It Started With a Secret by Jill Mansell – review

Published by Headline

Publication date – 23 January 2020

Source – review copy

The trouble with secrets is that you can’t guess what the consequences will be . . .

Lainey has lost everything. Luckily one little fib (OK, quite a big fib) helps nail her dream job. Soon she’s living in a stunning house by the sea, fending off obsessed fans for a retired – if far-from-retiring – actor and organising his charming but chaotic family. It’s definitely worth the challenge of keeping her secret.

At least Lainey isn’t looking for love. It’s time for a break from all that. And yet . . . Seth, the actor’s grandson, really is rather attractive. There’s growing chemistry and a definite connection between them. But how would he react if he knew she hadn’t been honest with him?

Lainey’s not the only one with a secret, though. Seth has one of his own. And everything’s about to start unravelling . . .

Lainey was working in a ideal job in the south of France. But when circumstances mean she has to find a new job she soon finds the perfect position. There’s just one snag. She ropes her best friend Kit into applying and the pair soon find themselves working for a retired actor and his extended family. But when Lainey falls for the actor’s grandson, Seth, will things unravel?

This is the third book Jill Mansell has set in the delightful St Cerys but all of the books are stand alone so can be read in any order.

There is something familiar about reading a novel by Jill Mansell, something warm and inviting, something that encourages comfy clothes and indulgent treats to accompany a reading session.

There are a whole host of delightful characters, from Sir Richard Myles, an eccentric former film star, spending his days surrounded by his colourful family to his daughter-in-law Majella, slowly starting to date again after the death of Tom, her beloved husband and Richard’s only son. The twin Violet and India, as different as night and day and 11 year old Henry, happy as long as he’s fed add a colourful and noisy background, depicting a chaotic house, but one filled with love.

Lainey and Seth are destined to be together and the journey they go on is a fun one, with many bumps along the way.  They soon fall for each other but can’t reveal how they feel for a variety of reasons. The truth about Lainey’s situation is soon revealed but things don’t run smoothly as Seth has to face a secret of his own.

As for Majella’s dating experiences, they provide entertainment all of their own. It goes to show that sometimes a few frogs do have to be kissed before a prince arrives.

There are a number of secrets that unfold in the story, not just Lainey and Seth’s. It would seem that when one is revealed, it opens the doorway for more to come to light.

There is an inevitability about the story line but that is what appeals. A reader can pick up a Jill Mansell novel knowing there is going to be a happy ending or three. It’s the journey travelled to get there that makes it all the more entertaining.

This is the perfect book to curl up with on a spring morning, a winter evening or a bright summer’s day.

In these uncertain times, comfort is often needed. That’s what It Started With a Secret brings. A hug in book form. Recommended.

One Comment Add yours

  1. This sounds lovely! A great escapist read, which is definitely needed at the moment.


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