My UK readers will be familiar with Carol Kirkwood as one of the weather team on BBC Breakfast every weekday morning. She has cemented her place in the morning routine of millions of Brits. I can’t leave for work until I’ve seen Carol do the weather forecast! Until I was sent this book to review I had no idea that she had a second career as a novelist. Her first book Under a Greek Moon was released last year and became a Sunday Times No 2 bestseller.
Ariana Theodosis has been living the high life in Hollywood trying to break into the acting business. Her wild child behaviour has been bankrolled by her wealthy shipping magnate father. On the death of her beloved grandmother she finds out that she has been left a strange bequest, the Hotel du Soleil in Cannes on the French Riviera. No-one in the family has any idea how her grandmother came to own the hotel and she goes to check it out.
In its hey day the hotel was THE place to be seen in Cannes, a mecca for the glitterati attending the film festivals and summering at the beach. Nowadays it is looking a little the worse for wear, shabby and unloved. The hotel had belonged to the Du Lac family for decades and its matriarch is a recluse still ensconced in the penthouse on the top floor. The Du Lac family has their secrets and Madame Du Lac is clinging onto them with her fingertips.
Gabriel Du Lac has carved out a very successful career for himself in the hotel business but his mother has never let him touch Hotel du Soleil. He had never understood why until the news arrives that the hotel has a new owner – and that his family had not owned it for years. This was Gabriel’s childhood home and will do everything he can to stop this stranger taking it away from his family.
I know, it sounds a bit like a classic 1970’s Mills and Boon story but there is so much more to the book than that. Carol is a very evocative and descriptive writer and manages to bring to life the sights and sounds of the iconic French Riviera. It almost feels like you are seated in the hotel lobby sipping an Aperol Spritz and watching the events as they happen. It is not just a romance, there is a bit of intrigue, detective work. murder and organised crime just to keep things busy! The Hotel on the Riviera is a fun read and the perfect accompaniment to your summer beach bag.
Supplied by Net Galley and HarperCollins UK in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication date: Jul 21 2022. 356 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.