Sorry but with a lead character with the name of Lola I couldn't resist calling this post after The Kinks song. Every time I read her name I was singing that song in my head (don't get me wrong, I love that name. I want to name my someday English bulldog puppy that) but I digress. Onto the book! I have been meaning to read author Jill Mansell for quite sometime. As a HUGE fan of Brit chick-lit I was surprised to discover that there was an author out there with a huge body of work that I hadn't read a darn thing of. What had a been doing all this time? Well I fixed that! The first book of hers that I picked up was this, 'An Offer You Can't Refuse,' and I was not disappointed.
AOYCR obviously centers around Lola. A lovable young woman who had a teenage romance with Doug. They thought they were made for each other; Doug's mother did not. See the problem was Doug and Lola were from two different classes and so Doug's mother decides to see if she can buy her off with 10,000 pounds because Doug is going off to University in Edinburgh and she doesn't want Lola getting in the way of his future. At first Lola is incredulous, of course she won't take it, she loves Doug way too much. Then she goes home and finds her stepfather, Alex, about to leave because he is drowning in debt and sees a solution. She takes the money, gives it to her stepfather, tells Doug in a letter she never wants to see him again, swears to her stepfather that she will tell no one what she has done for him, including her own mother, and goes off to Majorca to start a new life.
Then the book really starts! So begins present day. Lola moves back to London. It's been 10 years and Lola is now 27. She gets a job running a bookstore (I was so jealous), buys a beautiful flat, has fun neighbors, and runs into Doug. When he discovers the real reason that he left her, because his own mom paid him off and Lola, sworn to secrecy out of loyalty to keeping her stepfather's memory alive for her mother, he starts to hate Lola. Lola, having now come back into contact with Doug rekindles her flames for him but he wants nothing to do with her. So do they get back together? You'll have to read it to find out!
In addition to this delightful story is the other cast of characters, Lola's family and friends make for a truly delightful backstory. I found Lola to be really believable and really liked all of the twists and turns in this book. Yes some of it was predictable but overall I really found that a lot of it wasn't. It was charming and it made you smile. I am really looking forward to reading more of Mansell's work!
(I got this book from paperbackswap.com)