Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Review of The Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne

The bit on the back…

The Bonneville Hotel is the best-kept secret in Mayfair: its art deco suites and glittering ballrooms a former home-away-from-home for royalty and movie stars alike. Recent years haven’t been kind, but thanks to events manager Rosie, the Bonneville is reclaiming some of its old cachet as a chic retro-glam wedding venue.

While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t; she’s focused on the details, not the dramas. But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to the Bonneville staff, Rosie finds herself up against an unprecedented challenge: a rival whose predilection for the unconventional could derail not only Rosie’s own career, but the most elaborate, high-profile wedding the Bonneville has ever seen.

Firstly a massive thank you to Quercus for approving me for a review copy of this novel via NetGalley. It’s the first of Hester Browne’s novels that I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last!

I want to start out by saying I truly loved this story. There are some books I read where I think yeah I would swap places with her and this is definitely one of them.

The story starts off with a prologue where there is a wedding in the process of being jilted although it wasn’t entirely clear who was being jilted and what our main character’s part was in this wedding but it sets the tone for the rest of the novel which is weddings, weddings, weddings!

I found Rosie’s character really easy to like and relate to right from the beginning of the story. She’s just a normal girl doing her best to fulfill her goals in life, to settle down with the right man and get that promotion she’s after. A girl after my own heart – particularly the promotion as I already have the right man! I love reading stories where you get thrown into this great glamorous rich world and get to pretend you’re part of an elite circle but when you get a character where you can truly imagine yourself in their shoes there is something special about it. I felt that in this story.

The name of the story kind of gives the game away in terms of the plot. It’s a hotel renowned for its classic elegance and glamour favoured by the rich and famous for its discretion and luxury and I loved that Rosie was trying to bring all that the hotel is famous for back into its modern day life. I really enjoyed Rosie’s job and felt like I would love to just step in as her assistant and learn the ropes it all sounded so exciting and although stressful, worthwhile. I would especially love to step into her assistant’s shoes if Joe was still her intern!

Joe. What can I say about Joe? He’s a bit of an idiot. To begin with anyway Joe has a total hippy, love the world be happy vibe going on and his relaxed attitude towards crisis prevention and bride management are not congruent with Rosie’s ideas. I loved the friction it created between them and the underlying chemistry that substantiated it. I always kind of felt like I was rooting for those two to get together and was constantly waiting for that first spark to light the match.

I loved the witty writing in the novel with the dry humour from Rosie towards her situation with handling Joe and the brides and I whipped through this story because I enjoyed it so much! I am definitely on the lookout for more from Hester Browne now! 

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