Love is an open door…except when it keeps slamming in your face
Hopeless romantic Milly Rose has had her fair share of heartbreak. Obsessed with all things Disney, she refuses to give up on finding her Prince Charming – he’s out there somewhere, isn’t he?
When Milly is given a job to investigate the origins of a historical building in the village of Clover's Rest, she’s not sure what to expect. What she discovers takes her breath away - a beautiful real life Cinderella castle, complete with turrets, a magnificent drawbridge AND a very handsome owner…Cameron Heartstone.
As Milly and Cameron begin to unearth the secrets of Clover Castle, they can’t ignore the intense chemistry building between them. But they’ve both been hurt badly before. Can they take a big leap of faith and find their own happily-ever-after?
A deliciously enchanting read that will delight fans of Rachael Lucas, Lucy Diamond and Miranda Dickinson or anyone who has ever blubbed at a Disney movie. Who says real life can’t be a fairytale?
I have read and enjoyed some of Holly Martin's previous releases and now, as Fairytale Beginnings makes its way into the world, I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour. I do enjoy a full-on escapist read and from the blurb alone I knew this book would fit the bill!
The story itself is a feel good romance- Milly, who is scared of getting hurt, and Cameron, who's been taken advantage of, are both quietly vulnerable beings and are surprised when Cupid's arrow strikes. They fall hard, fast and deep, and with the magical castle setting as a backdrop, Milly feels like a princess in one of the Disney films she so adores.
However, there are obstacles. Boy, are there obstacles. The unwelcoming villagers, Cameron's personal assistant Olivia, and Milly's desire to remain fully professional as she surveys the castle all threaten to damp down the fire between them. And then there's the mysterious past of the building itself- the mishmash of eras and design styles are baffling enough, but the legends attached to Clover Castle are even more confusing.
Surprisingly, the elements of suspense were what grabbed me the most. Normally it's the romance that wins me over, but although I liked Milly and Cameron there were times I wanted to throttle them! They were both quite egocentric and it was only when one of them went out on a limb to try and rescue something that was important to the other that I really believed what they shared could be more than lust.
Clover Castle was another character in itself, full of intrigue and secrets. I loved all the passageways and turrets, the dungeons and drawbridge. It was great fun imagining Cameron's eccentric Uncle Boris running riot as he added feature after feature to build a Disney-esque castle!
There were times during the book where I felt things moved on too fast-not so much in terms of Milly and Cameron's relationship, more that there were scenes I'd have liked to have known more about to firmly fix the setting and characters in my mind. However, because Holly Martin writes in such an open, chatty style (with quite a few swear words thrown in!), Fairytale Beginnings had me turning the pages at breakneck speed.
Witty and silly, romantic and mysterious- if you're after a fun, fresh holiday read, this could be just what you're looking for. It reminded me a bit of Milly Johnson's It's Raining Men- you need to remember it's fiction, allow yourself to believe in the unknown and get washed away with the magic and humour of the story.
I have a feeling Fairytale Beginnings could be the book that propels Holly Martin from 'bloggers favourite' to 'one to watch'. And I really hope it is, because it's what she deserves.
Fairytale Beginnings is out now, published by Bookouture. To 'try before you buy', you can read a sample chapter here.
With thanks to the publisher who provided me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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Holly’s website link is https://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com