‘LEARN TO SALSA DANCE,’ the card in the shop window read. ‘Experience the red-hot vibes of Latin America right here in the Lake District. Beginners and singles welcome.’
Lauren Scott lives in ‘The most romantic place in Britain’, but her love life is about as successful as her mountain climbing skills. The man she’s obsessed over for two years has proposed to someone else – and her only solution is to save up for six months to go travelling, so she never has to set eyes on him again.
But when her friends sign her up for a dance class – in the same historic hotel where her beloved dad worked and her most precious childhood memories were formed – Lauren makes a horrifying discovery. It’s been sold to a faceless budget chain, which has depressing plans in store. Worse, the entrepreneur behind it all turns out to be among a group of guys her friend Cate roped in to join the very same salsa class they’ve signed up for….
Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel combines humour and fun with romance to create a really enjoyable novel that, I feel, is a great example of the ‘women’s fiction’ genre.
The story itself is fairly predictable and had quite a few clichés in there; from a few chapters in I had an idea of various elements but there were definitely some surprises in there too! The characters are all convincing and interesting to read about- I really like Lauren, despite feeling that some of her decisions were fairly questionable. She’s a loveable, slightly bumbling woman who seems very caring and a great friend- just perhaps a bit confused at times! I really felt for her friend Cate and the situation she went through, which also brought attention to the perils of today’s ‘instant share’ culture. I wasn’t aas keen on Emily (for reasons I won’t reveal here otherwise I’ll give too much away), but she seems good fun and coompletes a trio of funny, down to earth women that I would have happily read more about.
I have to say, despite being able to guess what was coming a mile off at some points, this novel really made me laugh, and I laughed out loud at various points (and got some strange looks too)! Lauren is a teacher and I loved reading about her experiences with the school kids- there were some hugely funny bits where, despite having no kids myself, I thought to myself: “I can imagine them saying that” or “I can picture myself wondering how to answer that, just like Lauren”!
Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel is very uplifting and, although it covers some more serious topics and themes, it still leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling at the end- which is what I expect (and really enjoy) about Jane Costello’s novels! If you love your chick-lit or just fancy a light-hearted, fun read then I’d definitely recommend this novel.
Have you read any of Jane Costello’s novels? If so, what did you think?