by Jill Mansell
He’d long feared that one day, Lachlan would decide to set his sights on Amber, which would be fine, he could easily accept that, if only Lachlan wasn’t who he was. But he was Lachlan, mercurial and capricious and with all the romantic staying power of a mayfly.
It’s hard to know how to review this book without spoilers. Looking back, I guess everything ended up in a pretty predictable manner, and there were happy endings aplenty. But Ms. Mansell threw enough doubt into the equation that I thought things might take an unexpected turn in at least one of a couple of cases. I wish that the unexpected had happened in one instance. I wasn’t 100% all-in with the outcome of one of the romances. Not enough work was done to convince me of a happy ever after there. There were still too many red flags even at the end despite jumping to a very optimistic final chapter, where we revisit the ensemble cast 3 years later. Plus, one of the heroines, though nice and likable, was kind of a non-entity. Since I felt her story was the main focus, it had a detrimental effect on my enjoyment of the book. There were two other couples whose journey ended up being more satisfying and entertaining. In one, I wasn’t sure if one of the partners was good or evil, and in the other, I felt like the relationship was a lost cause for sure, until it wasn’t. The latter story included an explanation of a character’s behavior that came as a surprise, yet make perfect sense. The former was a delight and I enjoyed it very much. The fourth of the stories had some troubling aspects and was borderline creepy and I didn’t enjoy it at all at the end. I liked it at first.
The plots were well constructed and everything was closed out satisfactorily except the doubts as to one person’s character which I’ve already stated. There was a lot going on and a lot of characters to engage my interest, which I like. The overall tone was light and amusing, though some serious and scary things were touched on, as with most women’s fiction. Despite my quibbles, I felt I was in good hands with Ms. Mansell.
Thank-You to Net Galley and Sourcebooks for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
April 19, 2022