Review: Honeymoon Hotel

Honeymoon HotelHester Browne, Honeymoon Hotel

Rosie has loved London’s Bonneville Hotel ever since she was a child. In former years it was a destination spot for Hollywood stars who wanted to conduct their affairs discreetly, but now it’s a bit run-down and has lost some of its sparkle and glamor. As the Bonneville’s events manager, Rosie hopes to restore the hotel to its former glory, specifically by turning it into London’s most desirable wedding venue. She pursues this goal with single-minded practicality and a rigid attention to detail, despite the fact that she herself was once left at the altar. But Rosie’s plans encounter a snag when the owner of the Bonneville brings his son Joe onto the hotel staff. Joe has spent the last several months in America, and his laid-back attitude and ignorance of the wedding industry drive Rosie crazy — especially when his thoughtless comments cause one bride to call off her wedding. But when a well-known model expresses interest in booking her wedding at the Bonneville, Rosie and Joe must find a way to work together despite their differences.

I enjoy a good chick lit novel from time to time, and I’ve liked some of Hester Browne’s previous novels, so I was eager to read her latest offering. Unfortunately, I found this to be a very forgettable read. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, that I recall; it just didn’t do anything special for me. The plot is a bit of a cliché — girl is too uptight, boy is too relaxed, how will they ever get along? — and nothing about the details or characters really elevated it above that level, for me. I especially had trouble seeing the appeal of Joe, whose character really isn’t developed beyond being laid-back and carefree. So I didn’t care very much about the romance. Also, the book focuses a LOT on Rosie’s job and the minutiae of wedding planning, which even I found dull, and I’m interested in that kind of thing! It’s certainly a readable book, and I do recommend the author for fans of British chick lit, but I definitely wouldn’t read it again.

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