Sunday, 8 November 2015

Reviewed: Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin







Snowflakes on Silver Cove was published by Bookouture on October 30, 2015.


Thanks to Holly and Bookouture for the Netgalley review copy.



Similar to the way the readers of Snowflakes on Silver Cove’s main character Libby Joseph’s books feel about her, a Christmas without a Holly Martin book is something that doesn’t bear thinking about and this year we were treat to not one but two festive romances by Holly, set in the picturesque seaside town of White Cliff Bay. What can I say that I haven’t said before? Holly writes the kind of novels all true romantics love to read – those sweet, cosy and incredibly lovely tales about characters who feel genuine and honest and fall head over heels in love with each other. The author has really crafted her own style of writing and even if Snowflakes on Silver Cove had been delivered without a cover, synopsis or author name on the front, I’d instantly recognise it was a Holly Martin book and I’m a huge fan of her writing, so even though I have a good idea where the books are going to go before I’ve read through the first page, that’s completely fine with me because I know she will make me smile and laugh all the way through.

Libby and George are best friends and also characters we met briefly in Holly’s earlier festive book this year, Christmas at Lilac Cottage. The story here is set at the same time as the first book and one thing I loved was how we get to relive certain moments from Christmas at Lilac Cottage but this time through the perspective of Libby and/or George. It felt just like reminiscing with an old friend about those happy moments gone by – and I adored the chance to hear just a little bit more about the characters I fell in love with back at Lilac Cottage.

George is a bit down in the dumps about his dating prospects after his wife broke his heart and stomped all over it. Libby’s lack of a love life means her romantic books are suffering and she’s failing to deliver the romance all her readers are looking for (it struck me that a certain Holly Martin never seems to have that issue). So, they together come up with the idea of pretend dates. George and Libby will fake date and help each other out – George will grow more confident and feel able to sweep another woman off her feet and Libby will find some content for her upcoming Christmas novel. Everything would work out that simply. Yeah, right. It is clear to everyone, from characters in the book to readers of the book, that George and Libby have feelings for each other and deep down, all they really want is each other. You don’t need to be the most perceptive person in the world to spot it. Somehow I still always find myself caring for the characters and eagerly rooting for them to just get together – even when the happy ever after feels like it’s glaring me in the face anyway.

If I’m honest, I was a teensy bit sad to be reading my first Holly Martin book where I didn’t swoon over the hero. George was lovely, for sure, but he wasn’t the dreamy takes-your-breath-away kind of character, for me anyway. And I mean personality wise, not appearance wise because I actually found it refreshing to read about a hero who wasn’t necessarily toned, brooding and the most handsome thing alive. But I think it was his low self-esteem that stopped me from falling in love – I missed the confident hero. Despite that, though, I kind of liked how Holly reversed the traditional male and female role as here it was actually the guy who seemed more vulnerable and lost in love than the girl. Again, individually Libby wasn’t my favourite character either but when Libby and George combined, their humour and the mad situations they ended up in had me giggling away to myself all through the night. The very first page of this book had me laughing out loud and it was a sign of good things to come because the humour was never lost.

There was a side story to this book involving the characters of Amy, Seb and Judith which I found really interesting to read although the link between their story and George and Libby’s felt a tiny bit tenuous. I did find that I really connected with their story though and I enjoyed reading the chemistry between Seb and Amy and the reasoning behind Judith’s disgust of them. Actually, as much as I enjoyed reading the friendship-turned romance between Libby and George, I found myself even more drawn to the supporting story which felt more emotional and sincere. I would have liked to have read more of it.

Holly Martin had her romance and friendship spot on in Snowflakes on Silver Cove and she never fails to leave me with my spirits lifted and my heart warmed. Her writing is truly magical – from the way she writes her settings to the characters, their feelings and the beautiful endings. It was lovely to revisit White Cliff Bay and all those Christmassy touches were adorable and instilled some early festive spirit in me. Libby and George’s story was very romantic, especially with all those insanely sweet dates although the banter between them also ensured that not every date had the most fairytale of endings. Holly writes the kind of romance readers want to experience for themselves and also characters so easy to care for – ones that are typically blunt and say the kind of things we’re all thinking but choose not to say – the kind of honest dialogue you won’t see in books from any other author . Snowflakes on Silver Cove is a truly lovely read – one to make you feel all warm and snug and ready to embrace the festive season with a big smile on your face.


Typical Holly Martin - another magical festive read







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