Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay Book 1) – Holly Martin (Review and Giveaway)



Ebook published by Bookoutre : 25 September 2015

Paperback published by Zaffre : 20 October 2016


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.



Holly Martin is an author whose books I keep buying but never actually getting around to reading – until now. I know that the ebook of this was originally published by Bookoutre last year but when Bonnier Zaffre sent me an unexpected book parcel, this looked just too pretty to leave on the shelf for a later date. The cover picture really doesn’t do it justice – its sparkly and shiny – just what you would want for a Christmas read.

Penny Meadows works from home as an ice sculptor, rather an unusual occupation but a very interesting one – I was fascinated to learn how sculptures are made although I don’t think I will be taking up the art anytime soon. (I don’t like the cold and Penny often works in a walk in freezer!).  She has canine company provided by the lumbering Bernard but she still seems rather a lonely figure and when the rental agency find her tenants to rent the annex to her house, she is delighted, expecting a married couple that she can have the odd meal with or just share a bottle of wine and some conversation. When Henry Travis, a rather grumpy man arrives on his own, she is just a little disappointed. They do get off on slightly the wrong foot when Penny mistakes Henry’s 16 year old daughter Daisy for his wife and lets him know EXACTLY what she thinks of him!

Despite his initial grumpiness, Henry soon reveals another side which Penny finds extremely attractive. The only problem is Daisy. Henry is a single dad, having brought up his baby daughter alone – both he and Daisy have been badly hurt in the past and as much as Henry fancies Penny, his main priority is Daisy and her happiness. Penny has also had her heart broken and is rather fragile emotionally but will Henry’s good looks and flirtatious manner mean more heartbreak for her?

I flew through this book in a couple of days. It is a really lovely story with light and shade. You have sizzling romance (very HOT romance at times by the way!) and humour mixed with the darker side of workplace bullying and heartbreak and the way that Holly brings her characters to life made this book a pleasure to read. 16 year old Daisy was a delight, not at all the spoilt child I was expecting and I rather fell a little in love with Henry myself!

The setting of White Cliff Bay is also rather lovely – the isolation of Penny’s House, overlooking the sea and the village itself, where everyone seems to know everything about each other’s lives – I would call them busybodies but they are people with a good heart and always ready to help out if needed. The telephone tree being a perfect example.

I always thought that Holly Martin wrote books that I would like to read and after enjoying this one, I will certainly be making more of an effort to read her others. She really is an excellent storyteller. This is definitely one to put on your Christmas reading list – it will bring a smile to your face and put you in the Christmas spirit.

I have just bought book 2 in the White Cliff series – ‘Snowflakes on Silver Cove’. I am very much looking forward to returning to White Cliff Bay again.


I received a duplicate copy of Christmas at Lilac Cottage from the publisher so have one brand new paperback copy to give away. Entry details below.  I’m very sorry but because of postage costs, I can only send to UK entrants.


My thanks to Zaffre for the paperback copy to review.


About the author:

Hoholly-martinlly lives in sunny Devon in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 7 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014.


Author Links:  Website |  Twitter  |  Facebook  | Amazon UK  |  Goodreads




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