Customer Reviews


55 Reviews
5 star:
 (22)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (10)
1 star:
 (13)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and exciting book!
This is Adele's 10th book, and for me, she delivers every time - this book is brilliant! It's very well written throughout, an easy read and one I didn't want to put down.

We're introduced to the two central characters, Nat and Neil. They are happily married and definitely do not want children, but then Neil has a change of heart and is practically begging Nat...
Published on 15 Nov. 2010 by librarylover

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave this 1 star because u can't award any less
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...
Published on 12 Dec. 2012 by DebzM 'bookbabe'


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave this 1 star because u can't award any less, 12 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (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.
Then becoming friends with her and her little daughter?!?!? Please! It actually got a tad creepy here and my dislike for Neil deepened.

Nat then practically has a breakdown and does something so unrealistic for someone in a supposed loving relationship to do, despite the few problems, which is when I was tempted to throw the book in the bin.
But I had to see how pathetic the ending was, and I was right, it was ridiculous, cheesy and very very obvious. Steer clear.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sack the editor, 9 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Palls quickly..., 6 Jan. 2011
By 
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (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. I found myself literally rolling my eyes in exasperation.

Parks also has an issue writing realistic male characters. One line stood out for me at an early stage of the novel:

"But somewhere, deep down inside him, he'd always found single-man sex unsettling. He found it a problem that even in the very moment of orgasm he'd start to panic about where his next shag would come from."

I put this line to various of my male friends and they LAUGHED at it, they were so unconvinced. That is not the response that Parks wished for, I'll wager! Karl is a stinker of a character - so vile that I shuddered whenever he was on the page. Nat's various exes universally had issues. Even Neil - supposedly the hero of the piece - ends up going to a strip club and staring rather too much at a stripper's nipples (yes, Parks did describe these nipples in sickening detail...)

I think I understand that Parks is trying to present a realistic look at life between a couple - where issues do crop up, and arguments do happen. But, seriously, I just ended up feeling depressed at their constant bickering and wishing I could shake the pair of them. I read chick lit for the escapism, not to feel sucked into the minutiae of painful discussions and problems that are seemingly unresolvable.

So, read the first one hundred pages for a great look at a fun couple. And then firmly close the book. Parks has written far better books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Disappointing, 28 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars such a disappointment, 21 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity, 2 July 2011
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (Paperback)
I don't read a lot of chick-lit but have enjoyed some of Parks' previous books - but this is not one of the better ones. What could have been an interesting story: the loved-up couple where he suddenly decides he wants a baby, and she doesn't, feels irritatingly contrived.

There are huge chunks of this book that are very messily told, with extended back stories and the introduction of other couples who seem to be little more than padding.

As other reviewers have said, Nat isn't even allowed to simply have no maternal urge - a subject only just being discussed openly by women - and instead has to have a deep, dark secret to explain her 'unnatural' feelings.

This has the opportunity to be taboo-breaking but just cops out - and is full of increasingly awkward contrivances to manipulate the plot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars it swiftly plummeted and became utterly boring and inane, 14 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (Paperback)
Found this in a villa I was staying in on holiday. I can see why it got left behind! Although it starts well and I had high hopes for some enjoyable chick-lit, it swiftly plummeted and became utterly boring and inane. The two main characters are bland and unlikeable,with a wimpy pathetic husband and a wife who was too stupid to tell him her big 'secret' about why she didn't want children. As to contacting ex-boyfriends for dates - who does that? It was just so unbelievable that they could live together in the same house and not talk about things or have a screaming row about it all, when they were meant to be so in love at the start of the story. Hated this book, won't read any more of hers, even on holidays when there is nothing else to read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!, 4 April 2011
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book and I have to say I found it awful. I usually like Adele Parks and find her novels well written and researched. However this one is full of pap in the middle that is totally pointless and tells you nothing at all. The ending is beyond patronising and the character has to have some special reason to not wanting children - er why? I personally do, but I have friends in the thirties who just do not. End of. I can totally understand this. Some of the characters were very thin and one dimensional - well everyone bar Neil and Nat which get far too much time dedicated to without being told very much. One felt reading it like you were peddling up hill in the wrong gear, expending energy through frustration at the pot holes, without actually getting very far. Disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 16 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (Hardcover)
I have read all of Adele Parks and usually really enjoy them but I found this one clumsy and patronising. I thought wow this could be a great read as it starts with an interesting idea of woman not wanting children but it quickly became apparent that this wasn't really the case. I'll try and not give to much of the story as I don't want to spoil it for anyone but I thought the plot became totally implausible towards the middle and continues that way to the end. It feels like the author just wanted shot of the book so just rattled off an ending and didn't really explore any of the issues that had come up in previous chapters (like her husbands response to the mother issue). I am also disappointed that the main female character is not allowed to simply not want children. That there has to be a dark secret reason behind this. My hardback copy which i usually keep will be going straight to oxfam.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish, 27 April 2013
This review is from: Men I've Loved Before (Paperback)
I was largely optimistic about this book when I started, aware of the mixed reviews on here. However, I got half way through and felt like nothing was progressing. I wanted to get into it but it just wasn't a "page turner" for me. The plot seemed slow and sluggish and slightly as if I wanted to shout "we know that you don't want kids! Where is this going?!" But in the end I figured life was too short to keep reading a book I didn't enjoy, it's going to the charity shop in the hope that someone will enjoy it more than I did.

Sorry Adele if you are reading this. I really wanted to enjoy it, I really did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Men I've Loved Before
Men I've Loved Before by Adele Parks (Paperback - 31 Mar. 2011)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews