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I received this book in a bundle I bought to take on holiday. I often do this to find new authors and to read modern fiction that I wouldn't otherwise come across. I wish I hadn't read this one - it is rubbish, a plot that is so similar to many, many others and so predictable. Rude and unnecessarily explicit - it is not clever and adds nothing to the plot! Obviously I am not the intended audience of this 'Mills and Boon' type rubbish and would not suggest anyone who enjoys real literature reads this. I could barely finish it, but I will not be beaten by a book! I would have given it NO stars - but you cannot do that!
I've just finished reading this book after borrowing it from the library. While I've read a couple of Louise Bagshawe's books in the past, her sister Tilly is less known to me. I did read 'Adored' a while back though and really enjoyed it so I was hoping for something in a similar vein.
The book is set in the hotel world. I gather that it's not the first book to do so but I've never personally read one with this setting so it's a new concept to me, at least.
When the illustrious Trey Palmer develops Alzheimer's and can barely remember who he is, his daughter Honor decides now is the time to take control of the family hotel business, Palmers, before it sinks. This move doesn't please many and Honor is soon vilified as a back-stabbing traitor by many in the East Hampton set.
Determined to make Palmers the force that it once was, Honor soon runs into the ambitious and arrogant Lucas, a Spanish womanizer who is equally intent on making a name for himself in the hotel world. As the manager of ruthless Anton Tisch's Herrick chain of hotels, the two soon declare war on each other but who will come out on top?
Honor and Lucas are the most prominent characters in the book but there are others. As well as Lucas' Herrick boss, Anton, this is also Tina (Honor's promiscuous sister, who is poles apart from her), Sian (a wannabe journalist who gets a job at Palmers), Lola (one of Lucas' conquests, who hates Honor for reasons that become clearer once you start reading the book), Ben (Lucas' best friend) and Petra (who Lucas met while studying in Switzerland and who hates him just as much as he hates her).
From the previous paragraph, you might be thinking that this is one of those books that tries to fit too many characters in to the extent that it's all just too confusing but this is far from the case here. One look at the full list of characters at the start of the book will confirm that there are a lot of characters but they blend well together. Many of them are more 'bit' characters, and the main action revolves around Honor, Lucas, Anton, Sian, Ben and later on, Petra.
We get to know most of these characters pretty well through the third person narrative, which manages to delve inside their minds. While the narrative frequently flits between the various characters, there will usually be sections of several paragraphs or pages concentrating on a particular character at that point in time. I've read other books of a similar style in which the narrative flips between characters every couple of paragraphs and if that's not done right, it can become confusing. Here, this is plenty of opportunity to examine a character in depth before the narrative moves onto the next one but at the same time, it still keeps up a fairly swift pace.
There is a good mix of 'the good' guys (Honor, Sian, Lola, Ben) and the 'bad guys (Anton, Petra), plus some in-between who have characteristics of both (Lucas). Anton and Petra are both horrible personalities who have no redeeming qualities, while Lucas was intriguing as he was annoyingly arrogant and self-centred but does have redeeming qualities and grew on me as the story progressed.
Were there any downsides? On the whole, I really liked this book but there was one minus point. There are quite a few sex scenes, which I didn't like. A lot of chick lit books have sex scenes and normally, they wouldn't bother me but the language used here was more than a bit crude. Anton was one of the worst culprits for this, which I guess was supposed to demonstrate more unlikeable aspects of his personality but these kind of scenes were something that I could happily have lived without as for me, it lowered the tone a bit too much. That aside, the rest of the book was great and I really enjoyed it.
Do Not Disturb is written by Tilly Bagsahwe and is a fantastic chick lit novel, in the style of Jilly Cooper. If you're planning a holiday any time soon, this is a perfect novel to read whilst relaxing at the beach or by the pool.
I've only just discovered that Tilly Bagshwe is the sister of author Louise Bagshawe, and I can certainly say that if you like Louise's novels you'll enjoy Tilly's as well and vice versa, they write in quite a similar style and the same genre so I don't know why it never occurred to me that they could be related!
Honor Palmer has always tried to be the son her father so desperately wanted. When his failing health forces her to take power of attorney, the young Harvard graduate is determined to restore the once legendary family hotel Palmers to its original estate.
Anton Tisch is the owner of a worldwide brand of luxury hotels, when he hears that Honor plans to restore the faded glamour of Palmers he immediately buys some land nearby to build his own hotel and destroy all of Honors dreams.
Lucas Ruiz is the typical poor boy who's used his looks and intelligence to leave his childhood poverty far behind, an assistant manager with driving ambition at Tisch's London hotel, he is given the job of supervising the building of the hotel and then managing the new hotel.
This is very much a typical chick lit novel, focusing on the 'goings on' of the rich and famous and offering an escape to a completely different lifestyle. The key themes of the novel are ambition, revenge and power, again fairly typical of a chick lit novel.
The ending of the novel was to be honest fairly easy to predict from fairly on in the story, the twists and turns along the way were not. I was actually quite surprised (in a good way) at many of the twists and turns in the book, they made what could have been an ok but predictable story into something much more entertaining.
The book was mainly written from the points of view of Lucas and Honor, however there were also parts of the story written from the point of view of other more minor characters. The narration was very well written and as a reader you are made to feel as though you really understand the personality of each of the characters well.
The story itself is set over a number of years, but the characters that appear in the story are consistent over the whole time period, and you can watch as they develop and change over time. I really enjoyed this!
The writing was entertaining and witty, it's quite a long book but Tilly Bagshawe manages to keep you hooked from start to finish.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a very enjoyable and easy to read novel. I'd recommend this to chick lit fans in general, especially if you like authors such as Louise Bagshawe and Tasmina Perry.
There are many books in the chick lit genre now that seem to have taken the glamour route as apposed to the normal girl trying to win the heart of normal guy. This return to the Jilly Cooper style of romantic fiction is actually something I quite enjoy, some escapism glamour and fashion usually set in a world that is unknown to me, with gorgeous sexy and beautiful characters who are ruthless determined and successful. The most impressive of these books come from the two Bagshawe sisters; Louise Bagshawe, who really specialises in the beautiful girls and the gorgeous fashion, and Tilly Bagshawe, who has a mix of both, but whose stories tend to be quite engrossing in the end also.
The author & The Story
Tilly Bagshawe's book "Do Not Disturb", is her third novel at just 26, about the hotel industry from several different perspectives. Honor Palmer has taken over the running of the Palmers hotel in the famous Hamptons, she has a big task on her hands as it is slowly being run in to the ground, not helped by a money grabbing stepmother and a fame seeking younger sister. Born in to a long standing family, Honor only has the reputation of Palmers to help her get through.
Lucas Ruiz, unlike Honor, is not born in to riches. A poor Spanish boy from Ibiza, he is determined to own his own hotel one day, and makes a good start by running the new hotel owned by Billionaire hotelier, Anton Tisch in the Hamptons. Anton, a ruthless, self obsessed businessman, will stop at nothing to get the Palmers hotel out of business and with Lucas' determination to succeed and Antons greed, it becomes a lethal combination.
There are many characters in this (rather large) book that are given equal voices aside from the characters mentioned above. There is also Lola, the beautiful daughter of Honors married lover, Sian, a poor but determined woman desperate to get a foot in the door with her journalism and Ben, Lucas' best friend and all round nice guy. Despite the amount of characters that are in the book, it is not at all overwhelming and the different threads of stories from each story blend together well and link up and are each as interesting as one another. There were times at the beginning of the book where I found the stories of Sian and Ben more interesting than the "main" thread of Lucas and Honor, but by the time the half way point of the book came about, I was engrossed with how they would all turn out.
I enjoyed the villainous characters in this book immensely. Anton and his new manager (as well as Lucas' nemesis) Petra were often quite cartoon like in the way they were portrayed, concocting evil plans and generally being portrayed as sharp, spiky and truly evil from their personalities right the way through to their personal appearances, but this worked really well! It is also clear from the start of the book that Lucas is meant to be a character that the reader is supposed to sympathise with as much as Honor. Honor gets the reader on side by her determination to succeed, whereas the setting up of Lucas' childhood does much to encourage sympathys and it is because of this that it makes it hard to dislike him as a character when he begins to sabotage Honors reputation. Generally speaking throughout the novel, he is arrogant and over confident, but you cannot help wishing he would succeed, and then I generally felt torn between Honor and him as to who I wanted to win out of their private battle.
As with all of these types of books, it is quite clear - romantically anyway - what will happen and who will be with who by the end of the book. What makes it much more exciting is the twists and turns along the way. The pace of the story picks up after the first couple of chapters and its extremely enjoyable reading. Like her previous books as well as her sister Louise Bagshawes novels, I found the story of their careers more interesting than the love lives themselves, especially when you see the perspectives of Anton and Petra.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was quite a big read, but the stories flowed and entwined and there were enough characters and storylines to keep me amused through to the end. I always expect a happy ever after with these books, but Tilly Bagshawe provides a sexed up version to the usual fluff that comes from the chick lit genre. I'll buy her next one too (due out in May!)
Being a fan of Louise Bagshawe's books, I was hoping I would also like the novels of her sister Tilly Bagshawe, who began publishing books in 2005. I loved her first one, 'Adored', so I hope that her third release, 'Do Not Disturb', would be as good as her debut. I managed to get my hands on a Proof Copy of this one, as it isn't released for a few weeks, and I was suitably impressed once again!
Do Not Disturb is set in the world of hotels. Honor Palmer is a hotel heiress who is forced to take over the running of Palmers Hotel in East Hampton when her father dies. The local residents do not take kindly to this so Honor has to build up her reputation again. She has to do this in spite of her publicity-seeking sister Tina who is bleeding the sisters inheritance dry, and a new modern, sleed hotel ran by world-famous hotel Anton Tisch opening up down the road. Not to mention competing with the Spanish womaniser Lucas Ruiz who is running the new Tisch hotel, the Herrick.
As usual, Bagshawe has a novel with a few main characters, all of whom have an equal importance throughout the novel. All are given a good and strong background, allowing you to get to know them well and in detail, a useful thing for a fairly substantial sized novel (as this one is nearly 500 pages). As mentioned, the main character is Honor Palmer. She is a strong-minded and strong-willed woman who is incredibly determined that her hotel will be a success. She is written as a ruthless businesswoman-type character, although we are shown weak and vunerable sides to her personality, especially concerning her body-image and need to be loved.
It is interesting to see how she changes around the different characters in her life, and how they all impact on her. She has created an enemy for Honor in the Spaniard Lucas Ruiz, the man initially in charge of the Herrick. He is an opposite of Honor, hot-headed, confident and arrogant, convinced he is destined to run a world class hotel at his young age. Exchanges between the pair are unpleasant but make for interesting reading!
Another major character in the book is the Billionaire hotelier and owner of the Tisch group of hotels Anton Tisch. Anton is a ruthless German hotel mogul who has built up a world famous empire in the hotel world. He is known for his promiscuity, paying off women who end up bearing his children as a result of their liaisons, and incredibly disliked. And God forbid anyone who cross him as they'll be crushed like an ant beneath your shore. He is a horrible character, slimy and completely unlikeable but it does make you want to keep reading just to see if he is going to get his comeupance.
The whole story of people competing to make the better hotel has been done a few times before, as its a good thing to write about and to read as well. But Bagshawe has created a great set of characters which you get really involved with by the end of the book. Each are different people clashing over their dreams and although you are meant to like some, and hate others, you can't help but want them all to succeed at the end because it is their dream to make it work! Some of the other minor characters also play a key role in the book too, Sian, a young journalist, Lola, the daughter of a Boston millionaire; and Tina, Honor's sister. All crop up regularly through the book in vital roles which also keeps you involved.
There is one thing that I don't like about Tilly Bagshawe's novels I must admit. This was not just apparent in this particular novel, I found it also to be the case in her first novel, and will probably be the case in her second book too. I don't really like the crude language used when she writes a sexual scene in a book. I especially don't like how she uses the C-word - in my opinion it is the foulest word in the English language and I HATE seeing it in print, and it really is unpleasant. It isn't necessary in this great story, and for me spoilt some of the love scenes in the book. I really hope she writes these scenes in a better way in the future as I might be put off her reading her books in the future if she doesn't.
So what did I think? To be honest, I found it took me a little while to get into the book, although I can't really pinpoint why this is as it is a great story! As the book progresses, it becomes a great battle of personalities and determination, of crushing your enemy and coming out on top of everyone else. It is quite lengthy for a chick-lit book but doesn't drag on with nothing happening - each chapter is necessary and I wasn't bored at any point. In fact, I just got more involved towards the end, I ploughed through the last 150 pages in a very short time! A really good exciting read, and another super novel from Tilly Bagshawe.
ISBN: 978-0752874197. The book is published by Orion and is due for release in Hardback edition on 7th February 2008. The RRP is £9.99 although you can pre-order it on Amazon for £6.49. The book has 496 pages. For more information on the author and her other books see her website: www.tillybagshawe.com.
Thank you for reading!
Honor Palmer has always been a fighter. First, for her father's love, approval or even just his attention. When that failed, Honor switched her efforts to saving the family hotel that shares her name. Palmers, a beautiful old jewel of a building nestled on the coast of the Hamptons, used to be the most glamorous destination in the world. Now Honor wants to restore its reputation, its glitz and its guestlist. But there's a new boy in town with a different plan. Lucas Ruiz is no stranger to struggle. He's worked his way up from the grimy hotel laundries of Ibiza, via Sweden and London, and now as manager of the new hotel on the block, he wants to bring modern boutique-chic to the States. He's got no time for the faded traditions of Palmers - or the ball-breaking girl who's trying to save it. As Honor and Lucas prepare to go head to head to get the rich and famous checking in, the locals are busy checking out the backstairs gossip. Blackmail, adultery and the dirtiest of dirty tricks are all in a day's work behind the scenes of the five-star facades.Whisking you through the doors of the world's most exclusive hotels, Do Not Disturb is a blockbusting romp that's smart, sexy and more than a little scandalous.