11 December 2016

Book Review: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

"This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts… 

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? "

Rating: 5/5

Another exciting book I have been lucky enough to review this year is the start of Holly Martin's new mini festive series, and this, Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky is the first such book. Firstly, I have to compliment the book cover designers, because this a truly beautiful cover and really made me want to read the book straight away! Holly's writing is always very enjoyable, and this book was no different, I loved everything about it and am eagerly looking forward to reading the second book!

Piper is a hotel reviewer, and when she is assigned to review a new hotel in Scotland over Christmas she jumps at the chance. The Stardust Lake Hotel seems completely magical, with its gorgeous log cabins, festive setting and abundance of snow and joy. But what Piper doesn't count on is that fact that the boss of this new hotel is her first love, Gabe, who broke her heart many years ago, and Piper has never been able to get past that. With the pair of Juniper Island together for the festive season, will they be able to put the past behind them or is Piper about to start her own Christmas miracle?

The one thing that angers me is when publishers advertise a book with a Christmassy cover and the contents don't deliver - luckily it wasn't the case at all for this book - this was by far the most Christmassy book I think I have ever had the pleasure of reading! Everything, from the setting to the characters and the descriptions within were perfect, and I thoroughly enjoyed every part of this story. The book dives straight in introducing us to Piper and her job, but takes a little while to reveal the secret of what happened in the past to Gabe and Piper to have her heart broken.

As the story progresses and the pair try to put things behind them, I was really hoping that they would have their happy ever after because they seemed like such a perfect couple. Gabe was a true gentleman, I could see why Piper fell for him all those years ago, and he seemed like the perfect boss to boot - what more could you want?! A young character called Wren was another highlight for me - she reminded me a lot of the children I work with, especially with that Christmas excitement that all young children inherently have - I adored the scenes with her in, and Holly Martin has written her brilliantly.

The Christmas feeling is truly here throughout this book, and I wish Juniper Island was a real place that I could go and visit for Christmas - it sounds just perfect. I loved everything, from the gorgeous cabins, to the reindeers they have on site, to the shops that are within the locals' homes. It was idyllic and Holly's descriptions brought them so much to life, I actually felt like I was there when I was reading, and just didn't want to stop. This book was utterly brilliant and I didn't want it to end, even though I knew there was a second installment coming, which follows Gabe's sister who we originally meet in this book, but I'm curious to read more of her story! A wonderful read for Christmas that I can't recommend highly enough!

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