A Caribbean island paradise, a place filled with happy carefree people whose only concern is the pleasure of the tourists, but appearances are superficial. Lust, greed, envy, jealousy, murder… all can be found within the Hotel Saint Clare and Nara Blake: young, beautiful, and inexperienced, meets them all when she takes on the job of hostess at the hotel. Fortunately, Nara finds help and support, as well as the promise of romance as she adjusts to her new life.
A young woman steps out of the sea, shaking the seaweed from her hair. Two boys gathering shells at first think she is a mermaid. This sets the stage for a story that is never far from the natural elements of life on a Caribbean island. This is a story of intrigue, of mystery and danger. True to its Caribbean setting, there is a hint of voodoo, but Heady never lets the magical element or the island people slip into cliche. The descriptions give a feel of the lushness of the setting but are written with a light touch. The story is strong, and the characters are a believable mixture of good and bad.
Sandra Cody author of the Jenny Connors mystery series
Rating: 5 out of 5.
This book was refreshingly different, not only for the setting but in how the plot develops. This book centers around 22-year-old Nara, a native of the islands who is trying to find her way in the world. She begins working at the Hotel St. Clare and quickly moves up the ladder due to her intelligence, business acumen, and hard work. Heady does an excellent job keeping up the underlying sense of menace, particularly from a certain slimy character. Beautifully written, it is a quick, easy read that will keep you guessing. I loved Nara–she was spunky and smart and didn’t take her youth or her beauty too seriously. This makes for a great summer read or a great winter read given how Heady puts you right in the tropics with the incredibly well-written setting. Don’t miss it!
Hotel Saint Clare
Book Club Questions
How would you describe Nara’s relationship with her father?
How did Todd Hamilton and Mr. Dunn both represent the culture of the island?
How does Nara balance her two worlds, that of a native woman and a white woman?
How does Davis reflect both worlds?
Why does Nara agree to help Crystal have her trust fund changed?
What did Mr. Dunn reveal to Nara about her mother?
The Gate House
Jewels in Time
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