Blog Tour Review – It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell has been a favourite author of mine for many years. So once again when bloggers were asked if they’d like to be part of the blog tour, my hand was highest in the air and my voice was the loudest yelling ME, ME, ME! Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour.

About the book

Jill’s Mansell’s heart-warming new book is the perfect escape from the winter weather. A beautiful Cornish setting, a chaotic family, a woman who’s had enough of romance – or has she?

‘IT STARTED WITH A SECRET is like a little blast of sunshine – uplifting, heartwarming and supremely feelgood’ Sophie Kinsella, author of CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC

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 . . .

What did I think?

I love my life, I really do. But whenever Jill writes a new book, I want to move my life to the setting of her latest book. I was quite happy in France to be honest at the start of the book, but when Lainey and Kit see the opportunity to apply for a job at a big house in St Carys, I wanted to apply for the job myself! Jill has a wonderful knack of creating places where you just want to be. And in St Cary’s, while the map in the front of the book helps, it’s Jill’s awesome writing that makes you see the vivid pictures in your head, and brings all your other senses to life too.

Her characters are people that you either want to be, or want to be best friends with. The relationships that she writes are perfect. The crazy mixed-up family in this book couldn’t have been written better. You took to each and every one of them, from the moment you were introduced.

I particularly loved Seth in this book, right from the start (well once I knew that the first meeting with him, wasn’t all that it seemed.) He was a fabulous character, and while I willed him and Lainey to be more than friends, I was never sure whether it would happen in their will they, won’t they relationship.

As the story unravels and we go on a journey with each and every one of the wonderful characters in this gorgeous story, you just want to be part of their family. And the end of the story couldn’t have been more perfect in my opinion.

Jill is a super talented lady, who still, after writing for over twenty five years, manages to come up with fresh exciting plots which keep you turning those pages. She’s a huge inspiration to me, and an idol in the women’s fiction world. Fledgling writers like me can only aspire to be a tiny bit as fabulous an author as this.

It Started With A Secret is another compelling, fun, interesting read, full of love, hope, family and friendship which I absolutely adored and meant that I didn’t get an ounce of housework done all day long and couldn’t wait to see what happened.

A highly recommended read.

Don’t just take my word for it though. Lots of brilliant bloggers are on the blog tour for this book, so follow their posts too.

About the author

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.

Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is Three Amazing Things About You, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.

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Kim Nash