New Women’s Fiction by Jill Mansell, Fast Friends–Coming 1/1/19
Fast Friends is a captivating tale about three English women who find each other after being separated for over a decade. It had been fifteen years since the girls were in college together and their lives had drastically changed. Loulou owned a bar and had been married and divorced twice,Ros was a famous TV star, and Camilla was married with two children.Althoughall three friends were quite wealthy, none of them were truly happy. And by the time they did find their HEA, they were bruised, scarred and humbled.
Fast Friends is crafted with raw emotion, character growth, and over-the-top drama. Betrayal, jealousy, and infidelity, are the main evils that drive this story. Relationships can be messy and often trigger insecurities and hurtful behavior. But, marriage, partners, and love are treasures worth fighting for. Although Fast Friends is not my favorite book by Jill Mansell, it’s still a compelling and entertaining read.
Thank you, Sourcebooks- Landmark and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
Hi, I’m Jill Mansell and I live in Bristol in the UK with my family. I worked for many years in a neurological hospital but for the last two decades have been a full time novelist of happy, sad, funny, feel-good fiction. Sales of my books around the world now total nine million and I’ve only just realised as I’m typing this now that over the years I must have made an awful lot of people laugh and cry. Sorry!
Conditioned is a character-driven, emotionally charged, and well thought-out novel. The story focuses on several flawed people, defense mechanisms, and destructive behaviors, such as alcohol abuse, infidelity, narcissism, abusiveness, manipulation, co-dependency, lying, and low self-esteem. The book also covers dysfunctional relationships and mental illness. Conditioned, captured my attention and emotions as the author brought me into the intimate lives of his characters. One of my favorite characters was Martha. My heart went out to her as I witnessed her continually give of herself, to her narcissistic alcoholic husband, only to have him abuse her, and her family and friends shun her. Martha was so obsessed with being the perfect wife that she lost herself in the process. The author does a superb job describing human behavior patterns and imperfections. He places the reader into the mind of several of his characters, one of them being Martha, where he clearly describes Martha’s denial and co-dependent thought process.
One common thread I noticed in this book was that as difficult as pain is to endure, it is almost always the needed catalyst for growth and change to occur.
If you are looking for a book to hijack your emotions and pull your heartstrings, then Conditioned is the book for you.
Braid of Tongues is an emotionally charged, and superbly crafted debut novel about a woman’s struggle to stay faithful to her husband while craving the attention and affections of another man.
Ariane, a thirty-eight-year-old career woman, was content and happy with her life and marriage until she met Luka, a man fourteen years her junior. Luka, a sinfully handsome man, knew his way around a woman and not only awakened Ariane’s libido, he turned her life upside down. Ariane was guilt-ridden at first, but soon started to live a double life, and found that lying and deceiving became as natural as breathing.
Sean, Ariane’s husband, who came across in the book as a model husband, was not entirely innocent in my eyes. Sean is a photographer and loved to tease his size twelve wife about his size two models needing him to meet their needs. Ariane was not amused.
Everyone carries around insecurities and baggage, and although it’s easy to judge another’s indiscretions, it’s not really fair. Life is complicated. People are complex. And although I didn’t agree with the choices Ariane made, or Luka’s flirtations or Sean’s stupid remarks, consequences have a way of coming back at them. So why should I judge? Braid of Tongues is very well-written character driven book. It is a bit explicit, but if you don’t mind that, then I would recommend giving it a read. This is book one of the Braid Series.