Complications by Danielle Steel #NetGalley #ARCReview

From the publisher:

“Known for its luxurious accommodations and bespoke service, the Hotel Louis XVI has been the most lauded boutique hotel in all of Paris for decades, attracting an international clientele of the rich and famous. Now, after four years of renovations and the death of its legendary and beloved manager, it is set to reopen its doors at last. An esteemed group of loyal returning guests is set to descend upon the hotel, joined by a number of new faces who have managed to secure coveted bookings in the wake of last-minute cancellations.

Awaiting them all is the Louis XVI’s new manager, Olivier Bateau, an anxious man whose lack of experience leaves him unprepared. He and his level-headed assistant manager, Yvonne Philippe, both strive to continue the hotel’s tradition of excellence. But they quickly realize that anything can happen at any moment, and on one cool September evening, everything does.

A successful art consultant arrives at the hotel for the first time since her brutal divorce, and is surprised to find new love—if she is willing to risk her heart again. A new guest contemplates ending his life, and saves a life instead. A couple finds their once-in-a-lifetime trip interrupted by a tragic medical emergency, leaving the idyllic future they’ve long waited for hanging in the balance. And one of the hotel’s most high-profile guests, a French politician and assumed presidential candidate, holds a mysterious meeting in his suite that will threaten his life and legacy. Rocked by the events of this one fateful night, guests and staff alike brace themselves for the aftershock, as it quickly becomes apparent that more dramas and misfortunes are still in store.”

I’ve read or listened to a few Danielle Steel books this past year because I wanted something easier to read, and when I was a teen I really enjoyed her books. When NetGalley and Delacorte Press offered me an ARC of Complications (Amazon) in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t resist. All opinions are my own.

Ostensibly, the book is about the re-opening of a well-known, posh hotel in Paris, which has been undergoing renovations for four years. The Manager in charge of the renovation dies just a short time before the opening of the hotel, quite literally in the first few pages. It’s up to Oliver, the new manager, and his assistant Yvonne, to continue on with the hotel’s previously impeccable reputation.

But there are problems with the upgraded phone system, and the electronics of the building. Phones go out at inconvenient times, room doors don’t open when the key is used, all sorts of kinks that need to be worked out but there’s no time. The guests are arriving.

The guests that arrive include an art consultant whose husband left her for a woman the same age as their daughters, a physician with a secret, a French elected official who many believe will achieve higher office, and a couple celebrating their divorces. While the hotel is discreet, events one night ensures that everyone knows everyone else’s business. There’s lots of drama, almost too much at once, but ultimately it works for the story.

I’m not going to give a blow-by-blow of the relationships that develop in the story, but there are several, and my favorite is Gabriella’s. She’s the character I empathized with the most, That’s not to say the other stories weren’t interesting, they were. I wasn’t crazy with how the French politician’s story was handled as it reminded me way too much of American politics with a touch of homophobia mixed in.

As with most Danielle Steel books, there’s some repetition which gets old. I mean, does Steel think we’re not going to remember important details mentioned earlier that she has to bring them up again? But then again, that’s what Steel’s fans are looking for, I guess. I don’t mind. I usually read or listen to a Danielle Steel book when I want a break from heavier reading.

A solid three out of five stars for Complications.

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