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SHOULD I TELL YOU? – Jill Mansell
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 978-1-7282-5253-7
July 5, 2022
Contemporary Fiction

Lanrock, England – Present Day

Amber Nicholls, Lachlan McCarthy, and Raffaele Wright all ended up in the same foster home and were raised to adulthood by Teddy Penhaligon and his late wife, May. Teddy is on a cruise and calls home to let them know that he’s found himself a girlfriend, Olga, and is bringing her back home. Amber, Lachlan, and Raffaele are afraid that Olga is a gold digger looking to cash in on a wealthy elderly man. They decide to investigate Olga, though nothing comes up to give them ammunition. After Teddy arrives home with Olga, she turns out to be nice to them, yet they still feel suspicious about her. Are they right in feeling that way?

Lachlan is a top-notch chef and owns his own restaurant. Amber does work for him and has watched the women come on to him through the years. While he’s had girlfriends off and on, there is never one who sticks around. As they work on investigating Olga, Lachlan and Amber become closer. Will it lead to something finally happening between them?

Raffaele had a long-time girlfriend, Vee, but she has recently broken off their relationship and refuses to talk to him without becoming angry. He’s baffled at what he can do to get back with her, or if it’s even worth a try.

There are several other characters in SHOULD I TELL YOU?, including Benjie, who has become more than friends with Jo. But after he learns a secret as to why she’s hanging around him, he breaks it off and starts an online friendship with Dani, and things seem to be going well, except he hasn’t met her yet. What about Jo, who remains in the background. She’s sorry for what happened and wants to make amends.

It’s like a community of characters in SHOULD I TELL YOU? by Jill Mansell. The novel mostly focuses on Amber, Lachlan, and Raffaele, though there are other points of view presented. Their shared experiences of growing up without one or two parents have helped them forge a tight relationship. While Amber has looked at Lachlan longingly over the years, he’s never looked her way. Raffaele has built up his barbershop business to one that is doing well, especially after he got national exposure for doing free haircuts for the homeless. But it is Vee who he misses the most in his life. Without her, he feels like he is floundering. Meanwhile, Olga is turning out to be an interesting character. Is she the right choice for Teddy? Or is she taking him to the cleaners? As this tale nears the end, Lachlan, Amber, and Raffaele are surprised at what they learn about Olga.

Given the number of characters and their storylines in SHOULD I TELL YOU?, readers might find navigating this tale a bit confusing. It really wasn’t until midway through that I got a good grasp on who was who. The main plot is finding out if Olga is a gold digger, but that is pushed to the background mostly. It’s all about the characters and the growth they experience. A nice, sweet tale of friends helping each other just like a family would, don’t miss SHOULD I TELL YOU?

Patti Fischer

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