Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “It Started with a Secret” as Want to Read:
It Started with a Secret
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

It Started with a Secret

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,642 ratings  ·  395 reviews
A beautiful Cornish setting, a chaotic family, a woman who's had enough of romance - or has she?

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 f
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published January 23rd 2020 by Review (first published January 2020)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about It Started with a Secret, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about It Started with a Secret

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,642 ratings  ·  395 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of It Started with a Secret
Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In It Started with a Secret, Lainey and Kit, looking to take on new jobs, signs up to help a large family organize their house and their lives. Each member of the family is going through their own turmoil, so they need all the help they can get. But in order to qualify for the job, they had to pretend to be a couple. This one little fib kicks off what turns out to be a fun-filled and heartwarming adventure for everyone involved.

This is a quintessential Jill Mansell: lighthearted, funny, and abso
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Hello! Amazing couple required -
could it be you?

We live in a gorgeous beachfront home in North Cornwall. We're an untidy family who need taking in hand. Are you organized, energetic, and delightful to have around? Would you like to restore order from chaos, and look after us?

Most love cats, dogs, teenagers and the occasional tricky geriatric. You'll have your own flat, use of a half-decent car, and flexible hours.

So what do you think? Would you be our Mary Poppins. . . and Bert? Come
Theresa Alan
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is exactly the kind of novel the world needs right now. It’s happy and fun and I liked everybody.

When Lainey and Kit lose their jobs through no fault of their own, they concoct a lie and secure jobs helping out with a wealthy family—a famous, now old actor, his widowed daughter, her three kids, and their dogs and cats. Lainey is immediately attracted to the actor’s grandson, but because of her secret, she can’t act out on those feelings.

This book is filled with romance. It’s a very light
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming little love story that is light and airy and full of characters. Lainey and her best friend Kit take a job and pretend to be a loving couple. That's the hitch though...Kit is gay and soon Lainey finds herself falling for the boss! Such a small secret, right? This is a quick and entertaining summer read, just right if you want to lift your spirits.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
beachbum bookworm
It started with a secret by Jill Mansell was soap opera fun! I do miss All my children! Out of work Lainey and her BFF Kit take a job caring for a retired actor and his Zany family. Just watch the antics ensue...

My thoughts:

This book is not my typical read...but a nice change of pace. The characters were all quirky and enjoyable...each with their own story and laugh out loud moments...making this book perfect for a summer beach read!

For more book fun subscribe to my blog @ http://beac
Alayne Emmett
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely heart warming book, I loved it. It was so warm and I could picture where the characters lived, the sunshine and the sea. This book kept you interested all the way through . I used to read every Jill Mansell books that came out, then I drifted away for awhile but, now I’m back ready to read more!!!
My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Katie Lumsden
Good fun and very enjoyable – wish I had seen more of a few of the minor characters, and that the 'secret' premise has lasted longer, but this is a nice love story and a good read. ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Lainey and her friend Kit find themselves out of work at the chateau they have been working at, they begin the look for new jobs. One is offered to help out with a chaotic family in a Cornish Village. The family are looking for a couple, so Lainey and Kit lie, it's only a little lie, but a lie all the same.

The family are indeed a madcap and riotous bunch and also friendly and in need of help, so Lainey and Kit are hired. While this seems ok, there is a slight problem and that is Seth, he is
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
What a great light summer, fun read. Lots of stories with great characters. This was my first book by Mansell, but it won't be my last. I am on the look out for more as you are reading this review.
I recommend this 4 star summer fun read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
I both like and dislike the book for the same reasons - every adult in the main cast gets their desired ending.

Something I've started to take note of is if there's BIPOC rep. This is very white.
Clair Sharpe
Lainey and her gay best friend Kit have just lost their jobs in a French chateau and have returned to England with nowhere to live and looking for a new job. When Lainey sees a position for a couple to help run a home in the idyllic seaside village of St Carys in Cornwall, her and Kit pretend to be a loving couple and apply for the job.
They are soon making themselves invaluable to the family who live in the majestic Menhenrick House, including Sir Richard Myles, a well known retired actor now in
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, lighthearted book which was the perfect, easy holiday read. Likeable characters, a storyline which gently flittered through, just what you’d expect from a Jill Mansell book.
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads, chick-lit
This book hit just the spot. It was light and airy and full of fun characters and lots of happy at the end.

Jill Mansell has perfected this lane and she stays in it. Sometimes she colors outside her own lines, some of her books skew a littler darker and heavier-- even for her special brand of fizzy chick lit. Some just don't have the sparkle or the characters are duds. This one, though, hits every on every cylinder: Great banter, engaging individual plots, root-worthy romances, and nice little s
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jill Mansell is an author whose books I always look forward to picking up, and whilst You and Me, Always will forever be my favourite, It Started With A Secret is now closely sat behind it.

At a chateau in France, It Started With A Secretbegins with a proposal that quickly turns into a colossal disaster – not just for the poor guy jilted – but also for staff member Lainey, who ends up jobless, homeless and single rather quickly.

Along with fellow co-worker and good friend Kit, they quickly start s
The Literary Shed

Jill Mansell’s wonderful new comedy of errors

When you read a Jill Mansell novel you know you’re in a pair of safe hands. Overflowing with charming characters, interesting plot threads and great locations, with more than a sprinkle of romance, wit and comic relief, Mansell’s books are tightly written and wonderfully realised. Her latest work, It Started with a Secret, thankfully, builds on all this.

As the story opens, protagonist Lainey has, what seems to be, a dream job in a working cha
Rhuddem Gwelin
Amiable fluff if you can tolerate romantic feel-goods, which I can (just barely) now and then. It takes place in Cornwall (don't they all?) which is a little plus because I too love Cornwall. Not recommended for readers who have trouble with their teeth - the sugar content of this book is near-lethal. ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 3.5 from me.

You can never go far wrong with a Jill Mansell book. A lovely, heart warming story of love, self discovery and family drama. Defiantly a recommendation for fans of chic lit.
Jill Mansell = always a good idea.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lainey and her best friend Kit find themselves out of work. Having been working at the chateau in France, they are now returning to England, hoping to find a new job. This is when Lainey spots an ad for a couple to run a home in an idyllic and beautiful seaside village of St Carys in Cornwall. Desperate to get this position, they pretend to be a couple in love and indeed, they get it, helping now a brilliantly chaotic family that consists of Sir Richary Myles, a well know and now retired actor, ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful romance (actually numerous romances) that incorporates family life and drama realistically. Perfect to put in your bag and take with you to the beach this summer… or to read in your backyard with a drink of choice!

Besides a bunch of romances (will they/won’t they, old love, and lost love) there is a gregarious and grumpy Hollywood actor learning to love others besides himself, a person realizing they are gay and the support system they find, a widow wanting to find someone to sh
Rachel Gilbey
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is always a pleasure to sit down and read a brand new Jill Mansell book, and this was no exception.

I was drawn into the story immediately, and couldn't help bu keep turning the pages to see what would happen next.

The book returns to a familiar sounding area of Cornwall for Jill Mansell fans, St. Carys, which is made up of some bays that I definitely recall seeing as settings before. However if you have never read a book from the author don't fear it truly is 100% a standalone, I've never me
Rachel Bridgeman
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: january-2020
But Lainey's not the only one with a secret - it seems everyone has them! And they're all about to start unravelling...

Hugest of thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and publishers Headline for the chance to review ''It Started With A Secret' for the blogtour accompanying the ebook and harback release!


Honestly, she is a breath of fresh air, I cannot recommend her highly enough as a writer of sharply observed, well written characters set in the modern world, yet w
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun and atmospheric book that's guaranteed to be your perfect summer beach read! Fans of Jill Mansell will certainly be celebrating yet another delightful book in the prestigious author's collection. Everything about this story was a joy from the delectable chateau setting to the cast of quirky and lovable characters. This book is engrossing and such a great, happy escape. Reading this book is like lounging in the sunshine, warm and utterly joyful. ...more
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2,5 stars! I think this is the first time a chick-lit book described by others as "typical yet charming" didn't charm me.
It was just vanilla for me and I didn`t really care about the main characters and the main plot.
Kate Smith
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What’s there not to love about Jill Mansell books !
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars
See the full review at HarlequinJunkie

A feel good novel with delightful characters and an interesting, strong plot, It Started with a Secret was filled with Jill Mansell’s trademark humor and wit–as well as a beautiful book cover!

Jill Mansell’s books make me happy. There’s something about the way she blends family, friendship, and romantic issues together so easily along with a relatable cast who are usually quite hilarious. And in It Started with a Secret, we had exactly
Just as good the second time around.

4.5 stars! I loved it so much that I'm going to start over and read it all over again!

Jill Mansell has written another romantic, funny, heartwarming, and very satisfying story. Yes, it's a grown-up fairy tale but that's why I love reading her books. As an added bonus, there are some cameos from another of my favorite Mansell stories, "The Unexpected Consequences of Love".

Some profanity.
mindful.librarian ☀️
(free review copy) a perfect summer read - cheery and cozy and unique
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is just what you need to make you smile and feel Goodrich during this world wide Covid-19 pandemic, it’s another wonderful feel good book from the wonderful Jill Mansell, who never disappoints.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Feelgood Book...: Maandboek - Heerlijk duurt het langst 12 24 Jun 06, 2020 02:23AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January
  • How Not To Be a Boy
  • Meet Me at the Museum
  • Impostor (Alexander Gregory Thrillers, #1)
  • The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler, #2)
  • Thaw
  • Dark Deception
  • Deadly Harm (Mackenzie Darroch #2)
  • The Tear Collector
  • A Reason to Hope: A Pride & Prejudice Novella
  • Salt Slow
  • Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior
  • Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
  • Mrs Darcy's Fine Eyes (Hot Mush, #2)
  • The Hunting Party
See similar books…
Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.

Jill Mansell's books have

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
32 likes · 7 comments