Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay: The feel-good bestseller to brighten your day Paperback – 18 May 2017
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'A heartwarming treat from one of my favourite writers' (Katie Fforde)
Curl up with this hilarious tale that's as heartwarming as they come - escapism at its lovely dovey best (Sunday Mirror)
'We galloped through this funny, bouncy, romantic and brilliantly written yarn. A feel-good gem' ***** (Heat)
'A breezy, feel-good romance' (Best)
Praise for Jill Mansell's novels: 'The sweetest love story of the year' (Fabulous)
'Jill Mansell is the queen of witty, heart-warming, feel-good love stories' (Red)
A glorious, heartwarming romantic read (Woman & Home)
Mansell creates wonderful characters and believable storylines that capture both your heart and imagination from the off (Sun)
Jill Mansell keeps on getting better every time... smart and grown-up (Good Housekeeping)
A warm, witty and romantic read that you won't be able to put down (Daily Mail)
Sunny Cornwall is the dreamy setting for a delicious new romance from bestselling author Jill Mansell, author of THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT. It all begins with a brief encounter that promises sizzling romance - and then the unexpected happens...See all Product description
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In fact longing and loving from afar is a definite theme with this book. Especially with the two main characters, best friends and work colleagues, Clemency and Ronan. Both are in love with someone they think they can’t have and somewhere along the line end up in a fake relationship, mostly to stop Clemency’s awful sister, Belle, from picking on her. But this book is about more than just these two, since we also have Belle’s new boyfriend Sam, post-mistress Kate who is looking for the perfect home, Ronan’s lovely mum, quiet Marina the artist who is still recovering from a bad divorce, and many other intriguing characters that help bring this lovely town to life.
I really liked both Clemency and Ronan. They’re fun and their friendship is wonderful, and it’s clear they care deeply for the people in their lives – even when they don’t always deserve it. By contrast I found both Sam and Kate a little dull. I know both are grieving for lost loved ones and they’re naturally quiet, but they’re also very passive. Sam in particular just lets everything come to him and deals with it as best he can, good or bad, and I wasn’t fond of the way he let Belle run his life. Actually everyone in this book is pretty passive about love and relationships. No one seems willing to go after what they want.
Well, except for Belle, and she’s not a great example because she’s also capable of staggering selfishness that really made me dislike her. Several times.
So I found this one a little odd, because while I really enjoyed it and wanted all the characters involved to get happy endings – and was delighted when things did go their way – at the same time it might have been nice if some of them had been a little more active in working towards their goal, any goal. Love and happiness is almost an accident for most of them, because they’re too busy moping and sighing at each other from a distance. But it was also an easy read that I found hard to put down. I’m also delighted that it had a lesbian subplot, because that’s not something I’ve come across too often in mainstream romance (gay men, sure, but not so many women), so that made me very happy.
So overall if you’re looking for an easy read about a community of family and friends living their lives in a beautiful place, keeping secrets, falling in love and often accidentally finding their way into happy endings, then give this a go. If you’re already a Jill Mansell fan you will already know what to expect and find plenty to enjoy, but if you’re new to this author expect charm and warmth and hopefully you’ll like it too.
As usually with Jill Mansell's books we have a great bunch of characters in the story. In fact there were three main characters but there were also plenty of background characters, with their own stories as well, and while you can think oh wow, so it can be that all the stories can be too much, that they can make you feel confused, you can't be further away from the truth - nothing like this happened, the storylines were flowing seamlessly side by side or intertwining with each other. The author did a brilliant job with introducing the characters to us and let us to know them very well. Clemency and Belle are step sister, and they couldn't be more different. There is, of course, the element of sibling rivalry between them, but it was great to see and it made this relationship even more realistic, though I must admit that to keep up with Belle you do need the patience of a saint. But appearances may be deceptive, guys, and when at the beginning Belle seemed to me very shallow and empty and very self - obsessed, at the end it turned out that...well, she is all of the above but there is also a side to her that she's hidden and her secret was a real surprise, even though there was a moment or two when I started wondering. Yet seeing it happening for real totally surprised me but I was incredibly happy for her - and for Clem then, of course! Clemency, on the other hand, is this kind of character that you can't not like. She was so natural and genuine, she was spontaneous, funny and loyal and I loved her from the very beginning. She is a very caring person, supporting her friends whenever she could and I'd love to have her in my life. What I also loved about her was the fact that she seemed so very content with her life and in her own skin, which doesn't happen often these days, no?
Ronan works together with Clem at the real estate office - he's very, very handsome and he preys on it, of course, but don't think he's shallow or arrogant - Not. At. All. On the other hand, he was charming and lovely and there was much more to him than meets the eye and I think I could be a little in love with him. Although I was also a little in love with Sam, so there. Ronan always steps up to the mark when he's needed and he proved more than once that his heart is on the right place.
Three characters, different characters but there is one thing that they have in common - they want to find love. It was really great and wise from the author to divide the book into three storylines, as it made it so much more exciting, intriguing and interesting. Also all the other characters, with Belle, Sam, Marina and Josephine at the head, not forgetting Kate, were very well developed, they all had huge personalities, their own distinctive, loud and clear voices and they added tons of enjoyment to the story. The chapters were divided between them, and they were short and dynamic and made the reading somehow easier and quicker, and just the right amount of details and questions were given.
Reading this book was just like reading Jill at her best form - this tale was just a delight to read, from beginning to the end, with all its secrets being revealed at a steady pace and some twists that all came as surprises - yes, some of them seemed teeny tiny unbelievable but yet they worked incredibly well and made me smile or shed a tear or two, and they were actually things that you actually wanted to happen!
I also adored the setting of this book! I am growing to love Cornwall more and more and heck, must probably book a holiday there, right? I loved this little town St Carys (that, as it is, has already featured in one of Jill's previous books), it sounds gorgeous and thanks to the vivid, colourful descriptions I know must be beautiful, no matter if it rains or with the sun shining. And also, Jill Mansell could make Cornwall a new, fresh and intriguing place to live, as to be honest, with so many books set there it could go a little tiring, but not with this author! And of course all the inhabitants of this town were absolutely brilliant, but this takes us back to the characters - please, see above for yourself how much I am gushing about them. The little town community feeling was there as well, with everybody knowing everything about others and harmlessly gossiping about each other.
Sometimes it is so hard to feel this famous chemistry, those sparkles between the characters and when reading I often feel like the relationship is being forced upon me. But not this time! Oh my, how well Jill Mansell has captured the feeling of attraction between Clem and Sam, and the undeniable chemistry was so easy to spot and feel through the pages. They were this couple that you knew is destined to be with each other but it quickly turns out it's impossible, and it pained me so much to watch how brave they both tried to be in this situation. The author has really tried our patience, providing us with many problems and troubles till almost the last page.
I immediately felt at home when reading this novel. From the very first page I was engrossed in characters' lives and following them on this rollercoaster journey was an utter pleasure, and unfolding this tangled web of fate, destiny and chances was brilliant and I completely lost myself in the book. Altogether "Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay" was a sunny, cute, light - hearted read about love, friendship, loyalty, secrets and surprises that kept me glued to the pages, and kept the smile on face, but with the extra addition of some more tender moments as well. It was heart warming, it was funny, tender and very romantic, and I loved every single word of this book. It was engaging and it immediately drawn me in and I didn't want to put this book away. Jill Mansell at her best and I highly recommend it to all her fans!
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Highly recommended will make you laugh and wanting more! Can't wait to read some more of this author's books!