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If you know anything about my reading life, you know that I love romance novels. I always say that if my favorite books were food, they’d be a vanilla cupcake with pink buttercream frosting and sprinkles. (Hence, my shorthand of referring to them as Cupcake Books. Not to be confused with books about cupcakes, which is potentially a sub-genere of Cupcake Books.)
I recently discovered the What Should I Read Next podcast and I’ve been binge-listening their old episodes. In one episode, Honeymoon Hotel was listed as a favorite book. Cara Strickland described it as a perfect example of British chick lit. (I know, the phrase chick lit sucks, but I love the chick lit genre. And you know exactly what I mean when I say it.) Of course this happened in the carpool line when I didn’t have my Kindle. As soon as I got home, I checked Overdrive and my library didn’t have it. I requested that they get it and assumed that I’d need to make room in my book budget to purchase it.
Then, the library gave me the ultimate feeling of victory and power:
And, to make it nice and easy, it went right onto my hold list and then auto-checked out. Perfect.
Here’s my review of Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne.
Summarizing plots is not one of my greatest gifts (because I always accidentally give a spoiler), so here’s the blurb:
A charming novel in the vein of The Wedding Planner featuring an ambitious and by-the-books event planner who finds herself at odds with her new assistant, who happens to be the son of her boss, on the eve of the biggest wedding of her career—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Runaway Princess and the Little Lady Agency series.
The Bonneville Hotel is the best-kept secret in London: its elegant rooms and discreet wood-paneled cocktail lounge were the home-away-from-home for royalty and movie stars alike during the golden age of glamour. Recent years haven’t been kind, but thanks to events manager Rosie, it’s reclaiming some of its old cachet as a wish list wedding venue. While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t; her focus is fixed firmly on the details, not on the dramas. She lives with a professionally furious food critic and works tirelessly toward that coveted promotion. But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to help run Rosie’s department, she’s suddenly butting heads with the free spirit whose predilection for the unconventional threatens to unravel her picture-perfect plans for the most elaborate—not to mention high-profile—wedding the hotel has ever seen, a wedding that could make or break not only the hotel’s reputation, but also Rosie’s career.
From the author whose books are described as “deliciously addictive” (Cosmopolitan), Honeymoon Hotel will reaffirm your belief in happily ever after.
Why did I want to read Honeymoon Hotel?
In her interview, Cara listed Honeymoon Hotel as one of her three favorites for the interview. She described it as great British chick lit. No one will be shocked when I say that I have read a lot of British chick lit. Really, any chick lit is my favorite. Light romance, preferably romantic comedies, are my go-to genre.
Even if I didn’t love the book as much as Cara, I doubted that I’d be disappointed. Hence the lightening fast request to get it from the library.
Did I like Honeymoon Hotel?
It’s not a secret that I like books involving weddings. A bride on the cover is usually a pretty good indication that I’ll get a nice happily-ever-after and a sweet romance. This book was exactly what Cara described in her interview. I may eschew using the phrase chick lit (instead, I try to use romantic comedy), but it’s really my favorite genre.
It 100% lived up to the hype. About 100-200 pages in, I wasn’t so sure. I detested Rosie’s boyfriend, Dominic. Total arse (see, I can talk British!). But, as the plot progressed, Rosie blossomed and I was completely immersed.
The characters were well-developed. From the prologue, it’s obvious that Rosie will be going on quite a journey throughout the book. It’s a pleasure to watch her develop and mature. The secondary characters were all memorable. I especially loved watching Helen’s journey. (She’s the MC’s BFF, a restaurant manager in the same hotel where the MC is the events planner.)
I love art deco architecture , which made me fall in love with the hotel, which is a richly developed character on its own.
Plus, so much talk about food. Particularly cake. I want to go out and buy some petit fours and dive into everything else Hester Browne has written.
Who else will like Honeymoon Hotel?
If you like romantic comedy, happy endings, wedding planning, and a bit of contrast between British and American sensibilities, you’ll like this.
If you liked the movie The Wedding Planner, you’ll like Honeymoon Hotel.
If you like architecture, food, and events, plus the added joy of romance and watching someone grow, it’s is a perfect read.
It’s a delightful Cupcake Book that I look forward to recommending to everyone I know. Like you. Go get it. Unless you prefer to be sad and grumpy. Then don’t read it.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Honeymoon Hotel: a mix of romance, delicious food, and a memorable wedding planner. #book” quote=”Honeymoon Hotel: a mix of romance, delicious food, and a memorable wedding planner. #book”]
PS – Thanks Clark County Library for adding this to the collection based on my recommendation. You guys are the only reason I can afford to support this book habit of mine.