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 police.
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 evil.
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