Book Review: The Suite Spot by Trish Doller

Title: The Suite Spot
Series: Beck Sisters, #2
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: March 8, 2022
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Library

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Trish Doller’s The Suite Spot is a charming romance novel about taking a chance on a new life and a new love.

Rachel Beck has hit a brick wall. She’s a single mom, still living at home and trying to keep a dying relationship alive. Aside from her daughter, the one bright light in Rachel’s life is her job as the night reservations manager at a luxury hotel in Miami Beach—until the night she is fired for something she didn’t do.

On impulse, Rachel inquires about a management position at a brewery hotel on an island in Lake Erie called Kelleys Island. When she’s offered the job, Rachel packs up her daughter and makes the cross country move.

What she finds on Kelleys Island is Mason, a handsome, moody man who knows everything about brewing beer and nothing about running a hotel. Especially one that’s barely more than foundation and studs. It’s not the job Rachel was looking for, but Mason offers her a chance to help build a hotel—and rebuild her own life—from the ground up.

Content warning: Attempted sexual assault and (off-page) death of a child.

After finishing Float Plan last month, I knew I needed more of the Beck sisters! In this loosely-related follow-up, the sister of Float Plan‘s main character takes center stage. Rachel is a single mom who devotes herself to raising her three-year-old daughter Maisie, since Maisie’s dad is unreliable, to say the least.

When Rachel loses her job after a VIP guest tries to assault her, she’s despondent and desperate. She’s been blacklisted from all the management-level jobs at luxury hotels in the area, and dreads the idea of going back to where she started, doing housekeeping in sleazy motels. When a friend refers her to a brewery and inn looking for a manager — on an island in Ohio! — it seems like Rachel’s best chance for a fresh start.

Of course, nothing is quite as promised — the inn’s charming cottages haven’t actually been built yet, and the inn’s owner, Mason, seems stuck when it comes to moving his plans forward. Mason has a tragic past, but Rachel’s arrival seems like the spark he needs to slowly come back to life.

There’s a lot to love about The Suite Spot. First of all, can I just say that I want to move to Kelley’s Island RIGHT NOW and live in one of the fabulous cottages that Rachel designs and decorates? The setting of the story sound gorgeous — a rustic, small-town vibe with trees, lake, and sky for that back-to-nature feel.

Rachel and Mason are a slow burn. There’s instant attraction, but after the loss he’s suffered, he’s hesitant about spending time around a woman with a small child, afraid of painful memories resurfacing. While they tiptoe around each other initially, Rachel and Mason have an obvious connection, and he cautiously warms to Maisie eventually too. (She’s adorable, naturally.)

There’s quite a bit of time spent on the construction and decorating details, and sure, maybe we could have had a bit less detail on antique shopping and auctions, but I actually didn’t mind — it all plays into my fantasy of running away to live in a lakeside cabin for a month (or forever).

There’s not a ton of drama, which is fine — the story is pleasant and sweet, I liked the romantic elements, and it was heartening to see Rachel’s successes as well as her discovery of new connections and friendships within the island community.

I also liked the body positivity, as Rachel is curvy and beautiful, and despite getting some nasty comments earlier on, she carries herself with confidence, and knows just how attractive Mason finds her.

So, if I liked this book quite a bit (which I did), why only 3.5 stars? The ending drama just… sucked, to put it bluntly. Yes, the romance genre pretty much demands that after the main characters get together and fall beautifully in love, there has to be some sort of crisis — a breakup, a misunderstanding, SOMETHING has to get in the way before they reunite and get to be completely happy.



In The Suite Spot, the crisis is unbelievable (my eyes practically got stuck after all their rolling), and the resolution comes within about a minute. In a nutshell, Rachel gets a letter stating that her loser ex is demanding joint custody, with a mediation date set for the following month in Florida. Rachel has a major panic attack, and decides on the spot that she and Maisie have to move back to Florida.

She does not consult a lawyer. She does not explore other options. She does not fly to Florida for the mediation and to see what might come of it. She packs up her car and Maisie, says good-bye (tearfully) to Mason (her one true love) and her perfect job, and leaves.

After looking for jobs (all crappy) and apartments (all crappy) back in Florida, she finally gets to the mediation session, where all is resolved within about 10 minutes, and a perfect plan is agreed to by which she and Maisie return to their wonderful lives in Ohio and Maisie’s dad will see her a couple of weeks in the summers, which is really all he wanted in the first place.


This was all so unnecessary. Yes, the dramatic crisis is a pretty much unavoidable element in contemporary romance fiction, but this story didn’t need it, and it certainly didn’t need this particular set of plot developments. It was all pretty ridiculous, and then got fixed in the blink of an eye anyway, so why bother?

Apart from this late-in-the-book annoyance, I actually really enjoyed The Suite Spot. The characters, relationships (romance and friendships), and setting are all delightful, and the dialogue and interpersonal moments are well-written and sparkling.

Overall, The Suite Spot is worth reading and highly enjoyable, if you can ignore that annoying 10% or so. The next book in this series (Off the Map) has just been released, and it’s a sure bet that I’ll be reading it just as soon as my library hold comes in.








4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Suite Spot by Trish Doller

  1. That drama at the end does sound sort of ridiculous, lol. Oh well, the rest sounds really good, and I agree, living on a beautiful island would be a dream come true😁

  2. I agree, Rachel’s panic and overreaction at the end was a little over-the-top and dumb, but I really liked the rest of this book. Maisie’s very cute and Mason is great. And what a fun island setting!

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