Category Archives: book review

Fault Line by Barry Eisler

Join Barry Eisler, author of the military action thriller, Fault Line (Ballantine Books, March 2009), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in May on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
 
After graduating from Cornell Law School, Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center. Eisler’s thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translatedinto nearly twenty languages. The first book in Eisler’s assassin John Rain series, Rain Fall, has been made into a moviestarring Gary Oldman that was released by Sony Pictures in April 2009.
 
For more information about the author or his work, please visit http://www.barryeisler.com/

Silicon Valley: the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent drug deal. Istanbul: a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged brother, a patent lawyer who believes he’ll be the next victim. And on the sun-drenched slopes of Sand Hill Road, California’s nerve center of money and technology, old family hurts sting anew as two brothers who share nothing but blood and bitterness wage a desperate battle against a faceless enemy.
 
Alex Treven has sacrificed everything to achieve his sole ambition: making partner in his high-tech law firm. But then the inventor of a technology Alex is banking on is murdered, the patent examiner who reviewed the innovation dies–and Alex himself narrowly escapes an attack in his own home. Off balance, out of ideas, and running out of time, he knows that the one person who can help him is the last person he’d ever ask: his brother.
 
Ben Treven is a military liaison element, an elite undercover soldier paid to “find, fix, and finish” high-value targets in the United States global war on terror.
 
Disenchanted with what he sees as America’s culture of denial and decadence, Ben lives his detached life in the shadows because the black ops world is all he really knows–and because other than Alex, whom he hasn’t spoken to since their mother died, his family is long gone.
But blood is thicker than water, and when Ben receives Alex’s frantic call he hurries to San Francisco to help him. Only then does Alex reveal that there’s another player who knows of the technology: Sarah Hosseini, a young Iranian American lawyer whom Alex has long secretly desired–and whom Ben immediately distrusts. As these three struggle to identify the forces attempting to silence them, Ben and Alex are forced to examine the events that drove them apart–even as Sarah’s presence, and her own secret yearnings, deepens the fault line between them.
 
A full-throttle thriller that is both emotionally and politically charged, Fault Line centers on a conspiracy that has spun out of the shadows and onto the streets of America, a conspiracy that can be stopped by only three people–three people with different worldviews, different grievances, different motives. To survive the forces arrayed against them, they’ll first have to survive one another.
 
MY THOUGHTS:
 
This is the first book by Barry Eisler that I have read and was intrigued by the description on the back.  This book is centered around two brothers who have been estranged from each other for quite some time.  These brothers are like night and day – Alex is an attorney in Silicon Valley while Ben is a government assassin.
 
Alex is working on a “project” and when things go wrong and people are killed – it is at this point he calls his brother for help.   You can see from the beginning that there is going to be turmoil between the two brothers because their personalities differ so greatly.  They are also still working through issues that surround the death of their sister when they were younger.
 
Although the plot itself held my interest, I found it to be predictable at times, especially concerning the feelings each brother was battling.  This author does has experience on his side, which helps lend credability to his writing, and he is obviously a good writer.  This is a good thriller, but I would put it right in the middle of the pack when compared to other books I’ve read in the same genre.  I will be certain to check out the “John Rain” series as these sound as if they are his best work to date, and will also look forward to what he has to bring in the future.
 
WIN PRIZES!!!
 
FAULT LINEVIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09will officially begin on May 1 and end on May 29. You can visit Barry’s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in May to find out more about this great book and talented author!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Join Jamie Ford, author of the World War II historical fiction novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ballantine Books, January 2009), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in May on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
 
 
Career-wise, Jamie went to art school in Seattle to become an illustrator, and ended up an art director/copywriter. He’s won an embarrassingly large amount of meaningless awards including 400+ Addys, 7 Best-of-Shows, and his work has appeared in Adweek, Advertising Age, Graphis and Communication Arts. He also had a commercial appear on an episode of The U.K.’s Funniest Commercials inspired by an embarrassing incident with a bidet that he’d rather not go into right now.
 
On the writerly side, he won the 2006 Clarity of Night Short Fiction Contest, was First Runner-Up in the 2006 Midnight Road Reader’s Choice Awards and was a Top-25 finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fall 2006 Short Story Award For New Writers. He’s been published in The PicolataReview, and his fiction is online at Flashing in the Gutters and Fictional Musings. He’s also an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and a survivor of Orson Scott Card’s Literary Bootcamp.
 
Jamie’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet will be released by Ballantine–January 27, 2009.
On the personal side, he’s the proud father of two boys and two girls. Yep, it’s chaos, but the good kind of chaos.
For more information about the author or his work, please visit http://www.jamieford.com/

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
 
This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
 
Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
 
Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
 
MY THOUGHTS:
 
It is rare that I pick up a book and know from the first page that this book is destined to be in my list of all time favorites – that is exactly what happened when I picked up “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.
 
I was initially intrigued by this book because of the historical aspect.  I used to be a history snob, especially when it came to historical fiction, but have recently found that these are some of my all time favorite books.  While there is definitely a strong historical backdrop, this book is about so much more.  Trying to summarize it may not be easy, but I’m going to give it a shot…suffice it to say it is a book you really need to read to thoroughly enjoy, and I highly recommend you do!
 

The storytelling is superb, as the author is able to switch from 1986 to the 1940s and piece together the life that Henry Lee has led.  I admit, I never paid much attention in history, but even if I did you are not subjected to a “lesson” such as this.  If so, I probably would have enjoyed it more.  We all hear the details of war and it doesn’t really affect most of us unless we know someone who lost their life or a loved one that was affected.  A book such as this helps to bring life to the people during this time, and helps you understand what they had to go through to try and survive.  Being white, I think that many other caucasians should read books such as these to fully understand what our fellow human beings have had to go through.  We are not discriminated against as much as some of the other ethic groups, and this author makes you once again realize how unfair this is.

.Keiko traditions, about the confusion between the Chinese and Japanese during a time when all Asians were being scrutinized about the war.  But, more than anything they bring back memories of  ancestral were left in the basement by Japanese families in the 1940s.   Henry is there for a different reason.  These aren’t just pieces of history to him, they are memories.  Memories of his life during the World War II era :as the only Asian boy in an all white school, about trying to fit in while still holding fast to his thatThis book is centered around Henry Lee.  In the opening pages, Henry is standing in from of the Panama Hotel, on of the landmarks in Seattle that has gone to ruin over the years.  It is 1986, and they are about to unveil some belongings that were recently discovered belongings

 
This book is going to be added to my list of top 20 books of all time.  It has everything I look for in a novel and more.  This is Mr. Ford’s debut novel, and I for one am looking forward to anything else this author has to say.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
 
WIN PRIZES!!!
 
HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEETVIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09will officially begin on May 1 and end on May 29. You can visit Jamie’s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in May to find out more about this great book and talented author!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

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Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

cemetery dance 

William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Eyewitnesses claim, and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor-a man who, by all reports, was already dead and buried weeks earlier. While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta undertake their own private-and decidedly unorthodox-quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them to an enclave of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive, reclusive cult of Obeah and vodou which no outsiders have ever survived.

This is the first book by these two authors that I have read and I jumped at the opportunity when I found out what the book was about.  It is not an easy task to take on writing a novel, but to write a novel with another author must be a very interesting undertaking to say the least.  The writing in this novel is flawless, although predictable at times. 

This book certainly starts off with a bang – a murder of one of the “cast” of characters that these two have created.  This leaves everyone in a state of shock and grief and they are left to try and solve the crime and do justice to their fallen comrade.

As crazy as it seems, this murder seems to have been committed by Colin Fearing.  What makes that strange?  Well, he committed suicide several weeks earlier.  All signs point to him as the murderer, and when they follow the trail they are led to a cult – a cult that the victim was investigating due to animal cruelty allegations.

What they find when investigating the cult is shocking – they practice Voodoo (Vodou) in order to create zombies to eliminate people that stand in their way.

Although this type of book has been written before, these two authors seem to breathe new life into the world of Voodoo and the types of people that believe in this ancient practice.  I will be certain to pick up some more by these two – I want a better understanding of the characters and believe the only way to do this is to read more by them, something I am really looking forward to!

Thanks so much to Miriam of Hachette for allowing me to review this novel!

Douglas Preston, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, worked for the American Museum of Natural History.  He is an expert horseman who has ridden thousands of miles across the West.

Lincoln Child is a former book editor and systems analyst who has published numerous novels and anthologies.

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The Lost Hours by Karen White

the-lost-hours

Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper’s dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather’s death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn’t exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard. In it are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace—and a newspaper article from 1929 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace’s charms tell the story of three friends during the 1920s— each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. Piper always dismissed her grandmother as not having had a story to tell. And now, too late, Piper finds she might have been wrong.

 

After both my Nana and Mom gave this book 5 stars, I knew that it was something I just had to read. Neither of them give our five stars lightly, and I must say they were right on the money in their assessment. This book is the story of Piper Mills, a girl who has had quite a lot of grief in her young life. At the age of 6 she lost her parents to a tragic car accident, and at that point was sent to live with her grandparents in Savannah. She never doubts the love her grandparents feel for her, but they are not overly emotional and she never feels really close to them – especially her Grandmother.

She does, however, find love in horses. Not only does she find love, but she wins many trophies and is a shoe-in for the Olympics – until an error in judgement costs her her career, and the horse that was her best friend and family. Even after trying physical therapy, she has vowed never to get near another horse again.

Piper has forgotten some things from her past – mainly a box that her Grandmother had her bury in their garden years earlier…a Grandmother that is now suffering with Altzheimer’s in a nursing home. After her Grandfather passes, she is given a key and some papers, papers that will start to help unravel the mystery of “Lola” and the scrapbook pages of her Grandmother.

I absolutely LOVED this book! And, although I am very good at guessing the endings of books well before they arrive – I NEVER saw this one coming. It was such a beautiful written story of three friends who were so different, but yet were sisters in ever sense of the word. When a tragedy strikes, their friendship unravels, and after a little bit of deceit, Piper is able to get one of the three to begin to fill in the story from the missing pages. Truly worth reading, this is absolutely one of the best books I have read!

About the Author:

They had her at hello. From her first moments in Charleston and Savannah, and on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, novelist Karen While was in love. Was it the history, the architecture, the sound of the sea, the light, the traditions, the people, the lore? Check all of the above. Add Karen’s storytelling talent, her endless curiosity about relationships and emotions, and her sensitivity to the rhythms of the south, and it seems inevitable that this mix of passions would find its way into her work.

Known for award winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, the recently announced Southern Independent Bookseller Association’s 2009 Book of the Year Award nomination for The House on Tradd Street, and for the highly praised The Memory of Water, Karen has already shared the coastal Lowcountry and Charleston with readers. Spanning eighty years, Karen’s new book, THE LOST HOURS, now takes them to Savannah and its environs. There a shared scrapbook and a necklace of charms unleash buried memories, opening the door to the secret lives of three women, their experiences, and the friendships that remain entwined even beyond the grave, and whose grandchildren are determined to solve the mysteries of their past.

Karen, so often inspired in her writing by architecture and history, has set much of THE LOST HOURS at Asphodel Meadows, a home and property inspired by the English Regency styled house at Hermitage Plantation along the Savannah River, and at her protagonist’s “Savannah gray brick” home in Monterey Square, one of the twenty-one squares that still exist in the city.

Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a storyteller by birth, Karen has lived in many different places. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), Karen notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.”

Always, Karen credits her maternal grandmother Grace Bianca, to whom she’s dedicated THE LOST HOURS, with inspiring and teaching her through the stories she shared for so many years. Karen also notes the amount of time she spent listening as adults visited in her grandmother’s Mississippi kitchen, telling stories and gossiping while she played under the table. She says it started her on the road to telling her own tales. The deal was sealed in the seventh grade when she skipped school and read Gone With The Wind. She knew—just knew—she was destined to grow up to be either Scarlet O’Hara or a writer.

Karen’s work has appeared on the South East Independent Booksellers best sellers list. Her novel The Memory of Water, was WXIA-TV’s Atlanta & Company Book Club Selection. Her work has been reviewed in Southern Living, Atlanta Magazine and by Fresh Fiction, among many others, and has been adopted by numerous independent booksellers for book club recommendations and as featured titles in their stores. This past year her 2007 novel Learning to Breathe received several honors, notably the National Readers’ Choice Award.

In addition to THE LOST HOURS, Karen White’s books include The House on Tradd Street, The Memory of Water, Learning to Breathe, Pieces of the Heart and The Color of Light. She lives in the Atlanta metro area with her family where she is putting the finishing touches on her next novel The Girl on Legare Street.

You can visit Karen White’s website at http://www.karen-white.com 

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The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between by J.W. Nicklaus

 the-light-the-dark-and-ember

 A collection of short stories, each a splinter’s reflection of the human condition, firmly centered upon our oft tenuous, sometimes tensile bond with Hope, and careening flirtation with Love.

Fifteen stories: From the wispy fog of a love lost at sea, to an orphaned child who delivers a present of her own during a war-torn Christmas. These stories are gentle reminders to each of us of what it is to be human, and certainly of our affinity for the slightest glint of Hope.

From One Washington Diner:

The interior lights punched holes in the dead of night, and in the stillness I could hear the buzz of glowing neon from the sign above. I’d hoped there would be the slim chance of some distraction from the empty, laughing darkness that taunted me. Pinching the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger, I shuffled through the front door, greeted by the hostess/cashier/night manager, who apparently was thriving on the not-so-delicate thrush of caffeine. Her uniform bore the hallmarks of traditional diner-dom: bobby sox, her skirt hemline right around knee level, and wide, flat lapels on her blouse. She looked me over for all of two seconds before making
her vocal appraisal.
“Let me guess…can’t sleep?” Her voice was disarming, welcoming, like a puppy that jumps in
your lap. Managing a frustrated grin I hoarsely replied, “That obvious?”
“Your eyes, your body language—yeah.” I should have had some snappy retort, but my mental haze precluded any such response and subsequently I let slip my small window of opportunity for any suitable comeback.
Instead, I yawned.
“Jeez, my only customer and I’m already boring you,” she blurted out. I thought she smirked, but couldn’t be certain in my unwillingly wakeful state. I glanced around the empty dining room and motioned from left to right. “Looks like you’re swamped. Should I come back later?”
Soft brown curls played upon her left shoulder as she turned her head slightly. “Early a.m. sarcasm—I like it. Sit wherever you like, I’m good at finding people in a crowd.” Even in my sleepless haze, I had to admit she was delightful.
“If you don’t mind, I’ll sit at the counter,” I croaked. “I’ll try not to be a bother.” Her hair gently fluttered as she shook her head. “Works for me. Cop a squat and I’ll be right with ya’.”
My mind was made up—she was indeed delightful, in a common denominator kind of way. Having never exceeded the mathematical scope of algebra during my academic career that suited me just fine.

 

I am not always the biggest fan of short stories.  I often feel that they are rushed and that the author is unable to get a grasp on their thoughts and just forges ahead.  That is certainly not the case in J.W. Nicklaus’.  These are some of the best short stories that I have read, and makes me realize that I should probably give them a chance more often.

I wanted to see if I could pick a favorite, but it really wasn’t possible for me.  Each one held something special and to pick one over the other seemed unfair.  One of my favorites would certainly have to be 10:18 – unlike the majority of the stories.  I am sure this one will bring a lot of emotion to readers as it prays on a lot of peoples fears (I for one just enjoyed it).  Emissary was another, the author just pulls at the heart strings and writes with such emotion.  Truly delightful!

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking to find a new author able to evoke emotions in small bursts, through each of his stories.  Wonderful! 

J.W. Nicklaus resides in a place not entirely fit for human habitation about five months of the year. No pets to speak of, only the apparitions from which all romantics suffer.

An Arizona native, he’s been from one coast to the other, and a few places in between. College brought an AA in Journalism with a minor in Photography, and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. His work experience has run the gamut from Creative Director for a small advertising firm in Tucson to a litigation support bureau in Phoenix (and assuredly some awkward stuff in the mix).

Snow has been featured prominently in his stories, perhaps because of the seasonless cli-mate he lives in. Nature was meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not hidden from the senses. So to that end, he hopes someday to live amongst those who are able to live through four true seasons, and not just blast furnace and warm.

He enjoys the occasional Arizona Diamondbacks game with his son, as well as watching him grow up. The experience of being a single dad has taught him far more about himself than he ever thought possible.

Within the expanse of every waking moment, he hopes his guardian angel keeps its arms open wide and heart ever watchful, for there but for one true Hope goes She.

For more about J.W. visit www.avomnia.com

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Faith and Honor by Robin Maderich

About the Author:
 
Although published in various genres of romance, both in print and electronic format, Robin Maderich’s first novel was historical, released by Warner Books (before the big merger with Time) in 1989. Faith and Honor hs since been reprinted and the second in the trilogy released. Most recently Robin is enjoying an association with New Concepts Publishing and had a brief but satisfying association with Inara Press. She has also illustrated a children’s e-book which was released last year.
 
The rural village in Pennsylvania where Robin resides with her husband and multiple pets has provided much of her recent inspiration. The fact her three sons are all grown has allowed her more time to pursue writing. As one might expect, Robin’s feelings regarding that circumstance are mixed.
 
Robin’s love of history, research, the intricacies of detail and stretching her imagination have aided her immensely through the ever-expanding process of learning her craft.
 
For more information please visit http://www.robinmaderich.com/

About the Book:

 
Rescued from the harrassment of British officers in Colonial Boston by handsome, secretive Fletcher Irons, Faith Ashley’s slumbering passions are ignited, until the discovery that Fletcher himself is an officer of the army she has come to despise, a man who is the enemy. Yet with persistence, Fletcher wins the fiery Faith’s love. When the colonies erupt in Revolution, Faith refuses to choose between her loyalty to the cause and her love for the man who is far more than the color of his uniform. Will her honor be her undoing?

 

Review:
 
I haven’t read a book like this in quite awhile, so I was thrilled to have the chance as part of Robin’s virtual book tour.  Faith Ashley has returned home to Boston, even though her father has reprimanded her and told her she should be staying with her new family.  She feels drawn to the home that she shared with her late husband.  Boston is as busy as ever, and after having a slight run in with a British officer she meets Fletcher Irons.   
 
Even though they had just met she feels feelings that she hasn’t felt since William.  She is unlike most women of her era, and can be rebellious by nature.  But even though she is rebellious, when she finds out that Fletcher is a British Officer she isn’t sure if her heart can win over her loyalty to her country.
She is not alone in her feelings.  Fletcher is drawn to Faith on their first encounter and has a hard time getting her out of his head.  Even though Faith is resistent to his advances, he is determined to get her to see beyond the uniform to the man that is inside of it.  As much as they fight their feelings, love is blossoming when things get heated between the States and England.  Can love really conquer all, or will their loyalty to their countries destroy a romance that is only seen once in a lifetime? 
 
I really LOVED this book!  I have not read anything that was set during the Revolution but it is obvious that this writer has done her homework.  It was easy to picture yourself standing there among the characters, each drips with such realism.  I can’t wait to read the other 2 books in this trilogy!  Great job:) 

 

WIN PRIZES!!!
 
FAITH AND HONOR VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09 will officially begin on April 1 and end on April 30. You can visit Robin’s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in March to find out more about this great book and talented author!
 
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

 

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An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell

an-offer-you 

 

Seventeen-year-old Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend’s snobbish mother offers her a huge bribe to break up with him. Then Lola discovers a secret that makes her think again, and the only way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world is to take the money and break Dougie’s heart.

Ten years later, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. She’ll do almost anything to get him back, but she can never tell him the truth. Can she overcome his bitterness and win his heart? She’s attractive, persuasive, and endlessly optimistic, but even Lola’s got her work cut out for her this time.

biggest authors. UK’sA new bestseller from one of the

I have been a big fan of chick lit for quite some time, so when I was offered the chance to review “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” by Jill Mansell I jumped at the chance.  And I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed!

This is the story of Lola Malone.  Lola is planning on spending the rest of her life with her boyfriend Dougie, and is shocked when Dougie’s mother comes to visit her at the fish and chips shop that she works at.  Adele Tennant is not the type of customer they normally see – wealthy, stylish, and perfectly coiffed, she is intimidating to say the least.  But she offers Lola a ride home in hopes of having a talk with her, a talk that will change things drastically. 

Adele does want her son to be happy, but not at the detriment of their family and reputation.  And Lola just doesn’t fit the ideal girl that she has in mind.  She tries to convince Lola that they should take some time apart, seeing as how Dougie is going off to college quite a few miles away.  But, when Lola doesn’t cave she decides to offer her a large sum of money to end their relationship.  Lola is inially appaled that Adele would think she could be bought off so easily, but circumstances change and she has no choice but to accept the offer of money that Adele has made.   

10 years pass and when Lola and Dougie cross paths again she finds that her feelings are as strong now as they were all those years ago.  She is hoping that they may be able to rekindle their romance, but when Dougie finds out about the payoff  he is angry and wants nothing to do with Lola.  She has a daunting task ahead of her if she is going to earn Dougie’s trust…and love…all over again.

To compare this to “Bridget Jones Diary” is, to coin an English expression, spot on.  I adored it, and even though it was a light read with not a very substantial plot I found it held my attention and was a great way to pass the weekend.  I am definitely looking forward to reading more by this author! 

Jill Mansell is a UK bestselling author, with over 4 million copies sold. She has written nearly 20 romances with multi-generational appeal. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

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