Tuesday 25 October 2016

Reviewed: Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin

TITLE: Christmas Under a Starlit Sky
AUTHOR: Holly Martin
PUBLISHER: Bookouture

PUBLICATION DATE: October 19, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

Neve Whitaker loves managing the Stardust Lake hotel. She gets to work alongside her wonderful family and she’s spending Christmas on the most enchanting, snow-covered island in Scotland. So why is her heart so heavy this festive season?

It might have something to do with the gorgeous actor Oakley Rey, the man she finished with before he left for California and the man she loves more than anything. With Oakley’s career in Hollywood soaring, Neve is convinced she’d only hold him back. She had to end it with him – at least that’s what she keeps telling herself.

But now she has a secret she’s struggling to keep, and when Oakley arrives on Juniper Island determined to win her back, Neve is thrown off balance. Will Neve’s fear of having her heart broken again push Oakley away for good, or is it time for her to take a leap of faith?

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky brings us back to a town called Christmas and Juniper Island, which we initially discover in the first book of the series, Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky. We get to say hello to Pip and Gabe again, and see their romance progress even further, but the main focus is on Gabe’s sister, Neve, and her filmstar on/off boyfriend Oakley.

I loved that Holly Martin didn’t keep us waiting forever for Oakley to come into the book. When I read the blurb, I was expecting us to be kept hanging until Oakley arrives back in Neve’s life, but I was so glad it didn’t play out like that. This gives us more chance to get to know him as well as we know Neve, which was a bit of a treat since he came across as one of Holly’s sexier heroes with his charm, heart and movie star persona. The cynical part of me felt like he and Neve could have sorted their issues out by the end of chapter two, but then later on there were more secrets to be revealed and many misunderstanding for them to be put through. It took me a while before I could really understand what was keeping them apart as it felt like they just needed to communicate with each other better, although there was definitely plenty of chemistry between them from the beginning of the book too.

I really enjoyed learning more about Neve and Oakley’s relationship and they were both interesting characters and there were plenty of sparks between them. As usual with Holly’s books, there were many other lovely characters involved and the secondary characters are just as easy to warm to as Neve and Oakley were. Adam and Ivy’s story intertwines beautifully throughout the book and another character I also loved was Luke, though I wish we’d had the chance to learn more about him. You know what you’re getting with a Holly Martin book, which isn’t a bad thing, but for me with each book I need to feel a connection with the characters and that they offer something different from the author’s other books. I found that easy in Christmas Under a Starlit Sky as the characters are interesting people and very memorable characters.

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky is a heart-warmingly romantic, festive story – the perfect book to read snuggled up on a cold winter’s day. It’s cute and cosy with humour, touching moments and chemistry throughout. The setting is magical and Holly’s warm and descriptive writing brings it to life and turns Juniper Island into the dreamiest of locations where many readers would love to spend their Christmas there – and their Autumn, Spring and Summer too! Dramatic and romantic, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky is a riveting second book in the series that I enjoyed just as much as book one. I’m holding out for a third book with a further visit to a town called Christmas…

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