Monday, April 6, 2009

An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

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.


bermudaonion said...

I enjoyed this book too!

Serena said...

I enjoyed this book as well, though I had many of the same thoughts you did about Lola and her actions.

Darlene said...

lol-This sounds good. I like the cover!

Julie P. said...

I liked this one -- I'm posting my review tomorrow.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I like a good chick lit now and off depresseion after reading WWII, Civil War, lice and death!

The Bookworm said...

it sounds cute :)

Amy said...

I didn't mind Lola! Her shallow actions made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

This sounds fun. I like a light book every so often.

S. Krishna said...

I liked this book as well. My review is posting on Friday!

Staci said...

sounds like a fun book--a bookstore in Notting Hill!!! I want that job!!

Ladytink_534 said...

This sounds like such a good story! Hope to read it soon :)

Jenners said...

This sounds like a light fun read! Fun review! And I wish someone would offer me a bunch of money to stop seeing a boy!

Anonymous said...

I've seen other reviews for this one. I read your author interview. She sounds like a character. I like funny books. I'll have to check it out.

Anna said...

Bermudaonion: I'm glad to hear it! I'm really behind in reading reviews due to my ongoing computer issues, but I will read it at some point!

Serena: I enjoyed our lunchtime discussions of the book!

Dar: I agree about the cover. It was a very funny book, and I hope you get a chance to read it.

Julie: I'll have to check out your review soon!

Sandy: That's how I feel, too. I've inserting the light reads here and there. I can't read too much heavy stuff all at once.

Naida: Cute is definitely a word to describe the book, especially the Gabe/Sally storyline.

Amy: True, her actions were funny, but she just got on my nerves for some reason. I liked her more toward the beginning of the book that the parts that took place in the present.

Carol: It's a great book to read in between the heavier stuff.

S. Krishna: I'll be checking out your review soon, too! Sorry that I'm so behind in review reading.

Staci: I know, I was pretty envious of her job.

Ladytink: I hope you get a chance to read it. I bet you'd enjoy it.

Jenners: I was thinking the same thing!

Nicole: I got a kick out of the interview myself.