A Walk in the Park

Jill Mansell. Sourcebooks Landmark, $14 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-4022-6994-3

Mansell (Nadia Knows Best) charmingly mixes her trademark British chick lit style with a web of poignant love stories. Lara Carson moves back to her Bath hometown 18 years after she abruptly left, with her teenage daughter, Gigi, in tow. Lara’s close childhood friend Evie is about to marry local heartbreaker Joel Barber until she learns he cheated on her; fortunately hotel proprietor Ethan is there to soothe her sorrow. Lara’s dealing with her own explosive news when her high school flame, Flynn Erskine, returns to town and Lara feels obliged to reveal that Gigi is his daughter. Elsewhere, rapper EnjaySeven drags Lara’s longtime friend Harry Wells, a mild-mannered shopkeeper, into his reality TV series, leading the two to embark on their own unlikely romance. Quirky secondary characters add texture to the tale as each couple stumbles along—most, though not all, eventually finding settled happiness. Mansell deftly weaves a sweet and pleasant story. Agent: Jane Judd, Jane Judd Literary Agency. (Nov.)