“You’d think all the rejection would make me want him less, but it doesn’t. I don’t know what that says about me. At least I’m consistent. Not easily swayed by, you know, reality.”
Beth O’Leary has done it again with another great story in The Wake Up Call.
It’s the busiest season of the year, and Forest Manor Hotel is quite literally falling apart. So when Izzy and Lucas are given the same shift on the hotel’s front desk, they have no choice but to put their differences aside and see it through.
The hotel won’t stay afloat beyond Christmas without some sort of miracle. But when Izzy returns a guest’s lost wedding ring, the reward convinces management that this might be the way to fix everything. With four rings still sitting in the lost & found, the race is on for Izzy and Lucas to save their beloved hotel–and their jobs.
As their bitter rivalry turns into something much more complicated, Izzy and Lucas begin to wonder if there’s more at stake here than the hotel’s future. Can the two of them make it through the season with their hearts intact?
I love Beth O’Leary’s books. She’s my go-to author because I know it will be a great read, and The Wake Up Call is yet another example. She’s the perfect comfort-read author for me. I can count on Beth to deliver a perfectly balanced book. There is just enough conflict to keep things interesting, but not so much that you feel lost or agitated. The right kind of depth that ensures the story doesn’t feel fluffy, but that it has some weight and feels genuine, but it’s expertly balanced with humour and funny moments that make me laugh out loud.
Another thing you are guaranteed in Beth’s books is great character development. She is a master at crafting characters that feel real and relatable, characters you want to cheer for. The story is told from the point of view of both Izzy and Lucas in alternating chapters, allowing the reader to get to know both characters well. I enjoy dual POV books. I like knowing what’s happening in both characters’ heads and seeing how their perspectives clash or match. I loved both Izzy and Lucas in this story, and even better, I loved their dynamic together. Izzy is a blur of sunshine with her colourful sneakers and her love of fairy lights to Lucas’ buttoned-up, broody Brazilian grumpiness. I loved all the pranks they pull on each other and how they rile each other up. This one has a lot of tropes we know and love: grumpy/sunshine, enemies to lovers, and workplace romance, all packed in a heart-warming story.
There are a lot of other great characters to love in this story. One of the things I liked best about this book is the setting. Forest Manor Hotel is much more than just a hotel. It’s a family-run business that feels more like a family, and I enjoyed all the characters that make it great. The owners are grumpy on the outside, but cinnamon roll on the inside, and chef Arjun the put-upon staff like young Ollie and Poor Mandy. Even the regular guests are terrific and add to the story. I love how everyone banded together to try and save the hotel, and the plotline of returning rings from the lost and found to their original owners is just delightful.
Overall, another great read from Beth O’Leary. If you are looking for something heartwarming and reliable, this would be a great choice.
Thank you, Berkeley Romance, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.