Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky - Holly Martin

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky
by Holly Martin
About the book...
Step inside a beautiful winter wonderland where love, laughter and cosy nights by the fire will make this Christmas one to remember. 

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? 

Get swept away by this deliciously sweet and heartwarming tale, and spend an unforgettable Christmas on Juniper Island. 

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 received an ecopy of this book from Holly's publishers Bookouture in exchange for an honest review - something which I'm more than happy to give.

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky is book two in The Town Called Christmas Series and seamlessly picks up where book one, Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky ended.  This book sees the focus shift to Neve Whittaker - Gabe's sister and manager of the Stardust Lake Hotel and her estranged boyfriend, hunky actor Oakley Rey.

I literally couldn't wait to head back to Juniper Island and the idyllic Town Called Christmas - I have totally bought into the whole package and have spent fruitless hours scouring the internet for this dream location - it's perfect in every way.

In Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky Holly wove a story that wrapped itself around my heart and with Christmas Under a Starlit Sky she's just pulled the strings a little bit tighter - it has it all.  Misunderstandings, secrets, drama, surprises, love and romance - all in a setting to die for.  

Whilst the main focus is on Neve and Oakley and their relationship, which Neve ended because she didn't want to hold him back in his career as an actor we always get to catch up with Gabe, Pip and the the cutie-pie Wren as they are fast becoming a tight knit, little family.  There is also an insight into the softer side of Luke, Gabe and Neve's brother as love  quietly blossoms between him and Audrey.  We also see assistant manager Adam falling in love with Ivy, an artist living and working in A Town Called Christmas after he is part of the search party when she goes missing after a morning walk.

Book two is has slightly more drama than book one and love doesn't run quite as smoothly but Juniper Island has a way of sucking you in and blinding you to any flaws.  The characters all feel like people I'd really like and I was rooting all the way for each and everyone of them.  I quietly oohed and ahed and wished for happy endings and trust me Holly Martin delivers with bells on top - my only disappointment is I haven't been able to book a trip to Juniper Island and the Stardust Lake Hotel yet!  Send me a link please Holly :)

All in all a pair of beautiful books that more than deliver on both the Christmas and romance front.  Just what the doctor ordered - two beautiful books, both available from Amazon for only £1.99 / 99p each, much, much less than a cup of coffee and the warming effect will last much longer too!

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