Sourcebooks Landmark, Sep 2009
Kindle, 514 Pages
Also available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) Women’s Lit, Contemporary Romance
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price as part of a three book set. 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
My Review: ✰✰✰✰
This is a story within a story. It’s a story by a woman writing a story by a woman about the day-to-day happenings in a woman’s life. And what a life! If something can go wrong in Millie Brady’s life, it usually does, in the weirdest way possible. She’s out for a drive with her current boyfriend hoping he’s not building up to asking her to marry him while they’re pulled off in this lay-by when she sees a woman who looks like she’s thinking of jumping off the cliff. Millie jumps out of the car and goes off to rescue the woman. The woman just happens to be Orla Hart, best-selling author and celebrity. Women being women and our author being Jill Mansell, they get to talking, her boyfriend drives off in a tiff, and the women become close friends.
Being a Jill Mansell novel, Orla decides to base her new novel on Millie’s life. She pays her a chunk of money and Millie has to report to her about the things that happen in her life. And Orla wants ALL the dirt! But Millie’s holding one certain thing back that Orla knows nothing about. And it might be the most important part of the whole crazy story.
Technical Bits ‘n’ Pieces:
The characters were very well developed. You really felt like you knew these people and could walk up to them and they would be real. Their histories were interwoven well and I loved the way Hugh kept popping up as everyone’s website developer or computer geek. Word-of-mouth will do that for a small business person, ha, ha.
The storyline was great overall, but it did get bogged down a bit in the middle when day-to-day got a bit pedestrian. I wanted things to happen, but nothing was happening for Millie. It was all business as usual for everyone. The pace ties in here with this. It was pretty fast for this type of book, except for the middle part where it seemed to bog down and sort of crawl. Once it picked up again, it was even crazier than ever.
There’s violence that’s only “women’s stuff”. And there’s sex without the sex if you know what I mean. It’s either behind closed doors, upstairs, or fluffed over. The intent is there though, just not the graphics.
STOP here if you don’t want any SPOILERS:
I had a really hard time with the fall-out from the wallet incident. It was one thing for Millie to pull the original prank of making the phone call once they had found the wallet. Wrapping it up and returning it with a note of apology was the appropriate thing to do when she’d found out that the owner’s wife had recently died. But to try to call again to apologize was not appropriate. It was not to apologize. He was right, it was to make herself feel better, not him. She should never have done that. BUT, if she hadn’t, we wouldn’t have a book because Millie and Hugh would never have met.
Hester deserved to lose Nat! She cheated with a guy she’d been after for years! And Nat has to be totally soft between the ears to take what happened without getting pissed off. No guy accepts that without a blink and then they all work happily in the same place? Life just doesn’t work that way. Hester isn’t a very nice person, no matter how many pairs of earrings she sells at half-price to pimply teenagers.
I did love the way that Orla’s great nemesis, Christie Carson the author who’d trashed her last book in his review, turned out to be the new love of her life. His review was what set her on the track of needing a new approach to writing and how she ended up writing Millie’s book. I thought that was the best twist at the end.
It seems like in a Jill Mansell novel the “right” people get the prizes and the “wrong” people get what they deserve. Tim and his wife really deserved what they got – each other. And Millie’s Mom ended up out in the cold. She did so much damage, but people didn’t want reparation, they just wanted her gone.