Now available in paperback from Sourcebooks Landmark, please read on for my review, an excerpt, a quick Q & A with Jill Mansell and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win one of Five (5) Paperback copies of SOLO.
Usually a book from Jill Mansell is a must-grab for me as her stories are full of humor and heart, often with multiple characters that are compelling and intriguing. I was hoping for the same in this bad boy makes good story.
Tessa is an artist, wholly different from her best friend Holly and completely unconcerned with the outward trappings of wealth, and not interested in a relationship. Holly is a bit more driven, focused, and completely convinced that Tessa needs a change, as well as wanting to further her own moments with her boss, Max.
Max and Ross are brothers, also very different from one another. These two own an upscale hotel that Max manages, while Ross reaps the benefits in terms of status, wealth and his own little black book. A well-known playboy, Ross is wholly unsuitable for a relationship, but Tessa surprises herself with her attraction to him. She’s aware of what he is – and isn’t looking for more.
So – if the book stopped here, I would have thought it felt a bit ‘written to request’ as the Billionaire Alpha Bad Boy Male trope is strong with Ross. And Tessa is just that right, slightly unfocused, not too bright but wholly supportive female friend that works for these stories. And then the wheels fell off the bus.
Who, in their right mind (and YES – I know this is fiction – but let’s at least pay nodding acquaintance to sexual health and good practice. Tessa is, oh woe is me, pregnant. From a one night stand – with a renowned player with a history of women in his past. So, she moves down from not too bright to perhaps too stupid for words – but the story goes on. She’s going to raise the child Solo, with no interference or assistance from the father. In fact, she doesn’t want him told. Perhaps a noble move in some respects, but wholly selfish – and I hate this sort of trope. But, I soldiered on hoping that Ross would show me some reason to like him, that Mansell’s previous skill in character development, dialogue and interconnecting stories and people would save me.
It didn’t. The book went from not for me to SO not for me: there was little character development, few moments of laughter or lightness, and I was left feeling as if the story was half-hearted. Flat and rather unispiring, I found Tessa insipid, Ross loathesome and while together Holly and Max were cute – there just wasn’t enough emotion or believability in any of them for me to care if their story ended happily. I struggled through to the end, but now struggle with my rating. Solid fans of Mansell may find this story entertaining and similar to Three Amazing Things About You. I thought this lacked the layered characters that brought that story to life. Perhaps not a first choice for a Mansell title, but fans who devour all her books are sure to like this.
Author: Jill Mansell
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Romantic Elements
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark
Published on: 1 January 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 14 Hours: 10 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
When Tessa Duvall, a struggling artist, reluctantly agreed to accompany her best friend Holly to a party at the elegant Charrington Grange Hotel, she had every intention of sneaking off early. For parties full of strangers bored the knickers off Tessa and this one proved to be no exception - until she encountered Ross Monahan, whose wicked reputation was as high profile as the hotel he owned and ran with such panache. But whilst Holly set about ensnaring his reluctant brother Max, Tessa simply accepted Ross for what he was, a sensational one-night stand...until she realised, weeks later, that one-night stands can have far-reaching consequences.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Read an Excerpt
A Quick Q & A with Jill Mansell
Enter The Giveaway
Full House Reading Challenge, British Books