Once again, Jill Mansell has reminded me why I enjoy British chick lit and need to read a fun romance every once in a while. There's plenty of romantic mishaps and entertaining characters in Millie's Fling, the latest of her novels to be released in the U.S. by Sourcebooks.
The heroine of Millie's Fling, Millie Brady, is a 25-year-old woman living in Cornwall, England, who describes herself as a female Mr. Bean. She's dumped by her boyfriend in the very first chapter of the novel -- he's asking her to move in with him, but she's more concerned about the woman ready to jump off the cliff at Tresanter Point. That woman is Orla Hart, the best-selling romance novelist who is deeply hurt by her husband's infidelity. Millie convinces her not to jump, and a close friendship -- and work relationship -- blooms. Orla, still reeling from a bad book review, decides to shake things up a bit with her latest novel, which she decides to base on Millie's life. Millie must spill the beans on everything that goes on in her life -- such as comforting her best friend and roommate, Hester, as she tries to juggle a long-distance romance with Nat, a chef working in Glasgow, and her long-time crush on Lucas, a womanizer who becomes Millie's boss.
Other than her job as a roller-skating gorilla who delivers kissograms, Millie has a boring life (or so she says). The people around her, however, are another story. As usual, Mansell creates several interesting characters that kept me turning the pages, from Millie's desperate mother, Adele, to the horrid couple with whom Millie worked as a travel agent. The supporting characters have mishaps of their own, which makes for an entertaining read. As for Millie, Orla figures introducing Millie to various men will spice up her life and enhance the plot of the book being written about her. However, Millie gets herself into a pickle with Hugh Emerson, a widower whom she meets after finding his lost wallet and playing a phone prank on him.
Mansell writes bumbling but endearing heroines whom you can't help but like, and though her books tend to hover around 500 pages, it's easy to get so wrapped up in the story that you forget about the length. The dialogue, particularly the banter between Millie and Hugh, is brilliant and had me smiling and chuckling to myself. While the plot was predictable, Millie's Fling is a feel-good book for chick lit fans or readers looking for a light and funny novel packed with memorable characters.
Tomorrow, Jill Mansell will be stopping by Diary of an Eccentric to talk about Millie's Fling and how she handles weight issues in her books. And look for information on how you can get your hands on a copy of the book!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Millie's Fling from Sourcebooks for review purposes.