I firmly believe that if you want to write you should read. While I don’t get as much time to indulge these days I occasionally treat myself to a book – nearly always romantic fiction as that’s what I love best – so I thought I’d start reviewing the best ones. Here’s my first recommended read of 2016.
Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin.
You know those books where you really want to get to the end to find out what happens but then you also want it to last forever because you know you’re going to miss the characters? Snowflakes on Silver Cove was like that for me.
I noticed this book in the “if you like that, you might like this” recommendations online and, despite the author being unknown to me and me being fairly stuck in my ways with the authors I read these days, I sent a free sample to my Kindle app. I hadn’t even finished it when I bought the full book.
It wasn’t just the characters I loved (more on them below) but the place itself. Her descriptions made it come to life and by the end I felt like I wanted to pack us all up and move to White Cliff Bay.
Here’s the blurb:
Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…
Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.
As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.
But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?
Yes, it is a Christmas book but it’s January so that’s allowed, right?
What I loved.
George isn’t your typical romance novel hero and I liked that. He has insecurities, he isn’t alpha male and he’s missing the six-pack, which seems a prerequisite – in fact, he’s normal. Or almost. And maybe that is why I liked him so much.
Libby is funny and feisty and as you learn more about her background you understand why she is the way she is and why her relationship with George has remained in the friend zone for so long. Both of the main characters are believable and, more than that, memorable.
The story is sweet and gentle but also laugh out loud funny and includes some teary moments too – so, basically everything you could want from a romance novel. There are also other stories woven into the main one which are equally engaging.
There were a few bits where I thought ‘yeah, that would never happen’ but that’s why it’s fiction. It genuinely made me feel good.
I really was disappointed to finish it but then I found that this was book two in the series so I immediately treated myself to book one (and stayed up way later than I should have done to finish it), which is equally enjoyable.
Also Holly Martin has a lovely back catalogue just waiting for me. She’s definitely won herself another fan.
My verdict: Four stars.