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And Now You're Back

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From New York Times and #1 international bestselling queen of romantic women's fiction Jill Mansell comes a poignant, funny, feel good storyabout second chances and finding your way home.

They never thought they'd see him again...

Didi Laing met her first love, Shay Mason, on a magical winter visit to Venice. For six months after that they were rapturously happy together and Shay came to work at Didi's parents' hotel in the Cotswolds. One event changed everything, shocking the town, and leading to Shay's disappearance.

In the thirteen years after Shay walked out, no one expects ever to hear from him again. Then one day, out of the blue, Shay returns to Elliscombe to fulfill his father's dying wish and unintentionally upends Didi's life.Moving into the best suite in her hotel sparks all kinds of rumors and sets off a chain of events that affects the whole town. The residents of Elliscombe all have their own stories and secrets, more intertwined than anyone could have guessed...


First published January 7, 2021

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About the author

Jill Mansell

76 books4,190 followers
Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.

Jill Mansell's books have sold over ten million copies and her titles include: Making your Mind up, Fast Friends, Good at Games, Sheer Mischief and Solo, among many others.

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5 stars
2,195 (33%)
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3 stars
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44 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 505 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,067 reviews38.1k followers
October 22, 2021
Rekindling old flames, sweet second chance love stories are one of my favorites romance themes after enemies to lovers which always comes at the first place!

The beginning of the book was truly a fairy tale, magical, extra sweet-swoon-soft kind of adorable! Two 18 years old teenagers in Venice, it’s cold, snowing.

They’re building a snowman , sharing a bottle of Prosecco, getting know each other, getting so close to share an intimate kiss: yes, we’re introduced to our MCs: Didi and Shane at the first chapter but then we move forward: 13 years later, Didi works at her family hotel in Cotswolds, getting engaged for the third time, bumping into her first love Shane who stays at the most expensive hotel suit: the same boy whose father was in prison, suffering from poverty, working at several jobs to keep roof over his head at his young age becomes a tech millionaire.

We find out he also worked at Didi’s family’s hotel and because of an incident who ruined his reputation, he left the town and he didn’t come back till he is forced to fulfill his dad’s dying wish!

Now both Didi and Shane have to face the problems from their pasts and find the truth about the incident which forced Shane move away and broke Didi’s heart!

I loved both of the characters a lot and I truly wished their HEA but Didi was already engaged with Aaron and after the love triangle problem seemed to be solved when she broke up, Shane found an adorable actress to date which pissed me off a little!

I waited too long for both parties to come to their senses! Just because of extra unnecessary angsty, heartbreaking, long chapters, I cut some points and I gave three still I truly enjoyed this book but I wish it could be less angsty more romantic stars. ( by the way I also enjoyed the side stories of residents of Elliscombe but I think I wanted to concentrate on Didi and Shane’s second chance love story)

I love Jill Mansell’s sweet, heartfelt romcoms and I’m looking forward to read more of her works in near future.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for abthebooknerd.
247 reviews140 followers
January 2, 2021
Cute & British, but as flat as a tortilla chip.

I'm not about negative reviews. That's just not my personality. But I am about constructive reviews and honestly letting my friends know if I believe a book is worth it or not. And in my opinion, this one was a bit of a letdown.

If you're into modern, swift reads set in England with minimal commitment, multiple love stories, PG rating, and Hallmark movie vibes (no judgment here, folks - you like what you like): this book is for you.

If you like flushed out reads with three-dimensional protagonists, and emotionally meaningful love stories w/ a dash of smut and spice: this book is not for you.

I wanted to like it. I really did. And to me, the real stars of this story weren't our main characters, but Layla and Will. They were a little flat, but truly adorable. I wasn't a fan of the writing style either and felt that Shay had about as much personality as a potato. It would have been nice to have more backstory with Didi and Shay. Maybe more flashbacks here and there of the good times in their relationship? I don't know. This one just didn't do it for me!

Big thank you Sourcebooks Landmark for sending me an ARC copy of this book!
Profile Image for Avani ✨.
1,469 reviews288 followers
May 15, 2021
And Now You're Back by Jill Mansell is a poignant, funny, feel good story about second chances and finding your way home. Didi Laing met her first love, Shay Mason, on a magical winter visit to Venice. For six months after that they were rapturously happy together and Shay came to work at Didi's parents' hotel in the Cotswolds. One event changed everything, shocking the town, and leading to Shay's disappearance.

No doubt the book is cute and a feel good one, but at times during the plot it felt flat. Nothing great nor new was coming out of this book. It's the same old chick lit, romance novel with a very expected plot and ending. The characters were good.

Thank You NetGalley and Publisher for the eARC!
Profile Image for Avani ✨.
1,469 reviews288 followers
May 16, 2021
And Now You're Back by Jill Mansell is a poignant, funny, feel good story about second chances and finding your way home. Didi Laing met her first love, Shay Mason, on a magical winter visit to Venice. For six months after that they were rapturously happy together and Shay came to work at Didi's parents' hotel in the Cotswolds. One event changed everything, shocking the town, and leading to Shay's disappearance.

No doubt the book is cute and a feel good one, but at times during the plot it felt flat. Nothing great nor new was coming out of this book. It's the same old chick lit, romance novel with a very expected plot and ending. The characters were good.

Thank You NetGalley and Publisher for the eARC!
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,267 reviews115 followers
July 3, 2021
And Now You’re Back is a novel by British author, Jill Mansell. It’s thirteen years since Didi Laing has seen Shay Mason. She was seventeen, they had an intense affair that started, ever so romantically, in Venice. Back in Elliscombe, Shay came to work at her parents’ hotel, The Wickham. Then there was an incident. No one blamed Shay outright, but everyone thought he was responsible. Didi was sure it wasn’t his fault Wasn’t she? That hint of doubt: Shay was gone.

And now he’s back. His dad, Red, is dying, and has one last wish: to see out his last days on earth in the family home, Hillcrest. But Hillcrest is run down, unliveable, so instead of a well-earned vacation, Shay is restoring it, and living in a luxury suite in the Wickham while he does. Apparently, Shay is now very well off, and just as gorgeous as he was at eighteen.

Didi, now managing the hotel, shouldn’t be noticing: she’s engaged to Aaron, and their wedding is six months away: “Shay might have come back into her life, but he was a part of her past. Just because her thoughts and dreams were getting distracted by his return didn’t mean they meant anything.”

Didi’s best friend, Layla has just taken a plunge into online dating, and found a wonderful man. Harry Gray is a fit and handsome, a personal trainer recently moved to the Cotswolds, and he seems to be enchanted Layla. Their relationship advances quickly to intimacy, and Layla is deliriously happy, even if she sometimes finds herself making excuses for Harry’s thoughtlessness. It’s puzzling that he never wants to come to her flat, and she senses that Elliscombe’s premier taxi driver, Will, has unvoiced doubts about her new boyfriend.

Layla’s mother, Rosa is trying to cope with widowhood, but she misses Joe terribly. Giving up their home, Compton House, to cover the debts Joe had left behind was a shock, but not being close to him is what hurts the most. So, when she needs to, she sneaks into Compton House backyard at night and chats to him under his favourite tree, where she scattered his ashes.

With Shay and Red back in Elliscombe, certain people are reminded of the unsolved crime that drove Shay away, and secrets they have been keeping for thirteen years. Thrown together, Didi and Shay remember, but try to ignore, what real love felt like: their timing is all wrong.

Except for a nasty player whose comeuppance is very satisfying to witness, Mansell’s characters easily endear themselves to the reader, and if the plot is somewhat predictable, it doesn’t matter one iota because we all want these characters to overcome the obstacles thrown into their paths and find happiness. And it’s no spoiler to reveal that they do. Readers in the market for a Happy Ever After should look no further.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Source Books Landmark.
Profile Image for Amina Hujdur.
378 reviews17 followers
July 18, 2022
Ljubavi roman koji govori o povratku i obnovi strae ljubavi nakon 13 godina. Sve prepreke, sitne razmirice, lične i kolektivne drame jako su jako lijepo uklopljene u na prvi pogled površnu ljubavnu dramu.

Roman je pravo ljetno lagano štivo idealno za čitanje na plaži sa nezaobilaznim hepi endom 🤗
Ovo je prvi roman ove autorice i ono što sam očekivala i ispunila je 😍
Profile Image for shannon✨.
870 reviews41 followers
July 24, 2021
3.5 sterren

Wat een heerlijk boek was dit. Niet per se bijzonder, maar ik was wel vergeten hoe blij ik word van de boeken van Jill Mansell. Het verhaal was best voorspelbaar, maar er gebeurde veel en het was leuk om te lezen op welke manier mijn voorspellingen uitkwamen.
Profile Image for Marloes.
604 reviews62 followers
May 7, 2021
Didi en Shay ontmoetten elkaar 13 jaar geleden in Venetië, waar ze de 18e verjaardag van hun gezamenlijke vriendin Layla vierden. Tijdens een sprookjesachtige sneeuwnacht waarin ze allebei het hotel uitglipten, bleken ze een speciale klik te hebben en ze waren al gauw onafscheidelijk. Totdat een schandaal ervoor zorgde dat Shay halsoverkop vertrok, hij haar hart brak en zij hem nooit meer zag. Tot nu.

Didi is de manager van een prachtig en luxueus hotel in de Cotswolds, waar ze allerlei brandjes blust en haar gasten tevreden houdt, maar niets had haar kunnen voorbereiden op deze nieuwe ontmoeting met Shay, die terug is in Elliscombe en logeert in het hotel. Oude gevoelens komen direct weer naar boven, maar die wil ze absoluut niet toelaten. Hij kan en mag niet nog eens haar leven overhoophalen, zeker niet nu ze verloofd is en eindelijk gelukkig is. Shay is terug om het huis van zijn terminaal zieke vader op te knappen, die na een enerverend en stormachtig leven zijn laatste maanden thuis wil doorbrengen.

Naast Didi en Shay volg je nog meer sprankelende personages, die allemaal hun eigen verhaal en belevenissen hebben, waardoor het boek geen moment verveelt, je je onderdeel voelt van het dorpsleven en je iedereen in je hart sluit. Natuurlijk worden al deze verhaallijnen weer op een prachtige manier met elkaar verweven, in de typische Jill Mansell-stijl waar ik zo van houd. Voor mij begint de lente altijd pas echt wanneer ik haar nieuwste boek heb gelezen en ook nu heeft ze mij absoluut niet teleurgesteld!

Dit is een fijn verhaal over oude en nieuwe liefde, vriendschappen, werkperikelen, geheimen, koppige ouders, liefdadigheid, tweede kansen, je hart volgen en je dromen achternagaan, maar het is ook een verhaal over rouw, verdriet en hoop. Het is warm, humoristisch, beeldend en vlot geschreven, waardoor je er ontzettend blij van wordt, de emoties voelbaar zijn en je Mansell de voorspelbaarheid volledig vergeeft. En die prachtige roze pagina’s? Die zorgen dus écht voor iets extra’s (ook voor extra gewicht 😂), maar lezen net zo fijn als anders. Dit nieuwste verhaal van de Queen of Feelgood is een echte aanrader!
Profile Image for Julie.
341 reviews2 followers
February 13, 2022
Looks like I am in the minority with my star rating.
The writing was decent and I have read another of JM's and found it okay.
This just didn't have enough oomph for me and it all felt very lame and flat. It wouldn't stop me reading another of her books though. Guess it just came down to the storyline.
Don't let my review put you off...others have enjoyed. 🙂
Profile Image for Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books).
425 reviews237 followers
April 25, 2021
Jill Mansell’s books are always perfect beach reads. Nice and cheesy love stories, including a lot of side characters with their own love stories.

The start of this book surprised me, two teenagers in snowy Venice ( I love YA). I loved to read that chapter, it was fluffy and adorable. When the next chapter started 13 years later, I was a little disappointed because I wanted to read more about how they met and fell in love (and out of love eventually). But I knew that I had to be patient because there would probably be more flashbacks to take me back to that adorable couple falling in love for the first time. But those flashbacks never came! Well, only if you count that very fast paced one where 6 months or so were summarized in just a few pages. That’s not the flashback I needed.

And Now you’re Back is a nice and easy read, a real Jill Mansell book, for those who search for a cosy read on a rainy day or a relaxing beach read. Sometimes it dragged on a little, and I’d wanted to have only Didi’s and Shay’s POV instead of others like Rosa’s and Layla’s. The missing flashbacks might have affected my rating, to be honest.

I received an ARC from Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Barbara Powell.
669 reviews48 followers
May 13, 2021
I’m not typically a romance reading kinda girl, but this sounded so cute I had to give it a shot and thankfully, it lived up to my expectations. Super cute and perfect for a sit down with a cup of tea.
Didi and Shay were friends who went on one last group trip abroad before they all went their separate ways for uni, etc. They had some magical moments while there and started their relationship and all was going well until an incident causes everything to change.
Fast forward 13 years, and Didi is on her 3rd fiancé and running her family’s hotel when Shay comes back to town and their feelings for each other start to bubble up again. They both have to deal with the issues in the past and sort out their present in order to face their future together.
I enjoyed the story and the characters had depth, which I am always a fan of. Even the supporting characters were important to the building of the main characters story. And the setting was brilliant!
Thanks to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.
Profile Image for Yvonne.
Author 2 books19 followers
April 19, 2021
As always, a lovely story with a happy ending. I enjoyed Didi and Shay’s story, Shay’s dad Red was a lovely character, a proper loveable rogue. The other love stories intertwined were also nice.
Profile Image for Irene.
711 reviews
October 27, 2021
Echt een leuk verhaal! Deze verhaallijnen zouden in andere boeken misschien wat misplaatst of te snel gaan, maar in boeken van Mansell is dat geheel geoorloofd.
Als ik de achterflap lees, gaat het boek voornamelijk over Didi, maar in het verhaal leek het af en toe alsof andere personages meer aan het woorden waren. Gelukkig waren alle personages leuk en dat dorpsgevoel kwam goed naar voren.
De roze bladzijden zijn leuk gedaan en zeker een toevoeging. Niet in ieder licht leest het lekker en met het boek kan ik voortaan gewichtheffen, maar niemand kan zeggen dat het niet origineel is.

Een boek met humor, veel liefde, verdriet, rouw en nog veel meer liefde. Het laatste hoofdstuk was (uiteraard) het beste van dit verhaal. Heerlijk ontspannend gelezen. Op naar een volgende Jill Mansell!
Profile Image for Tracy Larner-Brown.
145 reviews6 followers
August 14, 2022
This was just what I wanted and expected; a lovely, easy read with a happy ending.
Jill Mansell never fails.
Profile Image for Shannon Rochester.
829 reviews71 followers
May 6, 2022
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review. If I am being honest, I think I requested this book because I was confusing the author with another one I have read...I am really glad I did, though, because I really liked this one. Shay and Didi were teenagers when they met and fell in love on a trip to Venice...they had a brief love affair but life (and other things) happened that eventually broke them apart. Didi never stopped thinking about him, though, so when he showed up at the hotel she works at, a part of her is joyous... I will say that most of what I read would be considered a romantic cliche but hey, women like that stuff. :) I don't care if it is predictable or corny as long as it is entertaining to me... I loved the characters and I loved the storyline :)
Profile Image for Kim.
1,977 reviews49 followers
January 31, 2021
Didi had a secret first love with Shay which blossomed on a trip to Venice, building a snowman. Things ended abruptly and when he turns up unexpectedly at the hotel she runs, things are destined to take a whirlwind turn. The characters are so vividly drawn, you are interested in everyone. Jill Mansell has such a beautiful writing style- you really engage with the story and characters. You can imagine yourself in the middle of everything.I was swept away and so sorry to come to the end!
Profile Image for Rachel Gilbey.
2,693 reviews495 followers
May 25, 2021
It is always a fabulous feeling to be settling down with a new Jill Mansell book, and this one is certainly up there with her very best.

I absolutely loved this story from beginning to end. We are treated a few viewpoints which gave us some rather interesting threads.

In fact is was Red Masons' story that possibly intrigued me the most early on, he is a real character, and it felt as though he was rather charismatic even while being rather frail. His son Shay is the reason for the book's title, and I really enjoyed the various dimensions to his personality too.

Then there is Rosa, Layla's mum who has the most amazing job, even if she can be a bit too kind hearted at times. The business she set up for herself sounds rather unique, definitely bespoke and I wonder if anyone has ever come up with this in the real world.

Finally best friends since childhood Didi and Layla the two main characters of the book. I really enjoyed getting to know both of them, and spent a fair bit of the book hoping they would come to their senses about the various men in their lives!

From quite early on I felt drawn into the book and at the same time a warmth glowing from the words, such is my love of this author. It felt comforting but new simultaneously.

I think my only issue with the this book is that every time I saw the title I started singing that line from "I will Survive" which is just a rather catchy song, and since I was reading a paperback I saw the title a lot more than I would have done had I been reading digitally! But it is a rather apt title, and I do love the song too!

This was everything I wanted it to be, and is just an all around fantastic book.

Thank you to Headline for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
985 reviews68 followers
May 27, 2021
I love Jill Mansells books and this one was so brilliant. As I was reading it I felt that the characters were very real and I could see them in my mind’s eye. Such a great lighthearted read. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Liz | thebohobookblogger.
267 reviews25 followers
June 1, 2021
So so so cute! I loved this book, it gave me major One Day in December vibes. Totally recommend it.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for the gifted copy!
Profile Image for Eileen.
76 reviews
December 4, 2021
A fabulous book that leaves you wanting more. Full of love, laughter and sometimes tears along with a few secrets this book is well worth a read.
Profile Image for Honestmamreader.
368 reviews15 followers
June 15, 2021
Welcome to Elliscombe. This is the setting of And Now You're Back, a lovely town in the Cotswolds. With an array of characters who reside there. Let Jill Mansell whisk you away on this escape from reality read, and enclose you with the warmth and happiness of her words.

From the first scenes in a snowy Venice you know you're in for a Mansellesque treat.

Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, who would end up with whom. I still was fully invested in the storyline and loved it. I wanted to see the journey through and enjoy how we get to the happy endings.

The characters were all great, well apart from the odd one or two. You can't love them all, but these two were meant to be hated. Then there were the characters that I wanted to know more about, I felt I could have a book about each of these people's storyline and I would be happy.

And Now You're Back is truly a wonderful tale of love, will they won't they. Wrapped up in a community who have their fair share of stories to tell.
Profile Image for Judy Christiana.
745 reviews6 followers
April 29, 2021
I enjoyed reading every bit of this lovely book, even the parts that had me a bit anxious, since I knew Jill Mansell would have written a “happily ever after ending”. There are wonderfully flawed characters in this book that I care about even now after I have finished the book days ago. My mind keeps going back to the story, which is a sign of a fantastic book.

There are many plots going on at the same time, all interwoven in some way. I was completed drawn into each one of them and was concerned & joyous along with the characters as they went about their lives. One specific sub plot is about how fragile life is and the author handled this subject with great care and even humor.

I look forward to each new book by Ms. Mansell and she has written another gem with “And Now You’re Back”. It is a definitely much more than a second chance at love story. It is a reflection of life and how each choice a person makes will lead to a different future.

I want to thank NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for giving me the pleasure of reading the advance reader copy, with no obligation to write a review. My review is written freely as a hobby, and is totally my own opinion, not influenced by receiving the ARC.
May 9, 2021
Didi and Shay are meant to be. Until one incident separates them. Shay leaves town and both start living their own lives.

But Shay returns to town to fulfill his father's wish and, as luck would have it, he stays at Didi's hotel. And the rumour mills that had gone quiet after Shay left start again.

I liked the book but some parts felt too slow, too cautious. The characters were quite predictable as well.

3.5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
Profile Image for Neil Plakcy.
Author 155 books465 followers
June 8, 2021
I'm a huge Jill Mansell fan, and love everything she's written. And Now You're Back is no exception.

Didi and Shay shared a magical experience in Venice on a school trip and fell deeply in love. Something terrible happened to pull them apart, however, and it's 13 years later when they reconnect.

The plot is typical and predictable-- they both feel the the spark, but each is unavailable at different times.

However, Mansell's touch with character and description makes the book come alive, and all the subplots and secondary characters are unique enough to make you care about them while Shay and Didi flounder away.
Profile Image for Kaisu Jaakkola.
27 reviews
January 25, 2023
Ihanan kevyt ja symppis hyvän mielen kirja! Takakansitekstin perusteella olin asennoitunut siihen, että täs kirjas olis ollut enemmän tapahtumia Venetsiasta, joita loppujen lopuks ei ollut kuin ehkä 1% koko tarinasta. Tästä huolimatta tä kirja oli odotusten arvoinen ja täysin Jill Mansellin parasta feel good tyyliä 🫶
89 reviews5 followers
March 6, 2021
What a lovely read! Such a great story
Profile Image for Kate.
416 reviews9 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
January 5, 2022
I thought I was in the mood for this, but I really don't want to read about 30 year olds rn.
Displaying 1 - 29 of 505 reviews

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