Review: 'Love Me or Leave Me' by Claudia Carroll (2014)
‘Welcome to the Hope Street Hotel – where you check in married, and check out single.’
Two years ago Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar and had to leave behind everything that mattered to her. Even now she’s finding it hard to move forward. That is until she lands an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel. Suddenly she’s starting to put her life back together, and, apart from the fact that her hard-to-please new boss is breathing down her neck, things are looking good.
But what goes on in the Hope Street Hotel is a far cry from anything she’s ever dealt with before. This is a pioneering ‘divorce hotel’ designed to make every aspect of breaking up efficient and pain-free. In one single weekend, Chloe’s team promises to take care of everything – legal, technical, emotional – and guests check out carefree and single.
No one is better qualified than Chloe to understand what couples need when their relationship is at breaking point, but she soon finds herself having to tackle the heartbreak she’s tried to bury. In particular three couples need her help – Jo and Dave, Lucy and Andrew, and Kirk and Dawn – and the opening weekend is full of revelation, trouble, memories happy and sad, facts that need facing, and some very big surprises.
It’s time to move on. And it soon becomes clear that some endings are, in fact, very exciting new beginnings …
On the 23rd of October the paperback version of Claudia Carroll's latest novel, 'Love Me or Leave Me', was released. This is Claudia's 11th book and I have to say I was really excited about this particular October release. I was first introduced to Claudia's writing last year when I reviewed 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?' (click here to read my review) and I was curious to check out more of her work. I immediately fell in love with the wonderful cover of 'Love Me or Leave Me' and the unique storyline. I was really excited when I found a review copy of the book on my doormat a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to get started in it!
Chloe Townsend was left at the altar two years ago and the only escape she saw at that moment was to leave her whole life in Dublin behind to start over in London. Now, a fantastic job opportunity has brought her back to Dublin and Chloe plans on making the best of it. She has been offered the chance to run a new boutique hotel called the Hope Street Hotel which isn't like any other place. It's a divorce hotel; a place where couples can go to make their break-up as efficient as possible. Chloe is willing to do anything possible to keep the hotel guests satisfied and to make sure the opening weekend is a big success, but things get a bit tricky as soon as the couples arrive, Chloe's boss decides to want to keep a close eye on everything, and her ex-fiancee decides to make an unexpected appearance...
If I hadn't already been convinced by Claudia Carroll's amazing story-telling abilities, this book would have definitely done the trick. 'Love Me or Leave Me' is, without a doubt, one of the most entertaining and well-written chick lit novels I've read in the past couple of months. I already thought the start of the book was great; several wedding invitations from the couples the reader will be introduced to later. I loved this and it made me curious to read on. Thankfully, it only got even better after that great start. The book has a unique and captivating plotline; I'd honestly never heard of the idea of a divorce hotel before picking up this novel. The story, which is told from different female perspectives, kept me guessing and I was really curious to find out what would happen to all the characters.
One of the absolute strengths of the novel is Claudia Carroll's knack for creating interesting and easily loveable characters. The main protagonist, Chloe, is a wonderful character and I liked her from page 1. Next to Chloe, the main focus lies in 3 couples who are spending the weekend at the Hope Street Hotel: Dawn and Kirk, Jo and Dave, and Lucy and Andrew. These characters are forced to have a good think about their short marriages and whether they want to end things or give it another shot. I could continue talking about this book in much more detail for hours, but I'd rather have someone pick up the book itself and read it! 'Love Me or Leave Me' is a wonderful and uplifting romantic comedy with a truly captivating plotline and a brilliant mix of characters; a brilliant read!