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Dee Ernst. Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-84458-3
Ernst (Maggie Finds Her Muse) offers a wonderfully fresh take on new beginnings, set against a picturesque French backdrop. After 40-something N.Y.C. hotel manager Lucy Gianetti’s boss and ex-boyfriend flees the country with heaps of embezzled cash in tow, Lucy’s left behind in disgrace. Unfounded rumors that she was involved leave her with no job prospects to speak of—until an unexpected offer to restore the neglected Hotel Paradis in Rennes, France. The run-down venue is nothing like the luxury spots Lucy’s used to, but it’s steeped in history and culture, and the delightfully quirky “family” of investors who reside in its rooms welcomes Lucy with open arms as they work together to restore the hotel to its former glory in time for peak tourist season. Lucy initially plans to return to New York after this project is complete but she soon embraces her life in Rennes—and the possibility of love with artist David “Bing” Bingham. When a tragedy strikes back home, however, Lucy must find a way to merge her old life with her new one. This funny, heartwarming story has all the charm of a small-town romance, with a delightful French twist. Add in large doses of self-discovery and romance, and the result is sure to please. (Aug.)
Release Date April 20, 2021
Lucy Giannetti desperately needs a new start. The man she considered the love of her life is being sought for embezzlement, and she’s suspected as a coconspirator. Her job managing an upscale New York hotel, her penthouse apartment, and her boyfriend are all gone. When she’s offered the chance to manage a boutique hotel in Rennes, France, right outside of Paris, she jumps at the opportunity. But her visions of a lovely countryside chateau quickly fade when Lucy first sees the Hotel Paradis. The hotel is in dire disrepair and is home to a collection of full-time tenants. Even worse, Lucy is expected to turn it into a thriving tourist mecca for Americans and she must do the handiwork herself. As she labors painting rooms, building a website with no money, and dealing with hotel mishaps, Lucy begins to see new possibilities for her career and perhaps for love.
VERDICT Ernst (Maggie Finds Her Muse) crafts a novel of starting over and finding family that is filled with humor and a cast of wonderful characters. The enticing setting will have readers longing for a trip to France.
Hi-Resolution photographs by 2 Chicks That Click.
Please credit photos.
Better Off Without Him
Better Than Your Dreams
A Slight Change of Plan
Stealing Jason Wilde
The RiverCliffe Legacy
A Safe Place to Land
Maggie finds Her Muse
The Mt. Abrams Mysteries
Mrs. McGowan's Tea Party
Smoke, Wings and Stone
Dee Ernst was born and raised in New Jersey, which may explain her attitude toward life. She moved around a bit, had a husband or two, a daughter or two, and settled back in New Jersey where she writes women's fiction, romance, and cozy mysteries. And a bit of YA and SFF.
She has self-published under the 235 Alexander Street imprint. She has been published by Montlake, Lake Union, and in 2021, released Maggie Finds Her Muse with St. Martin's Griffin. Her next book, Lucy Checks In, comes out August 16, 2022.