You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell
Published: July 2016
Genre: adult fiction, chick lit, contemporary
On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…
With her mother’s final letter, Lily and her friends’ lives are about to change forever. Lily’s mother passed away when Lily was a child, and every year on her birthday she receives a letter from her mother. In this last letter, her mother mentions a man, Declan, who was the only real love her life. Lily sets out to find Declan and befriend him on the same day she runs into Eddie Tessler, a movie star hiding away in her friend Patsy’s house till the most recent scandal calms down. As Lily and Eddie grow closer, her childhood friend Dan comes to grips with his secret feelings. But Dan’s not the only one with secrets in the village of Stanton Langley, and the summer is about to change for everyone.
If you’re a fan of Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, this book is for you!
I enjoyed the glimpse of Cotswold village life, how everyone knows everyone in some way or another, and yet the secrets keep on building. Unlike many novels I’ve read recently with secrets that just lead to massive amounts of frustrating miscommunication, these secrets are ones we everyday folks keep from family and friends: one night of regret that would never ever ever be mentioned or brought up again ever, harboring a secret crush or love, or surprising a sibling with Beyoncé tickets. What was entertaining was seeing how even these tiny secrets created a snowball all when Declan and Eddie come to town.
Though it comes across as a love triangle, I promise you it’s not. It’s clear from the beginning, even if it’s not clear to Lily, that Dan is the one. Their banter was the kind I enjoy — not hate-to-love, but one of familiarity, friendship, and excellent witty comebacks. A genuine friendship and love underneath it all. Eddie’s glamorous life and lifestyle made him seem more appealing, yet I didn’t see much going for him. He was nice, don’t get me wrong, but I had a hard time being convinced Lily liked Eddie for Eddie rather than Eddie the Movie Star, if that makes sense. This was a good, clean, funny romance all in all.
Shout out to Patsy, who is — I swear — my soul sister.
Cozy up with this great afternoon romcom, and enjoy the banter, the dates, the village life, and the glamor!
This qualifies as book 2 of 12 in the Rock My TBR challenge.