In the idyllic seaside town of St Carys, Sophie is putting the past firmly behind her.
When Josh arrives in St Carys to run the family hotel, he can't understand why Sophie has zero interest in letting any man into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.
St Carys has more than its fair share of characters, including the charming but utterly feckless surfer Riley Bryant, who has a massive crush on Tula. Riley's aunt is superstar author Marguerite Marshall. And Marguerite has designs on Josh's grandfather...who in turn still adores his glamorous ex-wife, Dot...
Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep?
The Unpredictable Consequences of Love was published by Headline in paperback/ebook on 5 June 2014. Jill Mansell's first novel; Fast Friends was published in 1991, this latest novel is her twenty-fifth book!
I have been a fan of Jill Mansell for many years now. I reviewed her last novel; Don't Want To Miss A Thing here on Random Things back in February 2013. I enjoyed it very much and said that I thought it was her best book to date - well, her writing gets better and better and this latest novel is even better than the last.
Set in a small seaside town; St Carys, in Cornwall, and featuring Sophie and Josh, amongst others, this really is the perfect summer read. Within a couple of chapters, I felt as though I'd been whisked away to this charming town full of warm and friendly characters who kept me entertained throughout the story.
Sophie is a photographer who quite literally hides herself behind her camera. Her wonderful pictures expose the heart of her subjects, she has a real talent and her skills are in demand. But Sophie never exposes her own true feelings, she is determined that she will never love, or be loved again. She's been hurt and she has hurt others.
Josh has had money and fame and lived the celebrity life in LA. Returning to this small sleepy town to help his Grandmother run the family hotel is so far away from the life that he was used to. Josh is happy in St Carys, except for one thing - Sophie. Josh is not used to being turned down, he really wants to know her better, he really likes her.
Sophie and Josh are the lead characters in The Unpredictable Consequences of Love but their supporting cast are wonderful too. Riley is a surfer bum with no real job, he fancies Sophie's best friend Tula who in turn is more interested in Josh. Then there are the older generation characters, including Dot and Lawrence who really should be together and Marguerite, the author who has set her eye on Lawrence.
This all sounds like a bit of fun, and yes it is in parts, but there are also some quite deep and sometimes very sad stories entwined amongst all of the sunshine and cheer. Jill Mansell explores themes including depression and terminal illness, she looks at how spur-of-the-moment decisions can impact the rest of a life and how love can strike when it is least expected and sometimes when it is really not wanted.
This is a story that is led and driven by some wonderfully created characters, both young and old. The setting is superb and the plot moves quickly despite the many threads that are interwoven into it.
The Unpredictable Consequences of Love is another great story from Jill Mansell - I enjoyed it very much, it's a real treat for both established fans and new readers of this author.
My thanks to Headline who sent my copy for review via Bookbridgr.com
Jill Mansell lives with her family in Bristol. She used to work in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology but now writes full time.
Follow her on Twitter @JillMansell
Check out her website www.jillmansell.co.uk