A couple of weeks I got home to a review copy of “You and Me, Always” by Jill Mansell, and was stupidly excited to be given the opportunity to read an advance copy and review it. I have tried desperately hard not to spoiler the storyline so if the paragraphs seem a bit vague I am sorry, but you will just need to get your hands on a copy and give it a read – trust me, it is well worth it!

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This is a romantic story but with some interesting twists and turns along the way. Lily, the female protagonist, is a lively, young and carefree woman who has never really sought out love and romance until she stumbles upon Eddie Tessler, a film star who made it big in recent years, in the most peculiar of situations. Their romance is one to behold, giving Lily opportunities she never would have dreamed. However, as always, life is never that easier and Lily’s past creeps up on her without any warning.

Dan is Lily’s best friend and brother of Patsy.  The girls love Dan but he just isn’t interested and enjoys being the man about town, or the skies, as he is a pilot. He is overly protective of Lily as Eddie comes on the scene, but the reasons why all become clear later on.

Coral, the women who brought up Lily, recently lost her husband and is learning to reform her life as a single lady.  She owns the local salvage yard, which Lily helps her run. She loves Lily like her own, but is also excited for her when Eddie comes on the scene, and wonders if she will ever be able to love again. Little does she know that around the corner a blast from Lily’s mothers past could help?

At this point it is probably obvious that Lily’s mother is not in the picture and Lily was left with Coral, her mother’s best friend, to raise her into the young woman she is today. Because of this act the whole village and its inhabitants are very protective of Lily, none more so than Patsy, Dan’s sister. Patsy, the local hair stylist, is one of Lily’s closest friends, but this friendship is put in jeopardy later on in the story. The poor girl has also had a string of bad luck in the romance department and thought she has found the love of her life, until she found herself being divorced. In the hope that she will find Mr Right Patsy navigates the murky waters of the online dating and we get to watch her fumble through a string of hilarious and cringe-worthy dates.

And of course there is Declan, but I can’t say anymore otherwise I will give the whole story away!

I have read many Mansell books before but fell in love with this one immediately. If it wasn’t for my daily life getting in the way I would have finished this book in a matter of days. It is gripping, the twists are different and Mansell manages to endear you to the characters in such a way that you feel you know them personally. I loved this story and whole-hearted recommend it to any Mansell fan or lover of romance stories. Would I call this “Chick-Lit” – possibly, however I am not keen on the title as I feel this pigeon holes books and I would rather not do this, especially when I believe anyone who picks this up will enjoy it from the second page in.

If you want to give it a go Mansell’s newest read was made available on 28th January – all book stores, both physical and online, will stock it I am sure. But just in case, here it is on Amazon.

Happy reading!

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