An Offer You Can't Refuse, by Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell’s An Offer You Can’t Refuse opens up with a plot device straight out of a cheesy fanfic: teenage lovers Lola and Doug are separated by Doug’s wealthy, manipulative mother, who bribes Lola into breaking things off with her son. (Lola needs the money to pay off her beloved stepfather’s gambling debts.) Happily, by chapter three Mansell has left the melodrama behind, and this effervescent romantic comedy is off and running.

Fast-forward ten years, and Lola is the manager of a London bookstore. She has a great Notting Hill flat and a loving (platonic) friendship with her playboy next-door neighbor. She’s never forgotten Doug, although she hasn’t exactly been pining for him, either... but when a twist of fate brings them back into each other’s lives, Lola decides she’s not about to let her long-lost love go a second time.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse is straight-up fun. Mansell’s novel features plenty of humor, but I spent most of the book laughing with her characters rather than at them. Candid, goofy Lola makes her share of pratfalls, but (unlike many romance heroines) she never acts like a complete idiot. This makes a nice change from the countless Bridget Jones-inspired romantic comedies that have come out during the past decade, and left me eager to check out more of Ms. Mansell’s work.
Posted by: Julianka


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