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Dex is living the high life - young, handsome and rich with a high flying career and a string of girlfriends, so when he gets a call one night to say that he is an uncle he is over the moon as he is very close to his older sister Laura. Dex couldn't be happier knowing Laura will make a fantastic mum to her newborn daughter Delphi and the future looks rosy. When Dex decides to buy a cottage in the picturesque village of Briarwood as a weekend get away from his fast moving London life he doesn't realise how attached to this beautiful tranquil village he will get..or more to the point how attached he will become to charismatic neighbour Molly.
When tragedy strikes Dex finds that his life will never be the same again and finds himself spending more time in Briarwood to the point of moving there growing ever closer to Molly - there's an obvious connection and spark but will it lead to something more? How will Dex adapt to his new life in the much slower paced Briarwood in comparison with his hectic London life?
Throw into the equation the tangled lives of Frankie and Joe; the owners of the local cafe, the pub landlady and her mysterious father who has a secret in his past he'd rather keep quiet about and a whole host of interesting characters all make up the 'ingredients' for Jill Mansell's latest bestseller 'Don't Want To Miss A Thing'..
My best friend introduced me to the world of Jill Mansell books around two years ago, after reading one of her books for the first time deciding she wanted to read more by this author and so over time has built up quite a collection. This benefits me as whenever a new book is purchased it is then leant to me to read with Don't Want To Miss A Thing being Mansell's latest book and also my friend's most recent purchase. Having recently just finished reading this latest novel, what did I think?I have to admit I've enjoyed almost every single Jill Mansell book I've read and whilst Don't Want To Miss A Thing is no exception it was also extremely predictable for most of the book, in particular the majority of the characters story lines. We meet Dexter first - literally on line one of page one and are then slowly introduced to the characters that centre around him with Molly playing a predominant part. Although Dexter's story is the main feature in the book there is another story that develops gradually before interweaving into the Dexter storyline and this seems to be a key feature with Jill Mansell's books.
Although both of the main stories have a serious note to them they are written in a fairly light hearted way and whilst I wouldn't go as far as to say they are 'frothy' they seem to have a sunny disposition despite each of the story's circumstances.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book I found that the Dexter/ Molly/ will they/ won't they plot was a little tiresome and seemed to be a rehash of most of Mansell's other books. The other main plot caught my attention far more with its 'shock' revelation about a main character and I found myself becoming slightly bored to be honest once the story switched back to the Dexter/ Molly plot which it did quite often which was frustrating as no sooner had I got sucked into one plot I then suddenly found the book switched with no warning to the coinciding plot.
I thought most of the characters were likable, but none in particular stood out enough for me to say they were favourites and I found it hard to warm to most of them. Normally with Jill Mansell books I find that most of the characters I end up taking an instant shine to and care about what will happen to them as the story progresses but I'm sad to say I just didn't feel this way about any of them apart from baby Delphi who featured adorably throughout the book. I do have to point out though that whilst I didn't exactly 'love' any of the characters, I didn't exactly dislike them either. I did think baby Delphi was cute (who wouldn't?) and Dexter himself was a likable enough lothario but I didn't feel strongly enough about him to really care about how his future panned out (harsh I know). Molly was again *nice* enough but her character just didn't seem deep enough to love that much as did any of the characters - that's not to say they were all horrible as they weren't, just very one dimensional and a bit insipid to be honest. I did quite like the character of Frankie but thought her daughter was cold, spoiled and really didn't connect with this 'precious princess' at all and found her storyline rather becoming and served her right.
I thought some of the characters could have been involved far more then they were as they seem to be loitering in the background for much of the story(s) then suddenly have a chapter or two to themselves with big revelations towards the end, making it all seem 'too little too late' as by the time the characters start to come into their own I found I'd already lost interest, which was a shame as I think both of the stories could have greatly benefitted from more in depth characters.
I've read many of Jill Mansell's books up to press (all through my friend kindly lending me them) and I have to say that 90% of them have had such a positive impact that I would happily read them again. There has been the odd one that I have 'endured' to the end but generally I find her books fun, lighthearted and engaging enough to make me want to read until the early hours. I was so looking forward to reading Don't Want To Miss A Thing as the last Mansell book I read (A Walk In The Park) was so captivating that I found it difficult to put it down once I'd picked it up.
The appearance of the book certainly caught my attention with its attractive pink cover and soft cartoon drawings and I was eagerly looking forward to reading it, having saved it to take on a recent holiday as I thought it would be a perfect holiday read.
This book started off well and piqued my interest with its opening paragraphs enough to make me want to read on, but I have to say I was more than happy to just read a few pages here and there rather than spend hours engorged as this book just didn't keep my attention enough for me to really care how it panned out.
I think if you are a fan of Mansell's books then you will probably enjoy this too but be warned that it is fairly predictable throughout and not one I'd read again, and am very glad I was loaned this book and not forked out cash to buy it.
Headline Publishing Group
I really look forward to Jill Mansell's books each year, they are always guaranteed to be a brilliant read, and I always enjoy her stories. This year, interestingly, the publishers and Jill allowed her fans to choose the cover for her new book, between a pink version and a yellow one. I was personally all about the yellow version but clearly the pink one won out, and I have to say I quite like it now it's out in hardback form. I think it's a soft subtle pink, and looks really pretty on my bookshelf. The book title Don't Want To Miss A Thing makes me think of the famous Aerosmith song (you'll probably be humming it now too lol), I can't say that's a bad thing, and the story inside fitted the title perfectly.
Dexter Yates is a real party boy - he works hard for his money, but also plays hard as well, coming with a different woman far too regularly for his own liking sometimes, but he's sure he isn't ready to settle down. However, when his sister suddenly dies just a few months after giving birth to her first baby, Dexter finds himself the sole carer of his niece Delphi, and without a clue of how to look after her either. He quickly moves to a more suitable, small cottage in the Cotswolds, and finds himself living next door Molly, a single woman who is getting over her own break up. When the pair realise there's a chemistry between them, Dexter's worried as he doesn't know how to deal with it, and they end up finding out things about themselves that they find surprising...
I was really invested in this story from really early on. I really warmed to the main character, a man named Dexter, even though his lifestyle at the beginning wasn't ideal. In fact, that goes to show how much of a change he makes in himself when he takes on his lovely niece Delphi, who really steals the show even though she barely speaks in the book, just babbles and sounds immensely cute! Dexter was a great man in all senses, he's handsome, he's good with his baby niece, he's determined and he really wants to change and make a change in himself for the better. He almost sounds too good to be true, and you can see why Molly likes him a lot! Molly herself is a lovely character, really friendly and open, the perfect next door neighbour actually, and because they're both so nice, you really want a happy ending for the both of them, and care about what happens to them in the story.
Mansell's writing, however, is what really made me love this book. She has a real way with words that allows the story to unfold at a natural pace, and keeps you wanting to read on right until the last page. There are a lot of serious moments in the book, and these are tackled perfectly, but also nicely balanced with humour and happiness. The subject matter, a young, free, single fun-loving man having to grow up quickly and effectively become a father is interesting and allows for laughs, but also emotional moments too, and I really enjoyed this storyline a lot. I loved how as well as the main story of Dexter, Delphi and Molly there were a couple of sub-plots going on too which were almost as good as the main one, and I was as eager to read these as I was Dexter's story.
I thoroughly enjoyed Don't Want to Miss A Thing and I think it's my favourite book of Jill Mansell's for a few years now, I read it in just a couple of evenings because I just didn't want to put it down, and I found the story really fun to read. A lovely setting, a fab set of characters that you want to read about and brilliant writing make this book a real must-read, and I assure you every woman who reads this will want to find her own Dexter asap, he's the perfect hero for the book! Yes, it was slightly predictable but I actually enjoyed this about it - I just cared about how it was going to get to its end, not what it's ultimate end might actually me. Mansell's storytelling is second to none, and baby Delphi was certainly a scene-stealer. I loved this book, and hope you will too, definitely one to read!
ISBN: 978-0755355877. Published by Headline Review as a hardback on 31st January 2013. Pages: 432. RRP: £12.99. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review, and to you for reading.