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Men I've Loved Before Paperback – 31 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (31 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755371275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755371273
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Teesside, NE England, in 1969. I enjoyed a traditional 1970's childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from Leicester University, where I studied English Language and Literature, I've worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 I was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

I've always dreamed of being a writer and my first novel - Playing Away - was published in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified me as one of London's 'Twenty Faces to Watch', which was very nice of them!

I like to keep busy and to be described as one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK, (who wouldn't like that?!) Over two million copies of my work have been sold in the UK and I'm translated into 25 different languages. I've published twelve novels in twelve years, all of which have been Times Top Ten bestsellers. Whatever It Takes, my twelfth novel, examines those undeniable, lasting issues that seem to interest us all. It scrutinizes our theories of love, motherhood and infidelity with (I hope) honesty and humour. I'm known for examining the thorny issues of the lives we lead today with my trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style.

Product Description

Review

'When it comes to fiction reflecting feminine issues, Adele Parks has her finger on the pulse' (Glamour)

'Wonderfully plotted, moving and insightful...shot through with funny, tender and observant moments' (Daily Mail)

'Full of emotional set-pieces and real insight into relationships between men and women' (Heat )

'A fabulous mix of comedy, real life and emotional depth' (Daily Express)

'A wicked pleasure' (Woman & Home)

'She is a particularly acute observer of relationship ups and downs, and her stories are always as insightful as they are entertaining' (Daily Mirror)

'Guaranteed to keep you hooked until the end' (She magazine)

'Parks writes with wit and a keen eye for detail' (Guardian)

'Deliciously down to earth' (The Times)

'Entertaining and sophisticated' (Marie Claire)

'Observant, sensitive and funny' (Closer)

'Dark, funny and observant' (Cosmopolitan)

'Compulsively addictive' (Elle)

Book Description

Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks writes novels that real women want to read. With her trademark tell-it-like-it-is style, she gets right to the heart of the dilemmas people face in their lives and takes her stories to unexpected places.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DebzM 'bookbabe' on 12 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
Never before have I been so desperate to reach into a book and strangle the life out of the two main characters.
Neil, right from the start, comes across as the most boring, plain, wet-mop of a man despite the writer's waffle about how he is kind, funny, attractive & interesting.
Standing with his mates in a pub with a glass of wine?!? Sometimes the upper-middle class setting from the writer really irritates me.
His friendship with Karl is very unrealistic, Karl being a typical mans-man sleeping with everything that moves, disrespecting women, scared of settling down and forever boozing.
He actually made for uncomfortable reading.

Nat is worse if you can believe it. We are told by the writer that Neil and Nat are 100% in love, always honest with each other and respectful of one another.
So why Nat couldn't tell Neil why she didn't want a baby in the first place and continued to keep her secret is mind-boggling!
Pages and pages waffle on with Neil believing Nat's feelings are 'unnatural' and not once do the 'loving couple' actually properly discuss it.
And why were Nat's feelings about not having a baby made out to be so wrong?

The tedious little black book carry-on: what female actually gets one of those out and calls everyone in it to arrange a meeting??? I didn't know whether to feel angry, sad or irritated by this part of the book, so I just went for mind-numbingly bored.

Neil's strip club jaunts were so ridiculous and pathetic I had to laugh, especially as the author goes into great (too great!) detail about Neil's attraction to the stripper's nipples and why. To then have Neil never out the place, just wanting to 'talk' and be in the 'company' of the stripper is taking the biscuit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ms read on 9 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
So far....referring to her boyfriend as handsome, when he'd already been described as just above average. Calling pushchairs strollers..since when did we live in the USA? Describing her parents garden as 'a riot of colour' what? In the autumn? I always find this with A P. Sloppy continuity and sack the editor! She can tell a tale but needs to concentrate a bit harder on editing and characterisation. Spoils it for me from the start regardless of the plot. You do pick up a book like this for fluff tho one has to remember, so it won't be that well written. I tend to intersperse chick lit with proper books for some light relief.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Rutter on 6 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Men I've Loved Before tells the story of Nat and Neil, a thirty something couple who seem to have the marriage from heaven. He has a job he adores, friends he gets on with and the perfect wife. She has a fulfilling career, a family who loves her and the perfect husband. They agree on virtually everything, especially the fact that they don't want children. Until Neil decides that he does. Suddenly they are both questioning every facet of their relationship, and Nat wonders whether any of the men she's loved before could have been the One?

I'm conflicted about Adele Parks. Universally I have loved the first hundred pages or so of every single novel she's written (this is the tenth). Parks establishes the set up of characters and relationships perfectly - she creates an entertaining picture of a couple meeting and falling in love. She writes beautifully about chaotic but perfect lives.

For me, where Parks unfailingly falls down is when she inserts the tension into a novel, and her couples start bickering. It all feels so artificial and forced. Here we have a woman who doesn't want to have a baby - but there is a big secret "reason" for this. I find it disappointing that Nat wasn't just against babies because she didn't want them - it is a valid choice these days, and not all women want babies.

I also thought Neil's storyline with the strippers was appalling, and done to fill up some space rather than to progress the plot in a meaningful way.

Lastly, for a couple who are presented as being so together and communicative and honest, why do they have so many problems talking to each other about their issues with the baby factor? *sighs* It was perplexing to me that they descended to arguments rather than just opening up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NSorrell on 28 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Adele Parks and have read all of her previous books. I consider her among the best writers in the Chick Lit genre at present and was really looking forward to reading this book. Disappointingly, I lost interest in this tale before I even reached the halfway point in it, but I stuck with it until the end in the hope that it would get better - unfortunately, it didn't.

The characters annoyed me and I quickly reached the point where couldn't care less what happened to them. I longed for another storyline running alongside the main characters' one, just to provide some relief, but that was sadly absent here. I found that most of the events that happen in the book are described in excruciating detail too, which is completely unnecessary and it spoilt the flow of the story as a whole for me.

A real let down from a usually entertaining Author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By niclh on 21 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
I adore all her other books, the type I can devour in a day.
However, I was fed up of this before I'd even reached pg40! So long winded and it just waffles on and on.
It took me at least 4 days to do those 40 pages I was that uninterested by it, I've not even bothered reading anymore and chucked it out.
Do not recommend at all
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