It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell

Every year I look forward to reading the latest book by Jill Mansell, and It Started with a Secret was no exception – enjoyable escapism and a lovely Cornish setting.

When Lainey and Kit lose their jobs at a French chateau, they apply for a live-in position with a wonderfully eccentric family in Cornwall, but have to pretend to be a couple when they are really just good friends. This causes a few misunderstandings, but by then the family have come to rely on Lainey and Kit, and so they are forgiven.

There is a lot of humour in the stories of Majella’s internet dating, Sir Richard’s obsessive fans, and Seth’s weird mother to name but a few. There are also some truly awful characters, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.

Jill Mansell writes believable characters who inhabit a world so realistic you almost forget you are reading a novel. I read somewhere that St Carys encapsulates everything that Jill loves about Cornwall (she created it initially for a previous book, Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay) without all the downsides; it certainly sounds idyllic.

I definitely recommend It Started with a Secret, and if you have not read anything by Jill Mansell before you have her extensive back catalogue to look forward to.

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