Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Today I saw someone wearing Christmas socks, despite the unseasonably warm weather we are having, so I thought it would be appropriate to review a Christmas book today! 

Penny lives alone and creates beautiful ice sculptures in solitude … until Henry and daughter Daisy start renting out the annex, and Penny feels compelled to be social. The quirky characters quickly connect with each other and make for a pleasant, predictable romance. 

But it all seemed a bit contrived. My eyes rolled at the cliched tropes and the running into each other too many times to be serendipitous. I like my chick lit light and fluffy, but with enough substance to draw me in and make me believe it’s real. 

If you need a quick Christmas romance in between serious reading, the price is right here at $2.99, but don’t expect substantial character or plot development. 

-calliope 

Buy CHRISTMAS AT LILAC COTTAGE

Review: Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin


“A perfect, feel good summer romance” is part of this title, and it sure fits. This is a light, appealingly predictable read with a fresh storyline. 

American Riley comes to the English coast to live in his dad’s former home – a lighthouse. When he meets Darcy, a London transplant, he can’t help but fall for her… 

…Until Darcy’s new job threatens the existence of his lighthouse home. 

I loved Darcy and her interest in marine biology! I didn’t like the author/narrator calling her a nerd or a geek, though. Unnecessary. 🙂  Darcy’s swims in the ocean were awesome… and her lack of grace out of the water, hilarious!

And I liked that Riley was American, but as an American myself he was written a little awkwardly. I felt like the author stereotyped Americans as cowboys but knew that and so reined in some of the stereotyping but not all of it. 😦 I appreciated that Riley was always a gentleman, chivalrous and humble to the end. 

I thought the sub plot of George and Libby was fun, if a bit overdone here and there. And including the dogs in the storyline was terrific. They were written in very naturally and helped move the plot forward at some points. Martin also addressed some global issues in a thoughtful and realistic way: autism, rare shark extinction, support of marine research, and historical building preservation. 

If you’re looking for an easy, quirky British romance with an ocean theme, this is a steal at $2.99. You’ll fall in love with Riley’s lighthouse, Rose Island, and a certain marine biologist and her cowboy. 

-calliope

Buy SUMMER AT ROSE ISLAND