On the surface, her day-to-day life was happy; she laughed and joked and behaved like a completely normal person. Other people regarded her as cheerful, up for a laugh, and extroverted.
But that was on the surface, purely for public consumption. Unaware of her past — simply because it was no one else’s business but her own — what they didn’t realize was that there was a permanent chunk of ice embedded in the center of her heart.
(from The Unexpected Consequences of Love)
The Unexpected Consequences of Love is another winner by Jill Mansell about a woman unwilling to ever let another man into her heart and a man hellbent on squeezing through the slightest crack in the wall she’s built around it. Sophie Wells’ last relationship is a mystery to all except her best friend, Tula, but it was tragic enough for her to swear off men altogether and focus all her energy on her photography business. Sophie catches the eye of Josh Strachan when her job brings her to his grandparents’ hotel in St Carys, and he is determined to convince Sophie to give him a chance, even if it means digging into her past.
Meanwhile, Josh’s grandfather’s efforts to win back his ex-wife take a hit when the man he wronged sets his sights on her; Tula can’t take Josh’s friend Riley’s attentions seriously because she needs a reliable man, not a womanizing surfer; and Riley’s aunt, Marguerite is on the prowl for husband No. 4 while harboring a deep secret.
Mansell never lets me down when it comes to her characters. They often stumble their way through life, but that’s what makes them feel real. Mansell’s plots are clever and full of just the right balance of seriousness and humor. Sophie’s last relationship is shocking and sad, and it’s easy to understand how she would be stuck in limbo. I loved all the little twists and turns in each character’s story, and Sophie being forced to finally confront her past was so beautifully handled that it brought tears to my eyes.
The Unexpected Consequences of Love is about finding love when you least expect it, realizing what’s been in front of you all along, and the many ways one’s prejudices can complicate matters of the heart. Once again, Mansell has proved to be a master of the romantic comedy.
Disclosure: The Unexpected Consequences of Love is from my personal library.
© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.