Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review - Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Today I’m bringing you my second review as part of #BookoutureXmas for Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin. This was a book I couldn’t wait to get stuck into after, earlier this year, reading and loving Fairytale Beginnings by the same author. I can safely say that, in Christmas at Lilac Cottage, Holly Martin has done it again and by that I mean that she has created yet another beautiful, romantic and sparkling novel that any reader is bound to fall in love with. 

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. 

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. 

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore … 

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of? 

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. 

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year.

We first meet Penny, one of the three main characters of the novel, as she’s taking a trayful of mince pies out of the oven and eagerly anticipating the arrival of Henry and Daisy, who she presumes is a couple that the agency has found to rent the annex. When Henry finally arrives at the cottage he is on his own and it’s safe to say that he is not in a good mood after experiencing a stressful journey and difficulties in finding the cottage. Subsequently he’s snappy and things do not get off to a good start between Henry and Penny which leaves Penny feeling slightly deflated as, living alone at the cottage, she had been looking forward to the arrival of her tenants. Things only get worse still when Daisy eventually arrives and Penny, not yet knowing that Daisy is Henry’s daughter, jumps to the wrong conclusion and calls him a pervert for being married to such a young girl. However, when the truth finally comes out about Daisy a friendship between Henry and Penny begins to grow and go from strength to strength although, as the reader discovers, it’s not all plain sailing. 

We soon learn that each of the characters in this novel - Penny, Henry and Daisy - have had things happen in their lives which they could honestly have done without. Penny was in a relationship with a man who walked out on her at quite possibly one of the worst times ever, Henry took sole responsibility for Daisy’s care when he was very young and it’s clear that Daisy struggles without having a mum in her life. However, what is really nice about this particular novel is the way in which the characters interact with eachother, support eachother and ultimately give eachother the strength and encouragement that they so desperately need. It was especially nice to read of the way in which Penny opened her heart to and, eventually, ended up gaining the trust of Daisy who felt able to share with Penny her biggest secrets. It became clear that the friendship that developed between both Penny and Daisy was really unbreakable and would stand the test of time. 

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a truly perfect Christmas read which, in addition to having a gorgeous cover featuring snow, twinkly lights and, of course, Lilac Cottage, was beautifully written. There were moments that made me smile, moments that had me in hysterics and other moments that had me shedding a tear or two but I absolutely adored it. Also worth a mention is how much I enjoyed reading about Penny’s ice carving and finding out more about the whole process which, clearly, requires a lot of patience and talent and is clearly a subject which Holly had taken the time to research. 

With Fairytale Beginnings earlier this year and now Christmas at Lilac Cottage, Holly Martin has quickly become a favourite author of mine and I know that I will always look forward to reading her books. If you haven’t read anything by Holly Martin what are you waiting for? Do so now, get yourself a copy of Christmas at Lilac Cottage or Fairytale Beginnings or, better still, both. 

Make sure you return to this blog on Tuesday 27th October where I’ll be posting an extract of Holly Martin’s second Christmas novel of the year called Snowflakes on Silver Cove!