March 1, 2019
The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Miao
Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Romance
Thanks to #NetGalley #LakeUnionPublishing for a free copy of #TheBeautifulStrangers by @camilledimaio__author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
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.
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 identify of the beautiful stranger, a family mystery, celebrity encounters, and romance.
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 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 and the story is engaging and well paced. Even though the story is told from two time periods, it is straightforward and the transitions are smooth.
I 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
Meet the Author, Camille Di Miao
Camille 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!
Have you read the author’s back list 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!
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Look for a review of We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels next Friday.
Winter TBR Update
I’ll be updating my Winter TBR as I read and review selections. So check back often!
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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