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Twenty-something Nadia is very happily involved with her long-term boyfriend Laurie when she's rescued from her broken-down car in a snowdrift by Jay and ends up spending the night with him - entirely platonically, not that she isn't tempted - while awaiting the thaw. By the time she meets Jay again, Nadia's been dumped by Laurie thanks to his hectic jetsetting career as a model, and soon, despite all sorts of obstacles, sparks are flying between them. Until Laurie, familiar, beloved, regretful, comes home wanting to make up, and Nadia finds herself torn in half... Meanwhile Nadia's sister Clare is going out with the kind of man who never rings, her father has fallen in love for the first time since his divorce, and Nadia's mother, who abandoned the family because babies are so boring, is about to put the cat truly among the pigeons...
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Are the days of chick lit numbered? That question exercises the glossies a lot these days, but on the evidence of Jill Mansell's Nadia Knows Best, there's still plenty of life in the genre--particularly if you can deliver goods as sassy, sharp and witty as this. In previous novels (such as Head Over Heels and Mixed Doubles), Mansell's subject has been the vagaries of love and friendship (with a healthy leavening of sex and revenge), and those ingredients are all well represented in the mix here.
A snowstorm has cloistered the guests at a secluded Cotswold pub. One of them is Mansell's heroine Nadia Kinsella, and she finds herself sorely tempted by beguiling fellow guest Jake Tiernan. But giving in to such alluring temptation is not that easy when Nadia has been virtually betrothed to the faithful Laurie since both were childhood sweethearts. Nadia's decision is not helped by the peculiar mix of personalities within her family: her irresponsible mother Leonie, her ruthless and uncompromising sister Clare, and her surprising grandmother Miriam, every bit as well turned out as the younger members of the family.
It doesn't matter how sharply wrought the dialogue is, or how buoyant the plotting--a novel such as Nadia Knows Best stands or falls on whether or not the reader identifies with the central characters. And it's here that Jill Mansell knows precisely what she's doing: it's impossible to resist becoming involved with the characters even when they irritate us (and Mansell knows that from Jane Austen onwards, the reader needs to heartily disagree with some of the characters' actions). This is a stylish and cuttingly funny read. --Barry ForshawReview:
'A romp of a read... One for romantics' Company (Company)
'A joyous romp through the world of odd-ball characters you'd love to make your friends - or imitate their high-jinks and hilarity' Western Mail, Cardiff (Western Mail, Cardiff)
'Jill Mansell develops all her characters in such a way that we really care what happens to them... The pace doesn't let up from start to finish, which makes it hard to put down' Basingstoke Gazette (Basingstoke Gazette)
'Hopelessly romantic' Heat (Heat)
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0755302214