I've been reading some heavier literary books recently, so I felt like delving into some lighter ones to get a bit of balance. So I picked up Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell. I've read some of her other books over the years - Thinking of You, A Walk in the Park, Nadia Knows Best, and To the Moon and Back, so I knew what I was in for - and I wasn't disappointed. Mansell writes romances set in the U.K. that are funny and often a bit whimsical, and her characters are not often picture-perfect romantic leads, but ones that feel like real people living ordinary lives (with a few twists thrown in for fun).
In Don't Want to Miss a Thing, the main character is Dexter Yates - charming, handsome, and living the high life in London. But when his sister dies, leaving behind his eight-month-old niece Delphi, Dexter learns what it means to stand up for his family in the most essential way possible. He decides to leave the rat race behind and move to a small village in the Cotswolds to raise her, where a number of women are only too willing to help him out. There's Amanda, the charming village doctor, Molly, a cartoonist who's his next door neighbor, and Frankie, a newly single mother who discovered her husband has been leading a double life.
While there's an essential format to romances that is formulaic - you can't get past the boy meets girl (or girl meets girl or boy meets boy), Mansell's book takes the reader on a few twists and turns and has lively characters. Her writing style is very engaging, and she deals with sometimes very serious issues in a compelling way. For fans of romantic comedies, I'd definitely recommend this book.
I read a lot - depending on my writing schedule, I can usually read about a book a day. Some of the books are fantastic and I would love to recommend to everyone - some, not so much. Either way, I thought I would share a few thoughts on what I'm reading at the moment.