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Nadia Knows Best

Nadia Knows Best

4.2 60
by Jill Mansell

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The bigger the mistake, the bigger the temptation...

When Nadia Kinsella meets Jay Tiernan, she's tempted. Of course she is. Stranded together while a snowstorm rages outside ... who would ever know?

But Nadia's already been together with Laurie for years-they're practically childhood sweethearts. Okay, so


The bigger the mistake, the bigger the temptation...

When Nadia Kinsella meets Jay Tiernan, she's tempted. Of course she is. Stranded together while a snowstorm rages outside ... who would ever know?

But Nadia's already been together with Laurie for years-they're practically childhood sweethearts. Okay, so maybe she doesn't get to see much of him these days , but she can' t betray him.

When Laurie dumps her to move to America to pursue his modeling career, Nadia runs into Jay again and the sparks from their first encounter are still there. But just as their budding relationship is about to take off, Laurie returns and he wants Nadia back.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place (or two gorgeous guys), let's just hope that Nadia really does know best...

British chick lit and a great romantic book, Nadia Knows Best has a wonderful cast of supporting characters and plenty of fun.

Fans of Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella and Love Actually will be rooting for Nadia to find her happily ever after.

What readers are saying about Nadia Knows Best:

"fun, fast, lovely"

"family shenanigans, tough issues, difficult exes and A LOVELY ROMANCE"

"an awesome author and a true romantic!"

"Loved all the characters and the interweaving story lines."

"If I had to use one word to describe Nadia Knows Best it would be DELIGHTFUL."

"I have read this book countless times and never tire of the story or humour."

"English wit and humour!"

"humorous, slightly sarcastic, and very entertaining to read."

"I really admire the British women depicted in Mansell's books, they are strong and independent."

"Grab this book and RUN to the beach! It will keep you entertained for hours."

What reviewers are saying about Nadia Knows Best:

"Mansell's trademark wit and quirkiness is showcased in this fun chick-lit tale."Booklist

"... outstanding. 4.5/5 stars, Reviewer Top Pick!"—Night Owl Reviews

"I heart Jill Mansell – her books are filled with warm and funny characters whose journey to love pulls you along in its stream of warm-fuzzies and giggles."—Drey's Library

"Delightfully quirky and memorable..."—Bellas Novella

"Light and breezy... written with a playful sense of humor." —Nights and Weekends

"Fun, flirty and entertaining."Under the Boardwalk

What everyone is saying about the queen of British chick lit, Jill Mansell:

"Fans of chick lit - if you haven't read Mansell yet - what are you waiting for!?"—A Bookworm's World

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

"Expect to run the gamut of emotions, as this book is both laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly sad. Basically, you won't put it down." —New Woman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this quick and ultimately uplifting chick lit romp, released in the U.K. in 2002, bestselling Brit Mansell (To the Moon and Back) weaves together the stories of an untraditional family and its members’ efforts to find love. Nadia Kinsella thinks she has it all: GQ model boyfriend Laurie, loving father James, grandmother Miriam, sisters Clare and Tilly, and admittedly exasperating absentee mother Leonie. When Nadia is stranded in a snowstorm with handsome Jay Tiernan, she remains faithful to Laurie—only to be unceremoniously dumped when she arrives home. Fast-forward 15 months, when Nadia runs into Jay again. As the two move toward a relationship, Laurie returns from L.A. and attempts to win Nadia back. Meanwhile, Clare, Tilly, and James embark on their own romantic adventures. Mansell smoothly toggles between romances, deftly keeping the multiple story lines moving. While not everyone gets a happily-ever-after, readers are left with a sense of hope that things will work out eventually. Agent: Jennifer Unter, RLR Associates. (May)
From the Publisher
"Mansell's trademark wit and quirkiness is showcased in this fun chick-lit tale that has enough going on to keep readers entertained through the last page." - Booklist

"Jill Mansell has always been a pleasure to read and once again does not disappoint. She has a great knack for making the story believable and a hoot to boot." - BookLoons.com

"The characters in this story are outstanding. 4.5/5 stars, Reviewer Top Pick!" - Night Owl Reviews

"I heart Jill Mansell — her books are filled with warm and funny characters whose journey to love pulls you along in its stream of warm-fuzzies and giggles." - Drey's Library

"Jill Mansell novels are a quintessential must have for any chick lit lovers... Her stories sweep you in...and keep you amused and immersed in the (always) wacky worlds of her vibrantly colorful characters." - Bellas Novella

"I heart Jill Mansell-her books are filled with warm and funny characters whose journey to love pulls you along in its stream of warm-fuzzies and giggles." - Drey's Library

"A delightful read... Mansell does not disappoint." - Still Reading

"Delightfully quirky and memorable..." - Bellas Novella

"Light and breezy... written with a playful sense of humor." - Nights and Weekends

"Fun, flirty and entertaining." - Under the Boardwalk

Product Details

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"Ooooohh... eeee..." To her horror Nadia realized she was having a Bambi moment. A scary, drawn-out, Bambi-on-ice moment in fact. Except unlike Bambi, she couldn't make it stop simply by landing with a bump on her bottom.

The car carried on sliding in slow motion across the perilously snow-packed road. Despite knowing—in theory—that what you were meant to do was keep your foot off the brake and steer into the skid, Nadia's hands and feet were frantically doing all the wrong things because steering into a skid was like trying to write while you were looking in a mirror and—oh God, wall—



Phew, still alive, hooray for that.

Opening her eyes, Nadia unpeeled her trembling gloved hands from the steering wheel and mentally congratulated herself on not being dead. The car was tilted at a bit of an odd angle, thanks to the ditch directly in front of the wall, but despite the best efforts of the snow, she hadn't actually been going fast enough to do spectacular amounts of damage to either it or herself.

Then again, what to do now?

Pulling her hat down over her eyebrows and bracing herself against the cold, Nadia clambered out of the grubby black Renault and inspected the crumpled front wing. Just as well she hadn't borrowed her grandmother's pride and joy for the journey—the teeniest scratch on Miriam's Maserati would have meant being beaten with a big stick and sent to stand in the naughty corner for weeks.

Her face screwed up against the stinging onslaught of low-flying—and actually quite ferocious—snowflakes, Nadia hopped back into the car. At least she had her mobile. She could dial 999 and ask the police to come and rescue her... except if she did that, chances were they might want to know where she was.


Maybe phone home then, and at least let the family know she was in a ditch, in a blizzard, somewhere in deepest darkest Gloucestershire. Or, more accurately, deepest whitest Gloucestershire.

Although it would be dark soon enough.

This dilemma was solved neatly enough by the discovery that her phone was dead, which narrowed the options down to two. Should she leave the car and trudge off through the ever-deepening snow in search of civilization?

Or stay here and hope that somebody else—preferably in a Sherman tank or a helicopter—might come along and rescue her?

Since civilization could be miles away and her feet still ached like mad from dancing last night, Nadia reached over to the backseat for her sleeping bag, wriggled into it like a giant worm, and settled down to wait.

Poor old Laurie, he'd missed a brilliant party. Nadia smiled to herself, thinking back to yesterday morning's phone call. She wondered how hot it was right now in Egypt, if Laurie was remembering to drink only bottled water, and if he'd managed to squeeze in a visit to Tutankhamun's tomb before flying on to Milan.

Gosh, she was hungry. Easing a hand from the cocoon of her sleeping bag, she flicked open the glove compartment. A packet of Rolos and a half-empty bag of gumdrops. Should she ration herself, like people trapped on mountains, to one Rolo a day? Or give in to temptation and guzzle the whole lot at once?

But she wasn't trapped on a mountain and she wasn't going to starve. Compromising, Nadia ate three Rolos and half a dozen gumdrops, then switched on the car radio for company, just in time to hear a DJ cheerfully announcing that there was plenty more snow on the way.

That was the thing about Sherman tanks, they were never around when you needed them.

Less than half an hour later—though it seemed like more—Nadia let out a shriek and abruptly stopped singing along with Sting to "Don't Stand So Close To Me." Actually, it was an appropriate song. The person who had tapped on her window was pretty close.

Male or female? Hard to tell with that hat pulled down over their face. Wrapped up in a Barbour jacket, thick sweater, and jeans, it was either a man or a hulking great six-foot-plus woman.

Hoping it wasn't Janet Street-Porter, Nadia opened the window and promptly wished she could have been wearing something more alluring than a green nylon sleeping bag strewn with bits of gold foil Rolo wrapper.

She also hoped she'd been singing more or less in tune.

Not that this was terribly likely.

"Are you OK?"

He had dark hair, light brown eyes, and snowflakes decorating his black, spiky eyelashes.

"I'm fine. Really warm. Skidded off the road," Nadia explained, fairly idiotically given the novel angle at which she was sitting.

He inclined his head. "I noticed."

Nadia peered at the empty road behind him. "Did you crash too?"

"No, I did the sensible thing." He looked amused. "Abandoned the car before that happened. It's at the bottom of the last hill."

"Rolo?" She offered him one through the open window. Not her last Rolo, obviously.

"No thanks. Look, there's a village half a mile ahead. Do you want to walk with me?"

"You live around here?" Nadia brightened, then hesitated. Hang on, a complete stranger offering her shelter in the middle of nowhere, seemingly perfectly normal and friendly right up until the moment he reappeared from the woodshed with madness in his eyes and a sharp ax?

How many times had she seen that film?

He shook his head, scattering snowflakes. "No, I live in Oxford."

"So how do you know there's a village?" She didn't want to struggle through the blizzard on a whim.

The mad ax-murderer seemed entertained by the wary look in her eyes.

"I'm very psychic."

Oh God, he really was a nutter.

"That's great." Nadia took a deep breath. "Look, have you ever been to this part of Gloucestershire before?"

"No." Smiling, he patted the pocket of his waxed Barbour. "But, unlike you, I do have a map."


"I feel like a refugee," Nadia muttered as they trudged along the narrow lane, the snow squeaking underfoot. Since hopping along like a ten-year-old in a sack race wasn't practical, she was carrying her rolled-up sleeping bag under one arm and her overnight case in the other.

"You look like a refugee." Glancing across at her, he broke into a grin and held out an arm. "Here, let me carry those."

She knew his name now. Jay Tiernan. He'd introduced himself while she'd been struggling to extricate herself from the sleeping bag. In return she'd asked, "What does J stand for?"

"Nothing. It's just Jay."

Hmm, a likely story. It was probably short for something embarrassing like Jethro or Jasper. Or Josephine.

Then again, Nadia could sympathize. School sports days had always been a mortifying experience, with dozens of sniggering boys lined up roaring, "Go, Nad... GONAD... GO, GO, GO!"

But Jay Tiernan didn't need to know that. Thankfully, Nadia handed him her overnight bag. Her nose was a fetching shade of pink, her eyes were watering, and her toes numb. Ranulph Fiennes needn't worry about competition—she'd be hopeless at trekking across the Antarctic.

"You lied," Nadia panted forty minutes later. "That wasn't half a mile."

"Never mind, we're here now."

"And this isn't a village."

"It is," said Jay. "It's just... small."

Nadia peered through the tumbling snowflakes at the deserted single street. There were no lights on in any of the cottages. Nor were there any shops. Just a postbox, a bus shelter, and a phone box.

And a pub.

"The Willow Inn," Jay announced, squinting at the dilapidated sign. "We'll try there."

The front door was locked. After several minutes of hammering on the wood, they heard the sound of keys rattling and bolts being drawn back.

"Blimey," slurred the landlord, enveloping them in a cloud of whisky breath. "Mary and Joseph and the little baby Jesus. Fancy bumping into you in a place like this."

Nadia, clutching her rolled-up sleeping bag in her arms, realized he thought she had a baby in there. Then again, he was so drunk she could probably get away with it.

"Hi," Jay began. "We wondered if—"

"Shut, mate. Closed. Six o'clock we open." The middle-aged man jabbed vaguely at his watch. "You could try coming back then. No kids mind, this isn't a family pub. Kids? Can't stand 'em."

"Look, the roads are blocked, we've had to abandon our cars, we've been walking for hours," Nadia blurted out, "and we need somewhere to stay." Hastily she unraveled the sleeping bag to show him how empty it was. "And we definitely don't have a baby."

As a rule, batting her eyelashes and widening her big brown eyes had the desired effect, but the landlord of the Willow Inn was clearly too far gone for that.

"Don't do board and lodging neither." Wheezing with laughter he flapped his arm and said, "There's a stable down the road, you could try there."

Nadia briefly wondered if bursting into tears would help. Failing that, hitting the landlord over the head before tying him up and locking him in his own cellar.

Jay, his method thankfully more law-abiding, said, "We need somewhere to stay and something to eat. We'd pay you, of course."

The landlord's bloodshot eyes promptly lit up. "Hundred quid."


"Cash, mind. Up front."

Solemnly, Jay nodded. "It's a deal."

The power outage that had left every house in the street in darkness was still going strong at nine o'clock that evening. The pub, illuminated with flickering candles, had gradually filled up with locals driven out of their homes by the lack of TV, as well as half a dozen other stranded drivers in need of a roof over their heads.

By some miracle the landlord, Pete, was still drinking and still conscious. Well, just about. Cindy, the barmaid, confided to Nadia that Pete's latest girlfriend had walked out on him three weeks ago, precipitating this mammoth binge. Now, evidently cheered by the amount of money he was extorting from stranded travelers, he was wavering precariously on a bar stool, leaving Cindy to do all the work.

Dinner, also thanks to the power outage, was thick chunks of bread toasted over an open fire, tinned ravioli, wedges of cheese, pickled onions the size of tangerines, and stale digestive biscuits.

Nadia, who had given the onions a miss, said, "Yum."

"A candlelit meal, what could be more romantic?" Jay indicated their rickety wooden table. "Never let it be said I don't know how to give a woman a good time. Pickled egg?"

Nadia smiled; he had a nice voice. She'd always been a sucker for a nice voice.

"No thanks. We need to sort the room thing out. You can't sleep down here."

Pete's insistence on cash in advance for the only spare bedroom had left Nadia with a dilemma. With only fifteen pounds in her purse, it had been left to Jay to come up with the rest of the money. When Pete had shown them the chilly room, cluttered with junk and taken up almost entirely by a lumpy, unmade double bed (A hundred pounds? Bargain!), Jay had murmured, "It's OK, I'll sleep downstairs."

But that had been before the others had arrived, turning the small bar into a makeshift refugee camp. Two of them had nasty hacking coughs. It wasn't fair to take the room Jay had largely paid for.

"You should have the bed," Nadia told him. "Honestly, I'll be fine down here."

"You might be fine, but you won't get any sleep."

"I'd feel guilty otherwise." She watched him refill their glasses with red wine.

"We could both sleep in the bed," said Jay.

Nadia hesitated. It was the most practical solution, of course. It was just a shame he couldn't have been nice-but-comfortingly-ugly, rather than nice-and-definitely-attractive.

Dangerously attractive, in fact.

Not that she'd be tempted to do anything naughty, but she didn't want Jay thinking she might be tempted. In her experience, attractive men seemed to take this for granted.

"Just sleep." Nadia met his gaze. "No funny business. We'd have all our clothes on. And I'd be in my sleeping bag," she added for good measure.

"Absolutely." Jay's mouth had begun to twitch. Oh Lord, did he still think she fancied him?

"I have a boyfriend," Nadia explained firmly, "and we really love each other."

Jay nodded, to show he understood. "Me too."

Meet the Author

With over 4 million copies sold, Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Jilly Cooper and Catherine Alliott. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

With over 9 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

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Nadia Knows Best 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Maggie_H More than 1 year ago
Love how she tells the stories from every ones perspective....it give the book more depth than most chick-lit/ romance types out there Jill Mansell is one of my favorite writers of all times. Her books are gripping from the first page and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Every story has great characters, heartwarming plots, and hilarious dialoged. You'll fall in love with all the characters from the beginning and want to read every book she has ever written. You won't regret this buy!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mansell's books are like candy for your brain! They r fun to read, entertaining, and bring a smile to your face. I read a couple of her other books first and although I enjoyed them, I felt like there wasn't enough about the main couple. After starting this book, I realized the author really wants to portray the other stories as well and in reality, the "main characters" are not any more important or interesting than the other characters. The writing is fresh and random which is appreciated after reading american romance novels that all end up sounding the same after a while. This book may be my favorite so far, the characters are a hoot, some you'll love, some will annoy you to no end. Will read other mansell books for sure!
Collegemomofone More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I recently started reading for fun instead of for education reasons and found this author to be amazing after reading this book. Nadia Knows Best had me laughing, crying, and waiting for more!!! I have never enjoyed reading until reading this book! Thank you Jill Mansell for teaching me how to love reading! I would recommend anyone who enjoys loves stories that aren't so mushy and enjoy just an all around "Girly" story to read this book. I thoroughly loved this book and would gladly read it again and again!
shannschoice More than 1 year ago
First off, I enjoyed this book immensely. This story is about more than Nadia and her romantic issues, it’s about her whole family and told from the varying viewpoints of her and her two sisters Claire and Tilly. Each character is distinct and the author does an amazing job of describing each sisters’ perspective and story. Tilly is thirteen and desperately trying to find her place in the family and the world at large. Claire is the middle daughter, a beautiful artist, whose attention seeking behavior is spiraling out of control. Nadia is the oldest sister and the main character in this family story. As the story opens Nadia becomes stranded at a small inn overnight during a snowstorm. During this adventure she meets mysterious Jay, but Nadia already has a boyfriend so the attraction she feels for Jay can go nowhere. Nadia’s boyfriend quickly dumps her and Jay re-enters her life but he’s not the same happy, flirty person she met during the snowstorm. As the book progresses the reader, along with Nadia, has to figure out whether Jay is insincere or not. Add to that the lost boyfriend returning, a romance for Nadia’s dad, a grandmother with long buried secrets and two sisters who are facing their own challenges and Nadia Knows Best is a pretty packed story. This a great weekend read, it’s not too heavy and the characters are really engaging. At times I was frustrated with the pace because I wanted Nadia to make a decision but enjoyed reading her journey. I enjoyed the budding friendship between her and Jay and the complexity of feelings she had for the wayward Laurie. I enjoyed most of the secondary characters, except Claire, her self-centered actions and lack of consideration for anyone but herself was grating and one-dimensional. Overall, this was a satisfying read. Reviewed for Cocktails and Books by Karon.
book_wormJG More than 1 year ago
Jill Mansell books are always a great read and never disappoint. They are a fun chic lit that you can't put down until you are finished. If you liked this book then definitely find the rest of hers because they are fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wished the story of nadia would have moved a bit faster and we would have had more of an ending! The ending was cute and all but it could have used one more chapter to make it feel finished. You will fall in love with the stories...and Jay;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i've read a bunch of mansell's novels now, and have pretty much loved all of them. nadia knows best is no exception. the characters and scenarios are wonderfully fleshed out, and before you know it, you're completely captivated by the handful of stories this book follows. there are moments when you may find yourselves cheering or cringing along with nadia and her various family members, along with some definite laugh-out-loud moments. i had one issue however, with the way it all ended. i felt like the story finished rather abruptly. when i got to the end, i even thought perhaps my nook's copy was glitching and dropped a chapter. i would have liked to have a little more wrap up (there was one story line involving a certain male character where i was left saying out loud, "really?!" because it felt like a missed opportunity for a good confrontation scene - those who have read it will know what i mean, i think). just felt like i was dropped suddenly out of the world of the novel. other than that, i loved it enough to be come back here seeing which of mansell's books i still haven't read yet!
NanT More than 1 year ago
All books written by Jill Mansell are excellent, and I highly recommend you read them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the story. There are a lot of characters,but once you are into the story, they are not hard to keep up with. There was one storyline that I felt went unresolved, but it doesn't dampen the book at all. Highly recommend.
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Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you kniw if its for kids
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was an easy read and enjoyable. I look forward to reading more books by this author and recommend it to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had some interesting twists. Wold like to know more about how things turned out.
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Excellent book! I absolutely loved it from start to finish! I loved the characters and how they all had their own personal tales to deal with and that by the end you knew how all the stories ended! Fantastic book and writing! I loved it! XO
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read
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