Researching…Hotels, Denver, and all things Charity House

Brown Palace 2 Renee Ryan here for Winnie Griggs, who ever-so-graciously took over my day last week when my plane was diverted due to bad weather, and…way too long of a story for today.


I’m starting a new book today, Book 9 in my Charity House series.  The hero, Jonathon Hawkins, was one of the first “orphans” at Charity House, a home for prostitutes’ by-blows.  He spent the first twelve years living with his mother in various saloons, then a brothel, before Laney Dupree offered him a home at her baby farm, aka Charity House.  Despite his questionable upbringing, and the fact that his real father refuses to acknowledge him, Jonathon has made a success of his life.  After winning his fortune at the gaming tables, he’s gone legitimate.  He owns several upscale hotels in major US cities, including Denver.  I modeled his Denver hotel after one of the most historic hotels in the country, the Brown Palace in Denver.


The Brown Palace was one of the first atrium-style hotels ever built.  Made from sandstone and red granite, construction was completed in 1892.  Its distinctive shape (a triangle instead of the usual square or rectangle) was created by architect Frank Edbrooke.   He also designed the Denver Dry Goods Company Building, Central Presbyterian Church, and the Temple Emanuel.


The Brown Palace Hotel is still in operation today.  It’s listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is a favorite stop for afternoon team.  If you’re looking for a pot of properly brewed English tea and scones served with Devonshire cream and preserves the Brown Palace Hotel is a must see.  The hotel is also known for its marble bar.

Molly BrownIf you do make a trip to Denver and book a room in the Brown Palace Hotel you will stay in the same hotel as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Beatles, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bill Clinton.


Have you read any of my Charity House books?  If so, which one, or ones? Leave a comment and your name will be put in a drawing for a book from Renee’s backlist.

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18 thoughts on “Researching…Hotels, Denver, and all things Charity House”

  1. That sounds like a very interesting story. I have read one of the Charity House Courtship books, “The Lawman Claims His Bride”. And I loved it!

  2. I started with Trey and Katherine’s story THE MARSHAL TAKES A BRIDE. Katherine and Molly are daughters of a prostitute. Katherine is a teacher at the orphanage.

    Next I read and enjoyed Marc and Laney’s story THE CHARITY HOUSE COURTSHIP. Laney runs the orphanage.

    I just finished THE OUTLAW’S REDEMPTION featuring Hunter and Annabeth (daughter of a prostitute and a teacher at the orphanage) and FINALLY a BRIDE featuring Molly and Garrett. Katherine(see above) is Molly’s half sister/mother.

    I do want to read Logan’s story THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE.

    I’m excited to hear that Johnny, Jonathan, the judge’s son, who is mentioned in both Laney’s story and Molly’s story will get his own book.

    I’m hoping that Garrett, Logan and Hunter Mitchell’s sisters, Fanny in Chicago and Callie in Denver will soon be receiving their HEA’s.

    I love this heartwarming series featuring the people who are tied in some way to The Charity House Orphanage in Denver. All of the characters are well deserving of their HEA’s!

    Wonderful series Renee!

  3. This is a really interesting post. I love old buildings and would love to stay in one of the old hotels filled with so much history.

  4. Faith, so happy to hear you enjoyed Logan and Megan’s story. That was a tough one to write because the two were in love before the book opened, or so they thought. They still had obstacles to their HEA. 😉

  5. Laurie G, I’m excited to be writing Johnny’s story. He’s turning out to be a great hero. All the Mitchell siblings are getting books, by the way. So far Hunter and Garrett’s books are available. THE OUTLAW’S REDEMPTION and FINALLY A BRIDE, respectively. Callie’s book comes out in September, HIS MOST SUITABLE BRIDE. I’m working on Fanny’s now and really enjoying the journey. Thanks for stopping by today!

  6. Janine, I’m with you. There’s something so incredibly charming and intriguing about old buildings built when architecture was such an individualized art form.

  7. I love the photos you shared! I’ve read The Lawman Claims His Bride, and plan on reading the rest of the series in order 🙂

  8. I believe I read all but two of your Charity House books… have to double check… love your characters!

  9. I have not read any of those stories yet. 🙂 I love triangle buildings! They always fascinate me.
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  10. Glad you got home safe, Renee. Our friends in Platte Center had tons if damage and lost dozens if historic trees. (No people or animals hurt, though.) excited for you about book nine! What a great series.

  11. Renee I’ve read several of your books but The Outlaw’s Redemption is my absolute favorite! And thanks for the info you shared in your post today – I love historic architecture!

  12. When I was young, my Grandparents took me to the Brown Palace-it was very nice. A must see in Denver.
    Your information was interesting to read.

  13. I have read The Lawman Claims His Bride and think I have at least one buried in my TBR Mountain. I really enjoyed the book and like the story thread that connects the books.
    We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years and visited Denver quite a few times. It was a time of young children and an infant. Our focus was usually the Museum of Natural History and/or Casa Bonita. I did not know about the Brown Palace and many other places I would love to visit. The next time we head out West, we will be stopping there and I plan on having afternoon tea. Thanks for the pictures and the information.

  14. I love having so many of your good books Renee. I have 6 of the Charity House and 2 others. A happy reader and love these kind of stories. I can always use another one. Thanks for a chance. I wish I had known about this Hotel when I was in Denver many years ago. Neat being a triangle. Would love to be able to tour it. WOW! it’s 222 years old. They built them good back then. Right?
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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