Don't Want to Miss a Thing

Don't Want to Miss a Thing

by Jill Mansell


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Finding the courage to trust your heart can be the hardest thing of all...

Dexter Yates has the looks, the money, the swanky apartment, and girlfriends galore. But it's not until his niece, Delphi, is born that Dex falls in love for the first time in his life.

Then tragedy strikes when Dex's sister Laura dies in an accident. Suddenly, Dex finds himself a new parent and a single father to boot. With no idea how to raise an eight-month-old baby girl on his own, Dex decides to move into his weekend home in the small village of Briarwood in the Cotswolds.

The quirky neighborhood welcomes him with open arms, especially next—door neighbor and gifted cartoonist Molly who offers to help with Delphi. Molly won't put up with any nonsense and her messy romantic past makes her cautious.

If they can learn to trust each other, there might be a happily-ever-after for all three.

A fresh and fun British women's fiction and a great romantic book with plenty of humor and friendship.

Fans of Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding and Jennifer Weiner will love Mansell's quirky humor and the "will they, won't they" relationship between Molly and Dex.

What reviewers are saying about Don't Want To Miss A Thing:

"A little bundle of joy changes everything in this quirky chick—lit tale... charmingly well charted. " —Publishers Weekly

" her signature blend of humor, romance, and multiple happy endings, " —Booklist

"Utterly charming from the first page, Mansell's engaging tale is as welcome and warming as a cup of tea on a rainy night. " —RT Book Reviews

"One of the masters of fun, upbeat fiction with twists of romance..." —Shelf Awareness

"sweet, funny, and even a tiny bit sad but oh so fantastic!" —Peeking Between the Pages

" With a charming English village, a baby, and a playboy, chick—lit enthusiasts can go wrong with this book!" —Debbie's Book Bag

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402283932
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 11/05/2013
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 737,879
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

With over 10 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny, poignant and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It was almost midnight and Dexter Yates was in bed with his girlfriend when his phone burst into life. Possessed of lightning reflexes, she grabbed it off the bedside table before he could reach it himself.

Honestly, some people were so mistrustful.

"It says Laura." Her eyes narrowed at the sight of the name flashing up on the screen. "Who's Laura?"

Jealousy was never a good look. "Can I have my phone please?"

"Who is she?"

Heroically, Dexter didn't say, "Someone an awful lot nicer than you." He held out his hand and waited for her to pass the phone to him, which she did with the kind of huffy annoyance that meant he definitely wouldn't be seeing her again after tonight.

"Laura, hey."

"Oh, Dex, I'm sorry, I know it's late. Did I wake you up?"

He smiled; only Laura could think he might be asleep before midnight. "Of course not. How's everything with you?"

"Everything... is perfect." The joy was there in her voice, shimmering down the phone line, and in that moment, he knew what had happened. "It's a girl, Dex. She's here! And so beautiful, you won't believe it. Seven pounds, twelve ounces. It's just the most amazing thing ever."

His smile broadened. "A girl! Fantastic. And why wouldn't she be beautiful? When can I come and see her?"

"Well, not tonight, obviously. Visiting hours are ten till twelve in the morning or seven till nine in the evening. Will you be able to make it tomorrow, d'you think? After work?"

"I'll make sure I can," Dex promised. "I'll be there. Does she look like me?"

"Don't be ridiculous, she's only an hour old. You're twenty-eight. You have stubble."

"You know, you should really think about becoming a stand-up comedian."

"After all the gas and air I've had tonight, I'm pretty sure I couldn't be a stand-up anything. OK, I'm getting low on battery here. I'd better go. Do you want me to email a photo or would you rather wait until you see her tomorrow?"

"Don't worry, I'll wait. And hey"-Dex's voice softened-"well done, you."

He ended the call, then lay back against the pillows and gazed up at the ceiling. Wow.

"At the risk of sounding repetitive, who's Laura?" The atmosphere in the bedroom had by this stage turned distinctly frosty. "And why would you want to know if her baby looks like you?"

"Come on." Dexter swung his legs out of bed and reached for his jeans and T-shirt. "It's getting late. I'll give you a lift home."


"Seriously? OK," said Dexter. "Laura's my sister. And she's just given birth to my niece."


Laura was dozing when the nurse tapped on the door and eased it open.

"Hello? Are you awake?"

Laura opened her eyes; now that she was a mother, she was going to have to get used to having her sleep interrupted. "Kind of, yes. What is it?"

"You've got a visitor," whispered the nurse.

"What, now?"

"I know, and it's not really allowed, but when he explained the situation... well, what else could I do? I couldn't send him away."

The way the girl's eyes were sparkling and her tone of voice told Laura all she needed to know. She hauled herself into a sitting position-ooch, pain-as the door opened wider and the nurse led their nocturnal visitor into the side ward. "And the situation is?"

"I have to be at Heathrow in three hours to catch my flight to New York." Dex turned to the nurse and said, "Darling, thank you so much. You're an absolute star."

Laura waited until the besotted girl had left the room before rolling her eyes. "And on a scale of one to ten, exactly how true is that story?"

"Ah, but it got me in here, didn't it?" Dex's legendary charm was a long-standing joke between them. "I couldn't wait. Too excited to sleep. These are for you, by the way. Sorry they're a bit crap."

He'd dropped into the twenty-four-hour supermarket in West Kensington and bought up masses of luridly bright orange roses, a giant Toblerone, a toy octopus, and many, many bags of jelly worms. As you do.

"They're lovely," said Laura as he dumped everything onto the bed.

"Well, if you will go around having babies in the middle of the night, the choices are limited. Anyway, come here." He gave her a hug and a noisy kiss on the cheek. "You clever thing. Well done. So, where is it?"


"Sorry, she." Dex shrugged unrepentantly. "But we've been calling it ‘it' for months. Where are you keeping her then? In a cage under the bed?"

"If you're going to be like this, I won't show her to you." But Laura didn't mean it; from where he was standing, the cot was out of his line of vision. Tilting her head to the left, she indicated that Dex should come around to the other side of the bed.

That was when she sat back and watched as Dex-possibly for the first time in his life-fell in love.

It was unbelievable. You could actually see it happening. One minute he was interested, the next he was completely and utterly entranced. Before long, as if the momentousness of the occasion had made its presence felt, the newest addition to the family stirred and opened her eyes.

"Her name's Delphi," said Laura.

"Oh my God." Dex exhaled slowly. "Look at her."

Laura smiled. "She's looking at you."

"She's beautiful. I mean, really beautiful." He was transfixed.

Was it possible to burst with pride? Laura said, "Told you she was."

"Can I pick her up?"

"So long as you don't drop her."

Dex's dark hair fell forward as he bent down and began to slide his hands beneath Delphi's tiny shoulders. He stopped and looked over at Laura. "I don't know how."

Dex spent his life being laid-back and supremely confident; it was endearing to see him admit to a weakness. Laura said encouragingly, "You can do it. Just remember to support her head. Like this." She demonstrated with her own hands and watched from the bed as Dex copied her. "There you go, that's it."

He lifted her up, exclaiming, "She's like a sunflower with a wobbly neck. Oh wow, Delphi Yates, look at you. Look at your hands." He shook his head in wonder. "What about those fingernails? And the eyelashes! Look, she's blinking..."

Laura's smile broadened. He really was in love. She watched him take Delphi on a tour of the tiny side ward, finishing up in front of the mirror. Having carefully settled her into the crook of his arm, Dex studied the reflection of the two of them together. "Hello, Delphi. That's you, that is! Go on, give us a little wave. Oh no, don't pull that face, it's your birthday, you're not allowed to cry... nooo, look in the mirror, have a dance!"

"She might be hungry," said Laura.

"No problem, we'll give her some Haribo. Hey, Delph, fancy a jelly worm? What's your favorite color?"

"Dex, you can't give her Haribo!"

He gave her a look and she realized he'd been joking. "No? Well, that's good, more for us. There, she's not going to cry now anyway. Relax, Mum."

Mum. After all this time, against all the odds, it had finally happened. Just as she'd given up hope that it ever would. At the age of forty-one, she had miraculously fallen pregnant and now Delphi was here.

"I'm a mum," said Laura. "Can you believe it?"

"And this one's strong." Dex's index finger was being grasped by Delphi's tiny curled hand; he mimed agonizing pain. "I think she's going to be a wrestler when she grows up."

"Here, let me take a photo." Laura scooped up her phone and signaled for him to move his face closer to Delphi's.

"So did it hurt, giving birth?" He grimaced. "Don't give me any gory details."

"It was easy," Laura assured him. "Like shelling peas. No pain at all."

"Good girl." Happy with the lie, Dex nodded approvingly at Delphi. "Wait till you're older. I'm going to teach you all the tricks of the trade. How to keep boys under control, how to break their hearts..." Delphi was gazing solemnly up at him with saucer eyes as he spoke. "I'll have to check them out first, see if they're worthy of a date with Delphi Yates before letting you out of the house with them. And they'll have me to answer to if they mess you around."

"Can you imagine? She'll be a teenager," Laura marveled. "Wearing unsuitable outfits, drinking cider, and moaning about us behind our backs. One more photo."

He held Delphi up again, careful to cradle her head in the palm of his hand, and Laura felt her heart take a picture of its own. There was a connection between the two of them that was clear to see; as they gazed into each other's eyes, it was as if they were sharing the most amazing secret. The physical similarities were there too, in the shape of their eyes and the angle of their dark brows; you just knew Delphi would grow up looking like Dex. Laura pressed the button and captured the moment forever. Magically, their images were now enclosed within the phone.

"Send me a copy," said Dex.

"I will. You'll have to be careful who you show it to, mind. Might cramp your style."

"True." He grinned at Delphi. "Is that what you're going to do, hmm? That's the plan? Oh my, you are dangerous."

"How's the new girlfriend?" Laura couldn't remember her name but it didn't matter; Dex no longer expected her to. He got through them at such a rate of knots.

"It's over." Dex looked mournful. "I'm all alone and single again. Poor me."

As if. Laura said, "I know, you'll probably be a sad and lonely bachelor for the rest of your life."

The door creaked open a few inches and the nurse popped her head round to whisper, "Sorry, but you're going to have to go now before I get into trouble."

Dex said at once, "And we can't have that. Thanks so much for letting me in. You've been an angel and I really appreciate it."

"That's OK." Her cheeks dimpled with pleasure. "At least you got the chance to see Delphi."

"Which makes two new people I'm really glad I met tonight. Oh God, that sounds pukey, forget I said it." Having carefully placed Delphi back in Laura's outstretched arms, Dex kissed each of them in turn and said, "Time for you to get some sleep. By the way, you don't happen to know if Alice has a boyfriend, do you?"

Behind him, Alice was still hovering half in and half out of the door. She blushed scarlet at the realization he'd checked out her name badge earlier.

"Funnily enough," said Laura, "I didn't get around to asking her. I was kind of busy having a baby."

"Well, she isn't wearing any rings," said Dex. "So that's a good start."

"I don't have a boyfriend," said Alice. "Why?"

He turned to look at her. "I was just wondering when you're next due an evening off. Because if you think you might like to come out for a drink with me, I'd definitely like to go out for a drink with you."

Laura watched and waited; he was completely incorrigible. Flirting came as naturally to Dexter as breathing. Were his chat-up lines spontaneous, or did he keep to a tried and tested routine?

The recipient of this one, meanwhile, was flushing with pleasure. "Um, well, I'm actually off tomorrow night..."


"But that wouldn't be any good, would it?" Alice was shaking her head. "Because you'll be in New York!"

Dex tapped his temple. "You're right. I've got jet lag already. Although it's only a flying visit. I'll be back the day after that."

"I'm free next Thursday." Alice looked expectant.

"I tell you what, give me a contact number and I'll call you. I'm not an ax murderer, I promise." He took out his mobile and keyed in the number she gave him. "And now I must go before you get told off. This place is such a maze, isn't it? I don't know how I'm going to find my way out."

Visibly bowled over, Alice said, "Come on, I'll show you where the elevators are."

"Bye." Waving from the bed as they left the room, Laura called out mischievously, "Don't forget to bring us back something fabulous from New York!"

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Don't Want To Miss A Thing 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Things are getting busy with life lately (and I've been spending a lot of time with murder mysteries!) so I decided I needed a nice light, fun, feel-good, read. And I knew just the author to pick up! Jill Mansell always delivers a wonderfully warm chick lit read. Don't Want to Miss a Thing is her latest North American release. I was surprised in the first pages - this time 'round we have a male lead character. Dexter is a 'player' - he's got the looks, the money and no lack of female company in London. When his older sister Laura gives birth to her daughter Delphi, Dex falls in love for the first time in his life. Then the unthinkable happens - Laura dies. With no partner she names Dex as Delphi's guardian. Dexter is hesitant - he just doesn't believe he can raise this little girl...but he loves Delphi dearly. He decides to permanently move to his weekend home in a small village in the Cotswolds. His new neighbours welcome him to the community and next door neighbour Molly offers to help out with Delphi. And could there be a little spark between Molly and Dex? The village is full of wonderfully warm, real, eclectic characters, each with their own story - and their own romantic entanglements. Mansell's characters range from teenagers to older adults and those in between. Each one is wonderfully drawn. Every reader will find a character that they can identify with and root for. It's impossible not to be drawn into their world and their lives. You begin to imagine yourself sitting on the stool in the local café, catching up on the local gossip. Mansell is a master of the rom com story. Although we have lots of will they, won't they, near misses and close encounters, we know that in the end, things will turn out just as we want them to. (But Mansell still injects a dose of reality with some of the situations.) Really, who doesn't love a happy ending. And with Jill Mansell, the trip to that happy ending is oh, so enjoyable! Don't Want to Miss a Thing was a wonderful, warm read - a perfect get away from it all tale filled with love and laughter. Absolutely recommended.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Jill Mansell brings readers another emotional, well plotted novel, in her latest offering, Don't Want to Miss a Thing. Mansell has a knack for writing stories that warm the heart and make readers smile in spite of themselves. Her humor and realistic, believable characters make her an author that readers want to return to again and again. With a charming English village, a baby, and a playboy, chick-lit enthusiasts can go wrong with this book! Mansell has said that she takes her ideas from the headlines and pieces things together to make a story. In this book, she takes a London playboy and makes him a father overnight. He has to re-think his way of life, from where he lives to who he dates, because he has someone else depending on him now. I liked the fact that this is something that could and does really happen. When Dexter's sister Laura has an accident and leaves him as guardian to her eight month old daughter his world becomes chaotic, but he does the right thing and surprises everyone. It's a situation that readers have seen play out in real life as well as in Mansell's world and that makes all the difference. As a character, Dex is just wonderful. At first readers see him as playboy. He has the life he wants, wine, women, a fancy car, the perfect job, and then in an instant it all changes. I liked the fact that Mansell made Dex man up and take his responsibilities seriously. He takes on the challenge of parenthood and is determined to give Delphi a good life. I thought he was sensitive and caring and would make a great father, but he sure had a lot to learn and that's where the humor comes in. Putting a man who has no idea how to care of child in this situation had to come across as hilarious at moments and tender at others. Mansell really understood the growth that needed to take place in Dex and she pulls it off with style. He is a real joy to read about. When Dex moves to the small village of Briarwood in the Cotswalds, he believes that this is the kind of place he wants to raise a child. Then he meets Molly, a young cartoonist and they instantly bond over Delphi. As their relationship grows, readers get to learn about Molly's chaotic love life and her past mistakes. I liked Molly a lot. She may have had love troubles, but she understood her mistakes and learned from them. I liked the fact that Mansell takes her time with this love story and brings these characters together in a way that is both heartwarming and entertaining. Though this book is over 400 pages, it is worth the time to really savor the romance and enjoy the interactions between the main characters and the other townsfolk in Briarwood. The secondary characters and their side plots were very interesting to me. Briarwood is a typical English village full of gossip and every day circumstances and Mansell does a fantastic job of not only bringing it to life but engaging her readers with the town. All of the people Molly and Dex come in contact with have a part in their story and I loved how everything came together in the end.  . 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got kind of lost with the characters - way to much going on and hard to keep up with everything. I wish she would have just fully stuck with Molly and Dex and the baby because its hard to keep track of who is who.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun and witty, nicely done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the many characters and grounded storylines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jill Mansell is a great story teller. The characters and stories in her books are interesting, and there is often a twist or two in her story lines. This is a romance, full of engaging people, laugh out loud funny moments, and yes the inevitable heartache of change and growing up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
**3.5 stars**Jill Mansell is an author who's been repeatedly recommended to me, particularly as I love British Women's Fiction. I was so excited to begin Don't Want to Miss a Thing. That excitement was immediately rewarded. Don't Want to Miss a Thing was sweet, and sad, funny, and exceeding charming story of a circle of friends whose lives are all thrown into a much different path than they expected. For me, I found this to be a story of embracing the unexpected journey. If that doesn't convince you that DWtMaT is worth a read, let me add this: I was reminded of Maeve Binchy, one of my all-time favorite authors. I loved how many of her books included several points-of-view, centered around a place or time, such as Evening Class or Nights of Rain and Stars. Needless to say, this is a huge compliment to Jill Mansell. Don't Want to Miss a Thing's characters/stories included: Dex, single and successful, who's life is completely altered by his sister's death, and the choice to raise his niece; Molly, Dex's new neighbor and new best friend, who's torn between wanting Dex and knowing he may hurt her; Molly's best friend Frankie, who's happy life may be a façad; and many more characters, Dex's friend Henry, Frankie's daughter Amber, the local barmaid, a former television star and her lost love, and believe it or not, more characters. Just reading this, it might seem like the book had way too much going on, but Mansell managed to create these very interesting and intersecting storylines, and maintained cohesion to tie all together. Don't Want to Miss a Thing is a really good story in it's own right. But if you're looking for a story that will remind you of Binchy, I highly recommend it. Favorite Quote: Frankie's eyes stayed closed but she felt the beaming smile spread unstoppably across her face. Did that make her a shameless, loose-morale trollop? It did? Yay!
SJMusk More than 1 year ago
This was a fun fast paced book with a happy ending for everyone.  I really enjoyed it.  Jill Mansell brings her characters to life; you know the characters are well created when the book ends and you just don't want your interactions with the characters to be over.  
Bitten-By-Love-Reviews More than 1 year ago
Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope? Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbors. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself. The story soon becomes a collection of emotional, hilarious, heart-warming and romantic narrative. We get taken on the journey of Dex and Molly's roller coaster relationship. We also meet and get thrown into the antics of the Briarwood locals, and their hugely entertaining and entwined dynamics. Although there is certainly a lot going on in this book, I remained fascinated with all of their lives throughout it. The beautifully written relationship between Molly and Dex is an absolute pleasure to read. It was clear that they would eventually get together. I adored how natural and entertaining their dialogue was throughout the story. How even just a simple and accidental touch between the two of them, became breathtaking to read. I really can't say enough how much I enjoyed reading this wonderful book. As a fan of Sophie Kinsella's stand alone novels; I felt like I'd found a book that was reminiscent of the type of "chick lit" that allowed the main character to be strong, yet emotionally open. Molly was a sweet character that only annoyed me in her judgement of Dex, who really manages to warm the heart. Dex isn't the regular Lothario that you're eager to hate; he's actually much more complex and filled with surprising depths of kindness and generosity. I think that I fell in love with Dex! I loved the escape factor of the story, and the sweet love story that unfolded. The other thing I really enjoyed about Mansell's novel was the number of other characters involved in the story. Sometimes I feel as if a writer needs to fill space and keep you reading, so they introduce a number of characters to get your attention. In this case, they each felt important and lovely in connection with the story as a whole. I came to care about Frankie, Molly's best friend who finds out some rather disturbing news about her husband. Towards the end of the book, as everyone’s stories begin to come to a conclusion, I couldn’t stop the feeling of joy. This is a thoroughly satisfying emotional read and I loved every word Overall, I give Don't Miss a Thing a 10 out of a 10. I loved the escape factor of the story, and the sweet love story that unfolded. As mentioned, if you're at all a fan of Cabot or Kinsella, then I can readily and happily recommend this novel as another fun addition to the genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mansell does not disappoint with another touching, poignant story. As usual, read it ina weekend. Can't wait to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another one of Mansell's great stories. It's hard to put her books down and I hope B&N will add new ones to her collection.