What do you do when your sexy, French husband is missing and
presumed dead? What do you do when you're the prime suspect in his
disappearance? What do you do when you're struggling to keep the
business you love dearly going on a shoestring? And what on earth
do you do when there's a sloop anchored in a nearby bay with a
gorgeous naked man walking around on it and distracting you from
all of the things that desperately need your attention?
While it's hard to say what you might do if you found yourself in
these particular predicaments, it's a lot of fun reading about what
Lola Laforet does in THE HOTEL RIVIERA when she finds herself in
the midst of them.
Lola Laforet, formerly Lola March of California, has her hands
full. After a whirlwind courtship and quickie Vegas marriage to
sexy Frenchman Patrick Laforet, she finds herself part owner and
sole manager of the Hotel Riviera. Lola and Patrick spend the first
idyllic year of marriage refurbishing and remodeling the inn and
starting their business. Then one day, after six years of marriage
and running the hotel together, Patrick leaves with a merry wave to
run an errand and never returns.
Now, six months after his disappearance, Lola is running the inn
that she has poured her heart and soul into and debating the
possible whereabouts of her wayward husband. She's also creating
sumptuous meals, serving the best wines and providing her guests
with their own little slice of paradise. Who would have thought
that life on the French Riviera would be served with a huge order
of reality on the side?
However, even reality can be pleasant if you're in good company,
which Lola is. Take, for instance, dear old Miss Nightingale, a
widow from England and a woman who could give Miss Marple a run for
her money when it comes to delving into a mystery. There's also
Jack Farrar, aka Naked Man, and his faithful pooch Bad Dog, who
lives up to his name from time to time. Lola finds herself among
friends when it comes to solving the mystery of her walkabout
husband and romance is in the air.
There is also a wide range of nefarious characters, including a
variety of female "friends" of Patrick, a visitor to the inn who
seems to have ulterior motives and even Patrick's creditors, one of
whom is a rich mogul looking to secure the Hotel Riviera for his
sexy, young wife. There are even a few appearances by the French
Elizabeth Adler throws in enough twists and turns to make things
interesting and keep the reader turning pages as she immerses us in
the mystery and intrigue surrounding Lola, Miss Nightingale and
Jack; you'll find yourself rooting for good to persevere over
Adler transports one immediately to the French Riviera and paints
an enchanting picture of the Cote d'Azur. Her beautifully
descriptive passages of the blue water, the white sand and the
homey charm of the Hotel Riviera slowly but surely lure one in and
you'll find yourself wishing you could make reservations to spend
your next vacation at this fictional inn.
Before Adler's done with you, you'll be able to smell the jasmine
and bougainvillea, bask in the warmth of the sun as it can be felt
only in the South of France, and feel the gentle breezes of the
Mediterranean Sea wafting through your hair. If you're looking for
a novel to take you away from it all for a while, leave you feeling
a bit disoriented and wondering where you are when you're done,
this is the one for you!
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on January 22, 2011
The Hotel Riviera