New York Times and USA Today Bestseller!
Miranda's track record with men is horrible.
Her most recent catastrophe is Greg. He seems perfectgorgeous, witty, exciting. And he and Miranda are in love… until Miranda discovers he left his wife when he found out she was pregnant.
With the help of her friends, Miranda plans the sweetest and most public revenge a heartbroken girl can get. But will Miranda learn from her mistake, or move on to the next "perfect" man and ignore the love of her life waiting in the wings…
Even the worst mistake of your life can lead to true love in the end…See what people are saying about this irresistible summer read from international bestselling author Jill Mansell:
"An exciting read about love, friendship and sweet revenge - fabulously fun."
Home and Life
"Both laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly sad…You won't put it down."
"Watch and learn as Miranda wreaks her sweet revengeand memorize her sharp one-liners."
"A jaunty summer read."
"Fast, furious, and fabulous fun. To read it is to devour it."
"Pick this up at your peril: you won't get a thing done till it's finished."
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
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miranda's big mistake
By Jill Mansell
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Jill Mansell
All rights reserved.
It was the first day of April. Seeing the reception desk temporarily unmanned, Miranda snatched up the ringing phone.
'Fenn Lomax salon, how can I help you?'
'Hello.' It was a male voice. 'I need a complete restyle.'
'We do have a long waiting list,' Miranda warned, uncapping a pen with her teeth. 'Could I have your name, please?'
Over the phone, she heard gales of background laughter.
'Oh ha ha, well done, very good,' Miranda recited dutifully. 'If only Eddie Izzard was as witty as you.' She rolled her eyes at Bev, the salon's glamorous receptionist, now racing back from the loo.
'Who was that?' said Bev as Miranda hung up.
'An imbecile. April Fools' Day, don't you just love it?'
Grabbing her coat and rummaging in the pockets, Miranda dragged out one green woollen glove and one pink leather one. Well, imitation leather.
Bev's manicured blonde eyebrows went up.
'Lunch break already? It's only half past eleven.'
'Indentured servitude.' Making sure she wasn't being watched, Miranda pulled a face. 'Cigarettes for Alice Tavistock. And a box of herbal tea bags. And half a dozen first-class stamps. That woman, honestly, I don't know why she doesn't write out her whole week's shopping list, pack me off to Sainsbury's and be done with it.'
'And when you've finished that,' Bev suggested helpfully, 'you could valet her car.'
'Pop her washing round to the launderette.'
'Mow her lawn.'
'Fill out her tax return.'
'Clean her loos,' Bev blinked innocently, 'with her own toothbrush.'
'Miranda, are you still here?' Fenn Lomax, emerging from the VIP room, shot her a look of disbelief.
'Sorry, Fenn, no, Fenn, I'm gone.' Miranda jammed her gloves on, getting three fingers stuck in one thumb-hole. She grinned at Bev and made a dash for the door. 'Back in ten minutes, okay?'
Fenn called after her, 'Make that five.'
Since Fenn Lomax had landed himself a regular slot on the hugely popular TV show It's Morning! his client list had blossomed beyond recognition.
As the show's producer had pointed out, he was a seriously attractive heterosexual hairdresser. How could he fail?
The female producer had been right.
With his streaky-blond shoulder-length hair, thickly fringed hazel eyes and come-to-bed smile, Fenn had a way with women and scissors that had done his business no harm at all. No longer buried in the back streets of Bermondsey (special rates for pensioners on Mondays and Wednesdays), he had been catapulted upmarket to the altogether glossier pavements of Knightsbridge's Brompton Road (special rates never). Celebrities queued up, for months sometimes, for the privilege of shelling out two hundred and fifty pounds and being able to boast to friends, journalists ... well, anyone who'd listen, basically, that theirs was a Fenn Lomax cut.
Nowadays you could spot his clients a mile off, thought Miranda, teetering on the edge of the curb as a chauffeur-driven limo pulled up inches from her toes. The snow had all but melted now, leaving only squelchy dregs, but the woman emerging from the back of the limousine was kitted out in enough fur to see her through a hike across the Antarctic. Gingerly, in her fur-lined boots, she picked her way through the slush.
Well, it was an awfully wide pavement. All of six feet from the car to the apricot-tinted-glass and brass doors of the salon.
And if you were going to pay a chauffeur to run you around town, it made sense to economize in other areas, Miranda acknowledged, recognizing the famous romance novelist as she removed her dark glasses. That must be why the stingy, face-lifted old hag had only tipped her thirty pence last week.
The stamps and cigarettes weren't a problem, but the Grapefruit Zing herbal tea bags with extra ginseng took longer to track down. By the time she'd bought everything, Miranda was already fifteen minutes late.
He was there, sitting in his usual spot outside the shoe shop. Experiencing a horrid qualm of guilt, Miranda wondered if she could cross the road so he wouldn't catch sight of her, or simply rush past pretending she hadn't seen him.
Then again, perhaps she should just explain that she was in a tearing hurry and didn't have her purse on her right now, but if he hung around for another hour or so, she'd see him later.
Hung around for another hour or so, Miranda thought with a shudder. Crikey, patronizing or what?
Poor chap, as if he had anywhere else to go.
Oh, but he looked so cold, so utterly miserable and chilled to the bone.
Too late to try and avoid him now anyway, she realized. He'd spotted her.
'Hi,' said Miranda, feeling rotten already. His blanket was damp, soaked through with slush. 'Look, this isn't my lunch break, I'm just picking up a few things for a client, but I'll definitely be back before two.' Inwardly, she cringed. Oh, help, why did a perfectly good reason have to come out sounding like a feeble excuse? He didn't want one of her sandwiches in two hours' time, he needed something to warm him up now.
'Okay.' The man, who was probably in his early thirties, nodded and managed a faint smile. 'Thanks.'
He never begged, never asked for anything. Just sat there, with his greasy black hair falling over his face and his dark eyelashes half shielding his eyes, as he watched the rest of the world march on by.
Miranda had never given him money in case he was a drug addict. The thought of her spare cash being injected into the nearest collapsed vein made her shudder. At least he couldn't fit a prawn sandwich into a syringe.
But today the circumstances were different. And there was a Burger King just across the road, selling hot drinks. What's more, Miranda remembered, Alice Tavistock had given her a ten-pound note to go shopping with ...
'Here.' Hurriedly she fumbled in her coat pocket for change and thrust seventy pence into his hand. 'Buy yourself a cup of tea. Thaw out a bit.'
'That's very kind.'
Heroin cost more than seventy pence, didn't it?
Worried, needing to check, Miranda said, 'You don't do drugs?' Another fleeting smile, accompanied this time by a shake of the head.
'No, I don't do drugs.'
Except ... well, he would say that, wouldn't he?
Miranda gave up; she had to get back. Ugh, this weather, her feet were going numb.
'Okay, see you later.' She flexed her icy toes. 'Ham and tomato or prawn with mayonnaise?'
The man on the pavement shrugged.
'I don't mind. You choose.'
* * *
'Sorry I'm late.' Panting, Miranda burst into the VIP room. 'Harrods was packed and the woman in front of me at the counter had a conniption. Never mind, back now. Here we are, Mrs Tavistock.'
Fenn was putting the finishing touches to Alice Tavistock's French pleat. Not believing the funny turn story for a minute, he watched Miranda empty her pockets of stamps, cigarettes and change.
'Take the towels out of the tumble dryer,' he said, 'and give Corinne a hand with Lady Trent's highlights.'
Miranda wondered if Alice Tavistock might say thank you, but getting a cigarette out of its packet and into her heavily lip-sticked mouth was evidently more important. She watched the expensive silver lighter go click and the tendons of Alice Tavistock's skinny neck stick out like trapeze wires as she sucked in the first lungful of—
Five minutes later, Miranda was dutifully passing rectangles of silver foil to Corinne when Fenn and Alice Tavistock emerged from the VIP room into the main area of the salon.
As Fenn beckoned her over, Miranda clearly saw coins glinting in Alice Tavistock's hand.
Hooray, tip time!
Then again, maybe not. The expression on her freshly powdered face wasn't exactly brimming over with gratitude.
'I gave you a ten-pound note,' Alice Tavistock announced without preamble, thrusting her outstretched palm under Miranda's nose. 'And this is how much you handed back. Do you think I'm incapable of adding up?' she demanded stroppily. 'You've shortchanged me.'
'God, sorry, I forgot!' Miranda clapped her hand to her forehead. 'I meant to give it back, make up the difference, then Fenn told me to sort out the towels and I—'
'And you thought you could get away with it.' Alice Tavistock always spoke with a plum in her mouth. Now she sounded as if she were spitting out the stones. 'Swindler. Thief.'
'I am not a thief!'
Fenn closed his eyes.
'Miranda, what did you do with Mrs Tavistock's money?'
'Gave it to someone.'
Frowning, Fenn said, 'What? Stop mumbling, talk properly.'
Miranda lifted her head. Oh Lord, he wasn't looking happy.
'I gave it to a homeless person so he could buy himself a cup of tea.'
'My money!' squawked Alice Tavistock. 'You're telling me you gave my sixty pence to a filthy scrounging beggar? For crying out loud, girl, are you mad?'
So much for boasting about her ability to add up, Miranda thought mutinously.
'He isn't a beggar.' She couldn't let it pass, somebody had to defend him. 'He never begs! And it wasn't sixty pence either,' she concluded, 'it was seventy.'
Miranda loved hairdressing, despite the abysmal rates of pay for trainees. She was happy working in Fenn's salon, she adored cutting hair—on the rare occasions when she got the chance—and she really enjoyed the contact with clients.
Well, most clients.
The big drawback was having to carry on being nice to them when they were being horrible to you.
'I'm not a thief,' she told Fenn when he had reimbursed his outraged client from the till, apologized profusely and shown her out of the salon.
'I know that. But you aren't exactly Mensa material either,' Fenn pointed out, 'are you?'
'She's a hag! That woman spends her life boasting about all the charity committees she's on. How can she be so mean?'
'Hardly the point. Alice Tavistock is our client.'
'She's a stingy old battleaxe,' Miranda muttered.
'Stop it. Now listen to me.' Fenn consulted his watch. 'Bev has to see her dentist at one o'clock. I'll need you to take over at the desk for a couple of hours.'
'You mean ... work through my lunch break?'
Horrors! Miranda's dark eyes widened in dismay. She was already ravenous.
What's more, she remembered guiltily, I'm not the only one.
But it was no good. Fenn was giving her one of his serious, I'm-the-boss looks.
'I think that's fair, under the circumstances. Don't you?'
Chloe watched the checkout girl pick up each item in turn, pass it over the scanner and send it on its way along the conveyor belt. Like the prizes on The Generation Game, minus the cuddly toy.
Packet of chicken breasts.
Pint of milk, semi-skimmed.
Shrink-wrapped bouquet of broccoli.
Small carton of hugely expensive new potatoes.
Pregnancy testing kit.
The Generation Game. Very apt.
Chloe held her breath, wondering if the girl would glance at her in a secret, knowing way, but when she looked up all she said in a bored voice was, 'That'll be fifteen pounds seventy. Got your Clubcard?'
It clearly took more, these days, than a few chicken breasts and a pregnancy testing kit to arouse a checkout operator's interest.
Back at Special Occasions—perfect gifts for every occasion—Chloe hung the Tesco carrier on her coat hook and locked herself in the tiny downstairs loo.
Her fingers shook as she tore the cellophane wrapping off the testing kit. The words on the accompanying leaflet danced in front of her eyes.
Oh, help, this is it, this is serious.
Right, can't afford any mistakes, thought Chloe, feeling sick already. Treat it like an exam, read the instructions slowly and carefully. Concentrate, concentrate, and for goodness' sake stop this stupid shaking.
The sudden hammering on the door almost catapulted her off the loo seat.
'Chloe? That you in there?'
Well, who else was it likely to be? thought Chloe resignedly.
'Um ... yes.'
At least she hadn't been in the middle of some tricky form of gymnastics involving a plastic cup and mid-stream flow.
'Okay.' Bruce, her boss, sounded impatient. He had never understood why any woman needed to spend longer than thirty seconds in the loo. 'Keep an eye on the shop, would you? I need to make a phone call.'
'Two minutes,' Chloe called out in desperation.
She couldn't not find out now, the suspense was killing her almost as much as the need to pee.
'Just give me two minutes, okay?'
Outside the door, Bruce shook his head in bewilderment. Women and their inner workings, it was all a mystery to him.
Out in the shop, the bell above the door went ding, heralding the arrival of a customer. Relieved, Chloe heard the sound of her boss's retreating footsteps. She couldn't possibly pee onto a stick with Bruce lurking just inches away on the other side of the toilet door.
The crucial stream of urine was duly passed. Chloe closed her eyes and began to count.
When she opened her eyes again, the end of the stick was blue.
'Oh, good grief,' Chloe whispered, the words almost drowned out by the thundering of her heart. Pulling open the neck of her angora sweater and peering down at her stomach, she said in an unsteady voice, 'Hello.'
Out in the shop, Bruce was wrapping up his customer's purchase, a wildly expensive yellow and white Italian vase. When Chloe eventually reappeared, looking pale, he said, 'Chloe, before I forget. Bit of a do on at the golf club this evening. Verity and I were hoping to get along for an hour or two, but the blasted babysitter's let us down. Any chance of you riding to the rescue?'
Having ridden to the rescue before, Chloe wasn't fooled for an instant by his jovial tone. Like dog years, Bruce's idea of an hour or two generally meant seven or eight.
'Bruce, I'm sorry. I can't.'
Taken aback wasn't the word for it.
'But you said you didn't have anything on tonight.' His tone was accusing.
Be brave, stand your ground, don't let him bully you into it.
'That was this morning.' Chloe spoke as firmly as she dared. 'I do now.'CHAPTER 2
Florence Curtis had led an action-packed life; she had always lived for the day and crammed as much as was humanly possible into each and every one of them. Married at twenty, a mother at twenty-five, divorced by twenty-seven, married again, widowed, married for the third time at thirty-three ... good Lord, it made her dizzy nowadays just to remember those hectic years when, juggling homes, staff, and the needs of her much-loved but incredibly demanding son, she had followed her various husbands all over the world.
Then her beloved Ray, number three, had died of a heart attack on the steps of the casino at Monte Carlo, and Florence had decided to call it a day on the husband front. Twice widowed was enough; the pain was almost too much to bear. From now on she would stick to lovers. Apart from anything else, she glibly informed her friends—because sympathy was anathema to Florence—she was tired of endlessly changing her surname on checkbooks.
The next twenty years had been spent in the relentless pursuit of fun, with Florence adoring every last minute. Her motto had always been 'You're a long time dead', and until the first signs of stiffness had begun to seep into her joints, it had never occurred to her that perhaps it should have been 'You're a long time crippled with arthritis'.
It was hard, adapting to life in a wheelchair when your brain sometimes fooled you into thinking you were still as active as you'd always been. Every now and again Florence dreamt that she had been dancing all night at the Café Royal. When she woke up, exhilarated and in the mood to carry on, she would think, That's what I'll do today, go somewhere a bit posh and dance ...
Until she tried to turn over in bed, only to groan aloud with the pain. These days she was lucky if she could make it as far as the kitchen before collapsing in a heap.
Last year Florence's well-meaning GP had suggested wheelchair ballroom dancing. Every Thursday night, apparently, busloads of disabled pensioners descended on nearby St Augustine's church hall and had a high old time of it, spinning and twirling their partners around the floor.
'What, in their wheelchairs?' Florence had roared with laughter. 'Sorry, darling, not my scene. Sounds like two teenagers with clonking great braces on their teeth trying to have a snog.'
Excerpted from miranda's big mistake by Jill Mansell. Copyright © 2009 Jill Mansell. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the first book by Ms.Mansell that I picked up on my Nook and I was immediately drawn into the story. I usually only read horror or paranormal romance but the characters in this story have a way of grabbing you and not letting you go. I went through an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I laughed out loud, gasped with shock,cried and laughed again. I have to commend the writer on actually allowing the reader to be so drawn in that they experience the emotions along with the heroine. It was very nice to have an "average" leading lady instead of the super perfect heroines that grace most books these days. It has been a long time since I have read a book that actually kept me reading well into the night. Thank you!!! I hope to pick up more books by Ms. Mansell and I highly recommend this book for any avid reader.
After reading the reviews I was really looking forward to my first Mansell read. Boy, was I disappointed. Although I did laugh out loud on a few occasions, I found the writing rather amateurish. The storylines were quite disjointed and often times hard to follow. There were way too many stories going on and not enough time to flesh many of them out properly. On the flip side, the writer often povided detailed explanation of things that should have been left to the readers' imagination/interpretation.
I loved reading this wonderful book! It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
Alright! The summer chick lit list just gets better and better. Make sure you add Miranda's Big Mistake! Miranda is a hair salon trainee. She's constantly late, funny, kind to everyone - even that homeless guy who turns out to not be homeless... But I digress. She has great friends and loves her life, but is missing one thing - someone to love. When she meets Greg, she believes she's found The One. Now Greg just happens to be the husband, yes husband, of Chloe. Chloe, who told Greg they were going to have a baby. Chloe, who Greg, upon hearing this wonderful news, promptly left. Greg hasn't bothered to mention this little fact to Miranda. What would happen if fate intervened and Miranda and Chloe's lives crossed paths??? And that's as much as I'm going to give you! Jill Mansell has penned yet another fresh, funny, warm story populated with people you really wish you had in your circle of friends. (Except for that Greg!) Miranda and Chloe are engaging protagonists, but the supporting characters are just as wonderful. I especially enjoyed Florence, the landlady who does her best to nudge things to go a certain way. Miranda's gorgeous boss Fenn, who surprises everyone, including himself. Danny the documentary maker, who captures Miranda on film in all her glory. Bev, her best friend constantly on the prowl for a husband. A story of love lost and found, lost again and found again. Of friendships and the warmth of those relationships. You'll get a warm feeling from Miranda's Big Mistake. (especially if you're reading on the beach.) But seriously, an absolute romp of a read! Definitely recommended for those who love this genre. Or anyone else looking for a really great read!
Miranda is an apprentice in a trendy hair salon owned by Fenn. When it comes to love, Miranda makes bad decisions and only seems to fall for pigs. Bev is the receptionist in Fenn¿s salon and all she dreams of is getting married and having four boys. Their luck seems to change when they attend a charity function ¿ the only problem is they both fall for the same guy, Greg.In the meantime, Chloe is a shop-girl married to a guy named Greg. She thinks things are fine and that¿s she¿s happily married until she accidentally becomes pregnant. Greg is less than thrilled with the pregnancy and leaves Chloe.By a strange twist of fate, Miranda and Chloe both end up boarding with an older lady named Florence. After living together for a little while, they discover that they share Greg in common. That¿s when the fun begins. They cook up a scheme to get even with Greg. Now, Miranda needs to get back on track and learn from her mistakes. Sometimes that¿s easier said than done.Miranda¿s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell is a delightful example of chick lit. I was able to relate to the characters, even though I¿m quite a bit older than most of them. The story line is fun and easy to follow and I didn¿t get lost with the sub-plots running throughout. I loved that it¿s not sexually explicit or loaded with foul language. I also loved the fact that it¿s loaded with British terms, since the author is British ¿ that just seems to make chick lit more fun for me. The story is somewhat predictable but there were a few unexpected turns in it for me. This book would be a great summer read!
But enjoyable, nonetheless.Miranda is the trainee at one of the trendiest hair salons. It's not quite clear how she has managed to keep her job- her regular tardiness is something of a joke among the shop workers. She lives with an elderly lady, doing things around the house for cheap rent. She's a bit of a pushover, always wanting to help others out. She's a bit of a dull character, with a ridiculously complicated love life. She first falls in love with Greg, only to find he isn't what she thinks. Then there's Miles, a race car driver. Throughout it all is Danny. Miranda and Danny are constantly at odds, until they suddenly aren't.What really makes this story interesting, and the only thing that kept me reading, are all the side characters. The side stories are the redeeming quality in this book. Miranda's isn't the only love life who we get to see. There's Miranda's landlady who reconnects with an old friend and Chloe, another renter who unexpectedly falls in love in the midst of a divorce and pregnancy.Miranda isn't all that interesting, and many of the situations she finds herself in are too contrived to be believable. She never really learns her lesson. Chloe, however, was a great character. I would have enjoyed more of her story in this story!
This is a wonderfully complex book about the sisterhood of friendship and an unwitting love triangle with a very deceptive Mr Wrong. There are several love stories woven into this one book, all of them charming, but the revenge plan cooked up by those wronged by Mr Wrong was by far my favorite--it had me holding my ribs and crying with laughter and re-reading it a couple of times to savor the cleverness of it. Mansell's characters really leap off the page and into your heart. A fun, fun read!
The book is engaging and there's plenty of story to follow. The writing style is a bit jumpy. It also bounces from each character's point of view without warning. You get used to it after a while. The characters are all quite different. It's an easy read. Nice if you want to take a break from more thought provoking novels.
I really enjoyed this book. Miranda and Florence were quirky, loveable characters.
Jill is one of the best at her craft. She really brings her characters to life in each book she writes. For example, Florence in this book will make you wish she was your relative. Amusing, with a hint of spice to her. If you are looking for an escape across the pond to an easy, delightful read, grab this book. In turn, you will want to purchase all of the others. Well done!
From the first page to the last, simple delightful!
Like most women in chick-lit books, Miranda has a horrible record with men. I mean she really has some bad luck. Never one to give up, she hopes to find Mr. Right. Clare finds out she is pregnant and her wonderful husband decides to leave her, citing the pregnancy as a deal breaker. Left alone, pregnant, working for a horrible boss, and without a home Clare is fairly discouraged about her future. Bev is the type of girl that every guy seems to avoid. She has dreams of a husband and kids and she wants them now. Unfortunately, everyone seems to sense this and run for the hills. Can these three women find love? Of course they can, this is chick-lit. I know it seems like I've been in a chick-lit kind of mood and I really can't explain it. This story is a loveable story filled with quirky fun and a bit of humor. It's fluff but it's fun. There are seriously moments where I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for disaster or some confrontation to happen and it really kept me turning the page. I will say that there seemed to be more emphasis on humor than really relationship/plot development. I felt there could have been fewer skips in time and a little more development in the relationship the girls actually ended up in. There were lots of failed relationships that were interesting and fun but when it came to the "good" guy, we jumped straight to the happily ever after with no real explanation. This wasn't just insta-love, this one insta-marriage. First date, then thinking of marriage? Ummm..not sure about that. How about NO date and planning a marriage. I know it is chick-lit but hmmm... It was cute and quirky but I did find myself laughing at the oddity of the plot and not just humorous situations that the characters found themselves in.