The Man I Loved Before by Anna Mansell / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @AnnaMansell



‘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?




What a gorgeous story! It had me laughing out loud a lot and it had me snivelling as many times.

How can you really love someone when you don’t know how to love yourself? How can you take care of someone when you don’t take care of yourself?

This is a beautiful and at times hilarious story about learning to get to know yourself and even more important learning to accept who you are. You don’t have to always agree or do what someone else says. Some might only have their best intrests at heart and yours are only second best.

Kudos to that one best friend who will stand by you through thick and thin.

I loved the way Jem developed and finally saw the sun peaking through her darkest clouds. 5 stars

Thank you, Anna Mansell and Bookouture


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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