Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Staying at Daisy's by Jill Mansell

Staying at Daisy's by Jill Mansell
Copyright 2010
Sourcebooks Landmark
Orig. Published 2002
501 pages

Daisy MacLean has had her fill of good-looking, dishonest men. Even when tragedy brings her together with her no-good, soon-to-be-ex husband's mistress, it's no great surprise. She's better off without him. Daisy's got a great job working at her father's hotel and she's perfectly content.

But, when the handsome athlete Dev Tyzack becomes a guest at the hotel, it's clear he's interested. Daisy tries to stay away from him, but it's nearly impossible to avoid such a magnetic attraction. Then, a former boyfriend shows up in need of a place to sleep. Josh may not be the handsomest man she's dated, but he's trustworthy and kind. Will Daisy settle for a relationship lacking zing or take a chance, again?

Maggie is in love but she's middle-aged and the man she's seeing is not interested in commitment. She's got to be realistic. Their arrangement is for only one purpose and, like it or not, she knows she will continue seeing him, even if it breaks her heart and she finds their clandestine affair humiliating. Will Maggie be able to give up the man she loves when he starts seeing someone else? Or is she hopelessly hooked on him?

Tara's dating life has been nothing but a string of disasters. One man after another has used her and walked out. Now, a former love has shown up in her life and he makes her feel loved and appreciated. There's only one catch: He's a newlywed. Is Tara being used or does he really love her? And, what if Daisy finds out? If there's one thing that will upset Daisy, it's finding out Tara is involved with a married man.

The cover of Staying at Daisy's says, "You never know what to expect when you're . . . Staying at Daisy's." Boy, that's the truth. In fact, I never know quite where Jill Mansell is taking me, when I open one of her books. She is a master at creating characters who are entangled with more than one person and confusing the issue of who everyone will end up with. She's a carrot dangler, really. It took me a long, long time to figure out who Daisy and Tara were going to end up with and what would happen to Maggie. I love not knowing. It's always so much more satisfying to read a romantically-themed book that isn't transparent and predictable.

Daisy is a slightly more subdued character than Mansell's usual heroine, but she's really no less spunky and admirable; and, there are lots of characters to love. The only real problem I had with Staying at Daisy's was that it seemed like the theme leaned toward, "Men are tremendously unreliable bastards, in general, but now and then you get lucky and find a decent chap." I think that was because Daisy, Tara and Maggie were all hurting or frustrated in some way. But, as usual, there was a lovable cast with a few people you wanted to swat for either arrogance, stupidity or for being just plain rotten. They're a realistic hodge-podge, really.

The Bottom Line: While I wouldn't say Staying at Daisy's is my favorite by Jill Mansell, I became every bit as immersed in the storyline and invested in the characters as I have with the rest of her books and I still highly recommend it. Believable, likable characters with plenty of spunk and wit, a nicely twisty storyline that keeps you guessing and delightful writing make Staying at Daisy's a winner. Infidelity, tons of innuendo and falling into bed with the opposite sex too easily tend to be a little annoying. But, the writing is done with such flair -- zippy dialogue and loads of surprises -- that I'm convinced there's no such thing as a bad book by Jill Mansell. Definitely recommended.

Cover thoughts: I love the cheery covers of Jill Mansell's books, although I don't think the content is clear from the covers and recent releases -- while colorful and lively -- also are hard to distinguish from one another. So, I like the cover but I don't think it says much about the content and I'm hoping there will be some changes to covers of future Mansell titles.

In other news: I've got a hair-pulling migraine, today, although at least my medication has taken the edge off it enough that I can look at a computer screen. Earlier today, I couldn't even do that without the light of the monitor causing blinding pain. So . . . I'll just keep this post "short" (for me) and chatter more, another time.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I love the characters in Mansell's books too - they're just quirky enough to be real.

  2. Love the cover! The story sounds interesting, too. I'm just suffering from "literary inundation" at the moment (got that term over at Sam's blog)and find it an apt description!

  3. Kathy,

    I totally agree. Her characters are always well-developed, too, so you close the book feeling like you're saying goodbye to new friends.


    I can relate to the "literary inundation" concept, if it means what I think. I've considered hiding all the book-related sites I follow on Facebook, just to give myself a break from the overwhelming number of new titles constantly being released. I've got too much to deal with, as is. I hardly need to end up with more!

  4. I love the covers of Jill Mansell's books but didn't realize they are similar to another authors'. Wonder what they'll look like next. Sourcebooks did a great job with a lot of the Georgette Heyer books I think.

    Anyway, another one for my list. Sounds like a fun read.

    Feel better Nancy! That migraine doesn't sound good.

  5. Iliana,

    I meant the covers of her books are too similar to each other, not another author's covers. They do have different little illustrations that go with the storyline (in this case, it looks like the dog is the only illustration that has anything to do with the story) but they all have bright colors and flowers. They just look so much alike that I can't tell one from another and they don't speak to me of what's inside -- that's what I meant. I agree that they've done a marvelous job with the Heyer covers.

    Every Jill Mansell book is worth adding to your list!! She is a consistently wonderful writer.

    Thanks. Nothing has worked on this migraine, apart from taking the edge off it (and that effect has worn off). You can tell by looking at me that I'm miserable. I'm about to give up and head to bed.

  6. I love the term "carrot dangler". It sounds as if this book has a lot going on, but it's all handled really well. I am going to have to be on the lookout for this one, as it sounds like just the lighter type of read I need right now. Thanks for sharing your great review!

  7. Zibilee,

    There's always a lot going on in a Jill Mansell book! I don't know how she comes up with her wonderful plots but I absolutely love her books. If you can't find Staying at Daisy's, don't worry. Any of her books will do. :)

  8. I hope you're better this morning!

    I haven't read Jill Mansell, but I've seen her around a lot.

  9. Holly,

    I'm sluggish, today, but better. Thanks. :)

    You really should read try Jill Mansell. Her books are loads of fun!

  10. Hi there, and many thanks - again! - for your lovely comments. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Staying at Daisy's! My daughter comes home from college tomorrow after many weeks away and to celebrate we will probably head off to the hotel where I set this book to have a lovely welcome-home lunch.
    Jill Mansell xx

  11. Jill,

    Ooooh, there's a real hotel? I want to go there!! Hope you have a fabulous time with your daughter! And, you're welcome. Love your books. :)

  12. Thanks for a fun recommendation!! I hope you're on the mend - I HATE migraines. They knock me down and out. I have to keep it cool and dark when I'm under it's control. Here's hoping for fast relief.

    FYI - I just heard that my airman will be staying in Mississippi for the foreseeable future - it looks like Keesler AFB will be his first duty assignment. I am thrilled as we can now plan a trip to see him and quite possibly rendezvous with Bookfool. I can't quite tell him that I want to meet a blogging hero, but I can have that in the back of my mind! Here's hoping for a trip in the future :)

  13. Inside a Book,

    Cool! If you're going to meet up with me, though, I am going to have to know your name. It would be awkward to have to call you Inside a Book all the time. ;)

    Migraine-wise -- finally knocked it out, although the fact that the crappy weather has moved on may have something to do with it (I get change-of-air-pressure migraines). Kiddo actually had to run for groceries because I wasn't up to driving, yesterday.

    "Blogging hero?" snort Soooo glad I didn't take a slug of my drink before I read that!! LOL

  14. Oooh, you're too funny. But then my name may throw you for a loop too! Don't tell anyone - it's Gaye!! My husband is Rich so we tell everyone that we are "rich and gay(e)". It actually got our daughter sent to the principal's office when she was in junior high when she told her class that her parents were 'rich and gay(e)" and one kid got offended!! The principal sent her back to class after he about laughed himself out of his chair (he was a personal friend of the family's.) But now you know my inner secret and why I chose the my blogging name....

    Too fun. Don't you love our veiled secrecy and hidden personas? Maybe we're all people with a past. Wow, sounds like a new mystery to me.

    You know, come to think of it, there's a reason I am NOT an aspiring author - I stink at this writing stuff. I should just stick to reading.

    Enjoy some pain free days.

  15. Gaye,

    I think your name is pretty and we both know "gay" used to mean "happy" before it became a slang term. Personally, I wish the world had adopted a different word because I liked the meaning before the word gay came to describe something else entirely. Incidentally, I know an author whose name is Gay. She uses Gayle as her pen name. So funny about the "Rich and Gaye" thing! You guys are a couple of pranksters, aren't you? :)

  16. I've read one book by this author and found it to be a fun read. Although I can definitely see her as being a bit over the top at different points...I'll have to give her another try at some point though :)

  17. Samantha,

    I've read almost all of Jill Mansell's books (I used to order them from across the pond) and I truly think they're all terrific. Even though Staying at Daisy's wasn't my favorite, I still loved it. I truly believe you can't lose with a Jill Mansell book. :)

  18. I really enjoyed this book because the characters were so entertaining, even though I wanted to slap them here and there and make them open their eyes! LOL

  19. Anna,

    That's true in every Jill Mansell book!! They're so entertaining. I love the fact that there's a good blend of realism and upbeat characters. Plus, there are always plenty of smiles in a Mansell book. :)


Thank you for visiting my blog! I use comment moderation because apparently my blog is a spam magnet. Don't worry. If you're not a robot, your comment will eventually show up and I will respond, with a few exceptions. If a comment smacks of advertising, contains a dubious link or is offensive, it will be deleted. I love to hear from real people! I'm a really chatty gal and I love your comments!