I was delighted when I was asked to read and review the new Holly Martin book. I am a massive fan of Holly and have fallen in love with her writing style more with every book. Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky was no exception, in true Holly style it had me both laughing and crying and ticked all the boxes for the perfect read.
Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky follows Piper, a travel reviewer who finds her self heading to the most Northern Island of the British Isles, to review a new Christmas resort and town. Piper “Pip” had visited the Island once as a child with her best friend Gabe, and is keen to revisit as she has fond memories. Pip and Gabe are no longer friends, we learn early on that they had a blossoming romance as well as being best friends, but some unfortunate timing and dramatic events saw Pip leaving her old home and life, moving away forever and spending the next ten years travelling the world.
But of course things are never simple and as Pip arrives at the resort, she soon discovers that the new owner is none other than Gabe, who now has a young daughter Wren. We soon learn all of the misunderstandings that occurred on that fateful day which tore the young lovers apart, it soon becomes apparent that they still have a spark between them but is it too late? And do Gabe and Pip really want to open those old wounds? Wrap this all up with that Christmassy feel and you know you are on to a winner.
I loved Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky from page one, I was hooked and found myself desperately reading on to find out what would happen next. I could easily have read this in one sitting if it wasn’t for the need to sleep (02:30 I eventually put it down). There was something magical about this book and I was immediately drawn to the characters. I adored Pip and Gabe, they seemed so perfect for each other and they have to be my two favourite characters of all time. I loved their shared history, I loved the lives they had led and he people they had become despite all the heart ache, but most of all I loved that they so obviously fit together. I was desperate for a happy ending and to see these two people so perfect for each other back together.
Then we have the delightfully cheeky Wren and her innocence and ability to put a smile on my face. Her love of Frozen reminds me so much of my daughter, I could picture her so easily, cheeky face and all. Wren added that little extra something and really made the story.
There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot of Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky to keep me hooked and guessing where the story would take me next. There were some unexpected blips but each really added to the depth and reality of the book. I was also delighted to see the some old and familiar faces from previous novels, it was lovely to catch up with them.
This was a truly magically delightful novel which needs to devoured, you need to give yourself the day off as this is a book not to put down. It was easy to read and the words flowed easily from the page, leaving me both howling with laughter and sobbing. Holly has a way with words that makes the reader feel what the characters feel and imagine scenes with such clarity, you almost imagine you are really there. This is a Christmas cracker of a read and should be on any self respecting readers Christmas list. I sincerely hope I get to meet Pip and Gabe again one day. Now for book two, I have high hopes…….