Saturday, 26 September 2015

Blog Tour: Christmas at Lilac Cottage | Holly Martin

Hello folks and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for 'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' by the lovely Holly Martin. I have been so excited to share my review for this wonderful book and as many of you know I am a huge Holly Martin fan. In fact many of you may have already read the interview I did with Holly not so long ago. If you haven't read it yet, or would like to read it again then you can check it out HERE. (link opens in a new window)

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?
What’s so wonderful about Holly’s books is that they have such a wonderful wit about them, mixed with romance, comedy and everything I love about romantic fiction. This time around however we get a little bonus because her next two books are centered in White Cliff Bay during the Christmas season.
The first of these two books that I have read and loved is ‘Christmas at Lilac Cottage’, and it tells the story of Penny and Henry who are two wonderful characters who I love and wish they were real. With Holly’s books, there is no warming up to the characters or plot, the minute you start reading from page one *BAM* you’re hooked and in love.

The relationships on this book are wonderfully authentic, and how we see them grow and develop after Penny rents out her annex to Henry and his Daughter Daisy. Everyone seems to really like each other, Penny and Henry are attracted to each other and Daisy begins to help Penny with her successful ice carving business. All seems to be working out wonderfully, right? There are a couple of hiccups along the way that really frustrated me, but that is a positive thing because I was rooting for our lovely couple as soon as I learned that Henry really wasn’t a grump. Penny and Henry are both nursing broken hearts and trying to overcome commitment issues, and the way certain issues are dealt with in this book or cleverly and sensitively done.
The ice carving seemed to become a character in itself and it is something I haven’t read about in a work of fiction. The descriptions of the sculptures are lovely and also hilarious when you get to the ones that become a little more than phallic. Speaking of innuendos, it wouldn’t be a Holly Martin book without magical romance and a couple of naughty winks thrown in. Did I mention how Henry is very good with his hands? Bring your minds out of the gutter people, he is a very talented carpenter and furniture designer. So we know he knows how to handle a piece of wood. Ahem.

This is a wonderful book and an excellent start the White Cliff Bay Series. I do hope we get more than 2 books in this setting because it sounds so lovely, and there seems to be plenty of stories to tell with the wonderful cast of characters that Holly has created.

I give this book a festive 10/10

To buy this fabulous book click one of the links below:

About Holly Martin
Holly lives in sunny Bedfordshire in a house with round windows. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years' service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 6 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine's competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. 

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