The Beautiful Strangers

The Beautiful Strangers

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 o...

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Title:The Beautiful Strangers
Author:Camille Di Maio
Rating:

The Beautiful Strangers Reviews

  • Judy Collins

    Check out my

    and learn the inspiration behind this fascinating novel and fun facts about the author!

    One of my favorite authors, Camille Di Maio returns following

    with her latest

    Set in the legendary iconic Hotel Del Coronado in Southern California between the timeline of 1892 and 1958, the author masterfully blends fact and fiction.  

    From the real-life

    (a resident ghost and a real woman whose body w

    Check out my

    and learn the inspiration behind this fascinating novel and fun facts about the author!

    One of my favorite authors, Camille Di Maio returns following

    with her latest

    Set in the legendary iconic Hotel Del Coronado in Southern California between the timeline of 1892 and 1958, the author masterfully blends fact and fiction.  

    From the real-life

    (a resident ghost and a real woman whose body was found on the steps of the Hotel del Coronado 1892) to Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and the movie set of

     I Loved this book!  

    Kate Morgan helps her family at their struggling restaurant.  Her granddad, George is suffering from Dementia. Times are tough and little time for big dreams. She and her grandfather share a love of movies.  

    He has requested she sell her grandmother’s ring and travel to the San Diego hotel and find

     He wants her to get a job at the hotel and the movie set. He discloses no other information.  

    With limited money and a family desperate for her assistance, she risks it all to follow her dream and her granddads.  Her family does not approve. However, things soon go south, and she is guilt-ridden from letting her family down.  However, she is desperately trying to honor her grandfather’s wishes.  She must earn enough to buy back the ring she left at the pawn shop. 

    and she must find a way to connect the dots. At the same time, she meets someone on the ferry who helps guide her, and she befriends the enigma surrounding Marilyn Monroe and slowly unravels the secrets of the past. 

    Switching back and forth, we meet another Kate Morgan who died at the hotel years ago.  Her death was not as it appeared.  She still lives at the hotel watching and waiting.  Searching.  

    From a mysterious death, and a determined young girl with love for a better life and a promise to her granddad, she will stop at nothing until she has her answers.

    with—history, intriguing setting, well-drawn characters, mystery, suspense, and romance, making this a

    It has it all!  Filled with humor and emotion, family and loyalty - Camille di Maio adds her own signature style to make this a "must-read" book for the spring and summer. (what a great beach read). 

    🏖 Southern California, the Grand legendary Hotel Del Coronado, glamorous 1950's, movie stars, a mystery of the past, a ghost, loads of history, secrets, intrigue, mystery, and romance. You are going to love this cast of characters especially, Kate Morgan and her quest to find THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGER for her beloved granddad. 

    and meticulously researched, both rich in history and character (trust me after you read), you will be Googling "Kate Morgan" and her story.  Heartwarming and heartbreaking.

    A well-woven mystery.  Old Hollywood meets

    —Suspense, history, and romance. 

    Having the pleasure of reading all four of the author's books, she always manages to deliver unique stories of the heart, creates magic, digs up secrets, and always some fascinating history for a perfect blending of fact and fiction. This may be my favorite thus far!  

    ​Read My Reviews: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

     

    For fans of Kate Morton—both Kate and Camille possess a magical talent with words, stories, and beautiful places. They both share a love of travel and architecture and reflective throughout their work and love of books— as they create memorable characters who come alive and linger long after the book ends.   

    Highly recommend! 

    PS.  I would love for Camille to write a story set at our Breakers Hotel here in Palm Beach, FL.  It has the glamour and the famous history of this hotel with many secrets.  If the walls could speak!

    PS Honored and thrilled for the Instagram name mention! (thank you). Always a thrill to see your name jump out in acknowledgments. 

  • Travel.with.a.book

    This is my second novel from @camilledimaio and I'm stunned and overwhelmed by the amazing writings from her! I really can say that whatever you read from Camille it won't be a regret, she really has ability to put your mind in the book and concentrate you in her fabulous acts of the story, a truly queen of Historical Fiction books!!

    .

    The descriptions of the book are so perfect and the characters are interesting and very well connected! The differences between this and The Way Of Beauty is that t

    This is my second novel from @camilledimaio and I'm stunned and overwhelmed by the amazing writings from her! I really can say that whatever you read from Camille it won't be a regret, she really has ability to put your mind in the book and concentrate you in her fabulous acts of the story, a truly queen of Historical Fiction books!!

    .

    The descriptions of the book are so perfect and the characters are interesting and very well connected! The differences between this and The Way Of Beauty is that this one is more mysterious and I find it more intriguing and compelling to read!

    The story takes acts of love in mysterious way and Camille is so good at it, the novel is set in the late 1950s , the place where the story takes place is in Hotel De Coronado!

    .

    Kate is the main character of the book, she is a young and smart woman who works in her family's restaurant! Tired and not wantinf to live the life everg member of her family used to, she takes a very interesting and intriguing adventure to find "the beautiful Stranger" in Hotel Coronado which her grandfather told her! And from there you can find mystery, romace and different topics of present life that you'd want to read so much!

    .

    I really rate this book 5/5, and I wish to see it in a major picture because it really has details that we all wish to see within a movie! Ending has such an interesting and unique structure, I really enjoyed it every page, it was a fascinating read and one of my most anticipated book of the Year.

    The Beautiful Strangers is a mixed historical fiction with mystery and romance and different intriguing twists that you'd love to read!

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    Kate Morgan didn’t want to spend her entire life frying fish in her family’s restaurant so with her grandfather’s insistence, she sold her grandmother’s ring, took the money, and went to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California, to work in the kitchen on a set for the movie SOME LIKE IT HOT.

    Kate was anxious as she left and especially as she continued on her journey that none of her family knew she had taken. As she traveled, her suitcase was stolen, she was hungry, and she was not very pr

    Kate Morgan didn’t want to spend her entire life frying fish in her family’s restaurant so with her grandfather’s insistence, she sold her grandmother’s ring, took the money, and went to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California, to work in the kitchen on a set for the movie SOME LIKE IT HOT.

    Kate was anxious as she left and especially as she continued on her journey that none of her family knew she had taken. As she traveled, her suitcase was stolen, she was hungry, and she was not very presentable when she arrived.

    When Kate arrived she is told there is a ghost that lived at Hotel Del Coronado in 1892 with the exact same name. When I heard this, the connection between the two Kates and the connection her grandfather was trying to remember must have had something to do with the Kate from 1892 and made THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS even more intriguing.

    We find out as Kate Morgan from today and Kate Morgan from the past tell their story in alternating chapters and time periods as the story of who the beautiful stranger is becomes unraveled.

    Camille Di Maio has written another beautiful, fantastic book with marvelous research.

    Her beautiful prose and story line pull you in and keep you anxious for the characters and for information about the history of Kate's grandfather and his connection to San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado.

    Ms. Di Maio's descriptions of buildings, colors, landscapes, and simply everything made me feel as though I were there and wanting to be there.

    I just loved the characters and both time periods....well...most of the characters. If you read the book or have read the book, you will know which character is very unlikable.

    The story line is absolutely marvelous. We get taken onto a movie set, meet Marilyn Monroe and other actors, follow Kate on her journey and quest for information, and best of all enjoy another award-winning read by Camille Di Maio.

    THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS has a marvelous dual-time story line as well as what historical fiction fans, movie buffs, and California fans are looking for.

    DO NOT MISS reading this book. It is heartwarming, amazing, and an all-around gem. 5/5

    This book was given to me by the author and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lisa

    The Beautiful Strangers is as delightful as a warm chocolate chip cookie

    SUMMARY

    The luxury beachfront Hotel Del Coronado becomes the mecca for two women sixty years apart. In 1928, a woman died tragically on the hotel steps leading to the beach and she still haunts the hotel today. Not many know her story. In 1958, Kate Morgan works in her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant and she’s looking for a way out. Kate’s grandfather, suffering from dementia, begs his granddaughter to go to San Die

    The Beautiful Strangers is as delightful as a warm chocolate chip cookie

    SUMMARY

    The luxury beachfront Hotel Del Coronado becomes the mecca for two women sixty years apart. In 1928, a woman died tragically on the hotel steps leading to the beach and she still haunts the hotel today. Not many know her story. In 1958, Kate Morgan works in her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant and she’s looking for a way out. Kate’s grandfather, suffering from dementia, begs his granddaughter to go to San Diego and find “the beautiful stranger.” Kate, risking her family’s wrath makes the perilous and expensive journey. The search takes her to the hotel were filming is underway for the movie Some Like it Hot. For Kate, a movie lover, this is a dream come true. She is offered a position at the hotel and even finds romance along the way. Remembering her grandfather’s plea, Kate searches for the beautiful stranger and finds much more than she ever imagined.

    REVIEW

    A beautiful historical fiction story with a beautiful setting at the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado. The story was as delightful as a warm chocolate chip cookie. THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS is a just perfect blend of characters, setting and story. Everything fits.

    I particularly loved the overlay of the stories of the two women at the hotel and the unique way author Camille Di Maio told the story. The portion of the story told by the beautiful stranger added great depth and value to the book. Di Maio’s writing was smooth and her descriptions were vivid. One of my favorite parts was when Kate first met Sean at the Coronado ferry. I think fell in love with Sean when he grabbed Kate’s hand on the ferry and took her to feed the seagulls. Just what she needed, what a guy!

    Camille Di Maio lives in San Antonio, Texas and her other books include The Memory of Us (2016), Before the Rain Falls (2017) and The Way of Beauty (2018) Thanks to Netgalley, Camille Di Maio and Lake Union Publishing for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Publisher Lake Union Publishing

    Published March 5, 2019

    Review

  • Fiona Davis

    Another beautiful, lyrical story by Camille Di Maio. The setting is exquisite and so original, and I love the way she wove fact and fiction together. Lots of surprises and a really satisfying read. Highly recommended.

  • ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

    is another amazing book from the talented

    !

    What it's about: It is 1958 and Kate Morgan wants more for her life than working in her family's restaurant in San Francisco. So when her grandfather's failing health sends her on a search to find "the beautiful stranger," she finds herself pawning her grandmother's ring and setting off for the Hotel del Coronado.

    is being filmed when she arrives and she ends up being hired to cater to the

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

    is another amazing book from the talented

    !

    What it's about: It is 1958 and Kate Morgan wants more for her life than working in her family's restaurant in San Francisco. So when her grandfather's failing health sends her on a search to find "the beautiful stranger," she finds herself pawning her grandmother's ring and setting off for the Hotel del Coronado.

    is being filmed when she arrives and she ends up being hired to cater to the stars, well one star in particular, Marilyn Monroe. While experiencing the glamour of Hollywood stars, she also manages to fall in love with a hotel employee plus finds out there is a ghost at the hotel that shares her name. Kate is following her dreams of bigger things, learning secrets from her grandfather's past, and experiencing so many other things in this fascinating tale of secrets, heartbreak, and love.

    There are two POVs in

    , the ghost Kate Morgan and the young Kate Morgan, which was a really great way to bring two generations of stories together. I loved the story of the ghost (which is apparently partly true!), and I loved Kate Morgan's peek into Hollywood while finding her grandfather's 'beautiful stranger.' I was even starstruck reading some of the old Hollywood people's names! Sometimes the book gave me chills which was amazing.

    Camille Di Maio's last book was a 5 star read for me, and while I didn't love this one quite as much, I still really enjoyed it. There is something about her writing that really draws me in, and the characters always seem to be very relatable. The romance aspect to the book was cute and I didn't mind it at all even though romance in books isn't always my favorite.

    Final Thought: The main mystery ends up being unraveled fairly early in the novel for the most part, but the way the story unfolds and the other things that are happening kept me interested and wanting to find out more. It also felt like I was reading very quickly even though it still took me just over 5.5 hours to finish. I was thoroughly enjoying the storyline and reading slower to take in all in. Once again I cannot wait to see what Camille Di Maio comes up with next!

  • Erin

    Kate Morgan is a dreamer and feels there is more to life than just working at her parent's San Francisco restaurant. It is 1958 and when the grandfather that she adores encourages her to seek out " the beautiful stranger" at Hotel del Coronado. Deciding to take a risk, Kate pawns her grandmother's ring and heads out on the train. Although her adventure gets off to a rocky start, Kate soon meets

    Kate Morgan is a dreamer and feels there is more to life than just working at her parent's San Francisco restaurant. It is 1958 and when the grandfather that she adores encourages her to seek out " the beautiful stranger" at Hotel del Coronado. Deciding to take a risk, Kate pawns her grandmother's ring and heads out on the train. Although her adventure gets off to a rocky start, Kate soon meets Sean O'Donnell, an Irish-American that happens to be an employee of Hotel del Coronado. Soon Kate has a job and meets the cast of the film

    that is filming on location in the hotel. Surprisingly, Kate is told over and over again that she has the same name as the ghost that many believe still haunts the hotel. But what does this ghost have to do with Kate?

    Well, I read this story in one sitting and while the p.o.v of the ghost unravelled the mystery quite early on, I was still very much captivated by Kate and her adventures. This is my third read by this author and there is something that always draws me into her novels. Partially, because of the those gorgeous book covers!

  • Jillian

    I liked this book it was a quick read . It’s about a girl named Kate Morgan and she leaves her family in San Francisco to get a job at hotel del coranato. There a movie being shot there a Marilyn Monroe movie ,some like it hot. There’s a bit of romance , a bit of mystery, a ghost and Marilyn Monroe . I really did like it but I never would have read it if it didn’t come in my once upon a book box so I got some fun treats as I read . I’m glad I did read it it was a break from fantasy that has been

    I liked this book it was a quick read . It’s about a girl named Kate Morgan and she leaves her family in San Francisco to get a job at hotel del coranato. There a movie being shot there a Marilyn Monroe movie ,some like it hot. There’s a bit of romance , a bit of mystery, a ghost and Marilyn Monroe . I really did like it but I never would have read it if it didn’t come in my once upon a book box so I got some fun treats as I read . I’m glad I did read it it was a break from fantasy that has been putting me in a slump lately.

  • Tahera

    First of all I want to thank Netgalley, Lake Union publishing and the author for providing me with the e-ARC of this lovely historical fiction set in the 1950s. I read this book way back in April but never got around to writing a review for it so here I am finally attempting one.

    Kate Morgan has always felt that life has a lot more to offer her than just working around the clock in her family's failing seafood restaurant in San Francisco. She gets her chance to escape that deary life when her gra

    First of all I want to thank Netgalley, Lake Union publishing and the author for providing me with the e-ARC of this lovely historical fiction set in the 1950s. I read this book way back in April but never got around to writing a review for it so here I am finally attempting one.

    Kate Morgan has always felt that life has a lot more to offer her than just working around the clock in her family's failing seafood restaurant in San Francisco. She gets her chance to escape that deary life when her grandfather, who suffers from dementia, in one of his rare moments of clarity gives and tells her to answer an advertisement of temporary employment at the Hotel de Coronado in Southern California, where the filming of the movie 'Some Like it Hot' is scheduled to take place, alongwith the cryptic plea to

    . Pawning her grandmother's engagement ring, Kate makes her way to the beachfront landmark. Her adventure gets off to a rocky start at the train station but there she also meets Sean O' Donnell, an Irish-American who incidentally works at the same hotel and is able to procure for her an employment which brings her in contact with the stars of the movie, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. He surprisingly also tells her, which is repeated again by other workers at the hotel, that she shares her name with a ghost that is believed to haunt the hotel. According to legend, this ghost Kate Morgan was a young woman who died in mysterious circumstances while staying at the hotel in 1892. While her death was pronounced as suicide, many still believe it to be not so. As the modern Kate weaves her way in her new job and surroundings while searching for an answer to her grandfather's cryptic clue, she slowly comes to the realisation that there could be a more deeper connection between her and the ghost Kate.

    The story is told in a dual time-line format with each chapter beginning with the modern Kate and her story and ending with the ghost Kate and her story with both story lines slowly merging together to a convincing end. The writing is smooth and easy with vivid descriptions of sunny, southern California, the hotel, the beaches and the stars which make you feel that you are right there living in the moment. There are so many lovely moments in the book which includes the interaction between the modern Kate and Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn's suite where Marilyn uses her popularity to help Kate in her mission to solve her grandfather's cryptic plea.

    When I saw this labelled as a historical fiction it wasn't difficult to figure out the historical aspect of it which was the filming of the movie 'Some Like It Hot' at the Hotel de Coronado and the stars related to the movie. What I didn't know and was surprised to find out (after I Googled) was that the 'ghost' Kate Morgan is not a ficitional character but she too was a real person who had died at the hotel (aged 24) in 1892. She is said to still haunt the hotel even today and even though her death was termed suicide many still question the authenticity of that and believe otherwise.

    This is the picture of the real 'ghost' Kate Morgan I found on the internet.

  • Brandice

    is a historical fiction novel predominately set in the 1950s in California. Kate Morgan lives in San Francisco with her family but craves more. She is drawn to the lifestyle of Southern California with its beaches and Hollywood glamour. Her grandfather is growing old and suffers from dementia though Kate still gives him more credit than most people do. He tells Kate to find the beautiful stranger.

    With encouragement from her grandfather, Kate decides to embark on this jou

    is a historical fiction novel predominately set in the 1950s in California. Kate Morgan lives in San Francisco with her family but craves more. She is drawn to the lifestyle of Southern California with its beaches and Hollywood glamour. Her grandfather is growing old and suffers from dementia though Kate still gives him more credit than most people do. He tells Kate to find the beautiful stranger.

    With encouragement from her grandfather, Kate decides to embark on this journey down south to Hotel del Coronado, and seek out answers to his request. She ends up working at the hotel and running into celebrities who lodge there while filming, including Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon. These scenes were fine, but not my favorite.

    There is a dual timeline at play in

    though Kate’s story is the primary one. It took me a little while to establish how the two stories intertwined, which was confirmed a little later in the book. There is an element of mystery in the story, but I would not classify the book as a “mystery”.

    was a good story but didn’t blow me away. There were several predictable elements but I did enjoy the California setting and the timeframe of the story. I thought Kate was a likable main character too.

    .

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