Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell
Publication Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback, 432 pp
Genre: Contemporary Romance
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Synopsis (Courtesy of Amazon):
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, sculpture 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Meanwhile Cleo's sister Abbie has a problem of her own, her husband Tom has become distant and withdrawn, and shes determined to find out why.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 most unlikeliest of places...
This was my first opportunity to read a Jill Mansell book, though I had heard tons of good things about her writing. I think this book was a good place to start. It was full of interesting characters, a lot of humor, drama and romance. Mansell does an excellent job of showing not only the relationships Cleo and Abbie have with the men in their lives, but also the relationship they have with each other. Cleo's relationship with Johnny takes the forefront, but the other subplots and stories are equally developed and the reader will feel a sense of real closure with each character.
Cleo's relationship with Johnny has always been fraught with chaos. He goes from being her childhood nemesis to being someone she struggles to find things in common with in the beginning. Though Will is handsome and seems to be everything she could want there is still something missing in her life, can Johnny fill that void or is it something else? This was great storyline. I think that people always wonder about the "what ifs..." How would things have been different if I chose this person instead of that person. Cleo's struggle is not uncommon.
Abbie, Cleo's sister knows that something is wrong with her husband, but facing the truth may be more than she is prepared to handle. This storyline deals with what happens when you keep secrets, especially from the ones you love.
I liked the book a lot and I felt that it was a very good contemporary romance. I tend to steer more toward Historical's because I don't find many contemporary story lines that seem to fit my mood. But, this one was an exception. It was engaging right from the beginning, kept a good pace throughout the book and I felt at the end that it was a good example of some of the issues that modern men and women face with relationships.
Take a Chance on Me is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Here is some additional information about Jill Mansell.
With over 4 billion copies sold, Jane Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Jilly Cooper and Catherine Alliot. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.