Yes, the test is over, and my students think they did great on it. In fact, they nearly bounded into my room (for the treats probably more than anything else) to tell me how good it went. I hope that means that all is well for them. I really do.
After the test was over, I will admit to feeling like someone had let the air out of my balloon. I was completely deflated and exhausted. Once the last bell rang, I packed up my stuff, headed home, and went walking for over an hour, with book in hand. I'd been reading Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell, but obviously hadn't found the time nor energy to finish. Pushing all the anxiety of the past days aside, I finally tore through those last pages with complete delight! Ah, to be back reading again.
Synopsis: After a messy breakup, Tilly Cole chooses a new life in small town Roxborough, to not only be closer to her best friend Erin, but also to experience a slower-paced life. Tilly moves in with Max Dineen and his daughter Lou, who are in need of someone to manage the house, cook meals, pick Lou up from school, and to be an assistant to Max in his interior design business. Tilly seems to fall readily into this role, ready to forget men and any bad experiences she's had with them. That is, until she met Max's friend and business associate, Jack. Although he's considered the town ladies' man, Tilly does find herself attracted to him, but refuses to allow him near her because of the rumors she has heard about his prowess. Jack is so nice, put together, and flat out attractive though, that Tilly continually finds herself questioning why or how she can push him aside.
Review: I really can't say enough how much I enjoyed reading this wonderful book. As a fan of Meg Cabot's adult books, and Sophie Kinsella's stand alone novels, I felt like I'd found a book that was reminiscent of the type of "chick lit" that allowed the main character to be strong, yet emotionally open. Tilly was a sweet character that only annoyed me in her resistance to Jack, who really manages to warm the heart. Jack isn't the regular Lothario that you're eager to hate; he's actually much more complex and filled with surprising depths of kindness and generosity. I think that I fell in love with Jack!
The other thing I really enjoyed about Mansell's novel was the number of other characters involved in the story. Sometimes I feel as if a writer needs to fill space and keep you reading, so they introduce a number of characters to get your attention. In this case, they each felt important and lovely in connection with the story as a whole. I loved Tilly's best friend Erin, and wanted to see her happy. Max was also a lovely character, with a wonderful back story to add depth to the novel. Altogether, I really loved each of the characters, and was almost sad to see the book end!
Overall, I give Rumor Has It a high two thumb's up. I loved the escape factor of the story, and the sweet love story that unfolded. As mentioned, if you're at all a fan of Cabot or Kinsella, then I can readily and happily recommend this novel as another fun addition to the genre.
*FTC Disclosure: Book provided for review by Sourcebooks, Inc.
For more information, see: Rumor Has It.