Book Talk: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Book Talk: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill MansellMeet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
Narrator: Gemma Dawson
Length: 11 hrs, 47 mins
Published by Tantor Media on May 1, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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Internationally bestselling author Jill Mansell weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family, and friendship in her latest novel 1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more . . . if only everything were different. 2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one-by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other. 3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there. Plus-friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions. Welcome to Jill Mansell's blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you'll never want to leave!

Jill Mansell hadn’t really crossed my radar particularly. I’ve been getting back into romance novels over the last couple of years, but I’ve been primarily focused on historical romance. This book happened to be available from OverDrive from my library and British narration + romance = Christina hitting download. My expectations weren’t that high, mostly because I was entirely unfamiliar with Mansell, and I guess I generally don’t expect great things from random finds which says more about me than the random finds tbh.

Initially, I was a bit skeptical of Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. The heroine meets her love interest on a flight, and they have this awkward meet-cute and end up sharing some banter, and you’re just starting to set destination to ship when he reveals that he’s married and you’re like ewwwwwwwww. Then some time passes whoooooosh, and heroine Clem is hard at work as a realtor. Her mean girl step-sister calls and asks Clem to find a great apartment for Belle’s wealthy boyfriend. Clem’s annoyed to have to work with Belle, and she’s even less into it when SURPRISE the new boyfriend is Mr. Flirty-Plane-Pants from a while back. Dun Dun DUNNNNN.

So yeah, at first, I thought this book was going to go for the typical love rival, mean girl bullshit, and I’m not about that tbh. The good news is, though, that Mansell takes the book in another, dreamed of but unanticipated direction. View Spoiler » There’s not enough LGBT rep in romance novels at all, and that aspect of this book really won me over.

Another thing that I found thoroughly delightful about Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay was the trope flip on the fake dating trope. Clem enlists her hot, platonic bestie to pretend to be her boyfriend so that Sam (Flirty-Plane-Pants) won’t think she’s pining for him and Belle will be jealous (because Belle had a crush on Ronan). Typically, the resolution would be Ronan and Clem ending up together, but they legit have no romantic chemistry and only love each other as friends. Much as I enjoy When Harry Met Sally, the men and women can’t be friends thing is bullshit, and I love when that trope gets overturned.

There are quite a few ships in this book, though I was most invested in Clem’s and Belle’s. Ronan’s left me a bit cold. The old timer romance is pretty cute, but not exactly ship town. Basically, this was a very Christina book because it was full of trope-flipping and kissing.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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