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Christmas at Lilac Cottage

Author: Holly Martin
Published: 25 September 2015
Reviewed: 19 November 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review.

4 (and a 1/2) out of 5 stars  

 

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?

Penny Meadows is an instantly likeable character, she lives in a beautifully described cottage with views of the town of White Cliff Bay, and shares her home with her loving, if not slightly crazy dog.  By trade she is an ice carver, an incredibly interesting career which adds to the uniqueness of this character, but most significant about Penny is that she’s alone, lonely and would welcome love.
When Henry and his daughter Daisy move to town and rent the annex of Penny’s cottage she is delighted, she hopes for the idyllic friendship she so longs for and hopes that they will hit it off.  Things don’t always go to plan, moving day is stressful at the best of times, and Henry is in no mood for niceties.

As the story progresses, we Penny’s story comes out, the loss, heartache, the passion she has for her ice carving and how much she cares about her little town.  Henry’s story is equally poignant, how he came to be on his own bringing up Daisy and why he’s to fiercely protective of her.  Penny and Henry have a connection that they cannot ignore, try as they might, they cannot resist each other but can Penny forget her past and move on, allowing herself to be loved and love someone in return?

A cleverly written novel, with narration from both Henry and Penny, gives an insight into what both of the main characters are thinking.  It is especially good when it comes to the gruff, grumpy Henry, who can appear quite standoffish when Penny is narrating.  But once he takes over the reins, you begin to understand that his cool exterior is just a façade and he’d trying to hide his feelings.

The pace of the novel is good, short chapters allow you to quickly move through the story, the dialogue is interesting, funny and entertaining.  The characters in this novel are fantastic, the small town attitude is so well described, everyone knows everyone’s business, but not out of being nosey,  but out of caring.  The descriptions of characters are well thought out and give the reader a feel of just how intensely Penny and Henry look at each other, how strange Penny’s dog looks, how smouldering Henry’s eyes are (amongst other things!!). 
I particularly liked Martin’s writing style when it came to several points in the novel where I laughed out loud, or sat smirking away at the situation that characters were in (Penny buying a toothbrush comes to mind, or explaining what had come on TV late at night to Daisy!).

This is definitely a lovely book to curl up with for Christmas, the sort of book you could easily read in a day if you got the peace and quiet to do so and it’s a genuinely heart warming read.  

I would have no hesitation to recommend this to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Romance and Comedy genres.     

I would like to thank Bookouture for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 25th September 2015, a copy can be purchased here Christmas at Lilac Cottage (UK Kindle Version)

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