Review of Hotel Queens by Lee Winter, audiobook narrated by Angela Dawe
There’s no doubt that Lee Winter writes lesbian ice queens like no other and a book that features not one but two of these characters is a joy for any fan of this subgenre. Having said that, one of the main characters seemed to be more on the autistic spectrum rather than an ice queen.
Fire meets ice queen in an archetypical opposites-attract romance with the setting of a cutthroat corporate world of luxury hotels. Both women will compete for the deal of their lives, the acquisition of a state-of-the-art luxury property while fighting against their mutual powerful attraction.
Ms. Winter states in the acknowledgments that she wrote this book in two periods of time, the first one in 2018 when she almost dropped the story for good due to the complexities of the plot. I agree that there is an intricacy of the story and all its nuances that make it hard to write, but Ms. Winter pulled it off without problems. As usual, this is a very well-written book that won’t disappoint her fans.
Having said that, I admit that I liked but not loved this novel. This is absolutely my personal taste and I’ve realised that it goes against the majority of the reviews. I think it’s because when I read this author I’m looking for an ultra aloof, hard-to-thaw ice-queen paired with an outgoing, sociable, younger character who normally worships the ice queen. Hotel Queens is more the case of two powerful women who meet their match. Even though there is well-written chemistry, for me the tension didn’t feel as strong as in other of Ms. Winter’s books.
There’s also the fact that this is more of a plot-driven book, which is in the driving seat leading the direction of the story while the characters follow. No problem at all with that, again, I think that my expectations were different, and I wasn’t completely invested in the twists and turns of the plot. Some parts of it, especially at the end, sounded a bit contrived and out of character for some secondary characters.
A few months after reading the book, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Angela Dawe. You can trust this narrator to always take a written story to audio heaven and this one wasn’t an exception. As usual, Ms. Dawe did a fantastic job at portraying main and secondary characters and performing emotional moments convincingly. Still, I couldn’t connect to the story completely but it made it much more enjoyable. 4.5 stars.
Length: 11 hours, 26 minutes