Maybe This Time - Jill Mansell
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
Mimi isn't looking for love when she spends a weekend in Goosebrook, the Cotswolds village her dad has moved to. And her first encounter with Cal, who lives there too, is nothing like a scene in a romantic movie - although she can't help noticing how charismatic he is. But Cal's in no position to be any more than a friend, and Mimi heads back to her busy London life. When they meet again four years later, it's still not to be. Cal is focusing on his family, and Mimi on her career. Then Cal dives into a potentially perfect new romance whilst Mimi's busy fixing other people's relationships. It seems as if something, or someone else, always gets in their way. Will it ever be the right time for both of them?
I really needed a light-hearted, romance book. This delivered perfectly! It was a good old fashioned 'will-they-won't-they?' story. Cal and Mimi meet by chance and become good friends, but their situations and lives are never quite aligned enough for them to discover whether they want more than just friendship. Mimi is a high-flying career girl, and Cal is a heartbroken single dad to Cora. Over the years, they become more and more entwined in each other's lives, but it never leads to more… This book is so heartwarming, and even though it is light-hearted, there are some unfortunate and sorrowful moments that leave you gasping to try and hold back the tears. The characters are all likeable, even Henrietta, in the end. It is a true small village camaraderie that makes you want to rush and buy a cottage in the country. It was very surreal being set in the Cotswolds, just up the road from where I live, although I don’t think Goosebrook actually exists? I could picture them at the Water Park, as my husband and I go there often for walks and for lunch. Although Cirencester isn’t my local town, I do go there quite often, so I could imagine the area properly instead of making it up in my head as you would usually have to. I was glued to the book to find out the outcome of all the characters as the story involved most of the villagers. I would like to find out whether any of Jill Mansell’s other books revolve around any of the periphery characters, as I would certainly like to visit this world again. This is the first Jill Mansell book that I have read, she’s one of those authors I hear about all the time, but have never actually gotten around to reading any of her books. I can certainly see why she is a worldwide bestseller. This book was exquisite!