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BOOK REVIEW: Hotel of Secrets

Hotel of Secrets by Diana Biller
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Plot: Maria Wallner is doing everything she can to save her family’s hotel and which isn’t going well. She doesn’t have enough money, her family is chaotic, and she keeps crossing paths with a Dark Haired Man. Eli Whittaker does not want to be on his undercover mission to Vienna. The only lead he has is a note sent from Hotel Wallner where he keeps running into Maria.

Okay y’all. I enjoyed Diana Biller’s last book well enough (see my mini review here), but it wasn’t like an all time favorite. But I saw a few extremely positive reviews of this one so when the publisher offered me an eARC, I jumped on the chance. I was in no way swayed by that gorgeous cover.

I stayed up until 2am reading this and had to wake up for work at 6am the next morning. The lack of sleep possibly led to a minor cold and I would still say IT WAS WORTH IT.

To quote Taylor Swift HE WAS SUNSHINE I WAS MIDNIGHT RAIN (Upon editing this post I am not entirely sure what I meant by this, but I was unhinged while writing this because I loved it so much)


  • I want the record to show that a few days before I read this I was telling my friend how hard it is for authors to successfully balance a mystery plot in a historical romance. I always want more romance, but DIANA BILLER DID IT. The balance was perfect (for me).
  • Eli Whittaker!! Love this man so much. Him and Maria!! During some of the romantic moments/exchanging of feels I literally set my kindle down and silently screamed/teared up. I highlighted so much of this book!!
    • Eli is my favorite type of hero. He doesn’t ever plan on falling in love (who has the time?) and then is hit over the head with the most extraordinary woman and can’t handle it. He is reserved and quiet and sees everything and THEN MARIA STARTS TO BE ABLE TO READ HIM and then HE STARTS TO MAKE JOKES ?? AND HE IS A VIRGIN AND — I don’t usually highlight quotes during sex scenes, but SOME QUOTES WERE HIGHLIGHTED.
  • I loved Maria’s relationship with her family!
    • They are complicated family and I loved how the conflicts were resolved.
    • I loved how her and her step brother got along so well and didn’t let their parents get in the way of their relationship. I do wish the sisters had been on page more, but it wouldn’t have worked in the story.
  • JOSEPHINE WALLNER!! MA’AM I HATE GUNS BUT THIS WOMAN AND HER GUN WAS MORE THAN OKAY WITH ME (This is Maria’s grandma who is dating a woman and is just generally wild in the best way).
  • Also this book is funny? And humorous? Like the perfect amount of humor that it still feels like a serious book, but Eli and Maria banter and joke together (about everything) and some of their internal dialogue is just so funny.
  • This is my second Diana Biller book and I loved it so much more than her last book, which I still enjoyed and gave like 3.5 stars, but this ONE IS IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN
  • The Vienna setting!! I need all the books set here!! and the fact Eli is American and just a bit of a fish out of water and doesn’t get things means Biller explains things in the best way.
    • When they dance in the city I —
  • The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies and it doesn’t take place in Vienna, but it takes place in AUSTRIA and the main character of that movie is named MARIA so obvi loved that.
  • Idk I just loved this book so much and I stayed up super late to read it, but also was not in a great headspace while reading it and this book distracted me so always love that.
  • All the moments they dance!! From the first time when he asks her to then her asking him to then HIM REALIZING THINGS AND WANTING TO DANCE WITH HER AND IT LEADING TO THE FINAL CONFLICT. Such an excellent through line of the book.
  • The whole story if working towards a ball and I just love a ball in a historical romance.
  • Also the way this book is the Viennese version of “saving a local establishment”.
  • This would be a gorgeous film!!
  • AND CAN WE GET A MOMENT FOR THIS COVER?? THE DRESS? THE GLITZ? THE GLAMOUR? THE MAGICALNESS OF IT?? (there is not magic in this book) tbh I would’ve loved to see a clinch cover but this is so stunning I can’t even be mad.
  • Truly have been reading some amazing romances that I am obsessed with and it’s only February.


  • It took me a bit to get into the story. Like maybe 15%? I just had a hard time with all the characters and figuring out who was related to who.
  • I wanted an epilogue! The end is a bit abrupt, but I wanted more!!
    • Especially since they live in different countries and will have to work a bit more for their HEA, I wanted a scene seeing they made it.
      • I do firmly believe they make it work, but like…Diana please…an epilogue…

TW: patricide, domestic abuse, gun violence, murder, death,

5/5 stars

FYI you can preorder signed copies of this one from The Ripped Bodice here. And if you’re to local to the store she is doing an event there on April 1st. I might go if I can motivate myself to make the drive.

*Thanks so much to the publisher for an eARC; all thoughts are my own*

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, Tree

2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Hotel of Secrets”

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