Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Out now
Published by Bookouture
Purchase from Amazon here

The blurb:

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.

My review:

Hooray! Holly Martin has a new book out....perfect! I always love Holly's books and get very excited when I hear of a new book being published. Christmas at Lilac Cottage was just as good as I was hoping it would be, and I was lost in the world of White Cliff Bay until the very end when I reluctantly had to leave.

The wonderful Penny owns a cottage and lives alone. She has decided to rent out part of the cottage and the new tenants are due to move in. Up rocks Henry who piques Penny's attention very quickly, but who is this Daisy who is also moving in? Penny initially assumes that Daisy must be Henry's other half and that he is therefore off limits. But she is soon pleasantly surprised to discover that Daisy is infact his teenage daughter.

Penny and Daisy strike up a good friendship and it isn't long before Penny gets Daisy involved in her job as an ice sculptor. Daisy loves this and they spend more time together getting to know one another and helping Daisy settle in. However Daisy makes it very clear that she wouldn't accept Penny and Henry dating. Drat!

Henry is more of a closed book and whilst he is obviously also attracted to Penny he is less likely to act on this. Whilst I loved Penny and Daisy I didn't take as easily to Henry. He was certainly more guarded and emotionally closed off, and I loved Penny so didn't want her to pursue him or fall for him and get her heart broken. His behaviour at times wound me up. That said, I love Henry as a father. Ok, he is a little overbearing and protective, so as a teenager I would be a bit frustrated. But it is clear that he adores his daughter and will do anything to ensure her happiness. Who doesn't love a man who is a great father?

Penny was my favourite character. She is a strong woman, independent, a great friend, a hard worker and a caring person who seems to be at the centre of her local community. However there is a vulnerability and loneliness about her. She has a bit of a sad back story which impacts on her during this novel. It really did fill me with sympathy for her and a strong desire for her to be happy and content. I was willing her to come to a happy ending throughout.

I love the way Holly puts her books together. She is very clever at scene setting and character development. She seems to make them very believable and by using great descriptions I find it easy to bring her characters off the page and to life. I can imagine living in a cottage at White Cliff Bay and being very settled and happy there, which means I was totally engrossed and transported into their world very quickly.

I believe there is also a second book called Snowflakes at Silver Cove which also features White Cliff Bay. I will be downloading and reading this over the Christmas period.

I am so pleased to have been able to read such an engrossing, enjoyable, touching story and I am very much looking forward to reading more of Holly's work.

Thank you to Bookouture who kindly provided a copy of this book in return for a honest review,

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