My Rating: 5/5
Meet Molly Hayes who lives in the dreamy village of Briarwood in the Cotswolds. She works drawing a cartoon strip for a paper and helps out at her friend's café in the Village. Her love life is something of a shambles and she always making the wrong decisions. Meanwhile Dexter Yates is a handsome bachelor who is living the party lifestyle in London. Surrounded by women who fall at his feet and partying with his friends his life is just as it should be. Overnight, Dexter's life changes when his sister dies tragically in an accident. When he discovers that his sister has left him as the sole guardian of her 8 month old daughter Delphi he has no idea where to start.
It took me a mere three chapters to fall in love with the calm but bad decision maker Molly. Easy to like, she is the sort of girl that you instantly warm to. I also loved the village she lived in and the characters that made it up. Dexter was also an easy to love character which makes a book so much more enjoyable. One of the more interesting themes to the book was the childcare aspect of it. A young, free and single man attempting to look after a young child, is both sad and at time hilarious. Jill Mansell has a way with words which is why she is still writing such successful books 20 years on. The writing flows easily and you are drawn into the story and see both characters progress. There are certainly some serious moments in the book, but along side that is balanced nicely with some characters that are so colourful they made me chuckle to see what they get up to. In addition to Molly and Dexter, the reader meets lots of other villagers that are drawn into the story in one way or another. Each person added another layer to the book and although my focus was firmly on Molly and Dexter, I loved the sideline stories going on in the background.
I have been reading Jill Mansell books since my teenage years and don't get me wrong I haven't thought every book was 5 stars, but I have never felt let down with one of her books. This newest release was a wonderful read that had me absorbed from start to finish. Many will say that the storyline is predictable, but to be honest if the story didn't have the predictability and threw me a horrible curveball, maybe I wouldn't like it as much :-) This was an absolutely wonderful read and I think that Jill Mansell's fans will as usual be thrilled with it. As usual, I will be waiting patiently for her next book and would highly recommend this one!