Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell – review

Published by Headline

Publication date – 20 January 2022

Source – review copy

Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele met as teenagers in the seaside home of kind-hearted foster parents. Arriving in glorious Cornwall was the best thing that ever happened to them – and now, as adults, their bond is stronger than ever.

But Amber has a secret. She’s in love with Lachlan. She can’t confess her feelings because that would never work. Restless Lachlan dates a lot and definitely isn’t the settling-down type. Surely it’s better to keep him as a friend than to risk losing him for good?

Raffaele has his own dilemma. He had the dream girlfriend in Vee, until it all went horribly wrong . . . and he still can’t understand why. Is Vee hiding something from him?

Now their widowed foster dad Teddy thinks he’s found love again. Younger, charming and strikingly beautiful, is Olga as perfect as she seems? Or will she end up breaking Teddy’s heart?

Against a backdrop of sparkling seas and sunny skies, the unexpected is always just around the corner. Welcome to Lanrock!

Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele are firm friends. Their friendship was forged at the home of Teddy and May, foster parents who, through their kindness and love, changed the lives of many children. Now adults, Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele have found themselves back in Lanrock. Teddy is now on his own, May having died a few years ago. Now Amber finds herself secretly in love with Lachlan, notorious for not settling down, Raffaele has split from the love of his life Vee and Teddy has met Olga, who is much younger and worries Lachlan.

Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele are all great characters. Each one has their own issues, a result no doubt because of their background before they were taken in by Teddy and May. Lachlan is a lot less trusting, particularly of Olga, and hasn’t had a serious relationship, protecting himself from heartache. Amber is kind, patient with others and is more open to Teddy’s relationship with Olga. She is also aware that Lachlan must never find out her true feelings as she cherishes his friendship too much to risk it. Raffaele is as independent as Lachlan, as successful in business, but is more open with his feelings. He loves his ex-girlfriend Vee, and is not yet over their relationship.

The small town of Lanrock is a great setting for the novel. Much like the characters within it, the town feels like a friendly, warm, inviting place to visit.

There is a lot of gentle humour dotted throughout the novel and is full of characters who all bring something to the story. For example, there’s Peggy, who is an over the top whirlwind, seemingly bossy but with kindness as her driving force. Her son, Benjie, lives in her shadow, too shy to live the life he wants. Peggy’s misguided attempts to bring her son out of his shell get the results in an unexpected ways.

This is a story where the reader sees the path they hope the characters will take, and where the enjoyment is following them on that path. It is full of warm, likable people who you want to see happy and content.

This is a hug in book form. Perfect for spending a wet weekend or to read on the beach. Simply lovely.

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