Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne

18774978Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Gallery Books

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

The Bonneville Hotel is the best-kept secret in London: its elegant rooms and discreet wood-paneled cocktail lounge were the home-away-from-home for royalty and movie stars alike during the golden age of glamour. Recent years haven’t been kind, but thanks to events manager Rosie, it’s reclaiming some of its old cachet as a wish list wedding venue. While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t; her focus is fixed firmly on the details, not on the dramas. She lives with a professionally furious food critic and works tirelessly toward that coveted promotion.

But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to help run Rosie’s department, she’s suddenly butting heads with the free spirit whose predilection for the unconventional threatens to unravel her picture-perfect plans for the most elaborate—not to mention high-profile—wedding the hotel has ever seen, a wedding that could make or break not only the hotel’s reputation, but also Rosie’s career.

I really enjoyed this; it feels like more than a romance, it is a behind the scenes look at a famous hotel including the lives and loves that are intertwined together.

Rosie McDonald is an events manager at the famous Bonneville Hotel in London. She has been there five years and has her eye on the manager job that is recently vacant; she just has to convince the owner she is ready. She has had a three year relationship with a famous food critic Dominic and is ready to move their relationship to the next level, buying a flat together, but he is hiding something and keeps aspects of his life secret.

The Bonneville Hotel is family owned hotel with a famous past, many actors, royalty and otherwise infamous people have stayed there. Laurence is the owner of the Hotel, his former wife Caroline was Rosie’s mentor for many years she still has influence over Laurence and enjoys helping Rosie whenever she is needed.

Joe is Laurence and Caroline’s son; he was recently living in California running an extreme adventures company. He abruptly comes home, so Laurence puts him to work learning the business from each department. The sparks fly when Rosie and Joe work together on events, can they compromise?

This is a delightful book, a woman who wants to succeed on her own, a hotel that is striving to live up to their glory days and a man who enjoys life and feels it is too short not to live it to the fullest.

Rosie works too hard, but loves her job and the hotel; she wants to make it the best in the world. I like her passion about the hotel. She is a little bit of a control freak, a list person who wants every wedding to be perfect but can’t seem to take control of her personal life. On the other hand, Joe believes memorable weddings always have something that goes wrong. This really messes up her mojo.

Joe is adorable; he comes home after being away for several years, a free spirit who enjoys life. No one knows why he came home and although he does not seem to be sad we find out there was someone he had deep feelings for. There are several laugh out loud moments while Joe is sitting in on some of the wedding meetings, he is ready to give the bride or groom whatever they want, make them happy while Rosie is trying to rein the wedding in, being more traditional, very humorous as they butt heads.

The attraction between the two is slow to build, of course she is with Dominic for most of the story and although we are cheering for her to dump him, she keeps trying to make it work, she wants to believe in a lasting relationship. It is hard to tell what Joe wants; he likes her friendship and that they have a good working relationship, until very close to the end of the story when he realizes the truth.

The secondary characters are entertaining and pivotal, Rosie’s best friend and chef, Helen is enjoyable and I liked how her story ends, Laurence and Caroline are intriguing as hotel owners and mentors and of course Dominic makes sure you do not like him from the beginning, well done! The story is paced well; we are privy to a year of behind the scenes hotel life, the ins and outs of what goes on, a true balancing act between customers and staff. All very interesting and I enjoyed reading about it, yet at times there is a lot of information and detail to go through. This is the first book by this author I have read and I like her voice so it will not be my last. Honeymoon Hotel is light on the romance and the sex is non-existent, but it is a wonderful love story.

I give Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne 4 stars!

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