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An Offer You Can't Refuse
     

An Offer You Can't Refuse

4.1 145
by Jill Mansell
 

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What's a girl to do with...An offer you can't refuse?

A new bestseller from one of the UK's biggest authors!

Nothing could tear Lola and Dougie apart, except his mother...

Seventeen-year-old Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend's snobbish mother offers her a huge bribe to break up with him. Then Lola discovers a secret that

Overview

What's a girl to do with...An offer you can't refuse?

A new bestseller from one of the UK's biggest authors!

Nothing could tear Lola and Dougie apart, except his mother...

Seventeen-year-old Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend's snobbish mother offers her a huge bribe to break up with him. Then Lola discovers a secret that makes her think again, and the only way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world is to take the money and break Dougie's heart.

Ten years later, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. She'll do almost anything to get him back, but she can never tell him the truth. Can she overcome his bitterness and win his heart? She's attractive, persuasive, and endlessly optimistic, but even Lola's got her work cut out for her this time.

PRAISE FOR AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE

"Pick this up at your peril: you won't get a thing done till it's finished!"

"You won't be disappointed in this gem."- Hot Stars Magazine

"Pick this up at your peril: you won't get a thing done till it's finished."- Heat magazine

"Witty and charming, this easygoing tale is full of twists that make it hard to put down."- Woman

"Classy chick-lit that appeals to women of all ages. She [Jill Mansell] has a fantastic ability to keep a number of storylines running at the same time without losing the reader in a labyrinth."-Daily Express

"Warm and funny."-Heat magazine

"A romantic romp full of larger-than-life characters."-Express

"Fast, furious and fabulous fun. To read it is to devour it."-Company

"A light-hearted and likeable tale."-Prima

"A jaunty summer read."-Daily Mail

"A great, comical read."-Birmingham Post

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mansell knows her craft and delivers a finely tuned romantic comedy." - Kirkus

"Realistic, flawed and endearing, [the characters] make Ms. Mansell's book shine. I very much enjoyed reading this British romantic comedy, and I think others will, too." - Romance Reader at Heart

"Mansell's novel is the perfect read for hopeless romantics who like happily-ever-after endings." - Booklist

"Mansell's novel

is the perfect read for hopeless romantics who like happily-ever-after endings.
" - Booklist

Publishers Weekly

Mansell's mostly fun latest (after Falling for You) recounts how a 17-year-old's decision to accept a bribe affects her life several years down the road. After her beloved stepfather, Alex, confesses to a large gambling debt, Lola accepts a payment from her boyfriend Dougie's disapproving mother, who wants Lola gone. Lola pays off her father's debt and disappears from London for 10 years, after which she returns. In a too coincidental twist, she rescues a woman from a mugging, only to later learn-at a thank-you party the victim throws-that the woman she helped is Dougie's mother. Dougie, meanwhile, has a new girl and is still disgusted that Lola accepted the bribe, though that doesn't keep Lola from trying to re-insert herself into Dougie's life. A subplot involving Lola's mother and biological father adds to the mix, as do the romantic foibles of the cast. Mansell stumbles, however, in the unlikely final chapters, which stick too closely to the genre formula. A fast pace and fun writing make the story fly by, but the happily-ever-after doesn't feel right. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402218330
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Pages:
410
Sales rank:
423,513
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Ten Years Ago

There are some places where you might expect to bump into your boyfriend's ultra-posh mother. At a Buckingham Palace garden party perhaps, or Glyndebourne, or turning her nose up at Ferrero Rochers at some foreign ambassador's cocktail party. And then there are other places you wouldn't expect to bump into her at all.

Like, for example, the Cod Almighty at the dodgier end of Tooting High Street.

'Blimey, it's Dougie's mum.' Instinctively wiping her hands on her green nylon apron and curbing the urge to curtsey—because Dougie's mum was that posh—Lola said brightly, 'Hello, Mrs Tennant, how lovely to see you!'

And how typical that she should turn up two minutes before closing, when all they had left to offer her was a tired-looking sausage and a couple of overlooked fishcakes. Maybe Alf could be persuaded to quickly chuck a couple of fresh pieces of haddock into the fryer and—

'Hello, Lola. I wondered if we could have a chat.' Even for a visit to a fish and chip shop, Dougie's mother's make-up was immaculate, her hair swept into a Princess Michael of Kent chignon.

'Oh, right. Absolutely. I'm just finishing here.' Lola glanced across at Alf, who made good-humored off-you-go gestures. 'We close at half past two. So you don't want anything to take away?'

Was that a shudder? Mrs Tennant shook her head and said with a flicker of amusement, 'I don't think so, do you?'

Having retrieved her shoulder bag from the back room and shrugged off her nylon apron—youch, static—Lola ducked under the swing-top counter and took the king-sized portion of chips Alf had wrapped up for her, seeing as they had so many left.

'Bye, Alf. See you tomorrow.'

'I can drop you home if you like,' said Dougie's mother. 'The car's just outside.'

Lola beamed; free chips and a lift home in a brand new Jaguar. This was definitely her lucky day.

Outside on the pavement it was stiflingly hot and muggy. Inside the Jaguar the cool air smelled deliciously of expensive leather and Chanel No. 19.

'This is such a great car,' sighed Lola, stroking the upholstery as Dougie's mother started the engine.

'Thank you. I like it.'

'How could anyone not like it?' Lola balanced the steaming parcel of chips in her lap, careful to keep it away from her bare legs. Her stomach was rumbling but she heroically resisted the temptation to open them. 'So why did you want to see me? Is this about Dougie's birthday?'

'No. Actually it's about you and Dougie. I want you to stop seeing him.'

Bam, just like that.

Lola blinked. 'Excuse me?'

'I'd like you to end your relationship with my son.'

This couldn't be happening. Her shoulders stiffening in disbelief, Lola watched as Dougie's mother drove along, as calm and unconcerned as if they were discussing nothing more taxing than the weather.

'Why?'

'He's eighteen years old.'

'Nearly nineteen.'

'He's eighteen now,' Mrs Tennant repeated firmly, 'and on his way to university. He is going to university.'

'I know.' Bewildered, Lola said, 'I'm not stopping him. We're going to see each other whenever we can, take it in turns to do the journey. I'll catch the coach up to Edinburgh every other weekend, and Dougie's going to drive down here when it's his turn, then—'

'No, no, no, I'm sorry but he won't. This isn't the kind of relationship Doug needs right now. He told me last night that he was having second thoughts about going to university. He wants to stay here. And that's all down to you, my girl. But I won't stand by and let you ruin his life.'

The hot chips were burning Lola's legs now. 'Honestly, I'm not ruining his life. I want the best for Dougie, just like you do. We love each other! I've already told him, if we miss each other too much I'll move up to Edinburgh and we'll live together!'

'Oh yes, he mentioned that too. And the next thing we know, you'd be feeling left out because he'd have all his university friends while you're stuck working behind the counter of some backstreet fish and chip shop.' Mrs Tennant's lip curled with disdain. 'So to regain his attention you'd accidentally get yourself pregnant. No, I'm sorry, I simply can't allow this to happen. Far better for you to make the break now.'

Who did this woman think she was?

Meet the Author

Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol and writes full time. Actually, that's not true; she watches TV, eats gum drops, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the Internet marveling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she's completely run out of ways to procrastinate does she write.

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Offer You Can't Refuse 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 145 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
I admit it - I LOVE chick lit - and I think British chick lit is some of the best! I am so excited that Sourcebooks is bringing Jill Mansell's titles to North America! An Offer You Can't Refuse is being released today. Seventeen year old Lola Malone is madly in love with Dougie Tennant. But Dougie's mother Adele is less than enamoured with Lola - she wants her out of Dougie's life. She offers Lola a large sum of money to do just that. Lola is horrified, but when a family situation necessitates a large cash influx, she is reluctantly forced to accept Adele's offer. Fast forward ten years - Lola is back in Britain and the manager of a bookstore. I loved Mansell's choice of occupation for Lola. "She craved a proper bookshop like an addict craves a fix. There wasn't much that could beat that gorgeous new-book smell, touching the covers and turning the pages of a book whose pages had, just possibly, never been turned before." Or the customer who wants a book about insects that might have a pig in it. (Keep guessing - I'll tell you the title at the end of this post) When Lola suddenly meets up with Dougie again and finds she is still madly attracted to him, she hopes that maybe, just maybe....it will work this time around. But when Dougie hears about the payoff, he wants nothing to do with her. She promised to never reveal the reason she needed the money, but how is she going to win Dougie back when he thinks she is nothing but money hungry? Lola is an absolutely endearing character - someone you wish you had as a friend. The supporting characters are just as captivating, as are their story lines. Gabe is the male neat freak best friend, who through circumstances ends up living with Dougie's sloppy sister Sally. Lola's mom Blythe is a free spirit in love with a rumpled bear of a man who adores Monopoly. What will happen when Lola's real dad shows up again after twenty something years? Will any of them find true love? An Offer You Can't Refuse is a fresh, funny, charming read that will have you rooting for Lola, her friends and family and love until you turn the last page. The writing is warm and witty. Mansell's About the Author end note gives you some idea... " Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually, that's not true; she watches TV, eat gum drops, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marveling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she's completely run out of ways to procrastinate does she write." An Offer You Can't Refuse was #4 on the London Sunday Times bestseller list in the summer of 2008. I'm sure it will be a hit here as well. I'm looking forward to reading Mansell's next title, Miranda's Big Mistake , when it releases in June of this year. Love the Shopaholic series? You'll love Mansell too! Oh - that book title - Lord of the Flies!
Galleysmith More than 1 year ago
The concept of this book is not particularly unique - mom paying off the destitute girlfriend who needs to save her family to leave the rich boy she loves behind. But still, I enjoyed it none the less. Most of Mansell's characterizations (on an individual level) were wonderfully entertaining. Lola was funny and somewhat outlandish; she wasn't afraid to be who she was despite leaving the man she loved behind to better the lives of her family. Gabe, her BFF, was a great counterpart with his dry-wit and sarcasm. He brought truth to Lola when she didn't want to see it and helped her without fail when she set out to improve her situation. Sally, the former boyfriend's sister was eccentric and quirky; delightfully clueless and quite careless with the feelings and preferences of those around her. But done so in the most endearing way. Dougie, the jilted boyfriend, on the other hand was a bit flat and boring. I think he was supposed to be stuffy and pompous as a result of having been left behind but that element of the story wasn't particularly clear. In the end it just made him blah overall. His mother was also pretty cliched. A helicopter mom that had the ability to hover with the best of them she was the type of rich woman offering money that we always see in movies and television shows. There wasn't anything innovative of different in her portrayal here. I didn't particularly see any chemistry between Lola and Dougie after she left and came back. As a result I couldn't quite get into their story and found myself wondering why she was so desperate to have him back. I frankly thought she was more fun with her BFF Gabe. Even more honestly, it's the story about he and Sally that completely steal the show here. There was definitely a level of predictability in the story but it didn't lack in fun and entertainment value. If I'm being honest I think I would have much preferred the novel switch primary and secondary stories. It would have been better for me if it centered on Gabe and Sally as compared to Lola and Dougie. So in the end it wasn't the best chick-lit novel I've read but it wasn't the worst by a long shot. It's definitely worth your time if you're looking for a read that doesn't require a lot of heavy lifting but packs some good laughs.
fletcher0 More than 1 year ago
This was my first to read from this author. I love it! My favorite one so far. I love the jabs and jokes that the characters play at each other. Reminds my of my friends and me. Was nervous at first to read it cause she is a British writer I wasn't sure if I would get the jokes. But I did and it was great. A fast read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I liked this book, I think other ones by Mansell are much more interesting character wise. The characters in this book were great but sometimes I felt like it was the same thing... same attitudes, just a different setting. It will not stop me from reading more by this author but this was not my favorite. If you're still looking for a good read, check it out :-)
laura24 More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of this talented author since her first release and was never disappointed. Great Book! LOVED IT. will buy more
Skiddy02 More than 1 year ago
I have read several books in the last year, but this was one of my favorites. Maybe it's because many of the previous books all started to sound the same, but this was a refreshing break from the norm. I initally picked it up because I liked the cover. The synopsis on the back cinched the deal and made me buy it. I was surprised to find that the story advance quickly and the back cover description hardly explains what really happens throughout the tale. I thought each character was well defined and their personalities were strong and different. Unlike many books and TV shows, this progressed quickly. There seemed to be multiple climax's that made me want to keep progressing to find out what happened next. It was quickly solved (which I lack patient so this was great) but then instead of being over, there was another dilemma to overcome. It kept me turning pages all the way to the end. I just couldn't put it down. I would highly recommend this to anyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun, easy read. I've read a few books by this author and have liked them all. Her books are all very similar, but you know you are going to get a funny, romance type book, which is what I was looking for. One small negative was that it ended kind of abruptly, but all in all i really liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have yet to read a Jill Mansell book I didn't enjoy. I wish more of her books were available to us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all her stuff!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute fast read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading Jill Mansell, sure you usually know what will happen from the start, but there are always a few surprises. Quick read and enjoyable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice lite read
CandleLight More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying I really like this author and I recommend her books to anyone who enjoys a cute story with realistic, likeable characters. That being said, this wasn't my favorite of hers. I never really became fully engaged in the storyline of the two main characters and I felt like the ending was kind of flat. Cute story, but not her best work.
RedReading More than 1 year ago
I've only read a couple of Mansell's books. The characters in this story are a bit more developed in that there is more plot development before the climax, which I appreciated. Fun read and quick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my 2nd Jill Mansell book and I have to say that this one was a bit of a disappointment mainly because the main character is irritating and too ditzy.  I'll try another Mansell book and hope the main character is better.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LynetteFerreira More than 1 year ago
I read a few reviews where it stated that this book is predictable, but I could not understand what the problem was supposed to be with predictability. It is the journey you have to follow towards that end which makes it wonderful. I loved the journey this book took me on, and even though I knew the outcome, I could not help wishing throughout that it will indeed happen. I laughed myself silly a few times. I really liked this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
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