When Lola was 17, her boyfriend's mother made her an offer she couldn't refuse--a ton of money to stop seeing her son. Dougie was Lola's first love, and Lola wanted to tell his mother to stick her money where the sun doesn't shine, but she takes it, even negotiates a higher amount, to keep her family together. Distraught over the end of her relationship with Dougie, she flees the country.
Ten years later, Lola is living in Notting Hill as a bookstore manager. After a party, she intervenes in an attack on a woman and is thrust back into Dougie's life. He finds out about the bribe, but Lola refuses to tell him--or anyone--why she needed the money. He wants nothing to do with her, but Lola is determined to win him back.
Lola's quest to win Dougie's forgiveness and heart is the backdrop for a humorous story that is chick lit at its finest. Jill Mansell peppers An Offer You Can't Refuse with a cast of delightful characters: Blythe, Lola's eccentric, fashion-challenged mother; Sally, Dougie's older sister and Lola's new best friend who's had a rough time in the romance department; Gabe, Lola's neighbor and good friend who everyone suspects is gay but isn't; and EJ, the music mogul and dorky dresser who tries to win Lola's heart.
The book is a quick, light read, and I really enjoyed it. But I wasn't a big fan of Lola. I could see why she acted as she did at 17, but throughout the book, I had to keep reminding myself that Lola was 27 because she didn't seem to grow up much at all. She couldn't understand why Dougie was so angry with her, and she was shameless in her pursuit of him to the point where I was embarrassed for her in several scenes. She also was very shallow, wanting to break her mother and her boyfriend up simply because the boyfriend had a bushy beard, hairy toes, and a wardrobe in need of updating--even though her mother kept going on about how happy she was. If the point of the storyline was that Lola had changed over the past 10 years, I guess I just didn't see it.
However, I loved Sally and Gabe. Gabe as a fledgling paparazzi was hilarious, and putting neat freak Gabe and messy Sally in the same flat made for some interesting scenes. Though predictable, An Offer You Can't Refuse was fun and captivating, and I can't wait to start reading Mansell's Miranda's Big Mistake.
Tomorrow, Jill Mansell will stop by Diary of an Eccentric for an interview, and I'll tell you how you can get your hands on a copy of An Offer You Can't Refuse.
An Offer You Can't Refuse also was reviewed by:
Savvy Verse & Wit
A Bookworm's World
S. Krishna's Books
Bookfoolery and Babble
Books and Needlepoint
At Home With Books
My Friend Amy
minds alive on the shelves
If you've also reviewed it, let me know in the comments, and I'll add your link!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of An Offer You Can't Refuse from Sourcebooks for review purposes.