The Beautiful Strangers [Book Review]

March 1, 2019

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

The Perfect Strangers Review

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, Romance, San Diego

Thanks to #NetGalley #LakeUnionPublishing for a complimentary copy of #TheBeautifulStrangers upon my request. All opinions are my own.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The legendary Hotel Del Coronado off the coast of San Diego, California is the picturesque and glamorous setting for this story of a ghost, movie stars, mystery, chasing a dream, and romance.

Hotel Del Coronado

Picture of the Hotel Del Coronado from their website

In 1958, Kate Morton, a teenager living in San Francisco, seizes her chance to escape from the demands of working in her family’s struggling restaurant to impulsively travel alone to Coronado in response to her ailing grandfather’s plea to find “the beautiful stranger” and to also search for a job at the hotel which will enable her to dream of a new life. A few surprises await her: the true identity of the beautiful stranger, a family mystery, celebrity encounters, and romance.

My Thoughts:

Although ghost stories and romances are not my usual genre choices, this story quickly engaged and intrigued me. In fact, I was ecstatic to read a story set at the historic Hotel Del Coronado in sunny Southern California. Growing up in Southern California, I’ve had the occasion to visit this magnificent landmark. One of my fondest memories is a few glorious summer days spent there during my high school years enjoying time with my BFF’s family at their rented beach house. Of course, my friend and I hung out at the Hotel Del’s public beach and loved sneaking into the back entrance of the famous hotel to walk the halls and sneak peeks at various aspects of the hotel. In those days, we could walk right in the back door, but I imagine that has changed with the invention of keyed and gated access and private beaches. It was great fun to read this book and reminisce about one high school summer hanging out near the hotel and on the beach and the surrounding beach community……ahhhh….. summer memories.

In addition to the setting and my memories, the characters are well-drawn in this engaging and well-paced story. Even though The Beautiful Strangers is told from two time periods, it is straightforward and the transitions are smooth.

I enthusiastically recommend The Beautiful Strangers for fans of historical fiction, for readers of paranormal, mystery, and romance, for fans of Camille Di Maio (The Way of Beauty and The Memory of Us), and for those who are in search of an engaging and light read with a unique premise. Also? #coverlove

Bookstagramers appreciate the author’s kind shout-out to the Bookstagram community in her acknowledgments!

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

My Rating: 4 Stars


The Beautiful Strangers

The Beautiful Strangers Information Here

Meet the Author, Camille Di Maio

camille di maioCamille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of twenty-one years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. Her books include:

THE MEMORY OF US – Amazon bestseller, finalist for the Holt Medallion Award for Literary Excellence.
BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS – Holt Medallion finalist, GDRWA finalist
THE WAY OF BEAUTY – Amazon bestseller in the UK and Australia
THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS- releasing spring 2019

She appreciates you stopping by and welcomes you to reach out and share a love of books!



Is The Beautiful Strangers on your TBR?

Have you read the author’s backlist titles? Have you been to the Hotel Del? If you ever visit San Diego, it would be a fun excursion over the bridge to Coronado!

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Looking Ahead:

Look for a review of We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels next Friday.

We Hope for Better Things

Winter TBR Update

I’ll be updating my Winter TBR as I read and review selections. So check back often!

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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.



  1. Thanks    for accepting and following my blog.

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  2. Hi! I’m glad to have found your blog through The Secret Library Book Blog. I have seen The Beautiful Strangers reviewed on several blogs this week – glad you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to seeing your posts in my blog feed!

  3. I do not remember hearing about this book, but it sounds interesting. It is always nice when you have a personal connection to a book in some way. Great review Carol.

  4. Oh Carol! You are killing my TBR. I just love the Hotel Del. We used to visit there often and I love the history of it.

      • I did. One time my daughters took pictures of every darn window in the place because they heard she would randomly show up in the pictures.

      • Oh that’s funny! I was mostly there during my high school years when I was distracted by the cute navy guys!
        I think you’d really enjoy this ghost story!!!

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