Thursday, 22 September 2016

Guest 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 isGabe 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. 

Review: I really enjoy Holly Martin's books and was excited to see that there were not one but two Christmas stories from her this year. Once I got started on this one, I finished it in no time at all, as it was easy to read but not so easy to put down. Her previous books that I have read have all been set in the south of England, in the town of White Cliff Bay, but this is set in the Shetland Isles.

The main characters are Piper (Pip for short) Chesterfield and Gabe Whitaker, both of them lovely people. Piper has been working as a mystery guest, reviewing hotels for a magazine and moving from one job to the next for 10 years without a break. She decides to take a 6-month sabbatical, but her last job, at the brand new Stardust Lake Hotel on Juniper Island has her stepping right into a past that she has tried to forget. At the hotel, she becomes reacquainted with childhood friend Gabe, who is now a widower with a charming four-year-old daughter, Wren, and is the hotel owner. Gabe's brother and sister are also involved in the running of the hotel.

The island itself is basically a Christmas holiday resort that Gabe has spent a lot of time and money developing. It sounds absolutely idyllic; he has covered all angles to make sure that it will appeal to guests the whole year around. The entire population of the island is involved in the business in some way or another. The only negative influence is a small group of Shetland ponies, who are constantly up to mischief it seems.

I really enjoyed this story. The descriptions of the island Christmas resort had me longing to be able to go and spend the holidays there. I loved that the whole island was involved in the venture, with craft shops in addition to the main complex. Gabe has even built special units where guests have a clear view of the stars at night, and the Northern lights when they are visible. Holly has really used her imagination in building this resort to appeal to everyone. Even the mode of transport by which visitors reach the island is fantastic. The next book, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky, to be published soon, takes up the story of Gabe's sister, Neve. I can't wait to read it!

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