Source: Review copy
Publication: 24 January 2019 from Headline Review
Mimi isn’t looking for love when she spends a weekend in Goosebrook, the Cotswolds village her dad has moved to. And her first encounter with Cal, who lives there too, is nothing like a scene in a romantic movie – although she can’t help noticing how charismatic he is. But Cal’s in no position to be any more than a friend, and Mimi heads back to her busy London life.
When they meet again four years later, it’s still not to be. Cal is focusing on his family, and Mimi on her career. Then Cal dives into a potentially perfect new romance whilst Mimi’s busy fixing other people’s relationships.
It seems as if something, or someone else, always gets in their way. Will it ever be the right time for both of them?
I especially enjoy reading Jill Mansell in the winter months, because even though it’s chilly – and as I write this it’s brass monkeys – I always come away from reading Jill feeling all warm and toasty inside.
Maybe This Time does not disappoint in this respect, or any other, and it is a great book that takes me straight to my happy place. It’s fair to say that romantic dreams work well when located in small and quaint Cotswold villages peppered with a handsome man or three and girls who wear floaty dresses.
Yet Maybe This Time, while it does have its fair share of lovely locations, dream jobs and handsome chaps, is not anyone’s idea of a stereotype. For a start our principal protagonist Mimi, though she works in PR, is no fluffy airhead. Rather she is a hard-working, creative individual who will not stand for any nonsense and is no-one’s pushover.
Trouble and emotional hardship set the frame for the beginning of the book and as we get to know all the characters we become invested in them and their futures. And that’s what makes a Jill Mansell book special – she makes us care about what happens to her characters.
As Mimi tries her best to fit into village life, she finds that not everything goes as smoothly as she hopes and that judging people by their reputations isn’t always the best way of finding out what makes a person tick.
Verdict: There’s plenty of action, misunderstandings, missed opportunities and awkward timings to ensure that the path of true love will run less than smoothly, but in the end we all come away with that warm, happy inner glow that tells us Jill Mansell has done it again.
Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.
Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is Three Amazing Things About You, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.
Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.