When Cleo Quinn finds out her seemingly perfect boyfriend has a wife and kids, she does what any self-respecting girl would do, she dumps him. Cleo is a bit disconcerted when his wife Fia turns up out of the blue, gets roaring drunk and spends the night with the notorious and successful sculptor Johnny LaVentura. He also happens to be the pain in the bum that has plagued Cleo for most of her school life. When Fia decides to settle in the village, Cleo’s best friend Ash, fancies her like mad but turns into a blithering idiot in her presence. Cleo’s sister Abbie, whose marriage has always been solid starts wondering why her husband is so distracted and starts worrying about an affair but could never dream what the real reason is. That reason arrives in a whirlwind and blows Abbie’s world apart. Who said village life was dull?
With any Jill Mansell book, you are guaranteed a good, funny and lighthearted read. Take a Chance on Me definitely lives up to that guarantee, and as always her characters are what make her books so enjoyable. Zany, full of life, eccentric and lovable, you are treated to a look into their world and small village life. Even though the situations they get into seem crazy, you can still imagine how you might find yourself in them. The outcomes in reality however, might not be so good, which is why these books are worth reading and are great escapism.
The main character of Cleo makes me laugh, she’s a fun-loving girl with a good attitude and while she has her insecurities, she’s well aware of them. Her older sister Abbie is the solid dependable one and when her world falls apart, it’s amusing the way they swap roles. Cleo’s best friend Ash is well written and funny, a successful radio DJ with the gift of the gab until he meets a woman he fancies. Then he goes mute and tongue tied. The object of his interest is Fia, the wife of the man Cleo was involved with which is an odd, but funny circle. Fia likes Johnny, the local bad boy come good when he returns to the village after living in America. With the usual confusions, hi-jinks and knee trembling moments, Take a Chance on Me keeps you reading til the very satisfying end.
A definite must read for Jill Mansell fans and if you are new to the chicklit/lighthearted romance genre, it’s a good one to start with.