Classic Romances: Which One First? Jill Mansell Edition - with Giveaway!

A stack of books with an ereader that says 'Classic Romance Which one first?' on the screenLet's have some fun! Today, a Which One First? request, with a giveaway!

As part of our continued reader recommendation feature, Classic Romances: Which One First?, I wanted to ask your recommendation for which Jill Mansell novel a reader unfamiliar with her backlist should try first. Mansell's backlist isn't as far-reaching into the past as some other authors we've built recommendation lists for, but she has a lot of books published in her career.

I read Millie's Fling, and I really enjoyed it, so I'd definitely recommend that one. But what other books from Jill Mansell have you enjoyed?

Mansell's books frequently go on sale, too, so you may already have one or two that you haven't read yet.

So please, tell us: which Jill Mansell would you recommend a new reader try first? Please leave your recommendation in the comments, and I'll compile the recommendation list next week! 


Sourcebooks was nice enough to offer up a complete set of each Jill Mansell book they currently publish – 12 paperbacks in all! So, if you're not sure which one you'd recommend, you can enter to win the set and decide for yourself which one you'll read first. And, if you do have a recommendation, of course you can enter, too!

The giveaway will be open from January 23 until noon on January 26, 2014. I'll pick the winner by random selection that afternoon.

Standard disclaimers apply: void where prohibited. Open to international residents were permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and wearing fuzzy socks. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Empty lint trap before starting appliance.

Here is the complete collection that's up for grabs: 

Book Millie's FlingBook An Offer You Can't RefuseBook Miranda's Big Mistake

Book Perfect TimingBook Rumor Has ItBook Take a Chance on Me

Book Staying at Daisy'sBook To The Moon and BackBook Nadia Knows Best

Book A Walk in the ParkBook Thinking of YouBook Don't Want to Miss a Thing


That's a lot of Mansell! Would you like to enter? Behold, widget below! (And if for any reason you can't see or have trouble with the widget, please email me so I can help you, k?) Good luck! 



Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Turophile says:

    To the moon and back

  2. 2
    Deborah says:

    I LOVE Jill Mansell! I’ve read all of them but my first was Rumor Has It so that one holds a special place in my heart. It was pretty much my introduction to British chick lit.

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    Bring on the suggestions!

  4. 4
    Vicki says:

    I tried Miranda’s Big Mistake but gave up after a chapter or so. Just did not get into it. If there is another one that is more recommended, I might look into it.

  5. 5
    KarenF says:

    “To the Moon and Back” is my favorite, but “Miranda’s Big Mistake” and “Rumor Has It” are also pretty fun reads.

  6. 6
    KatieF says:

    I’ve never read any Jill Mansell. Does she write romance? The book covers don’t look very romance-y.

  7. 7
    laj says:

    I love Jill Mansell! This is a great giveaway…thank you.

    “to the moon and back” is my favorite one, but I recommend starting with “miranda’s big mistake” and going on from there.

    Her latest “don’t want to miss a thing is a wonderful book!

  8. 8
    Hillary617 says:

    After two false starts, “to the moon and back” was the first Mansell I read cover to cover. I’ve read some of her other books, but that’s the one I always recommend as a first step.

  9. 9
    BillieB says:

    ‘Rumour Has It’  was my first Mansell and got me hooked. ‘Miranda’s Big Mistake’ and ‘To the Moon & Back’, though, are the ones that packed the biggest emotional wallops for me. Honestly, though, I love them all and recommend you start with whichever story catches your fancy.

    British Chick Lit is my go-to comfort food read: Heroines who aren’t (usually) wealthy or glamorous; messy, complicated family relationships; and happily-ever-afters for everyone—or at least everyone deserving. I wish more of it was being published here—other than Bridget Jones—because I just can’t seem to get enough.

  10. 10
    SB Sarah says:

    @KatieF: They don’t look like romance, no. They look more “chick lit/women’s fiction.” There is most usually a romance, but with a lot of other plot and heroine life adventure in between. BillieB says it best, above:

    British Chick Lit is my go-to comfort food read: Heroines who aren’t (usually) wealthy or glamorous; messy, complicated family relationships; and happily-ever-afters for everyone—or at least everyone deserving. I wish more of it was being published here—other than Bridget Jones—because I just can’t seem to get enough.

    That’s a pretty spot-on description, and also why I really enjoyed the Mansell I read.

  11. 11
    Priscilla says:

    I have read several of Mansell’s, but liked ‘Miranda’s Big Mistake’ and ‘To the Moon & Back’ the best.  They can be a bit long and involve many more couples than the main one.  Sometimes, I felt that too much is spent on all the auxiliary romances at the detriment to the main affair.  I thought this was especially true for ‘Thinking of You.’

  12. 12
    kkw says:

    I wouldn’t call them romances, but all the ones I’ve read have been enjoyable enough and ended happily. Nothing has blown me away, though, so I’m curious to see what the top recommendations are.

  13. 13
    Janhavi says:

    I love Jill Mansell! Due to the lack of sex scenes my mother let me read them by age 13 or so, so I have been enjoying them for the last 13 years. I agree that they are not quite romances though, I would describe them as romantic comedies, perhaps. I think you need to enjoy having a large cast of characters and several story lines.

    My absolute favourite is Millie’s Fling, which Sarah enjoyed. I would strongly recommend To the Moon and Back, Falling for You, Sheer Mischief, and Millie’s Fling as starters.

    If you do get hooked, I also like Take a Chance on Me, Rumor has it, Dont Want to Miss a Thing, Nadia knows Best,Staying at Daisy’s.

    Personally Miranda’s Big Mistake is not at all one of my favourites… I think that book has too little time between the main hero and the heroine.

    Ok, now its pretty clear that I have read them all 😀 I am from India so we get the UK editions, perhaps many of these recommendations are not yet released in the USA.

  14. 14
    Ros says:

    I am a long term Jill Mansell fan (no need to enter me in the giveaway – I own them all!) but I wouldn’t say they are romances. They’re chick lit. The focus isn’t always on the romantic relationship(s),  though there is always at least one. She doesn’t write sex scenes, so if you like things on the steamier side, be warned.

    My favourites are Sheer Mischief, Head Over Heels, Kiss, Solo, and Falling For You.

  15. 15
    Jennifer says:

    I love all her books, I’ve been reading them for ages – Good at Games was one of the first I read, and I laughed all through it.

  16. 16
    denise says:

    haven’t read any, but RUMOR HAS IT sounds fun

  17. 17
    Tabs says:

    I’d say Millie’s Fling is my favorite as I thought it had the most compelling central romance of the seven Jill Mansell novels I have read.

    I also loved Rumor Has It.  I really liked the heroine and thought the secondary characters were especially funny.  Also, one of the secondary plots made a dramatic turn from where I thought it was going and that turn made me weepy.

  18. 18

    I enjoyed a Walk in the Park.

  19. 19
    Fran S. says:

    My absolute favorite is Perfect Timing followed by Miranda’s Big Mistake and Millie’s Fling.  Her books alternate between screwball comedy and heart-wrenching, and they work so well for me.  All happy endings too 🙂

  20. 20
    Ruth says:

    I’ve read three of Mansell’s books—Millie’s Fling (which funnily enough was my first of hers), A Walk in the Park, and Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. Out of those I think Don’t Want to Miss a Thing is my favorite so far, with Millie’s Fling being a close second.

  21. 21
    Lisa says:

    Oh man, when I was in high school I read all of the Mansell’s that had been published, then while waiting for more totally forgot about her. I started reading her later ones recently, but my memory is still a little rusty on the old ones. I think Staying at Daisy’s is my favourite.

  22. 22
    JennyOH says:

    Aw heck yes.  I have actually only read one Mansell book, but it was a read-it-in-one-sitting, cry-at-multiple-parts book.  I was rootling through a charity shop when I found Miranda’s Big Mistake.  I don’t think I even read the description, but the cover looked good (not the one pictured in the post).  I wasn’t expecting much, and certainly not to be so floored by it. 

    The abrupt end of a potential romance (I can’t say much about who/what without giving away more than I would like) really hit me and I well up every time I read this part.  Not just the loss, but the inability to grieve properly and lack of support from friends was really powerful – sad-making, but a mark of how engaged I was in the story.

    This is definitely one of those books where things tie up neatly in a bow at the end, and although I haven’t re-read this in years I do still remember how pat – and yet, satisfying – it was for all the supporting romances to work out this way.  Although Miranda’s in the title, many of the chapters/sections deal only with the supporting actors, and it’s really enjoyable to watch them grow/change throughout the book. 

    It really surprises me how much I remember and how engaged I was with this book that I probably haven’t re-read since I graduated ten years ago.  It also surprises me that I haven’t read any other Mansells.  Time to do something about that!  I am definitely going to read everyone else’s recommendations!

  23. 23
    SB Sarah says:

    This is a comment from Aleksandra, who was having trouble with the comment module:

    Definitely Good At Games

    It was my first, and it is my comfort read even now, my poor copy looks like cabbage for all the times and places it was read. I didn’t see it in your collection, and I don’t want you to miss this one! 🙂

  24. 24
    fiveandfour says:

    I haven’t made it through her entire backlist, but so far my favorites (in addition to Millie’s Fling) are To the Moon and Back, Miranda’s Big Mistake, and Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. 

  25. 25
    Jill Mansell says:

    Hello! It’s me, Jill, and I’m just so thrilled my lovely publishers have organised this giveaway. As always, I see, different people have different favourites – I love that this is the case! And the reason there are no descriptions of sex scenes in my books is because I write by hand, my mum used to type up all my manuscripts for me, and for the last few years my daughter has taken over doing the typing. Trust me, any mention of characters over the age of 25 even daring to kiss each other and she says with a shudder of disgust, “Ugh, old-people sex, that’s revolting.”
    For what it’s worth, my own favourites are To the Moon and Back, and Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.
    And it’s lovely to be able to read all your comments! xxx

  26. 26
    Gail Nichols says:

    I read “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” and I loved it.

  27. 27
    Laura G says:

    I just love Jill Mansell’s books. It’s hard to pick one, but maybe A Walk In The Park.

  28. 28
    Gina Borkowski says:

    I love Jill! Thanks for the contest!

  29. 29
    Annie says:

    I can’t pick a favorite but the first one I read was Miranda’s Big Mistake and I haven’t been able to keep away from Jill Mansell ever since. Her books are just lovely.

  30. 30
    Felicia says:

    I love reading Jill Mansell’s stories! It’s hard to pick just one. I’d say “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”.

  31. 31
    Erin says:

    My first Jill Mansell novel was Take a Chance on Me and I loved it. Since then, Jill has become a treasured favorite and a must read author. My all time favorite of hers is To the Moon and Back.

  32. 32
    QUYNH HO says:

    Millie’s Fling was the first book of Jill Mansell that I read. I loved it so much I have sought out every single book of hers ever since! I believe it will do the same for new readers who have not known of Mansell’s work.

  33. 33
    sandie bishop says:

    Thinking of you

  34. 34
    Kim says:

    I thought To the Moon and Back was a sweet story.

  35. 35
    SB Sarah says:

    Lisa says via email:

    1st book I ever read of Jill Mansell was A walk in the park & I am hooked! Don’t think anyone would be disappoint in any of her books! So doesn’t matter what one u read & I don’t think u can go wrong with a Jill Mansell book! She is a fab author & wud love to read all of her books

  36. 36
    Rosht says:

    I’m so glad to see so much love for Miranda’s Big Mistake. I really, really like that one too, but I do think that romance readers should be warned that it absolutely doesn’t follow standard romance genre rules. There is a happy ending but not the way you would expect. I think some romance readers would hate this book. I don’t know how to say more without spoilers but read with care!

  37. 37
    Denise says:

    I’ve only read a couple of Jill Mansell books, but they were great!  I’d start with An Offer You Can’t Refuse!

  38. 38
    Karen Chaffee says:

    Falling for you, The One You Really Want, To The Moon And Back, or Miranda’s Big Mistake are good starters.  Once I exhausted all of the options at the bookstores and the library, I started ordering the older ones from Amazon UK sellers. I have ADD yet am able to breeze through these books because I love each and every one.  Light-hearted and just plain fun.  Well written so I can’t really call them a guilty pleasure.  I get sad every time I finish the newest because I have to wait for the next!

  39. 39
    Maureen says:

    I’m also a huge Jill Mansell fan-Staying At Daisy’s is a favorite, but I’ve liked all the ones I have read. Like Karen, I ordered from Amazon UK when I couldn’t get titles I wanted in the US.

    I laughed at Jill’s explanation of why she doesn’t write sex scenes-too funny! How wonderful to have her comment on the blog 🙂

    If you like Jill, another writer I really enjoy is Lucy Dillon-I get the same kind of cozy feeling from her books that I get from Jill’s.

  40. 40
    Jill-Marie Jones says:

    Hey .. Yay, me!! Thanks so much!

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