Book Review: Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello

Title: Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel
Author: Jane Costello
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 24 March 2016

Twitter: @janecostello 

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour.

Lauren loves the hotel, for hidden inside its faded walls is the key to her most precious memories. So, along with her best friends, Cate and Emily, she signs up to a new dance class in its gorgeous ballroom. They aren’t going for the men, they’re going for a laugh – although a little romance wouldn’t hurt . . .

But then a chain of events off the dance floor puts their friendship to the ultimate test, and makes Lauren question everything she holds dear.

Put on your dancing shoes and escape to The Moonlight Hotel, for Jane’s funniest and most poignant novel yet…


Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing a review copy of Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel. Upon opening the parcel, I was immediately struck by the lovely front cover and couldn’t wait to read more!

The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shores of lake Windermere in the Lake District, a typical old-fashioned hotel once full of grandeur but now seriously in need of a bit of modernisation to draw in a new wave of tourists. Lauren Scott loves the Hotel and associates it with happy memories of her deceased father, who used to work at the hotel. When Lauren is persuaded by her friends Cate and Emily to take salsa lessons, she learns that the classes will take place in the ballroom of the Moonlight Hotel and she is keen to revisit the setting of her happy childhood.

As they settle into their weekly salsa classes, a heady mix of rhythmic music, handsome dance partners and a few bad margaritas, brings out the passionate sides of the three single girls. That is, until Lauren discovers that the hotel has been sold to a budget hotel chain and changes are already afoot. Already in an emotional state, things become a whole lot worse when Lauren realises that someone she knows is in charge of renovating the hotel and those changes may result in the destruction of her happy memories.
With her life thrown into turmoil, Lauren then finds out that her long-term crush, geeky school teacher Edwin, is getting married. This leads to some great laugh-out-loud moments and a dilemma for Lauren as to whether to continue on her trip of a lifetime to Australia, move to Singapore or to stay in England.As the girls all look to find love, there are plenty of twists, turns and humorous mishaps to hold the reader’s interest.It is a bit predictable but then again, a lot of romantic comedies are, and that does not affect my enjoyment of the story.
The story is told in first person by Lauren. She is charming, an entertaining narrator and a very relatable character prone to finding herself in some awkward situations. In fact, the characters in Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel are all a great bunch. We meet a host of participants from the salsa class all of whom are realistic and likeable. The only exception is Cate’s ex-boyfriend who turns out to be a nasty piece of work. The characters all have their own reason for being in the book and felt necessary to the progression of the story.
The setting for the story was an absolute joy. I have just returned from a brief holiday in the Lake District and I can easily imagine the beautiful, idyllic setting of the Moonlight Hotel. I cannot wait to revisit the area and hopefully spend a bit more time around Windermere.
You really can’t go wrong with a Costello novel and Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel is no exception. It is a great book – entertaining, witty, romantic and sweet and with a huge dollop of Costello’s trademark humour thrown into the mix. A great story of friendship, romance and dancing!

About the Author

Jane Costello has written nine novels, including Bridesmaids, The Wish List, The Time of Our Lives and her latest, Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel, which is published by Simon & Schuster in March 2016.
Jane was a newspaper journalist before she became an author, working on the Liverpool Echo, the Daily Mail and the Liverpool Daily Post, where she was Editor.
She continues to write for newspapers and magazines and has contributed articles to The Guardian, Marie Claire, Prima and The Times, among others. 
Jane has won several awards for her books, including the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Award, which she took home in 2010 for The Nearly Weds.
She lives in Liverpool with her husband Mark and three young sons.

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