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    Florida in Yorkshire

    This book wraps you in a big comforting hug and doesn't want to let you go. Written with warmth, humour and a good dose of reality the characters live and breathe beyond the page and you are left feeling that they are still scuttling around their renovated hotel long after your reading has finished. The tale swaps between Rosie's life in New York and her ambitions for her career until she meets Chuck. It then jumps forward to Scarborough and her job of the last 3 years managing a rather run down Victorian pile that has a combination of permanent residents and short term guests. Maybe that is why I enjoyed the book so much it reminded of me of holidays in the late 1970s to Scarborough for a week every year - in fact in my mind the hotel was The Grand perched perilously on the North Bay Cliffs (even though this hotel is closer to The Spa at the Southern end of the bay). The characterisation was wonderful and, no matter how minor to the story someone may be, everyone had a real sense of humanity about them and of complicated personality. I did find Rosie rather annoying much of the time and wanted to give her a good shake; how Rory put up with her subservience to the new bosses I really don't know. That said Rory comes across as a bit of a milquetoast despite his role as a freelance transition manager so that likely explains it. The plot unrolls at a pace which feels natural and never really gets bogged down in mundanities. Instead it inserts flashbacks so that when we rejoin our intrepid hotel family things have moved on by weeks or months. The descriptions of the execrable uniforms and decor imposed by the American overlords were genuinely funny - although, if you lived them I am sure they would make you weep. I was also a big fan of how long it took us to find out what had happened with Chuck that made Rosie run back home to Scarborough. I genuinely enjoyed the tale and felt it almost lived up to the Carlton Road books which I absolutely adored. If you enjoy this particular genre then this is the book for you - but don't take it on your commute, you will miss your stop!
10

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