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Book Review: Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell

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British sensation Jill Mansell's first U.S. release, An Offer You Can't Refuse, hit stores in April to rave reviews. Her second U.S. release, Miranda's Big Mistake, is even better than the first.

The story centers around Miranda, a junior stylist (complete with maroon and blue streaked hair) in the salon of the famous Fenn Lomax, stylist of the stars. When Miranda spots a homeless man on the street near her workplace, she begins to share her lunch breaks, as well as her lunches, with him. Unfortunately, he turns out not to be quite what he seems…

Meanwhile, Miranda has a new beau, Greg. Greg is all that Miranda has ever wanted in a guy and she quickly falls for him. He is, of course, too good to be true and through a series of sad yet funny events she lets him know that she's found him out.

In the midst of it all is Miranda's landlord, an older woman who owns the home where Miranda rents a room. When a new girl rents the room next to hers, Miranda has no idea what's in store for her – or how it will affect her love life.

This is a wonderful novel. Miranda is a loveable, heart-wrenching, hilarious character and I have to admit that I was sad to see her story end. There were times in the book that I thought I knew exactly what was to come, but in each case the novel twisted or turned and had me trying to guess all over again.

The story-lines that unexpectedly criss-cross, interconnect and zig-zag are what make them so delightful. Mansell knows how to create characters, that much is certain. They are all loveably human; messed up, but trying their best. From the crazy, marriage-obsessed co-worker to the homeless not-who-you-thought-he-was man on the street to the seriously-easy-to-hate Greg – each of them stood alone and I found myself cheering them on (or booing in some cases) and wanting to find out how each person's story would unfold. I'm looking forward to Mansell's next release (scheduled for this fall) here in the States!

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