Cover Image: It Started with a Secret

It Started with a Secret

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Member Reviews

Cute story, one I read while quarantined so it was an easy read to finish. It’s funny that it all starts with a lie Lainey and kit give for a new job.  But all’s well that ends well and the funniest characters are the ones you’d least expect.
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I found this book did not hold my interest.  Thank you for allowing me to read it and I am sure someone else will enjoy it.
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I found author Jill Mansell's books as a teenager but it has been awhile since I've read one.  Her latest romantic comedy, It Started With A Secret, explores the story of Lainey and her friend Kit who get hired on as a couple caretaker of a family. Only they have a secret. This book made me want to read all of Jill Mansell's books again. A fun, light-hearted, romantic book. 

#netgalley
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I received It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell as an ARC from NetGalley.  I've read numerous books by Jill Mansell and they have all been enjoyable rom coms.  This one is no exception.  Lainey and Kit were working in a B & B in France when the owners tell them they will have to let them go because they have run out of money.  They pretend to be a couple and take jobs working for a family in Cornwall.  There is a lot going on with the family and they need Lainey and Kit to sort them out.  As in typical of a Jill Mansell novel, there are setbacks along the way that lead to a happily ever after story.  A fun read.
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Jill Mansell and her seaside English rom-coms are the perfect antidote to a cold, lonely winter. Fans of hers will fall into exactly what we expect and love from her-- a bunch of quirky characters on a path to finding happiness, with a lot of shenanigans along the way. It is pure, sweet, and satisfying-- as usual.

If you don't know Mansell-- well you have a lot of catching up to do! If you like this, there's many more where that came from.

Recommend for romance readers, those looking for something fun and uncontroversial, and those who need a quick, sweet read to balance the sourness of reality.
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For me, this novel provides a perfect escapist read; it has appealing settings, multiple characters and plot lines, complications, resolutions...and of course, love.


Settings:  The story opens and ends in France at a beautiful chateau that has become a hotel.  Much happens between two visits to that countryside. The rest of the novel takes place in the U.K., partly in Cornwall, a place that comes vividly into being with the water, the cafes, the shops, etc.  Readers also spend time in other locations including Bristol.  (I enjoyed my visit back to the suspension bridge via the book.)


So many characters:  Lainey and Kit:  Good friends who come to work for a family in Cornwall.  They pretend to be a married couple to get the job.  Will they be discovered?  What will happen then?  Who does each belong with?


Sir Richard:  an eighty-year old well-loved actor who is egotistical, eccentric and was a playboy.  What surprising new relationship will come to him?


Majella: the widow of Sir Richard's son.  She does her scattered best to take care of her children while hoping to move on to a new romance.  FYI:  She has some real clunkers of dates.  Majella's children are secondary characters and each has his/her own personality.


Seth:  he runs a tourist agency that readers will wish was real.  A ladies man, he has never found "the one."  Will he by the end of the story?  Also, is there something to know about his parentage?


Wyatt:  He proposed to the lovely Penny who turns him down.  Why?  Will he ultimately be happier?  Will she?


There are many strands to tie together over the course of the novel as readers watch the  characters deal with the secrets in their lives.  Throughout, Ms. Mansell has a light touch and kept me happily turning the pages.


Many years ago when I first ordered a book to be sent to me via the wonders of the internet and international purchasing, I picked a Jill Mansell title.  This author's ability to combine humor and heart have not diminished over her many publications.


Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
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Fun romp in the U.K. with friends Kit and Lainey as they seek to escape one dramatic situation only to be caught up in another.  Love their encounters with unique and likeable characters - and their ability to keep their sense of humor when things start to go wrong. Romantic comedy at its best (but really, when isn’t it with Mansell?!)
Terrific escape!
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I’m in the minority with my 2 star rating but I’m sad to say I just cannot connect to any of the characters! Sorry to say but I gave up at 25%. I tried, I really did! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
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I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for this arc in return for my honest review.

This was a well worth read, it had me engaged from the start to the end.

Please take the time and put this on your reading list, it will not disappoint.
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It started with a secret was a joy to read. The characters navigate through different situations full of love and hope. I would like to read more from this author.
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I liked the story by ms. Mansell. I gravitate to her books and find myself retreading them. This one was no exception!
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A thoroughly enjoyable read with endearing characters, lots of humour and not just one romance, but love to be found for anyone open to it. Lainey and Kit secure a new job but only by lying about their relationship.  They are soon part of the family and wonder what their future holds if the truth comes out.
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This is the first book that I've read by author Jill Mansell, but it definitely won't be the last!  "It Started With A Secret" is the story of Lainey, who along with her friend and co-worker Kit, lose their jobs at the French castle-turned-inn that they worked for when the owners can't afford to keep it running any longer.  They travel together back to England to find work, and discover a job posting for a couple to help keep the family there organized and the house running.  Posing secretly as a couple, they win the family over and are hired to take of the group, and soon are welcomed in as part of the family.  Lainey soon discovers herself falling in love with one of the family members, Seth, the grandson of the head of the household, a retired actor with a rather active fanbase.  But Seth values honesty, and Lainey worries what will happen if he discovers her secret...

"It Started With A Secret" was a fun book to read, and you can't help but fall in love with the Lainey and Kit, and the motley group of family members they are there to take care of: Richard, the retired actor; Majella, Richard's daughter- in-law who Lainey convinces to get back into the world of dating; Majella's 3 children; and Seth; and a couple of dogs.  The story flowed well, and was a quick read.  Definitely looking forward to reading more by Jill Mansell!

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a really cute book and was actually the first Jill Mansell book I have read.  I really enjoyed the characters Kit and Lainey and the intertwining of all the stories.  It takes place along the coast in England. It was a nice and quite funny! I was a tad disappointed with the ending but don’t let that stop you as I’ll definitely be reading more of her books.  Thanks for the ARC!
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It Started With a Secret, is such a lovely book. You need to pay attention and have no distractions while reading it though. A couple of parts I needed to reread. A lot of people have their story told in this novel.
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This was an excellent love story that made me smile. Impressive character development along with a fascinating storyline make this book a success.
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I couldn't get into it at all. :(  I tried but, it fell flat for me. I have never read this author before, but I tried.
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First book I have read from this author, and I was pleasantly surprised.
The story is a light, feel good plot with well developed characters that made me feel like the story was really happening.  There were lots of simple, little subplots taking place all at once that made the story seem even more real life.  I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author.  
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This book felt like such a breath of fresh air. I forgot how much I love to read Jill Mansell books.  Well written and was so looking forward at the end of each day
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I have never read a book of Jill Mansell before, but I always heard that if you like nice, funny and light romances, you would like this. So I request it it. 

This was a pretty good novel. This author definitely knows how to write likable characters and a engaging story. 

Definitely reading some of this author previous novel’s.
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