Sourcebook Landmark, Mar 2011
Kindle, 471 Pages
Also available in hardcover, paperback
Genre(s) Women's Lit, Contemporary Romance
Source purchased at current price
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review
What it's about...
Daisy runs the hotel owned by her father, Hector MacLean. And it's a regular soap opera at Daisy's and around the village as chambermaids almost stop weddings, old friends come to visit, and washing machines break down.
Will everyone find their "happily ever after"?
The cover is a classic Jill Mansell look. The pretty colored pencil hand-drawn designs that are so feminine. Usually, there's one element that relates to the story and this time it's the dog. In our story, we have Clarissa and Clive.
The storyline is really good. It's typical Mansell, toss-it-all-in-the-pot-and-stir type of story.
The characters are a mixed bag. Some we get to know really well and others are sort of two dimensional, but that's all they need to be.
The pace is good. Mansell keeps you moving from one thing to the next. You don't have time to be bored.
The tension is changeable in this sort of story, but that's to be expected. It all depends on what's happening. Is it time for the two lovers to run for the summerhouse or is it time for the two old friends to talk about his vacation over a couple glasses of wine?
The superb quality of the writing is one thing you will always find in a Jill Mansell novel. She creates these works of art with words and as you work your way through them you can't help but be amazed. You and I can use those same words, but for some reason, they don't have the same effect. Ms. Mansell uses words as an artist uses paint or pastels. She creates a masterpiece that comes to life for our enjoyment.
And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...
The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰⭒
Daisy is eyeing Dev from the very beginning. So I really didn't think that Tara had a chance with him. But then, I didn't think she was seriously trying for him when they had their run in. The bra incident was purely accidental. The button popped with the towels she was carrying. So no surprise that Dev moves in on Daisy later on when he "needs" help choosing a dog. It was too funny that this oh-so-masculine guy, out to impress her lets her talk him into this little dog called Clarissa when what he thinks he wants is something large and masculine like a great dane or shepherd. And Clarissa has lots of personality, of course. Dev becomes enslaved by her, catering to her every whim. And Daisy comes to love the little dog so much that she ends up wanting one of her own. When Dev finally gets his information straight and comes back to knock on Daisy's door, she has Clive. So Dev and Daisy and Clarissa and Clive all get their HEA!
The relationship that came out of the blue for me was the one between Josh and Tara. He was trying to have a full-blown relationship with Daisy because he had always hoped it could happen but didn't think she really felt that way about him. So then he claims he's always had feelings for Tara as well. It seemed to come out of nowhere for Tara as well. She can fall in love in a heartbeat, so she's all set. But Daisy'll need to advertise for a new chambermaid since Josh and Tara are now off to Miami for his new job. But Josh and Tara got their HEA!
The funniest situation in the book was Maggie's washing machine. Sorry, Maggie. I know you did a lot of washing by hand while your machine was down. Let's back up here a bit and tell Maggie's story properly. Because she really has some grievances here. First of all, she's having sex-for-pay with Hector because they each think that's the only way the other will agree to it. But life keeps getting in the way of that secret arrangement. And while the extra money is nice, she'd just rather have the sex and Hector without the money or secrecy.
Lately, Hector's been busy with Paula Penhaligon, a guest at the hotel. Flaunting their relationship around town and London. And Maggie feels hurt and neglected. With her new washing machine broken, she's been busy doing a lot of hand wash. She's had several repairmen come and several wrong parts ordered. Now she has a repairman who seems to think that she's entitled to something more than what the company is doing, which is basically ignoring her. So they cook up a hostage scheme and call in the press to cover it! Maggie finally gets her new washing machine. In fact, she gets the top-of-the-line washing machine. Then Hector shows up and puts their relationship on a personal rather than professional basis. So Maggie and Hector get their HEA! And Paula Penhaligon gets dumped.
Another couple that has to work on their relationship is Barney and Melanie. Barney has to wait for a kidney and live through the surgery. Melanie has to survive the car crash and have her child. Then she has to be brave enough to stand up for her new relationship in spite of her old one. Her old relationship just happened to be with Daisy's late husband, Steven, who died in the car crash. Melanie's son is Steven's child. So to have Steven's girlfriend and child living with the young man who has Steven's kidney in her village is awkward for Daisy and brings up bad feelings at first. But Daisy stretches her arms out to catch the baby when the cottage is on fire and Mel and Freddie are in danger. That becomes a turning point for Daisy and Mel that helps bring peace for them. So Barney, Mel, and Freddie get their HEA.
A couple not getting an HEA? Well, that would have to be Jeannie and Dominic. But they deserve each other.