Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies

... by Ellen Cooney.

Based in an icy Boston in 1900, sickly Charlotte Heath discovers her husband with another woman. Having married into the most wealthy family around, Charlotte has been sheltered in their large and lovely home but does not want to return to him. Weak and without another place to go, she rides onward to a hotel where the Heath’s former cook has taken a new job at The Beechmont, a Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies. How gentle? Gentle enough for late-night male visitors to join the occupants.

Sounds hot, or at least fairly warm, right? (The book jacket blurb does mention “sexual awakening,” after all.) But no. The most interesting character in the book is not the protagonist, the storyline jumps around too much, and there is no sex! I didn’t glean any sexual seedlings, let alone an awakening. What a dirty trick.

Halfway through, I was going to give up, but I persevered. I wanted to know how it would end, but I wasn’t going to hold my breath to find out. When I did find out, it was the little side plots that interested me more than the main one.

All in all, this book was just ok. I won’t bother recommending it. Sorry, Ms. Cooney!

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