Thursday 9 July 2015

Reviewed: Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin.

Fairytale Beginnings will be published by Bookouture on July 10, 2015.

Thanks to Bookouture for auto-approving me for a copy of this book on Netgalley.

Reading as many romance novels as I do, there are times when I feel they’re all getting too similar and times when I feel like I can predict every outcome, not just the ending but all the little components that bring the story together. Picking up a Holly Martin book always feels a bit different. She writes fresh, enchanting contemporary romances with heart-warming back stories and Fairytale Beginnings is another gorgeous novel from Holly, a sparkly, magical modern day fairytale with the lovable heroine, the swoonworthy hero and a beautiful and intriguing story in between the pages. It’s the kind of story that you don’t just want to lose yourself in, you want to imagine yourself there experiencing it all for yourself – the delightfulness of Clover Castle, hottie Cameron Heartstone and the weird and wonderful villagers of Clover’s Rest. If I could just be Milly, that would be lovely.

Milly Rose is a truly lovely main character. In her late twenties, she’s still a Disney obsessive, still a lover of happy ever after and still hoping, if not believing, that maybe she has her own fairytale waiting to happen. She sounds like a dreamer and in a way, she probably is but she’s also very honest and down-to-earth, with her glass half full and her energy to work hard to achieve the more realistic form of a happy life. She has for a long time taken an interest in history and soon discovers how exciting it is to be working on Clover Castle, assessing and investigating a castle with so many secrets bursting through the seams. Not only is there a lot to learn from Clover Castle, Milly soon finds that she has more than a little interest in its owner too, dreamy Cameron Heartstone.

I love love loved the mystery element to Fairytale Beginnings and was completely mesmerised as Milly and Cameron explored every last aspect of Clover Castle. Holly’s description of everything they experienced was detailed but not too detailed, built up a layer of intrigue and was at times a little eerie. The castle was built up vividly and there was such life between its crumbly walls – like all good history and all good fairytales, there was a story there to tell, even if nobody still existed to tell the tale. Getting to the bottom of the mystery at the heart of Clover Castle was a joy to read and I liked how certain aspects impacted on both Milly and Cameron too – how they were kind of being led into the roles of a more magical world that no longer exists in actual form but within the depths of the surface of Clover Castle.

As much as I loved the mystery, the developing relationship between Milly and Cameron was of course my favourite aspect of the book. I loved their chemistry, how at times things between them were very flirty and then at others more touching, without there being such a unnatural switch in tone and pace. The honesty between them along with their banter and the humour made them such easy characters to read because even though they both had pasts and things which have happened that make them a bit wary about future relationships, the book isn’t bogged down with drama and woe is me. Holly has covered some tough back-stories in her typical light-hearted fashion where you know that even though she doesn’t make light of a moving story, there’ll be a smile re-appearing on your face within a second or two. You can see the attraction and the feelings between Milly and Cameron getting stronger as the story goes on and I adored both characters, wanting that happy ending for them even more than Milly wants a happy ending in all her Disney stories.

Fairytale Beginnings is gorgeously uplifting and I quickly got swept up in the storytelling of a beautiful fairytale. Milly and Cameron are two characters I didn’t want to let go in a hurry and I fell for the stunning setting of Clover Castle – how grand it was and richly packed with history and its own stories. We already know Holly Martin can write heart-warming romance stories but the mystery to this novel made the complete package even more complete and even more wonderful. With plenty of comical moments and plenty of chemistry, Fairytale Beginnings is a book that will have you smiling like a loon and dreaming of your own little fairytale ending.

Beautiful, magical and super swoonworthy - a delightful read.

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