She let out a squeak of dismay. 'That was your car?'
'My brand new car,' Jack emphasized. 'Only two days out of the showroom. You left grease marks all over the window.'
'I said I was sorry. It was an accident. Unlike you,' Tilly added pointedly, 'splashing me when you drove through that puddle. You did that on purpose.'
'Semi on purpose,' Jack conceded. 'It was only meant to be a little splash. Hey, I'm sorry too. But look on the bright side, at least now you know I wasn't spinning you a line.' His eyes glittered good-humoredly. 'I knew I remembered you from somewhere, I just didn't know it was from the night you ended up spread-eagled across my new car.' (from Rumor Has It, page 45 in the ARC)
I love Jill Mansell's romantic comedies for her easy writing style and their quirky characters, and Rumor Has It didn't disappoint. Mansell's latest U.S. release focuses on Tilly Cole, who decides to move from London to small town Roxborough after her boyfriend unexpectedly moves out and leaves her with an apartment she can't afford on her own. Tilly isn't too upset about his leaving; she has commitment issues that prompt her to withdraw or act so horrible she forces her boyfriends to leave her first so she doesn't have to leave them.
She accepts a Girl Friday position for wealthy interior designer Max Dineen, helping him on the job and taking care of his teenage daughter, Lou. Through Max, Tilly meets the irresistibly gorgeous Jack Lucas, who has a reputation for bedding every woman in town. Tilly is attracted to him but determined to remain friends, especially with everyone warning her not to fall for Jack's charms. Like most romances, Rumor Has It is pretty predictable, at least where Tilly's story is concerned, but that never detracts from my enjoyment of her novels. I couldn't help but fall for Jack myself, and even though I liked Tilly and found her endearing, there were several times that I wanted to reach inside the book and slap her silly.
Mansell is brilliant at creating secondary characters whose stories are so compelling that they just have to share the stage with the main character. There's a lot of humor in Rumor Has It, and a lot of sadness as well. Tilly's best friend, Erin, has finally found love, but she must deal with an angry, arrogant, and downright bitchy ex-wife. Lou is teased by classmates because of her father's sexuality, and her actress mother, Kaye, feels the world come crashing down when she becomes the subject of a scandal played out in the public eye. At first I wondered if there was a tad too much going on in this novel, but I soon became so invested in each of the characters and their stories that it almost felt like I knew them in real life. Mansell perfectly balances the drama and humor to create a fun book that is impossible to put down.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Rumor Has It from Sourcebooks for review purposes. I am an Amazon affiliate.
© 2010, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.