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An Offer You Can't Refuse Paperback – April 1, 2009

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mansell's mostly fun latest (after Falling for You) recounts how a 17-year-old's decision to accept a bribe affects her life several years down the road. After her beloved stepfather, Alex, confesses to a large gambling debt, Lola accepts a payment from her boyfriend Dougie's disapproving mother, who wants Lola gone. Lola pays off her father's debt and disappears from London for 10 years, after which she returns. In a too coincidental twist, she rescues a woman from a mugging, only to later learn—at a thank-you party the victim throws—that the woman she helped is Dougie's mother. Dougie, meanwhile, has a new girl and is still disgusted that Lola accepted the bribe, though that doesn't keep Lola from trying to re-insert herself into Dougie's life. A subplot involving Lola's mother and biological father adds to the mix, as do the romantic foibles of the cast. Mansell stumbles, however, in the unlikely final chapters, which stick too closely to the genre formula. A fast pace and fun writing make the story fly by, but the happily-ever-after doesn't feel right. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

Lola, 17, is deeply in love with her boyfriend, Doug. Doug’s family is wealthy, and Doug is on his way to university, while Lola is a middle-class girl and works at a fish-and-chip shop. Doug’s mother sees miniskirt-wearing Lola as an obstacle to overcome and offers her 10,000 pounds to never see Doug again. Lola is about to refuse when her father reveals a huge gambling debt. The only way to keep him safe is for Lola to accept the money. Ten years later, she encounters Doug and his mother again, and now Doug knows Lola was bought off by his mother. Lola still has feelings for Doug, but Doug won’t have anything to do with her. Will their relationship be repaired, or is the money too much to handle? Mansell’s novel is the perfect read for hopeless romantics who like happily-ever-after endings. --Hilary Hatton

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402218338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402218330
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julie Peterson on July 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I was in my 20s, I read so much Chick Lit -- pretty much everything I could get my hands on. I think I read these types of books because it was so not the life I was living. I met my husband when I was 20 and got married when I was 24, but I did consider myself a working girl in the city so I could somewhat relate. Then, I turned 30 and got pregnant. I still read a few of the popular, mainstream Chick Lit books but I could tell that my tastes were changing and I pretty much had nothing in common with the characters. Now, I'm rapidly approaching 40 this month (UGH!!!) and I have to say that I have more in common with the mothers of the girls in these types of books; however, I still find that I enjoy reading the occasional good Chick Lit book. AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE by Jill Mansell was just that -- an entertaining Chick Lit book and I had such a great time reading it!

AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE had all the elements of a really great Chick Lit book! A terrific main character Lola, great supporting friends, a little romance, some sexual tension, and of course lots of confusion. I really thought the premise of this story was cute. Lola, a 17 year old girl accepts a bribe from her boyfriend's mother to break up with him. Ten years later, she meets up with Dougie again and desperately wants him back.

You can't help but fall in love with Lola. When we first meet her, she's only 17 years old and still pretty naive. She is in love with Dougie and thinks he's "the one" so she's naturally appalled that Doug's mother offers her so much money to stay away from him. But like any normal teenage, she begins having a few doubts about whether their relationship will make it when he goes away to school.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brittany Johnson on April 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am an avid reader of Jill Mansell's books, so naturally this was on my "To Read" list. While this one was not my favorite by her, it was still a really enjoyable chick lit book to read.

My favorite characters in the book were Gabe and Sally, not even Lola and Dougie, the main characters. I felt like the relationship between Gabe and Sally was much more developed than the relationship between Dougie and Lola. I would have liked to see Dougie and Lola actually fall for each other again, instead of things just happening. That being said, I did enjoy reading about Dougie and the way he treated Lola at times because it was comical.

I also thought Nick James was a good supporting character. When he was first introduced, I did not think he was Lola's father (not a spoiler as this is revealed early on in the book). The back story as to why he was not around was a pretty unique one, and I loved that he came back to start a relationship with Lola. I also thought the relationship between him and Blythe was interesting.

There was a lot going on in this book, which is trademark Mansell, and while it wasn't my favorite, I would still recommend it to chick lit fans and/or Mansell fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tina on January 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although this was not my favorite book by this author, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her stories never let me down. I don't feel I'm giving anything away by saying I'm a sucker for a happy ending, and though it may not happen the way one might expect, we do manage to get there. It is precisely because the road to the happy ending has not always been the easy and predictable route, that keeps me coming back for more when my bookshelf is bare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I admit it - I LOVE chick lit - and I think British chick lit is some of the best! I am so excited that Sourcebooks is bringing Jill Mansell's titles to North America! An Offer You Can't Refuse is being released today.

Seventeen year old Lola Malone is madly in love with Dougie Tennant. But Dougie's mother Adele is less than enamoured with Lola - she wants her out of Dougie's life. She offers Lola a large sum of money to do just that. Lola is horrified, but when a family situation necessitates a large cash influx, she is reluctantly forced to accept Adele's offer.

Fast forward ten years - Lola is back in Britain and the manager of a bookstore. I loved Mansell's choice of occupation for Lola.

"She craved a proper bookshop like an addict craves a fix. There wasn't much that could beat that gorgeous new-book smell, touching the covers and turning the pages of a book whose pages had, just possibly, never been turned before."

Or the customer who wants a book about insects that might have a pig in it. (Keep guessing - I'll tell you the title at the end of this post)

When Lola suddenly meets up with Dougie again and finds she is still madly attracted to him, she hopes that maybe, just maybe....it will work this time around. But when Dougie hears about the payoff, he wants nothing to do with her. She promised to never reveal the reason she needed the money, but how is she going to win Dougie back when he thinks she is nothing but money hungry?

Lola is an absolutely endearing character - someone you wish you had as a friend. The supporting characters are just as captivating, as are their story lines. Gabe is the male neat freak best friend, who through circumstances ends up living with Dougie's sloppy sister Sally.
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