Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin (White Cliff Bay #1)

Synopsis: 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 breath-taking 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?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: Okay so as many of you already know at least 70% of my reading time is taken up with Crim, Thrillers and mysteries. The other 30% falls to some of my favourite type of books and authors such as Carole Matthews, Jill Mansell, Sue Watson, Renita D’Silva oh the list could go on. However, Holly Martin is now one of those authors that I WANT to read as soon as the book is available. Now I know we are only in September, and I did promise myself I would wait a couple of weeks to read this but…well I didn’t want to! I read Holly’s last book and loved it, with all its fairy tales, romance and love. Her books are certainly feel-good, although maybe not everybody’s cup of tea as they certainly veer towards the ‘gush’ factor. Do you know what though, I LOVE them, they gushier the better. Holly Martin has the ability to transport me into a big fat daydream for a few hundred pages.

Lilac Cottage is just that, a Lilac Cottage set in the town of White Cliff Bay. It’s situated a little way out of town and as such its owner Penny Meadows can sometimes feel a little isolated. Penny is so likeable and as an ice carver, she certainly piqued my interest (I think it’s the first time I have read a fiction book where they have a job as an ice carver!) She has decided to rent out her annexe in the hope that she may be able to have some company. What she doesn’t bank on is the people who end up renting the Cottage.

Enter Henry and his daughter Daisy, both whom I fell in love with within minutes, even though Henry initially seemed a little uptight. From quite early on there are some very funny moments when Penny seems to get herself completely confused and it just made me warm to her even more. I loved the fact that we got to meet some of the people living within White Cliff Bay and I am looking forward to (hopefully) reading more about all the characters.

There was a certain amount of predictability but this didn’t detract from how much I loved this book. Holly manages to transport you to another world, one that I could quite happily stay in! There was one particular scene involving Penny having to explain a certain situation to Daisy and the things she came out with had me belly laughing. I raced through this in just over a day, and felt bereft as I realised I didn’t have any more Holly Martin’s to read. This was once again the perfect, romantic read that will no doubt go down a treat in lots of people’s stocking this year. Fabulous with a capital F!

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