Girls like Neve Slater don’t get gorgeous guys like William. But William’s been in L A for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down in preparation for his return. Then her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess then she’d better get some experience - a man to show her the ropes, like Celia’s colleague Max. And since he’s not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him...
©2011 Sarra Manning (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
Neve and William have an intellectual connection and, while he's been in America the past few years, Neve has been working hard to ensure they have a physical connection when he gets back. She has lost a lot of weight and is no longer obese, but she's still doesn't feel ready for William's not-too-distant return. Aside from shifting the last few pounds, she needs more relationship experience - ANY would be handy - so she comes up with the idea of a "pancake relationship", a first relationship that you can chuck away like you throw away the first mangled pancake in a batch. Her sister's hot but sleazy boss Max is the perfect candidate for her first pancake, and he agrees to try the relationship because he's never really been in one himself, and it's ideal for him coz Neve doesn't care if he sleeps with other people coz she certainly doesn't want to sleep with him.
With this hijinksy set up, I was expecting You Don't Have to Say You Love Me to be a lot of fun. And it certainly was. Charming, funny and completely entertaining. But what I wasn't expecting was just how touching it would be - and how much I would relate to it. Neve is a complete mess, and boy did I see my own messy self in her. She is intelligent and attractive, but so incredibly insecure it's painful to read about at times - all the more painful because it was like hearing my own thoughts repeated back to me. From the way she froze when a guy tried to cuddle her across her tummy, to the way she held up her fingers to indicate she was just a LITTLE bit drunk when she was actually very drunk, it was bizarre just how much I felt like Neve WAS me sometimes. Some readers may find all her insecurities annoying, but they felt completely authentic and relatable to me. She also experiences a lot of character growth over the course of her book, and her journey towards accepting and even loving herself is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.
The funniest moments, as well as a number of incredibly moving ones, come when Neve interacts with Max. They are complete opposites in so many ways, and it makes for some hilarious and really fun scenes. Even more fun is the amazing chemistry they have, which gets harder and harder for them to resist. Max is a bit of a douche at times, but of course he has a big heart underneath. He is blokey and messy but he's also sexy and charming and respectful and lovely and a little bit broken himself. It's hard not to fall in love with him by the end.
The secondary characters are really great, and I especially loved Neve's family relationships. The way they hurt each other but love each other so much was realistic and really got under my skin. On a lighter level, Neve's work friendships and the office politics she deals with made for an entertaining subplot. Her career ambitions and growing belief in herself, even when others don't, is an awesome part of her character arc.
The story, characters and writing are all fantastic, but I also really appreciated the exploration of what makes a good relationship, and how your dreams and expectations don't always match reality - which can actually be a very good thing. The contrast between someone who you think is right, but who isn't at all, with someone you think is all wrong, but who is actually totally right, was really well done. The whole book was just so realistic in the most entertaining way.
I listened to the audiobook edition of this, read by Julie Maisey, and she did a wonderful job. Neve's voice was perfect and although I was a little unsure of Max's at first, I got used to it and really liked it in the end. The pacing and expression is spot on and all in all it was very compelling to listen to. This is one of those books where you begin to resent the rest of your life for getting in the way of it. When I finished You Don't Have To Say You Love Me I had a big, goofy grin on my face - and it doesn't get much better than that.
I am a total audiobook addict! I travel quite a bit for work and listen to them while I drive. Always searching for a good author to follow
Best audiobook ever!!
So many favorites!! I love it when Max and Neve go away for Mandy's wedding
I have listened to this book about 4 times now. If I can't find anything to listen to I will listento this, I will start from different parts of the book!
Its such a great story! I would love for it to be turned into a movie.
I just love Neve and Max. The first time I listened to this I was hooked.
Julie Maisey is my favorite narrator and this is actullay how I found this fabulous book, I searched other books she had narrated and I found this gem :)
I would give this 10 stars if I could.
The narrator is great, the characters are well developed, and the story is well told. Long, but certainly not boring.
Read/Listen, Review and Recommend!
This was the first book by this author for me and I loved it!! As a larger gal I related to this book in ways I never have with other books with plus sized characters. And Max oh my god swoon just an all round great book.
This turned out to be more than a predictable romance novel. I could have saved a lot of money on therapy as I learned so much from Neve.
As a woman who was always concerned about her weight I could really relate to Neve. Neve is smart and funny. She meets Max, who is probably one of my favorite Sarra Manning male characters right below Dylan from the Diary of a Crush books. It is more erotic than any Manning book I've read, but I didn't mind that. Good read.
this book was simply will win and will meredith I enjoy absolutely every moment of it I could not stop listening I don't think I have ever listen to an 18 hour book in just 3 days but this 1 was very very entertaining$!!
Wow! I don't even know where to begin in review of this book! Let me say, i've never been more captivated, more in the moment, feeling every bit of the anguish and exhiliration of a roller-coaster romance, as I was reading this book. The narrator was perfect, the descriptive detail had me on the edge of my seat, and the characters were so relatable I found myself dreading the end! Out of 15 books I've listened to this year, this, the 16th one, was my favorite of all. This books touches on so many wonderful themes...body-image, self-deprication, feeling unworthy of love...I've caught myself thinking the same things Nieve did throughout, and wishing we could be friends in real life. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adult fiction and experiencing the lows and highs of life's journeys in love.
Loved the book, great narration, and fun story plot. So long, but in the end felt that it ended too soon!!!
I basically never read a book twice - but this one I did. And after the second read, I think I will save it in my library for a future third time. I found this book very entertaining, funny and romantic; just what I had been looking for. The narration was perfect too. I recommend.
I couldn't put this away! It is brilliant! If you love a good, modern day, chick read including romance, and comedy sprinkled in for fun this is the book for you! It's well worth the time and sucks you in! Most girls can relate to t in some way it's completely genius!
"Gripping and unmissable"
I rarely get so caught up in a book that I find myself planning my journeys between meetings alone... just so that I can listen to my book rather than talking about the latest juicy court case or staff shortage issues with my colleagues!
This storyline is encapsulating, touching and a real eye-opener to just how self-centred us women can unintentially be... I rate this book highly and will follow Ms Manning for a while.
Didnt want this to end, a great story , well read. Some racey bits, dont give it to your granny.
"2-for-1 Romance and a 'Self-help book in disguise!"
Haven't read the print and wouldn't! The audio version was brilliant and so convenient; it enabled me to enjoy the book in the dark well into the early hours of the morning, lying down comfortably and covered in my duvet whilst my husband was sleeping!
Eat, Pray, Love; because like that book, it reminds us that what the world sees is a reflection of how we portray ourselves. We are reminded that we as individuals, are primarily responsible for ourselves, for our own happiness; and that true happiness in life only comes when we face our own fears, accept our own realities, love and are kind to ourselves.
The fight between the sisters-in-law, Neve and Charlotte.
I don't know - but it would be funny, romantic film that I'd love to watch!
This is a loveable, witty, fun-tastic, romantic novel!! A true gem!
Up in the top 10
I found the story line most interesting as I could understand where the main character was coming from. I too have battled to loose a serious amount of weight :)
Excellent reader, Julie brought the story alive
Made me both laugh and cry
"Absolutely LOVED IT!!!!"
Second place, right after Jane Austin Pride and Prejudice
Although I dont have so much sizing issues I admit that at some point of my life I was exactly like the main character Neve, I thought if only I was size 8 all would be much better, my ex would want to come back to me, I would be more liked and so on and so on, so when I listend to the story I fully understood the feeling of Neve. And I must say Max is the best bad boy boyfriend ever... but you will need to read it/ listen to it to know what I'm talking about.
Liked the accents and personification of the characters, although sometimes I thought it was a bit to much
Didn't make me cry, but mostly helped me with understanding that I'm not the only one who had the body insecurities at some stage of life.
I loved the story and congratulate Julie Maisey on her fantastic narration. She has a different voice for every character. How does she do it?! She brings the whole thing to life and I will be listening to it again. I highly recommend this very entertaining book. Be warned, you will resent any interruptions to your listening!!
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well rounded and the plot was good. Nice to have a chick-lit protagonist who isn't petite and has prefect hair.
"Slow to start"
The characters are easy to relate to and believable
The ending :) I love a happy ending that makes me feel positive
The fight between the sister and sister in law
A wonderful affirming listen
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