Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansel

Even in a small town the drama is larger than life...

Cleo Quinn doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to men, but now Will's come along. Handsome and attentive, he could be her Mr Right. Things are definitely looking up for Cleo... apart from one small problem with a rather large ego. Johnny LaVenture, sculptor extraordinaire and her personal childhood nemesis, is back in Channing's Hill and tormenting her as if he'd never been away.

Meanwhile Cleo's sister Abbie has a problem of her own-husband Tom has become distant and withdrawn, and she's determined to find out why. But will the shocking truth mean the end of their idyllically happy marriage?

The sisters are about to discover that the past can come back to haunt you, and that love can flourish in the unlikeliest of places...


This was my first book by Jill Mansell and I must say I enjoyed it. It's not what I would call a "Romance Novel", it's more Chick Lit but it's British. Would that be Brit Lit? Is that a term?

Moving on.... This book was cute. Cleo is a young single woman who thinks she's found the perfect man, until she finds out he's not. That's okay, right? She's got a fun job, a wonderful best friend and a place of her own. Then HE comes back into town - Johnny LaVenure, her childhood nemesis. He's rich and famous and makes her feel like she's back in school again. But he's here to stay, and she keeps running into him...and really, he's so nice now....

I really enjoyed Cleo and Johnny's story. I rooted for them throughout the book. Not from the beginning of course, I thought he was such a smarmy guy, but, just like he did with Cleo, he won me over :)

Meanwhile, Cleo's sister Abbie is having her own crisis, and her best friend Ash is trying to sort out his love life, with the ex-wife of Cleo's ex-boyfriend! Tie that in with Abbie's husband's secret (it's not what you think!) and there's a whole lot going on... There were a lot of POVs in this book, which threw me a bit .

I haven't read many books by British authors, this was a bit different for me and I liked the bits of British slang and overall "feel" of the writing. I laughed a lot, Cleo is a spunky leading lady, sometimes even if she doesn't want to be. The tension between Cleo and Johnny was good. I didn't like the storyline about her sister so much, but it did tie in nicely with Cleo's story. Now I want to go visit the UK. In lieu of that, I will definitely be checking out Ms. Mansell's backlist.

My Rating:

As an aside, I was a bit frustrated that I couldn't figure out from the author's website if this book was part of a series or if all her books are stand-alones.

This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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