Coming Home To Maple Cottage is the final book in the latest series by Holly Martin – and definitely the one I’ve been waiting for.
I bought the first two but simply couldn’t wait until publication day to find out Isla and Leo’s story so turned to NetGalley to get an early fix.
The story is just as good as I hoped it would be; a rollercoaster of a tale full of heart and humour – and exactly what I’ve come to expect from Holly, who writes with such wonderful warmth.
Here’s the blurb:
Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.
Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.
As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.
But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?
While I think this book would work as a standalone, I definitely felt more connected to all of the characters knowing a bit more of their backstory from The Holiday Cottage By The Sea and The Cottage On Sunshine Beach. While I enjoyed all three, I think because Isla and Leo’s story had been teased in the other two, this was the one I was most looking forward to.
As always, Holly creates a cast of eclectic, likeable characters who can all see how much Isla and Leo belong together – and do their best to help them along.
Little Elliot provides a fair few comedy moments – along with the indomitable Agatha – as well as provoking a few tears too.
While I’m happy to know how Isla and Leo’s story concludes, I’m sad that there are no more books in the series.
The only consolation is that hopefully, even as I type, Holly is hard at work on her next book.
Price: £1.99 (via Amazon).
My rating: Five stars.
With thanks to Bookouture for making me very happy by letting me read the ARC (via NetGalley) in return for an honest review.