Reviewed by Sarah Brew
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 film 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.
The glory days of The Bonneville Hotel in Mayfair may seem to be in the past but Events Manager Rosie is determined to bring the beautiful old hotel back to its place as a top-flight wedding venue. Rosie has everything under control until the arrival of Joe whose unconventional ways cannot be ignored – he’s the son of the Manager.
Rosie does everything by the book and you have to wonder whether this is necessarily the best way to do things; Joe is the complete opposite and shakes up Rosie’s plans. Will he scupper all Rosie’s well-laid plans or will it all work out? You’ll have to read the book to find out…
A good balance of humour and romance plus the inevitable wondering about not who will be together at the end, but how they get there. The wonderful characters are really well depicted – the likeable and the not-so likeable. The book is a good length and that gives the author the opportunity to really build up the characters so we really feel we know them well – and miss them – by the end of the book. As a bit of a control freak myself, I found myself really rooting for Rosie and wanting things to go her way, personally and professionally, even though I could see that she needed to lighten up – and Joe is just the one to make her do that.
The book is a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes in a glamorous hotel – The Bonneville Hotel is the stuff of which dreams are made - and is worth reading for that alone. Add two contrasting characters and the ensuing fireworks and you have the ingredients for a great read. This is the first book I have read by Hester Browne and I will certainly be seeking out more. A compelling read which is a great way to share the excitement of weddings without the stress!
I'd like to thank Lauren at Quercus for sending us a copy of this book and Sarah for this fab review.