Sourcebooks Landmark, Apr 2009
Kindle, 420 Pages
Also available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) Women’s Lit, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance
Source Author’s rep
Some other books by this author
Solo, Miranda’s Big Mistake, You and Me Always, Good at Games, Head Over Heels, The One You Really Want, Three Amazing Things About You, Thinking of You, To The Moon and Back, A Walk in the Park
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price in a three book bundle. 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…
Lola Malone, 17, and Dougie Tennant, 18, are in love. Dougie’s mother, Mrs. Tennant, isn’t thrilled. So she makes Lola an offer she can’t refuse. Well, she can, but the person she loves the best can’t refuse the offer without getting hurt very badly. So, Lola accepts the offer, gives the money to that person, and promises never to talk about it to anyone. She disappears leaving a “Dear Dougie” letter behind.
Actually, she’s only gone to Majorca, but that’s far enough away to keep Mrs. Tennant happy and in control of Dougie.
It’s quite a few years later and Lola’s come home. Her Step-Dad is dead and her Mom has retired. Lola is working as the manager of a bookstore and she runs into Dougie. And Dougie’s sister spills the whole story about the money Mrs. Tennant paid Lola to go away.
But Lola promised and she’s still keeping that secret. Without telling the secret, she can’t explain why she did what she did. She’s still in love with Dougie. But Dougie thinks she’s nothing but a gold-digger and wants nothing to do with her. Doesn’t he?
The cover is typical Jill Mansell. So flowery and feminine. I always love them. Yes, they can relate to almost any love story, but that’s okay. This one relates to this story and I love it!
The storyline is awesome. It’s twisted and a no-win situation. It is a sad story that only gets pulled out at the end, at the 95% spot.
The characters are great. Jill Mansell has a way of letting you get to know her characters in the course of her books. You seem to end up liking all but the absolute worst of them. And I mean, the absolute worst. The nice ones, of course. But you like the nutty ones, the stubborn ones, the quiet ones that you don’t really notice until all of sudden it’s the end and you realize you’ve gotten to know him and he’s really nice. She just writes great characters! But throughout the whole of this book, the characters all thought this wonderful person had taken a whole lot of money to leave her boyfriend. How could these people believe this of this person they all professed to love so much. This kept me mad for the whole book.
The pace is really good. This book bounces from one incident to another. Sometimes, it’s Lola’s problems. But sometimes it’s her Mom’s things or her neighbors’ situation.
The tension is pretty relaxed at times, but it gets tense when it needs to be, like whenever Dougie just accidentally drops by his sister’s apartment next door.
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… ✰✰✰✰
Promises are meant to be kept, but not up to the point that they hurt someone else and can’t hurt the person they originally protected. The problem with this one was that there was a second person to protect. And Lola couldn’t let the secret hurt that person. So Lola was the one to suffer and lose her chance at love a second time because of the secret.
If she could have explained to Dougie that she’d needed that money to help someone in her family to stay safe, then he might have understood what she had done all those years ago and not been so harsh and unkind when they ran into each other all those times. He might have kept his girlfriend in line, too.
But keeping the secret years later, basically tied her hands. What really made me angry was that all those supposed friends of hers were perfectly willing to believe that she took that huge amount of money as a straight bribe from Dougie’s mother simply to go away. These are her friends?
Thank heavens her mother had some time to think. She seems to be the only one who thought about who Lola really was and what type of person she was. What her values were and whether or not she’d do such a thing. Her mother came pretty close to the truth, too. Dougie seems to know her pretty well, too, once he stops to think about it.
Mrs. Tennant is the one character in this story that no can really like. There seems to always be one in each story. Even Dougie’s girlfriend is only defending her territory! But Mrs. Tennant is truly vile even after Lola almost saves her life!