Book Review: You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell

I am tickled to share all about the oh-so-lovely book You and Me, Always by British author, Jill Mansell. This irresistibly sweet book is why I took a day trip from London to the Cotwolds. I had never heard of these villages until I read about this book and as soon as I saw google images of these picturesque villages, I knew I had to go.

This might be my favorite literary date of all my London ones. The full literary date will come next week because first, we have to discuss the fabulous book that sent us to the Cotswolds.

A picturesque green door on a cotswold stone home that's decorated with potted flowers. Book cover of Jill Mansell's You and Me, Always is embedded in the photo

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Lily Harper is celebrating her 25th birthday, which is a bittersweet milestone for her because it means it will be the last time she receives a letter from her dearly departed mother. Lily sadly lost her mom at the young age of 8 and every year on her birthday she receives a letter from her mom. Lily, of course, cherishes these letters from beyond.

Despite the death of her mom, Lily has blossomed into a wonderful young woman surrounded by love with her mom’s good friends, Coral and her late husband, Nick who raised Lily as their own. Also, Patsy was Lily’s babysitter and now good friend, along with Lily’s childhood friend, Dan, who is Patsy’s younger brother, round out her close circle.

This little village of people made sure Lily would always be loved and protected. In her last letter from her mom, Lily learns of her mom’s one true love, Declan who is definitely not her ne’er-do-well absent father. At the same time, Lily meets the hot celebrity Eddie Tessler who is escaping fame in the quiet Cotswolds village. Her best friend Dan is not too pleased about Lily’s growing relationship with Eddie.

Lily is curious about Declan after her mom’s letter and decides to seek him out, which may change not just Lily’s life but others in her circle as well.

The cast of characters in the present day and from the past get shaken together, add in a celebrity twist and things go topsy turvy in delightful and unexpected ways. It’s a story of loss, love, and the family we create.

My Thoughts about You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell

You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell book cover

You and Me, Always is undoubtedly a sweet and wholesome story but it’s also adorably clever as well. The humor in it kept me chuckling as I read. It is fluffy for sure but such an enjoyable light and easy read. It’s the kind of story where you will develop fond feelings for all the characters, especially Lily. Lily is such a good person and written in such a pure, lovely way that you can’t help but love her too.

And Lily’s humor with Dan had me laughing but also loved Patsy’s hijinks and the more relatable serious aspects of her storyline. Yup, as a perpetually single gal I could relate to the feelings Patsy had about being single and putting herself out there trying to find the right person.

Also, I am a sucker for a celebrity storyline and thought this was a fun one from start to finish. When you are a regular rom-com reader, you know the characters who are meant to be together are *spoiler* Lily and Dan. The author could have made Eddie Tessler the most annoying, shallow person ever making the reader internally yell at Lily for being with him instead of the great guy Dan.

However, Eddie is a fun, likable character and I appreciate that so much more than the other way around.

Thatched roof on a cottage in the Cotswolds

Truly all these characters in You and Me, Always will melt your heart. There was only one moment with Declan and his girlfriend that I didn’t love but other than that, I really enjoyed Declan too. Declan’s girlfriend does actually get the unlikable edit but I’ll admit, it’s a legitimate direction to take certain characters in order to drive the ultimate storyline for the characters. Declan becomes an important part of Lily’s close circle and it’s a nice story arc to follow.

You and Me, Always also has some drama tossed in to drive the story, shady characters entering the story, and the unrequited love story to add to the romance aspect. I can always go for romantic storylines where the characters are pining away for each other. Will these crazy kids figure it out and get together? It fun to find out how it will ultimately work out.

If you’re looking for a light and easy read with a cute romance and a picturesque village setting, then You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell is for you!

About the Author Jill Mansell

British author Jill Mansell is known for writing witty, feel-good love stories, she has written over 20 Sunday Times bestsellers and her books have sold over 13 million copies around the world. Learn more about Jill Mansell and all her books on her website jillmansell.co.uk.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

You and Me, Always Literary Date (A Sneak-Peak)

British flags decorating Stow-on-the-Wold

A You and Me, Always literary date will go a little differently than our traditional literary dates. Most of the book takes place in the Cotswolds in the village of Stanton Langley. I took a day trip from London to the Cotswolds and because I don’t drive, I had to do a guided tour once there. The guided tour does not include Stanton Langley, unfortunately, however, the villages we saw were incredible and I will share them all with you.

I usually prefer to go to the exact locations from the book but this book inspired me to go to the Cotswolds and I loved every minute of being there. I cannot wait to share it with you. I discovered the tour group Go Cotswolds, a local, family-run company and this tour brought our group to six amazingly quaint villages in the Cotswolds.

So while it’s not a traditional literary date, it was one of my most favorite book-inspired adventures. I’m SO excited to share this one with you. And wait no longer, my You and Me, Always Literary Date is here!

Until you head to that link, enjoy my little sneak peek…

Cute narrow street in the Cotswolds

Let’s go get lost down this narrow, adorable street

 

People by the water in Bibury, a village in the Cotswolds

Can I live here?

 

Bourton-on-the-Water

I want to run through these fields in a long flowy dress, trip, and be rescued by a handsome gent on a horse. Also, it was raining and I caught a cold so had to stay at his family’s home for a week before I could go home. This might be a plot to a Jane Austen book.

 

Picture from Bourton-on-the-Water in Cotswolds

Or maybe the handsome gent and I would travel by boat?

 

People sitting by the water in Bourton-on-the-Water

And we’d have a lovely picnic with cheese and wine and chocolate.

Bourton-on-the-Water sign

 

Cottage in the Cotswolds

Here’s the home the handsome gent and I will stay

 

Sheep on Dover's Hill in the Cotswolds

Then we will go into the town to sell some wool. Wait…what? Let’s go back to the picnic.

 

On the way to St. James' Church in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds

We will marry, have children, and send them to a good school where they get to wear charming school uniforms

 

Outside of St. James' Church in Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds

We will also pose kissing under that arch for the perfect instagrammable shot

One can dream! Join me for my full Cotswolds You and Me, Always Literary Date! *Spoiler– I do not meet my handsome gent but I did get introduced to a delicious scone.
Check out my full literary date here: You and Me, Always Literary Date

Me (woman in long dress), posing in front of the view at Dover's Hill

Also, before you go, check out some of my most popular literary dates:

8 Fun Things to Do in Chinatown, NYC | Girl in Translation Literary Date

YOU & Me & NYC Tour: You, Set in New York City

My Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tour in the City

In Five Years Literary Date

And my other literary dates in London:

With Love from London Literary Date

Here for the Drama Literary Date

Also, I’m sharing more from my London trip on my social media, so make sure you are following me!

Instagram: Literary_dates

Facebook: Literary Dates

Twitter: LiteraryDates

Thank you for reading!

Me, posing in front of cottages in Bibury

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4 Comments

  1. September 7, 2022 / 11:51 am

    Loving it! And your narration about your handsome gent, haha. The Cotswolds are so beautiful, especially in summer. I’m so glad you got to see them while you were in England! Can’t wait for more photos. 🙂

    • September 20, 2022 / 6:35 pm

      I looooved it there so much! Amazing. I want to go back. I hope I can one day!

  2. September 11, 2022 / 9:52 pm

    Aww, I’m in the market for a sweet wholesome book (there are so many horrible things happening lately 🙁 ) — definitely will have to add this to my list too! 🙂

    I’ve heard great things about the Cotswolds but haven’t been yet so I’m intrigued! Will check out your next post! 🙂

    • September 20, 2022 / 6:35 pm

      This definitely fits the bill! It’s such a cute book and very wholesome and you’ll fall in love with the characters and the Cotswolds. 🙂
      And was that a run-on sentence? 😉

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