It was unbelievable. You could actually see it happening. One minute he was completely and utterly entranced. Before long, as if the momentousness of the occasion had made its presence felt, the newest addition to the family stirred and opened her eyes.
“Her name is Delphi,” said Laura.
“Oh my God.” Dex exhaled slowly. “Look at her.”
(from Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, page 4)
Quick summary: Dexter Yates is a player, and despite all girlfriends he has had, the only women he has ever loved are his sister, Laura, and his baby niece, Delphi. When Laura dies suddenly and tragically, he faces a life without them both. His fast-paced London lifestyle leaves no room for a baby, but Molly Hayes, a cartoonist and his neighbor in the Cotswolds village where he recently bought a house, encourages him to follow his heart where Delphi is concerned. Meanwhile, Frankie, the owner of a popular café in the village, and her daughter, Amber, learn that their seemingly perfect family life is far from it. But while Frankie sees it as an opportunity for freedom, Amber feels lost and doesn’t know who to trust.
Why I wanted to read it: Jill Mansell’s novels are pure comfort reads. I don’t read too much women’s fiction, but Mansell’s British romantic comedies are always fantastic.
What I liked: Mansell always creates such well-developed and interesting characters. In Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, I was happy to see her put a man in the lead role, and watching Dexter evolve from ladies’ man to family man was heartwarming. As with her other novels, I found all of the plot lines equally entertaining. As a wife and mother with a teenage daughter, I warmed up easily to Frankie. And of course, the characters find themselves in ridiculously funny situations and misunderstandings. Mansell tackles some pretty heavy themes, but she does a great job keeping things from getting too serious.
What I disliked: There really wasn’t anything to dislike. I enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t my favorite of Mansell’s novels.
Final thoughts: Mansell has a knack for creating endearingly flawed characters who feel like old friends, and she never fails to make me laugh. Don’t Want to Miss a Thing is a story about the many kinds of love, new-found love, enduring love, and the love between a parent and child, and how finding real love can turn your life upside down. It’s about making the right decisions, even when few of the people in your life believe in you, and the freedom that comes from acceptance. Once again, Mansell showed me exactly why I have been recommending her books to family, friends, and my dear blog readers for years!
Disclosure: Don’t Want to Miss a Thing is from my personal library.
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.