It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell #ItStartedWithASecret @JillMansell @headlinepg #BookReview

It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell

Originally published:
23 January 2020

Author: Jill Mansell

Published by: Headline

Genre: Chick Lit

Length: 426 pages

Reading dates: 4-7 December 2019

Lainey and her gay best friend Kit have just lost their jobs in a French chateau and have returned to England with nowhere to live and looking for a new job.  When Lainey sees a position for a couple to help run a home in the idyllic seaside village of St Carys in Cornwall, her and Kit pretend to be a loving couple and apply for the job.

They are soon making themselves invaluable to the family who live in the majestic Menhenrick House, including Sir Richard Myles, a well known retired actor now in his 70s, his daughter in law Majella, her stepson Seth, 3 kids and 2 dogs.

Having not had much luck with relationships, Lainey is definitely not looking for love but she is attracted to Seth, who in turn is attracted to her, but believes her to be in a relationship with Kit.  As the chemistry grows between the pair, Lainey has no idea how Seth will react when he finds out the truth.

I have to admit, I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. I have not read a Jill Mansell book before, and to be honest, I would generally pass them by, thinking they were not for me.  I used to read what I would consider to be chick lit several years ago, but having had my eyes opened to all the other books out there, I have moved away from this genre and the few I have read in the last couple of years have been disappointing.

But this was an absolute delight.  Having written around 30 books, Jill Mansell has a huge talent for writing readable stories with likeable characters that are truly uplifting.  One of the things I dislike about this genre is the endless misunderstandings that seem to be major plot points – I find them frustrating and a little contrived.  Mansell doesn’t do this at all – the story is gentle and flows well, and it made me feel happy!  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of her books now – the perfect remedy to these long, dreary winter evenings!

Thank you to Headline for my gifted copy (and the marshmallows!)

About the author:

Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell’s books are full of love, life and friendship and have been bringing joy to readers for twenty-five years. She started writing fiction while working in the NHS, after joining a local creative writing class. She has since written over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers, including MAYBE THIS TIME, THIS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING and YOU AND ME, ALWAYS, and her books have sold over 11 million copies around the world.

Jill’s hobbies include buying stationery, particularly magical new colours of ink for the fountain pen she uses to write all her books – Jill is one of the few authors who still write their books by hand. Jill also loves people-watching and finding new characters to put in her novels. So when you’re out, make sure to always be on your best behaviour. And beware of beady-eyed authors carrying notebooks . . .


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