They’re here. I’m sorry. The Christmas books are here already. Although I’m kind of glad of this fact because the sheer amount that are set to be published this year is terrifying. I don’t quite know how anyone is going to have the chance to read even a quarter of the treats up for offer this year! And, Holly Martin is not helping the cause by publishing not one but TWO Christmas books this year. I swear she must not sleep. Holly is a writing machine and churns out books like there’s no tomorrow yet they never feel rushed or half done. They always feel polished and perfect which is why Holly is a force to be reckoned with!
Christmas At Lilac Cottage is no exception and is now the front runner for best Christmas book of the year (even though it’s the only one I’ve read so far).
Christmas At Lilac Cottage follows the story of Penny, a lonely ice carver who spends her days carving ice and walking her gorgeous dog. But when she decides to rent out the annex attached to her property, the last thing she expects is to meet the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen. Henry is almost perfect in every way but Penny knows she can’t bear to have her heart broken again and falling in love with him is a bad idea.
Bonding over shared dinners, snowy days and mince pies, Henry and Penny start to fall in love but the path to true love never did run smooth and soon they are facing challenges left, right and centre. Can the magic of Christmas make their dreams come true?
This book was so cute! It was predictable the whole way through but that didn’t matter because the way the characters get to their happy ending was wonderful. There was an instant attraction between Penny and Henry and I challenge anyone to read this book and not want to have their relationship! They were so in tune with each other, so in love and just made for each other! Their bond was really beautiful and it was so lovely to watch it grow and develop over the course of the plot.
Throughout the plot we find out more about Penny’s past and I wanted to envelop her in a warm hug and tell her everything was going to be OK! She was a little bit wary of people and getting attached due to heartbreak in her past but she really grew in confidence throughout and it was so lovely to watch her become a much happier person by the end.
The setting for this book was so tangible. I had the most vivid picture of the cottage in my mind and the long driveway. I had a lovely image of what the town looked like – Holly really gives you such rich and brilliant descriptions that you almost feel like you’re there with the characters. I was so cosy and warm snuggled in bed whilst I was reading and I wanted it to be snowing and for me to have a hot chocolate too! It is the perfect book for a rainy/snowy/cold/wet/rubbish afternoon to curl up next to the fire or in bed and get lost in the book.
If I am correct in thinking, the second Christmas book from Holly is going to be set in the same place (White Cliff Bay) and is called Snowflakes On Silver Cove. I’m not sure if we will see any of Penny and Henry in this book as Snowflakes On Silver Cove focuses on two new characters but I am really excited to see more of White Cliff Bay. And, maybe in the future we’ll have even more books set here!
This is a really cute, festive read that I managed to devour in two sittings. It took me about three hours in total to read so it’s a nice manageable size for an afternoon curled up in front of the fire. Highly recommended!