Two years ago Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar and had to leave behind everything that mattered to her. Even now she’s finding it hard to move forward. That is until she lands an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel. Suddenly she’s starting to put her life back together, and, apart from the fact that her hard-to-please new boss is breathing down her neck, things are looking good.
But what goes on in the Hope Street Hotel is a far cry from anything she’s ever dealt with before. This is a pioneering ‘divorce hotel’ designed to make every aspect of breaking up efficient and pain-free. In one single weekend, Chloe’s team promises to take care of everything – legal, technical, emotional – and guests check out carefree and single.
No one is better qualified than Chloe to understand what couples need when their relationship is at breaking point, but she soon finds herself having to tackle the heartbreak she’s tried to bury. In particular three couples need her help – Jo and Dave, Lucy and Andrew, and Kirk and Dawn – and the opening weekend is full of revelation, trouble, memories happy and sad, facts that need facing, and some very big surprises.
It’s time to move on. And it soon becomes clear that some endings are, in fact, very exciting new beginnings…
I've been a fan of Claudia Carroll's writing ever since I picked up a copy of Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man so I was looking forward to reading Love Me or Leave Me even if the concept of a divorce hotel seemed a bit of a strange one to me... but as they say never judge and I'm glad I didn't as this was so much more than a story about the breakdown of relationships.
Chloe Townsend had fled Dublin after being jilted by her fiance Frank but after two years away she's finally ready to return home and has been offered the perfect opportunity of managing a new-style hotel, one where couples come to amicably dissolve their relationships! Chloe is determined to prove herself and make the hotel a success but she's in for a rocky road once the guests start arriving especially with her boss Rob looking over her shoulder and Frank making a reappearance...
What I loved was the diversity of the couples and the circumstances that have brought them to the hotel; we have young hippy couple Dawn and Kirk, career woman Jo and actor Dave, plus model Lucy and her older husband Andrew. We're given an insight into who they are as a couple in the form of an intro from their wedding invitations which worked really well but it also has you thinking as to what could possibly have gone wrong to bring them to this point to call it quits.
Told from the viewpoints of Chloe, Dawn, Jo and Lucy, we follow the couples throughout the weekend and the drama that unfolds as they meet lawyers and counsellors to talk over their issues and come to an agreement. And as you'd expect where relationships are involved anything can happen and definitely does...
Claudia has done it again as her brilliant storytelling draws you into this quirky idea of a divorce hotel and I found myself sympathising with each of the characters in turn as I heard their side of the story, that is apart from Kirk but you can't love them all, and wanted them all to get their happy-ever-after ending whatever that turned out to be. Roll on her next novel Meet Me in Manhattan which is due to be published later this year.
I'd like to thank Olivia at Lightbrigade PR for sending me a copy of this book to review.