Good at Games
By Jill Mansell
Narrated by Heather Wilds
Publication date Mar 1, 2016
Running time 14 hrs
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
How does one become accidentally engaged? That’s what Suzy Curtis thinks when she suddenly finds herself very publicly engaged to handsome Harry Fitzallan, local town hero.
Harry wants famous rock star Jaz to be his best man—only Jaz is Suzy’s ex-husband and a recovering alcoholic. Suzy’s half sister Lucille loves getting to know the family she’d never met, but she can’t help her attraction to Jaz, nor can Suzy quash her entirely inappropriate feelings for Leo, Harry’s engaged brother.
With all these wild players at the table, mayhem is bound to ensue. As each new piece comes into play, everyone has more to lose, and the only way to win is if you’re good at the games of love. https://tantor.com/good-at-games-ill-mansell.html
Suzy fell for Harry the moment she showed him her husband’s sperm sample. It didn’t really belong to her husband, though, because she wasn’t married. It wasn’t a sperm sample either, it was a drinks carton containing the dregs of her milkshake. But when you’re trying to get off a speeding charge you just have to improvise, don’t you? And it wasn’t actually love at first sight. Still, it was undeniably a healthy attack of lust…A delightfully funny romantic comedy from bestselling author Jill Mansell.
Suzy fell for Harry the moment she showed him her husband’s sperm sample. It didn’t really belong to her husband, though, because she wasn’t married. It wasn’t a sperm sample either, it was a drinks carton containing the dregs of her milkshake. But when you’re trying to get off a speeding charge you just have to improvise, don’t you? And it wasn’t actually love at first sight. Still, it was undeniably a healthy attack of lust…
– See more at: http://jillmansell.co.uk/the-books/#sthash.B1pCBJjQ.dpuf
I really enjoyed this book, but you know, as much as I am detail-oriented (aka nit picky) I always try to sum up a book in my mind with a couple of aphorisms. I think the source of themes are often aphorism, so for me it’s kind of shorthand for what the book is about. In Jill Mansell’s GOOD AT GAMES I had a few that come to mind, perhaps more than usual and that points to the story’s universal appeal:
- It’s as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man.
- And, in the words of Sheryl Crow in “Soak up the Sun” “It’s not having what you want. It’s wanting what you’ve got.”
- Beauty is skin deep but ugliness goes straight to the bone.
- You can’t fix stupid.
And, though I cannot locate an aphorism, the story is a lot about siblings: sibling rivalry, the strength of the bond, and the complex nature of the sibling relationship.
This occasionally feels like a “mad cap comedy,” or like a BBC sit com from the 1980s. Of course, those shows were influential and really funny and so even hearing a contemporary book read in a British accent makes me think of those “programmes.”
I like the interplay between the two sets of siblings, but found the relationships between Suzy, her ex, his current girlfriend, and his housekeeper, former manager/wife, hard to grasp in the audio format. If you listen to this one, pay attention as the beginning to capture the complexities of the characters and their relationships.
I loved how Mansell, points to the difference between thinking someone is hot before you know them with that kind of instant lust we have for matinee idols, but then they say more than three things and there’s no spark. But then she highlights a mutual attraction based on more than physical looks; still instant, perhaps, but based in more subtle cues like style and maturity.
The narration is good with Heather having a grasp of men’s and women’s voices and accents. She brings a lot of range to the story and does a particularly great job with Suzy, especially when the character is frustrated.
This was an enjoyable and complex story with a bit of behind the scenes action that moves the story forward without showing what happened to make it do so. I sort of minded that, but I was also kind of busy casting the movie or TV show in my head, and my slight annoyance faded. I think it was fun, fairly clean and an interesting look at siblings.