Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky - Holly Martin

Under a Cranberry Sky
by Holly Martin
About the book...
Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home? 

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas. 

About the author...
I studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of my colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years service was the moment when I knew I had to escape. I quit my job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, I emerged wide eyed and terrified that I now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. I taught for four years before History Off The Page came to my school to do a Tudor day. I now drive round the country in my little white van, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. 

I love to write. The characters do exactly what I want them to do, most of the time. Sometimes they do seem to go off and do their own thing without my permission. It is complete escapism into a world where I have full control.I've been writing for four years now, every spare second I have, I'm scribbling ideas in a notebook or typing a scene on my laptop. I have written three romantic fiction books. Changing Casanova and The Chainsaw Masquerade were recently shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. My short story, One Hundred Proposals, won the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Holly's publisher in exchange for an honest review, something I'm more than happy to do.

From the very first page I knew I was going to love this book.  Piper, the main female character in Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky is a hotel Inspector - traveling the world, writing reviews about the hotels she visits; both good and bad.  She'd already decided after her assignment to the Stardust Lake Hotel on Juniper Island that she would be taking a sabbatical - having some time out to re-think her life and re-charge her batteries. 

Imagine her surprise when she arrives and finds that the hotel and resort is owned by her first love Gabe Whittaker.  A relationship that ended because of misunderstandings and things both said and unsaid.  Pip is there as an undercover reporter to review this new hotel and business.  She has some hard decisions to make as she feels her position as undercover reviewer will compromise the tentative new friendship/relationship she and Gabe easily fall into - it's like the years in-between have never happened.  He of course doesn't know she is an under cover reporter. 

I really don't know how Holly has done but I feel she has crawled into my mind and stolen my dreams.  If I could have any job in the world I'd be a hotel inspector and my dream holiday destination would be a log cabin, in the woods, surrounded by snow, drinking hot chocolate or mulled wine in front of a roaring log fire.  Add christmas - my favourite time of the year, twinkly lights, a christmas village and beautiful glass igloos and I was totally sold!

Holly's descriptions are so vivid I was sucked straight into the setting and love story (both old and new) of Gabe and Pip.  From the journey to Juniper Island, the location and the preparations for the resort opening, the time of year, the characters.  I loved it all. This truly is a perfect slice of deliciousness - a dream like book that totally melted my heart. I oohed and ahed with every chapter. I've told everybody who will listen, this book is not just a nice christmas book - it's special, perfect in every way possible christmas book and to top it all there is a second follow on book available later this month.

I'm hoping that Holly will tell me this place is real and not just fictional - I'm totally sold and would book a visit in a heart beat.  

Thank you Holly - I can't wait for Christmas Under a Starlit Sky where some of the secondary characters in this book come to the fore to tell their story, still set in this dream location.

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