Monday, March 4, 2019

Review: The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

A legendary hotel on the Pacific becomes a haven where dreams, love, and a beguiling mystery come alive.

1958. Kate Morgan, tethered to her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant, is looking for an escape. She gets her chance by honoring a cryptic plea from her grandfather: find the beautiful stranger. The search takes her to Hotel del Coronado, the beachfront landmark on the Southern California coast where filming is underway on the movie Some Like It Hot.

For a movie lover like Kate, it’s a fantasy come true. So is the offer of a position at the glamorous hotel. And a new romance is making her heart beat just as fast. But as sure as she is that Coronado is her future, Kate discovers it’s also where the ghosts of the past have come to stay. Sixty years ago a guest died tragically, and she still haunts the hotel’s halls.

As the lives of two women—generations apart—intertwine, Kate’s courageous journey could change more than she ever imagined. And with Coronado wending its way through her soul, she must follow her dreams…wherever they may lead.

My Review:

When I first read the premise of this book, I thought it sounded good.  But, I had no idea how good it would really be.  I was up late at night and reading at times that I normally should have been doing other things.  Who needs a clean house anyway?  I just couldn’t put this book down. 

I love anything to do with the glamorous 50s era of Hollywood and a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe and ghost stories.  So, those parts caught my attention first.  But, Kate’s story is what really hooked me.  She runs away from home after her grandfather hands her an ad for a job working in the restaurant at the Hotel Del Coronado while a movie is being filmed there.  Then, he tells her to find the beautiful stranger.  Kate has no idea who she is looking for or why. 

The story takes Kate on a journey she never could have expected.  She finds herself meeting and working with movie stars and learning about a ghost in the hotel that shares her name.  Then, Kate finds a picture of her grandfather with a woman she doesn’t know and this woman is wearing her grandmother’s wedding ring.  This takes the story in a different direction.  Kate sets out to learn more about her grandfather and why he never spoke of this woman or his life in Coronado.  And, of course Kate finding love at the hotel just wraps this story up perfectly.  This is one of the most memorable books I have read in a while.  It’s one of those that you can easily picture on the big screen. 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I'm glad you liked this one so much. :)

    1. Yes, I loved it. I'm going to have to read some more of this authpr's books now.