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Rumor Has It: In a town this small, a secret is hard to keep    by Jill Mansell order for
Rumor Has It
by Jill Mansell
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Tilly Cole arrived home from work one day to discover her boyfriend Gavin had taken his furniture and left. Now Tilly is in an apartment she cannot afford on her own, but she is secretly glad the relationship is over.

After spending a weekend in Roxborough, a small town near London, Tilly sees an ad in the local paper for a Girl Friday. She decides to call about the position, thinking if she got the job she would be close to her best friend Erin, who operates a dress exchange store in town.

Tilly lands the job and her new boss is Max Dineen, a handsome, gay, interior designer. She will assist him in his work, but also help care for his thirteen-year-old daughter Lou. After a few weeks, Tilly settles into her job but finds out Roxborough is a hotbed for gossip. She meets Jack Lucas, Max's straight friend, but is warned away from him because of his reputation as a womanizer.

Tilly's friend Erin is having her own problems. She is dating Fergus Welch, a married man, not yet divorced. After his wife Stella finds out about Erin, she sets out to make Erin's life a living hell, as she wants her husband back no matter what. Tilly is fighting her strong attraction to Jack, who seems the total opposite of what the gossipmongers say about him, and Jack is out to prove the locals wrong.

In this cast of quirky, zany characters, Tilly finds the family she always wanted. Max's ex Kay, a scorned movie star, returns from the United States and is welcomed back into the family. She once had a fling with Jack and feels she should advise Tilly on how to handle him. Fergus's ex Stella suddenly takes ill and finds herself all alone. Erin steps up and shows her compassion and friendship in her time of need.

Crazy misunderstandings abound to make this a funny, laugh out loud read. Rumor Has It is a fast paced romantic comedy.

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