Dee Ernst's Lucy Checks In is a delightful work of romantic comedy about a disgraced hotel manager who travels to Rennes to rebuild a hotel and her own life in the process.
Lucia Giannetti needs a fresh start. Once the hotel manager of a glamorous NYC hotel and intimately involved with the hotel’s owner, Lucy had her entire future planned out. But when the owner disappears, taking millions of dollars with him, Lucy's life as she knows it falls apart.
Two years later, forty-nine years old and unemployed, Lucy takes a job in Rennes, France to manage the Hotel Paradis. She pictures fur quilts and extravagant chandeliers, but what she finds is wildly different. Lucy is now in charge of turning the run-down, but charming hotel into a bustling tourist attraction. Between painting rooms, building a website, and getting to know Bing, the irritatingly attractive artist, Lucy finds an unexpected home. But can she succeed in bringing the Hotel Paradis to its former glory?
Witty and heartfelt, Lucy Checks In is an inspiring and feel-good novel about reclaiming your life, finding love, and creating a home in places you never thought possible.
Ernst (Maggie Finds Her Muse) offers a wonderfully fresh take on new beginnings, set against a picturesque French backdrop. After 40-something N.Y.C. hotel manager Lucy Gianetti's boss and ex-boyfriend flees the country with heaps of embezzled cash in tow, Lucy's left behind in disgrace. Unfounded rumors that she was involved leave her with no job prospects to speak of until an unexpected offer to restore the neglected Hotel Paradis in Rennes, France. The run-down venue is nothing like the luxury spots Lucy's used to, but it's steeped in history and culture, and the delightfully quirky "family" of investors who reside in its rooms welcomes Lucy with open arms as they work together to restore the hotel to its former glory in time for peak tourist season. Lucy initially plans to return to New York after this project is complete but she soon embraces her life in Rennes and the possibility of love with artist David "Bing" Bingham. When a tragedy strikes back home, however, Lucy must find a way to merge her old life with her new one. This funny, heartwarming story has all the charm of a small-town romance, with a delightful French twist. Add in large doses of self-discovery and romance, and the result is sure to please.
Four and a Half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭑
Lucy Checks In by Dee Ernst is about a woman who after a devastating career loss, has to remake herself and her career in hotel management.
Lucia Giannetti has been hiding out in her parent's home for almost two years. After a devastating scandal where the owner of the hotel she managed ran off with millions of dollars, she’s been hounded by the press and the FBI until finally, she’s been exonerated. However, the press and the hotel industry have a long memory and she can’t find a job anywhere due to her association with the scandal. It doesn’t matter that he also ran off with all her savings and her pension fund.
When she’s contacted by a small boutique hotel in Rennes, France, she’s ecstatic, and can’t wait to get back and manage a high-end hotel. But, what she finds in France is very different than what she thought she was getting into. The hotel hasn’t been a hotel since the war, and WWII, and there are several permanent guests who live in the hotel beside the owner. The property is run down and needs a lot of work. Can Lucy turn the old run-down hotel into a boutique hotel in time for the summer holidays?
I enjoyed this book and I also learned a lot about the hotel business. The setting in Rennes, France was beautifully described and I loved this varied cast of side characters. This is about found family, and friends supporting each other with a dash of romance. I also enjoyed Lucy’s journey from an uptight career driven individual to a happier person with more to live for than just her career. I also liked that Lucy is a bit older, she’s almost fifty, and I enjoyed her more mature outlook on life.
It was a little bit slow in the middle, but the end was worth it. I enjoyed how this book finished, and I liked all the characters very much.
I highly recommend Lucy Checks In to anyone who enjoys Women’s fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.