by Jill Mansell
Millie decides that a man-free summer is just what she needs but Orla, who wants Millie to be the heroine of her next novel, is determined to find her the man of her dreams. As far as Millie is concerned, the only man worth thinking about is Hugh Emerson but for Hugh, whose wife tragically died in a horse-riding accident, "dating is not on the agenda". Millie's determination not to fall in love with the young widower forms the centrepiece of the novel but Jill Mansell also delves into the shenanigans of Millie's best friend Hester and her eventful love life; Orla and her cheating husband; Millie's man-eating mother; and the leather-clad, sex-mad Lucas Kemp who runs a kiss-a-gram service.
Set against the backdrop of the tranquil Cornish countryside, the story is void of coldly beautiful, career-obsessed women; gorgeous men with flash cars and flashier wallets. Instead, Mansell has created a believable and diverting cast of characters, and even dares to portray sex as something other than mind-blowing:
Since carrying her into the bedroom, Lucas had stripped himself naked, launched himself at her, had sex and then rolled over with a groan of contentment.
In one hundred and eighty seconds flat.
Oh, and he had told her she was great.
This is an addictive, warm and funny read bursting with clever one-liners and sparkling dialogue. Mixed with a healthy dose of realism, the will-they-or-won't-they element will have you gripped until the end. Reading Mansell is never an idle fling; her ever-growing collection of bestsellers, including Kiss and Good at Games, demands a life-long love affair. --Amy Gallagher
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