The Man I Loved Before by Anna Mansell **Book Review** @bookouture

Happy Wednesday all

This was such a unique story filled with heart and healing.❤️

My Thoughts

An emotional and unique story filled with heart and healing. This book gave me all the feels: I laughed, I cried, I got frustrated, I cringed, I rolled my eyes, I smiled, and I shrugged my shoulders. Jem’s Life is a bit of a mess she lost the love of her life, her job, her house, filed for bankruptcy, and worst of all her mom is fighting cancer. Just as it looks as though Jem’s Life might turn around her mother meaning well sends a letter off to her ex Ben. This was a letter that Jem wrote for her own closure, a letter never meant to be seen, a letter that disclosed some pretty deep secrets that Ben was not aware of. What follows is a complicated story of hope, humor, sentiment, and sorrow.

Jem was a very likable and relatable character. I really liked her sense of humor and her strong friendship with Leanne. I really wasn’t sure what to make of the men in her life. Ben seemed to have moved on and Mitch there just seem to be something off about him. This really wasn’t a love triangle though, because there is a clear choice, you just never are sure that things are going to work out that way. The most important bond of this book however was that of Jem and her mother. Her mom really was such a treasure and I loved how supportive they were of one another. This book really does deal with some serious issues and I think they were handled well. I wish however that Jem’s alcoholism was addressed a little more thoroughly, I think it would have been a bit of a tougher battle for her to quit drinking. But there was a lot going on in the story and I think it ended on the perfect satisfying note.

*** Big thank you to Bookouture for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

‘Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’


When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written.


She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good.


Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy.


But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?


A heartbreaking, beautifully honest novel that will stay with readers long after they finish it. Perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Amanda Prowse, and Susan Lewis.

About the Author

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma into something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻


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