When Josh Strachan, newly returned to his home in north Cornwall from sunny California, first meets Sophie Wells, he's immediately smitten. Sophie's pretty, she's funny, she has lots of friends and she clearly loves her job as a photographer, despite the sometimes tricky clients. There's just one problem: Sophie has very firmly turned her back on love. It's nothing personal, she tells Josh, but she just doesn't do dates. And no one - even Sophie's scatty best friend Tula - will tell him why. Josh is sure Sophie likes him, though, and he's just got to find out what's put her off romance. And then put things right…
Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.
Jill Mansell's books have sold over three million copies and her titles include: Making your Mind up, Fast Friends, Good at Games, Sheer Mischief and Solo, among many others.
I received an e copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Headline through Netgalley which I am more than happy to give.
I've always loved books by Jill Mansell - she's one of a stock few authors that I can rely on to give me a book that hits the spot every time. A feel good book that's not all hearts and flowers, there is always a deeper story to discover and in this case I got several rolled into one!
The impression you get is that this book is going to be all about Sophie a single, photographer who spurns all romantic advances and Josh the handsome grandson and co-owner of The Mariscombe House Hotel who has just returned to live and work in Cornwall from LA.
Sophie and Josh are intertwined with various family and friends and as a result Jill treats us to several parallel stories woven around them all. The novel is set in beautiful Cornwall and I could very well have been sat on the beaches myself watching the action first hand as the descriptions were so vivid I could smell the sea and taste the ice-cream.
I truly loved this book. I spent most of the time I was reading it smiling and laughing at all of the antics but there are sad bits and awww bits too. None of the characters are superficial all have depth and all have their own reasons for presenting a 'face' to the outside world that in some cases is so good I was totally surprised when it was removed. I loved the fact that the story didn't just revolve around the younger relationships but those of the older ones too.
With so many characters and relationships in this book it could have very easily felt bitty with not enough time to explore each fully but Jill stitched them together beautifully and in enough detail too - counter balancing the more serious sad parts with humour and wit. Once again I finished a Jill Mansell book with a satisfied sigh, glad that everyone seemed to get their happy ending.
All in all this is a compelling read, for anybody who loves contemporary, romantic comedy. It's gentle enough for a quiet Saturday afternoon but with enough plot twists and surprises to keep the pages turning, you'll want to get to the bottom of the many inter woven stories.
I gave this book 5/5 stars