"Having ignored his plea, Millie promptly cannoned into the lamp-post behind her. Clutching her left shoulder and trying to pretend it hardly hurt at all--ow, ouch--she wondered why her life had to so closely resemble Mr. Bean's. What she wouldn't give to be sleek and chic and in control at all times." (Page 108-9 of ARC)
Millie is a down-to-earth girl, whose life is a bit like Mr. Bean's because she tends to fall into ridiculous situations unwittingly. Her roomie, Hester, is in a long-term relationship with an up-and-coming chef, Nat, but still has a flamethrower burning for an old love, Lucas Kemp. Millie's Fling is the age-old search for love and happiness, but this serendipitous journey is rounded out with Orla Hart, a highly successful author with marital problems whom Millie befriends atop a cliff.
Happily single, Millie consistently tries to keep her roomie on the right relationship track since Hester's boyfriend has taken a job in Glasgow to further his career as a chef. By chance, Millie stumbles upon a lost wallet in the bushes--a wallet that becomes the tie between her and Hugh Emerson, a young recently widowed computer specialist. Readers will giggle, tense up, and shake their heads as Hugh and Millie fumble through getting to know one another under impossible circumstances.
"'Two more things I can't stand,' said Hugh. 'Violent women. And girls who can't take a joke.'
'I hate men who wear nasty cheap aftershave.'
'What really annoys me is getting phone calls from people putting on ridiculous accents, asking me the answer to crossword clues.'
'That isn't true!' Millie exclaimed. 'You asked me to give you the clues. You were bursting to show off how clever you were. And that's something I really can't stand in a man.'" (Page 398 of ARC)
Mansell's dialogue between Millie and Hugh is fresh and witty; some of the best sequences involve them rattling off their favorite words or their most hated things about people, particularly at times when they are awkward with one another. Although there are some cliche moments in this novel, Mansell has well-developed characters on the edge of reality who bounce dialogue off one another in a way that makes the pages fly in Millie's Fling.
If you missed Mansell's guest post about writing, check it out and enter the giveaway for this fun book.