Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage

I love when two of my favourite things come together - like British chick lit and Christmas stories. I was really excited to read Holly Martin's Christmas at Lilac Cottage because it sounded really sweet and full of the holiday spirit. I was right, for the most part, and enjoyed reading this book. And look at that sweet cover!

Here's the synopsis:
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.
Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year. Snowflakes on Silver Cove coming very soon.
My one main issue with this book is that there was a lot of repetitiveness and unnecessary information. I cannot count the number of times Penny mentioned her ex-boyfriend or Henry talked about his ex-girlfriends. I just couldn't understand why they kept bringing up the exact same thing. Nothing new was revealed and it didn't move the plot along at all. This was my only issue and, while it really did drive me bonkers, it wasn't too hard to move past.

If you know me and my reading tastes, you'll know I love small town stories. This novel shows the sweet side of small towns, and the ugly side. I appreciated that because too often only the positives of a teeny town is written about. Granted, the downside of this particular small town was pretty ugly - vindictive women, nose in everyone's business gossips, and the like - but at least Martin acknowledged it. Of course, she also showed how amazing small towns can be when they come together to make sure the town's favourite Christmas event, the ball, went on in the face of impending disaster. Yay communities pulling together!

There was a lot going on in this book (actually, almost too much) but all the storylines kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. Martin does a nice job of weaving everything together.

I really wanted Penny and Henry to have a Happily Ever After. Like, desperately wanted it. Right away I could sense they both deserved to find that perfect person (for them) and I hated all the stupid little things that got in the way of the two of them finally getting together. But (slight spoiler but it's a holiday chick can't be too surprised) when they eventually do get together, it's just the sweetest. They both have a lot to learn about being together but I loved reading as they learned those things.

Overall, Christmas at Lilac Cottage was really sweet. Author Holly Martin has written a lovely Christmas themed story that focuses more on the characters and their journey (romantic and otherwise) than the holiday itself, but that's ok. If you like English contemporary/chick lit novels, check this one out.

*An eARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.*

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