The Honeymoon Hotel is the first book I’ve read by Hester Browne, but it won’t be the last as this is a great chick-lit book.
‘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.’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)
The synopsis captured my interest straight away. The Bonneville sounded like a lovely hotel in which to spend time, and indeed it was. The hotel is like a character in itself; it’s the basis for most of the scenes as Rosie’s place of work and lends itself to a wide range of interesting characters showing up along the way, from the staff to the customers. I had such vivid images of this hotel, thanks to the rich description. Next time I go to London, I’ll be imagining stumbling across this classy historic hotel even though it’s fiction.
Rosie is a character who is practically married to her job, which kind of suits the relationship she’s in with London’s most notorious restaurant critic, Dom, as he’s also very busy. Nevertheless, Rosie is ready to move their relationship forward. Rosie is very loyal to the hotel and very knowledgeable about its history. Her long-standing colleagues are pretty much like family to her and this shone through the pages. I enjoyed learning about the hotel’s history and the staff through her.
Whilst Rosie is a very good ‘events manager,’ she is very keen to be promoted to manager and when her boss sets her specific targets to meet in order to be promoted, she becomes even more driven, but will the boss’s son Joe throw a spanner in the works? He certainly seems to be doing his best to hamper Rosie’s successes in securing lucrative weddings for the hotel. There were some very funny moments when Rosie and Joe were helping to plan some of these weddings, with them being at polar opposites about what is a good idea for a wedding--in particular a wedding at the Bonneville--and what is not. Joe’s laid back attitude is both frustrating and refreshing.
Dom is an interesting character and I enjoyed tapping into the world of being a restaurant critic through his and Rosie’s outings and the subsequent column he writes, even if he’s not always likable. The supporting characters were very vivid, particularly Rosie’s boss who is very neurotic. He's a boss who on the one hand you’d think ‘what do they do all day?’, on the other hand you forgive them as they’re kind of like family.
Whilst yes, I might have guessed what would happen in this novel, this didn’t matter at all, there were so many people to care about I wanted a neat bow tied up around everybody. This was a joy to read from start to finish and anyone after more of your typical ‘chick lit’ will enjoy this light escapist read with laughs along the way. I found it to be a real page turner.
Thanks to Quercus for the book in exchange for an honest review.
More by Hester Browne: