'This was where her dreams drifted to if she didn't blot her nights out with drink; this was where her thoughts settled if she didn't fill her days with chat. She remembered this tiny, remote foreign village on a molecular level and the sight of it soaked into her like water into sand, because this was where her old life had ended and her new one had begun.'
Portobello - home to the world-famous street market, Notting Hill Carnival and Clem Alderton. She's the queen of the scene, the girl everyone wants to be or be with. But beneath the morning-after makeup, Clem is keeping a secret, and when she goes too far one reckless night she endangers everything - her home, her job and even her adored brother's love.
Portofino - a place of wild beauty and old-school glamour. Clem has been here once before and vowed never to return. But when a hansome stranger asks Clem to restore a neglected villa, it seems like the answer to her problems - if she can just face up to her past.
Claridge's - at Christmas. Clem is back in London working on a special commission for London's grandest hotel. But is this really where her heart lies?
I've read a few Karen Swan books and really liked them and I have others on my shelf to read.
I was initially drawn to this book by the cover - and bought it in paperback rather than a kindle download so I could look at it all over Christmas as I read it. There the association with Christmas and Claridges ends for most of the book! So disappointed in that aspect of it, as I like a nice Christmas read once a year. I should have known better based on her book "Christmas at Tiffany's" but you know you can't stay in Tiffany's LOL!
Putting all that aside, this is a great story. Lots of intrigue and real life drama which you can easily visualise happening. Great characters that you feel you know by the end of the book. Until the Portofino part of the book - when it travels to the realms of another world, so a nice bit of escapism.
There's lots of meaningful glances and comments that go unexplained, setting a mystery trail and one I was very surprised at when it was revealed.
I particularly liked the fashion and business elements of the book and the London references.
One niggle for me and I know I am being picky - but you do not hit "send" when you sent a tweet. Surely the author must have tweeted before.
I'm aiming to read 50 books this year so look out for lots of reviews.