was hard cringing anytime these two characters had scenes together. Clem believed the worst in Belle and was nasty IMHO to Belle as much as Belle was rude and nasty to her. I do wonder how these two parents were not in this book and thought that was a bit odd that Clem's mother and Belle's stepfather were just absent through the majority of the book. 


Ronan's story-line was my second favorite part of this book. I don't know how realistic it would really be in the end. But I smiled throughout it and loved it. Ronan was also very well developed which was a nice touch. I often find sometimes the men in contemporary romance novel's are not developed as much as the women. 


Marina's story-line was really good and it gets slowly revealed. I am a bit sad though that she doesn't appear to get a HEA like the other characters.

Clem I kind of ho-hummed about. Besides her meet-cute I didn't find myself that engaged with the character. I also thought it was stupid she faked a relationship. I didn't get any sense of chemistry between her and the love interest at all. And I don't want to spoil it, but the love interest's story-line turned me off a bit. It didn't help that besides that he wasn't really in the story properly. We just hear about his past in a info dump, he appears a few times to make Clem uncomfortable and then love. 


I loved the writing and did laugh a few times. When Clem and Ronan go off to show listings it seems as if every odd person in the world is trying to sell their places. The flow was really good between shifting narratives too. You know if you read a Mansell book there's going to be at least 6 people you are tracking, and Mansell does that very well.

The setting of St. Cary's sounds wonderful. The beach, the water, and the people sounded delightful. A good book to read during the winter months in Virginia.

The ending was a surprise (for one side character I had not thought that much of honestly) but we get to catch up with Belle, Clem, Ronan, and others. I was really happy seeing everyone's HEA. 

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text 2019-01-27 16:15
Reading progress update: I've read 416 out of 416 pages.
Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay - Jill Mansell

Really enjoyed this one though I liked certain story-lines the best like Belle's and Ronan. I do have to say that the epilogue was long and really set up things for the characters in the next stage after their HEA. I do have to say that some of Mansell's book are a bit too much with people just all linking up together in the end and everyone is okay with things. 

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