7 February 2008

Book Review: Do Not Disturb by Tilly Bagshawe

"What would you give for one night in the world's most luxurious hotel? Now imagine you own it. Honor is trying to save the family hotel that shares her name. Palmers, a beautiful old jewel of a building nestled on the coast of the Hamptons, used to be the most glamorous destination in the world. Now Honor wants to restore its reputation, its glitz and its guestlist. But there's a new boy in town with a different plan. Lucas Ruiz is manager of the new hotel on the block, and wants to bring modern boutique-chic to the States. As Honor and Lucas prepare to go head to head to get the rich and famous checking in, the locals are busy checking out the backstairs gossip. Blackmail, adultery and the dirtiest of dirty tricks are all in a day's work behind the scenes of the five-star facades."

As usual, Bagshawe has a novel with a few main characters, all of whom have an equal importance throughout the novel. All are given a good and strong background, allowing you to get to know them well and in detail, a useful thing for a fairly substantial sized novel (as this one is nearly 500 pages). As mentioned, the main character is Honor Palmer. She is a strong-minded and strong-willed woman who is incredibly determined that her hotel will be a success. She is written as a ruthless businesswoman-type character, although we are shown weak and vunerable sides to her personality, especially concerning her body-image and need to be loved.

It is interesting to see how she changes around the different characters in her life, and how they all impact on her. She has created an enemy for Honor in the Spaniard Lucas Ruiz, the man initially in charge of the Herrick. He is an opposite of Honor, hot-headed, confident and arrogant, convinced he is destined to run a world class hotel at his young age. Exchanges between the pair are unpleasant but make for interesting reading!

Another major character in the book is the Billionaire hotelier and owner of the Tisch group of hotels Anton Tisch. Anton is a ruthless German hotel mogul who has built up a world famous empire in the hotel world. He is known for his promiscuity, paying off women who end up bearing his children as a result of their liaisons, and incredibly disliked. And God forbid anyone who cross him as they'll be crushed like an ant beneath your shore. He is a horrible character, slimy and completely unlikeable but it does make you want to keep reading just to see if he is going to get his comeupance.

The whole story of people competing to make the better hotel has been done a few times before, as its a good thing to write about and to read as well. But Bagshawe has created a great set of characters which you get really involved with by the end of the book. Each are different people clashing over their dreams and although you are meant to like some, and hate others, you can't help but want them all to succeed at the end because it is their dream to make it work! Some of the other minor characters also play a key role in the book too, Sian, a young journalist, Lola, the daughter of a Boston millionaire; and Tina, Honor's sister. All crop up regularly through the book in vital roles which also keeps you involved.

There is one thing that I don't like about Tilly Bagshawe's novels I must admit. This was not just apparent in this particular novel, I found it also to be the case in her first novel, and will probably be the case in her second book too. I don't really like the crude language used when she writes a sexual scene in a book. I especially don't like how she uses the C-word - in my opinion it is the foulest word in the English language and I HATE seeing it in print, and it really is unpleasant. It isn't necessary in this great story, and for me spoilt some of the love scenes in the book. I really hope she writes these scenes in a better way in the future as I might be put off her reading her books in the future if she doesn't.

So what did I think? To be honest, I found it took me a little while to get into the book, although I can't really pinpoint why this is as it is a great story! As the book progresses, it becomes a great battle of personalities and determination, of crushing your enemy and coming out on top of everyone else. It is quite lengthy for a chick-lit book but doesn't drag on with nothing happening - each chapter is necessary and I wasn't bored at any point. In fact, I just got more involved towards the end, I ploughed through the last 150 pages in a very short time! A really good exciting read, and another super novel from Tilly Bagshawe.

Rating: 4/5

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