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?
Holly Martin is totally spoiling us this Winter with not one but two festive stories from her new series which is set in the fictional seaside town of White Cliff Bay, this is massively exciting news for someone like me who is a huge Christmas addict and loves book series so it's a win/win scenario.
The first book in the series Christmas at Lilac Cottage is out now and features ice sculptor Penny who has been living a bit of a hermit lifestyle since a traumatic loss previously which led to the eventual break-up of her relationship with her ex. Since then she's closed herself off to romantic relationships and instead has put all her energy into making a success of her business but that does leave her feeling a little lonely at times especially with her friends all settling down around her. She's hoping that by renting out the annexe in her cosy cottage to Henry and Daisy she will make some new friends and will be able to enjoy spending time with the two of them when at home but although Daisy is welcoming, Henry is a not so but as we soon discover he has his own reasons to be wary of getting involved.
Penny was such a sweetheart, she seemed so vulnerable at first and I wanted nothing more than for her to find happiness and get her happy ever after so it was great to see her standing up for herself and what she wanted. As I learnt more of Henry's past it made sense as to why he was the way he was with Daisy but at the same time I did feel that he was a little overbearing as you cannot protect your children all of the time no matter how much you want to.
Well what can I say other than Holly really has a way with words that without fail always puts a smile on my face and that was certainly the case with Christmas at Lilac Cottage as within the first few chapters I was laughing out loud at the first of a series of misunderstandings and embarrassing situations that Penny seems to finds herself in when it comes to Henry. Later on there was an even more cringeworthy situation that arises that literally had me snorting which would have been fine if I was in the comfort of my own home but oh no I happened to be on a packed train at the time so it led to a few raised eyebrows!
Although Penny, Henry and Daisy are the main characters I loved the whole sense of community throughout the book as we were slowly introduced to secondary characters, from retired housekeeper Jill who pops by to look after Penny even when she's no longer needed, Maggie, Penny's pregnant friend, and her husband Daniel who is Henry's new colleague, to the younger residents of the town Tilly and Bea, the interactions between the two of them was so innocent and sweet and reminds you how simple and uncomplicated life is as a child as you take things at face value and don't have to worry about what others may say or think.
And as I mentioned before there's another book in the series being published this year, Snowflakes on Silver Cove later this month, and a third book being published early next year but I'm hoping these will be the first of many as I have loved the introduction to White Cliff Bay so want more, more, more... .
I'd like to thank Holly for inviting me to be part of her blog tour and her publishers Bookouture for my copy of the book via NetGalley. Tomorrow is the final leg of this blog tour so make sure you check out Kirsty's post over on Love of a Good Book,