Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review: An Offer You Can't Refuse

Summary: Nothing could tear Lola and Dougie apart, except his mother…Seventeen-year-old Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend's snobbish mother offers her a huge bribe to break up with him. Then Lola discovers a secret that makes her think again, and the only way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world is to take the money and break Dougie's heart.

Ten years later, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. She'll do almost anything to get him back, but she can never tell him the truth. Can she overcome his bitterness and win his heart? She's attractive, persuasive, and endlessly optimistic, but even Lola's got her work cut out for her this time. -- Sourcebooks Casablanca

When I was in my 20s, I read so much Chick Lit -- pretty much everything I could get my hands on. I think I read these types of books because it was so not the life I was living. I met my husband when I was 20 and got married when I was 24, but I did consider myself a working girl in the city so I could somewhat relate. Then, I turned 30 and got pregnant. I still read a few of the popular, mainstream Chick Lit books but I could tell that my tastes were changing and I pretty much had nothing in common with the characters. Now, I'm rapidly approaching 40 this month (UGH!!!) and I have to say that I have more in common with the mothers of the girls in these types of books; however, I still find that I enjoy reading the occasional good Chick Lit book. AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE by Jill Mansell was just that -- an entertaining Chick Lit book and I had such a great time reading it!

AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE had all the elements of a really great Chick Lit book! A terrific main character Lola, great supporting friends, a little romance, some sexual tension, and of course lots of confusion. I really thought the premise of this story was cute. Lola, a 17 year old girl accepts a bribe from her boyfriend's mother to break up with him. Ten years later, she meets up with Dougie again and desperately wants him back.

You can't help but fall in love with Lola. When we first meet her, she's only 17 years old and still pretty naive. She is in love with Dougie and thinks he's "the one" so she's naturally appalled that Doug's mother offers her so much money to stay away from him. But like any normal teenage, she begins having a few doubts about whether their relationship will make it when he goes away to school. And when she realizes that her stepfather has his own set of problems, she decides to do what she can to help -- and that means accepting the money.

Fast forward ten years when Lola helps save Dougie's mother from an attacker. Doug learns that she accepted a bribe to break up with him and he can't even face Lola. A big part of the book is Lola's attempts to make Dougie see his true feelings for her. In the meantime, Lola becomes friends with Dougie's sister and she moves into the same apartment complex so Lola and Doug keep finding themselves thrown together. There is lots of tension between Lola and Doug, some of it even sexual. One thing's for sure, you will find yourself rooting for Lola and hoping that Doug can find it in his heart to forgive her.

Not only was the main story of Lola and Doug cute, but I also enjoyed some of the side stories. I thought the intereaction between Doug's sister and Lola's best male friend Gabe were terrific. In fact, I adored Gabe and thought he provided quite a few laughs with his new job as a papparazzi. I also appreciated a few of the other supporting stories and characters, but I don't want to give away any of the surprises! Suffice it to say, that there are a few twists and turns in this novel.

Ms. Mansell is a British writer and her books are very popular in England -- she's actually an international best-selling author. I wasn't familiar with Ms. Mansell or any of her books, but I am so glad that Sourcebooks Casablanca is reissuing them here in the States. It's terrific that American readers are now getting to know Ms. Mansell. I already have MIRANDA'S BIG MISTAKE which is coming out in June, and I can't wait to read it!

A big thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE.

Also reviewed at:
Books and Needlepoint
Savvy Verse and Wit
My Friend Amy
At Home with Books
Breeni Books
Bermudaonion's Weblog
S. Krishna's Books


bermudaonion said...

Great review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book too.

Amy said...

I loved Gabe, too, and the humor between him and Sally. What a pair! I just love the way she writes. :)

S. Krishna said...

My review for this one is posting on Friday, I enjoyed it as well! And I met my husband when I was 21, got married at 24 and am planning on *talking* about having kids at 30 - how funny!

Serena said...

I read this one as well. I've added your review to the links on my post.

Kristi said...

I am a little beyond 40 and I enjoyed this book also! I have linked your review to mine here.

The Book Resort said...

Sounds good : }.

Nicole said...

I just finished this one. It was entertaining. I'll add your review to my review.

Anna said...

Glad to hear you liked this one, too. I found the secondary stories just as interesting as the main plot line. I can't wait to read more from Mansell. I never really related to chick-lit, but I still find it entertaining now and again.

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