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Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell‘s Rumor Has It departs somewhat from the romantic comedies she’s written previously in that it tackles tough issues of acceptance, compassion, and tragedy.  Mansell has a writing style that will make readers stand up and pay attention as well as fall of their chairs in laughter.

“Normally she could shave her legs without incident in two minutes flat, but tonight — OK, probably because she’d given herself half a dozen razor cuts and the shower had ended up looking like the one in Psycho.  Then, having stubbed her tow against the chest of drawers in the bedroom, she’d managed to drop the hairdryer on her other foot.”  (page 67 of ARC)

“‘Bloody hell,’ complained Max, just home from a meeting with a client in Bristol.  ‘You’d think I was threatening you with a night in a torture chamber having your ribs cracked without anesthetic.'”  (page 133 of ARC)

Tilly Cole leaves London for Roxborough when her live-in boyfriend abandons their apartment when she’s at work.  She becomes a “Girl Friday” for a suburban family led by an interior designer, Max Dineen.  She’s thrilled to have an out and to be near her friend Erin.

Tilly has sworn off men and is prepared to step into her role as Girl Friday until she meets Jack Lucas, a man with a severe reputation as a philanderer.  He’s to die for, but he should be ignored because all he does is break women’s hearts.  Tilly fights her passion for him on many occasions, but Mansell does not get overly melodramatic with the love triangles she creates.  In fact, she uses humor to illustrate the social ineptitude of her characters.

“But since he wasn’t stupid, he couldn’t really think that.  The chemistry between them was inescapable; there was a crackling electricity in the air that only a turnip could miss.”  (page 219 of ARC)

From down-to-earth Tilly to her loyal friend Erin and conceited Stella, Mansell creates a cast of characters who are fun to watch and be around.  At times, they make stupid decisions, but doesn’t everyone?  Rumor Has It has everything you need in a beach read, a quick read, and a moment of entertainment on a train ride.  Mansell is a fantastic comedic writer, but she also has the skill to deal with more tragic topics such as death and trying to fit in knowing that you are a social outsider.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of Rumor Has It for review.  If you pick up a copy to read, you’ll probably notice a quote from my blog on the back.