book blog · book review

Head Over Heels by Jill Mansell


Jessie has kept the identity of her son Oliver’s father a secret for years. She’s stunned when she discovers that the man in question, actor Toby Gillespie, has just moved in next door. The truth’s about to come out.
One glance at Oliver, and a little mental arithmetic, and Toby has the situation sussed. Meeting the son he never knew he had is the shock of a lifetime. It’s a shock, too, for Toby’s wife, the beautiful Deborah, though she seems to take it in her stride. Would Deborah be so relaxed if she knew just how close Toby wants to get to the mother of his firstborn?
As the attraction between them flares up again, Jessie just can’t see her way to a happy ending. But no one is quite what they seem, and there are more surprises to come!


*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads


*Thank you to the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, and NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Head Over Heels is a reissue of Jill Mansell’s book that was first published in 1998. I admit, when I requested this on NetGalley, I didn’t even bother to read the blurb as Jill Mansell is one of my auto-read authors when it comes to Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction. Imagine my dismay when I realized that I’ve already read this book years ago but as much as I tried to, I can’t even remember what the story is all about. Even after reading a couple of different blurbs. So, I decided to just read it again and see why I gave it 4 stars because, for something that I can’t remember the plot, that is quite a high rating.

There’s a new family that moved in a small town of Upper Sisley. The residents were excited upon learning that it’s no other than the famous celebrity couple Toby and Deborah Gillespie and their kids. But Jessie is more scared than excited. Because years ago, she and Toby shared a past that resulted in a child. Only, Toby is not aware of that fact and one look at Oliver is enough for him to find out the truth. When the truth comes out, it is a surprise how everyone takes it in stride, even Toby’s wife. But if Jessie thinks everything is okay, she got another think coming. Toby realized how much he miss Jessie and how he’s still attracted to her after all this time. But what about his perfect marriage and his kids? Meanwhile, the other residents of Upper Sisley are caught up in their own dilemmas, too. A mother of three is falling in love with one of the town’s eligible bachelor, a very private resident is trying to shake off her very nosy neighbor, the town’s perfect couple is in the brink of breaking up. Add to that the secret affairs and Upper Sisley are in for some crazy surprises.

While I absolutely like Jill Mansell, Head Over Heels is so far to be a favorite. Sure, I still think it is a fun read as always, but there are just too many characters at play and so expect multiple POVs, too. And while I don’t mind reading books with multiple POVs and I know the author is fond of such, this book just has too much of that. I feel like because of that, the main characters weren’t given enough space to properly develop. Also, because of the several characters, there are too many storylines to follow that it gets confusing at times. It also made the book a bit too long and dragging, as some stories are not as interesting as the others. I specifically like Bernadette’s story and prefer to read more of hers but then she’s just one of the side character. Though quite lengthy and confusing, I think it’s good that all stories were wrap-up in one book than make it a series. Another too much is the infidelity. I’m telling you, it’s upsetting how much cheating is going on and how the others whom you think has more sense are at it, too. I’ve lost count of how many characters are having an affair and who’s cheating with whom. Now, I wonder if I’d like the book more if there’s not a lot of cheating involved. One thing I like is the setting, a small English town in a countryside, which sounds really lovely.

As this is a Jill Mansell book, expect a lot of laughs and for that, I still enjoyed reading it. But then I just have to put down my rating to 3 stars. I guess I didn’t find it as good as the first time I read it. Would I recommend it, though? Sure, if you’re a Chick Lit and Jill Mansell lover and looking for a good laugh, you could give this one a try.




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