From the Publisher
"If you are on your way to the beach, Miranda's Big Mistake is a must-bring and will keep you reading long after the sun goes down. " - ForeWord
"It is a fun, quirky read, that had my toes curling right up until the last sentence. " - A Bibliophile's Bookshelf
"What a fun, flirty, fabulous summer read. Miranda's Big Mistake I can assure you will not be a mistake to read." - Cheryl's Book Nook
"[F]ull of witty dialog. You get drawn right into the book." - Hollywood Today
"I highly recommend this book for light, entertaining reading. It's a great pick for the beach bag and will be available just in time for summer!" - I Just Finished
"Jill Mansel's writing style, with its many levels of humor, its multiple plots, and intriguing characters, makes Miranda's Big Mistake splendid reading. It is funny, sassy, and it lifts the spirit. GOOD READING!" - The Long and Short of It Reviews
"I couldn't get enough of MIRANDA'S BIG MISTAKE and characters; and I didn't want the book to end." - Booking Mama
"You'll get a warm feeling from Miranda's Big Mistake... an absolute romp of a read! " - A Bookworm's World
"The story-lines that unexpectedly criss-cross, interconnect and zig-zag are what make them so delightful. Mansell knows how to create characters..." - Blog Critics
"All the characters are fleshed out completely and the humour just dances off the pages. I can't wait to read more books by Jill Mansell whose style is reminiscent of Marion Keyes and Sophie Kinsella but she also has a voice that is all her own... Bravo Jill Mansell." - Books by TJ Baff
" Perfect for this summer to read at the beach, or anywhere for that matter. A fantastic fun read!" - Wendy's Minding Spot
"Mansell's novel proves the maxims that love is blind and there's someone for everyone, topped with a satisfying revenge plot that every jilted woman will relish." - Booklist
"This is a great summer read... I would recommend this book and think the author is a lot of fun. " - The Review From Here
"[T[he quirky characters come to life and get themselves involved in all sorts of crazy situations. I found myself laughing out loud... " - Bookopolis
"Miranda's Big Mistake not only oozes modern romance, but also sarcasm and wit" - Savvy Verse & Wit
"highly recommend it to any fans of chick lit, especially those who love Brit chick lit. I can't wait to read more of Jill Mansell's work!" - S. Krishna's Books
"There's no doubt that Jill Mansell's books can be categorized as chick lit, but in my opinion, they're among the best written books in the genre... I absolutely loved Miranda's Big Mistake." - Diary of an Eccentric
"I loved how all of the characters had their own small side story and I liked the ending for all of them! This would be a perfect summer beach read!" - So Many Books, So Little Time
"Miranda's Big Mistake by Jill Mansell is a delightful example of chick lit." - Bermuda Onion
"[H]er cast of characters are so lovable that you want them to be your friends!" - Books and Needlepoint
" Lots of situational humor, tragedy, and foresight that you wish the characters could see. Mansell does a wonderful job of keeping me reading the book." - Love Romance Passion
"With a full cast of entertaining characters, interesting secondary storylines, a few tears and more than a few smiles and laugh out loud moments, this is definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone who likes chick lit, or who just wants a fun beach read." - Reading Adventures
"If you are on your way to the beach, Mirandas Big Mistake is a must-bring and will keep you reading long after the sun goes down. " - ForeWord
" Ms. Mansell's books are easy reading books, that pull you in to the lives of the characters and don't let go until you finish the story... Jill Mansell's books will turn you in to a chick -lit reader!!" - Allison's Attic of Books
"These characters live and breath and you can hear them and imagine them sitting next to you." - Dad of Divas
Taking a position as a trainee in a posh London hair salon may not seem the ideal situation for finding Mr. Right, but this breezy, whimsical novel from best-selling British chick-lit author Mansell (An Offer You Can't Refuse) introduces just such a heroine, Miranda, to a wide range of men, from panhandler to racecar driver, on her way to true love (and true retaliation). In a series of escapades too over-the-top even for Bridget Jones, feisty but accident-prone Miranda joins forces with other unlucky-in-love ladies, including a pregnant woman abandoned by her no-good husband and an aging but still-game landlady with a terminally greedy son. Plotlines and characters interweave with unexpected but satisfying results, including delicious comeuppance for the offending males. Summarizing the girl-power revenge plot, however, fails to do justice to the shenanigans that fill it out, making this a winning read. While Mansell's British humor doesn't always translate, Miranda's got more than enough irresistible transoceanic charm to promise that this, the first of several Mansell novels Sourcebooks is introducing to the U.S., should net a passionate new audience eager for the more.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter 1
It was the first day of April. Seeing the reception desk temporarily unmanned, Miranda snatched up the ringing phone.
'Fenn Lomax salon, how can I help you?'
'Hello.' It was a male voice. 'I need a complete restyle.'
'We do have a long waiting list,' Miranda warned, uncapping a pen with her teeth. 'Could I have your name, please?'
Over the phone, she heard gales of background laughter.
'Oh ha ha, well done, very good,' Miranda recited dutifully. 'If only Eddie Izzard was as witty as you.' She rolled her eyes at Bev, the salon's glamorous receptionist, now racing back from the loo.
'Who was that?' said Bev as Miranda hung up.
'An imbecile. April Fools' Day, don't you just love it?'
Grabbing her coat and rummaging in the pockets, Miranda dragged out one green woollen glove and one pink leather one. Well, imitation leather.
Bev's manicured blonde eyebrows went up.
'Lunch break already? It's only half past eleven.'
'Indentured servitude.' Making sure she wasn't being watched, Miranda pulled a face. 'Cigarettes for Alice Tavistock. And a box of herbal tea bags. And half a dozen first-class stamps. That woman, honestly, I don't know why she doesn't write out her whole week's shopping list, pack me off to Sainsbury's and be done with it.'
'And when you've finished that,' Bev suggested helpfully, 'you could valet her car.'
'Pop her washing round to the launderette.'
'Mow her lawn.'
'Fill out her tax return.'
'Clean her loos,' Bev blinked innocently, 'with her own toothbrush.'
'Miranda, are you still here?' Fenn Lomax, emerging from the VIP room, shot her a look of disbelief.
'Sorry, Fenn, no, Fenn, I'm gone.' Miranda jammed her gloves on, getting three fingers stuck in one thumb-hole. She grinned at Bev and made a dash for the door. 'Back in ten minutes, okay?'
Fenn called after her, 'Make that five.'
Since Fenn Lomax had landed himself a regular slot on the hugely popular TV show It's Morning! his client list had blossomed beyond recognition.
As the show's producer had pointed out, he was a seriously attractive heterosexual hairdresser. How could he fail?
The female producer had been right.
With his streaky-blond shoulder-length hair, thickly fringed hazel eyes and come-to-bed smile, Fenn had a way with women and scissors that had done his business no harm at all. No longer buried in the back streets of Bermondsey (special rates for pensioners on Mondays and Wednesdays), he had been catapulted upmarket to the altogether glossier pavements of Knightsbridge's Brompton Road (special rates never). Celebrities queued up, for months sometimes,for the privilege of shelling out two hundred and fifty pounds and being able to boast to friends, journalists…well, anyone who'd listen, basically, that theirs was a Fenn Lomax cut.
Nowadays you could spot his clients a mile off, thought Miranda, teetering on the edge of the curb as a chauffeur-driven limo pulled up inches from her toes. The snow had all but melted now, leaving only squelchy dregs, but the woman emerging from the back of the limousine was kitted out in enough fur to see her through a hike across the Antarctic. Gingerly, in her fur-lined boots, she picked her way through the slush.
Well, it was an awfully wide pavement. All of six feet from the car to the apricot-tinted-glass and brass doors of the salon.
And if you were going to pay a chauffeur to run you around town, it made sense to economize in other areas, Miranda acknowledged, recognizing the famous romance novelist as she removed her dark glasses. That must be why the stingy, face-lifted old hag had only tipped her thirty pence last week.
The stamps and cigarettes weren't a problem, but the Grapefruit Zing herbal tea bags with extra ginseng took longer to track down. By the time she'd bought everything, Miranda was already fifteen minutes late.
He was there, sitting in his usual spot outside the shoe shop. Experiencing a horrid qualm of guilt, Miranda wondered if she could cross the road so he wouldn't catch sight of her, or simply rush past pretending she hadn't seen him.
Then again, perhaps she should just explain that she was in a tearing hurry and didn't have her purse on her right now, but if he hung around for another hour or so, she'd see him later. Hung around for another hour or so, Miranda thought with a shudder. Crikey, patronizing or what?
Poor chap, as if he had anywhere else to go.
Oh, but he looked so cold, so utterly miserable and chilled to the bone.
Too late to try and avoid him now anyway, she realized. He'd spotted her.
'Hi,' said Miranda, feeling rotten already. His blanket was damp, soaked through with slush. 'Look, this isn't my lunch break, I'm just picking up a few things for a client, but I'll definitely be back before two.' Inwardly, she cringed. Oh, help, why did a perfectly good reason have to come out sounding like a feeble excuse? He didn't want one of her sandwiches in two hours' time, he needed something to warm him up now.
'Okay.' The man, who was probably in his early thirties, nodded and managed a faint smile. 'Thanks.'
He never begged, never asked for anything. Just sat there, with his greasy black hair falling over his face and his dark eyelashes half shielding his eyes, as he watched the rest of the world march on by. Miranda had never given him money in case he was a drug addict. The thought of her spare cash being injected into the nearest collapsed vein made her shudder. At least he couldn't fit a prawn sandwich into a syringe.
But today the circumstances were different. And there was a Burger King just across the road, selling hot drinks. What's more, Miranda remembered, Alice Tavistock had given her a ten-pound note to go shopping with…
'Here.' Hurriedly she fumbled in her coat pocket for change and thrust seventy pence into his hand. 'Buy yourself a cup of tea. Thaw out a bit.'
'That's very kind.'
Heroin cost more than seventy pence, didn't it?
Worried, needing to check, Miranda said, 'You don't do drugs?'
Another fleeting smile, accompanied this time by a shake of the head.
'No, I don't do drugs.'
Except…well, he would say that, wouldn't he?
Miranda gave up; she had to get back. Ugh, this weather, her feet were going numb.
'Okay, see you later.' She flexed her icy toes. 'Ham and tomato or prawn with mayonnaise?'
The man on the pavement shrugged.
'I don't mind. You choose.'