Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll

"... it's Hope Street. If you ask me, there's healing in the bricks and mortar of the place."

Title - Love Me or Leave Me
Author - Claudia Carroll
Publication Date - September 11th 2014
Publisher - Avon UK
Format - eBook (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 400

The blurb

Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar. But now she's landed an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel with a difference. It's a pioneering 'divorce hotel', designed to make every aspect of breaking-up pain free - all in a single weekend. 

No one is better qualified than Chloe to deal with relationships at crisis point, but, with three unhappy couples needing her help, she's forced to tackle her own secret heartbreak. Can she hold it together and prove that she's up for the job? 

The hotel's opening weekend brings troubles and surprises, and it soon becomes clear that some endings can be very exciting new beginnings.. 

Becca's thoughts

Firstly, I'd like to say a massive thank you to the fabulous publishers Avon UK, for providing me with a digital copy of Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll via NetGalley. I'd also like to say thank you to the stunningly-talented author Claudia Carroll! Love Me or Leave Me is the very first book by Claudia that I've had the pleasure of reading, and it gives me great satisfaction to now announce that I absolutely bloody loved it! From the very first page to the very last, it was everything that I adore and more. Romance, humour, drama... Fabulously splendid in every which way imaginable! 

For the first time in forever, it wasn't the cover for Claudia's Love Me or Leave Me that beckoned me towards this book, which is crazy if you know me and my book habits. I'm guilty of admiring gorgeous covers, and even though the cover for this book was gorgeous, it turned out that it was the blurb that caught my attention first. When I read it, and found out all about the Hope Street Hotel, and about it's intended purpose, my interest immediately piqued! I can honestly say, hand on heart, that a divorce hotel is something that I've never read about before, so I couldn't wait to get started! I love when authors have genius ideas, and to me, Claudia was spot on with this one!

Chloe Townsend is back in Dublin, after fleeing her previous life and settling down in London, away from the mortification of what happened on her wedding day. After landing herself a job in a brand-spanking-new hotel, she's about to embark upon the opening weekend of the Hope Street Hotel. What I adored most about Chloe was her determined character and spirit. It was clear that she'd had an incredibly rough time of it back in Dublin, but despite that, she came back fighting and seriously put her all into the opening and running of the Hope Street Hotel. Claudia did such a brilliant job when it came to the narratives within the book. When I was reading from Chloe's point of view, I was reading in first person. When I was reading from one of the three other main characters' point of view, I was reading in third. It was absolutely amaaaazing, and really opened my eyes to all of the many different goings-on and pasts of the couples. There was one thing that all of the hotel guests had in common though, and that was that they all found Chloe to be a kind, warm-hearted person, and as the story progressed, each person began letting Chloe in on the parts of their pasts that they really didn't want to face head-on yet again. Chloe was definitely seen as the perfect person to reveal all of your woes to. She was a fantastic listener, offered the best advice, and even had the experience of her own ruined wedding day, as well as constantly being at the top of her game when it came to ensuring that the Hope Street Hotel was running smoothly. Chloe was just such a lovely, endearing character that I instantly found myself wanting to become friends with. One of those people who would actually put down their mobile phone to really listen to what you had to say, do you know what I mean? 

As well as Chloe Townsend, there were, of course, the Hope Street Hotel's guests. Again, how vividly real Claudia managed to make these people seem was just out of this bloody world! There were a ton of other guests, but Claudia decided to focus in on three main couples. Dawn and Kirk, Lucy and Andrew, and Jo and Dave. Let me tell you something readers, by the time I'd finished reading Love Me or Leave Me, I felt like I knew each of these couples inside out. Throughout reading, I'd been invited into their troublesome pasts, I'd seen what had happened to make them check into the hotel, and I'd known most of these things before even Chloe had. I loved how the couples each had their own unique problems; some that would haven't crossed your mind. I suppose once I was aware of their individual problems, it made me realise that you truly don't know what goes on behind closed doors, and that things are not at all as they may seem. I don't want to spoil the ultimate pleasure of getting to know these characters for yourselves, so I won't say too much more, other than you are in for SUCH a treat, you won't even believe it! These characters may have been coupled up, but they were just so detailed and worked upon, I felt like they were standing right in front of me, that's how clear they were to me, despite being entirely fictional. And isn't it crazy how an author can achieve that? Ahh, the magic of writing! 

Of course, the opening weekend of the Hope Street Hotel doesn't go as smoothly as Chloe would have liked, and when her boss, none other than the well-known Rob McFayden, keeps popping up all over the place, it makes things even more difficult! Over the course of just one weekend, Chloe is faced with all manner of problems, from drunk and disorderly guests to having to evacuate the building due to a fire-alarm ringing off in the middle of the night! There are warring couples, tender moments of truth, and attempts to win back broken hearts. Honestly bookworms, Love Me Or Leave Me has it all! It's not only a perfect recipe for chick-lit, but it's emotional, uplifting, and by the end of it, my spirits were soaring! Claudia has created a gorgeous setting in the Hope Street Hotel, along with the most colourful collection of engaging, lovable characters that you'll probably ever meet, and despite the hotel being there for divorce reasons, by the last page, you begin to realise that actually, it's a whole lot more than just that. Claudia, thank you SO MUCH for such a fantastic read! I will be recommending this to everyone! I'm only sorry that I didn't have the chance to get around to it sooner, but better late than never, right? Thanks again to Avon UK, you're fab! I think it's obvious what rating I'll be handing over to Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll today, don't you? 



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