Meg's Reviews > Rumor Has It: In a town this small, a secret is hard to keep

Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell
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May 04, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2010, women-s-fiction, sent-for-review
Read from May 04 to 09, 2010

Londoner Tilly Cole walks into her home one day to discover her live-in boyfriend of many years has “done a runner.” Startled by just how heartbroken she doesn’t feel, Tilly gets away to visit her friend Erin in Roxborough, out in the Cotswolds, for a little fresh air and time to regroup. It’s there that she meets Max Dineen, a local single dad, and his daughter Lou — as well as Jack Lucas, the “tragic widower” whose gorgeous physique compete with his quick wit and friendly manner in terms of grabbing Tilly’s attention.

Knowing she has little left for her in London and eager to begin a new phase of her life, Tilly takes a job working as Max and Lou’s “Girl Friday,” helping out with Max’s interior decorating business and generally being a pal and helper for teenage Lou. When Kaye, Lou’s mom and Max’s ex-wife, is caught up in a Hollywood scandal and returns to England, Tilly immediately worries her easy relationship with the Dineens will be threatened — and her services no longer required. But it’s not as simple as all that.

In fact, nothing in Rumor Has It is simple — or an easy out, as far as Mansell’s concerned. Bring into the fold the burgeoning love between Erin and Fergus, a man still plagued by his drama queen ex-wife Stella, and a complete cast of extra quirky characters and then just try not to be bewitched by Roxborough. I certainly was.

We all know of my notorious obsession with England, so I gobbled up the British idioms and vocab like a fresh package of Peeps. In all of my far-ranging experience with chick lit, it doesn’t get much more “chick lit-y” than Mansell — and, for that matter, no British chick lit author surpasses her in my eyes. Her writing is so fresh and fun and the male leads so charismatic, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the men in her books.

What I love about Mansell’s novels are the realistic, fun and funky heroines — ordinary women who aren’t models, aren’t wildly successful, aren’t supernaturally beautiful: just regular people capable of great feeling. Tilly thinks like I do, acts like I do — has ridiculous things happen to her, just like we all do. (Think reeking of garlic breath just as the man of your dreams finally comes in for a romantic kiss. Yeah.) It’s the tiny details that set this and other novels, like Millie’s Fling, apart for me. And I adore them.
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Reading Progress

05/04/2010 page 19
4.57%
05/04/2010 page 49
11.78% "Mansell creates the funniest, most likeable characters. Loving it!"
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