Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay #1) by Holly Martin





Penny Meadows loves her home in White Cliff Bay. She loves her job as an ice carver. She loves her little lilac cottage, but she finds herself stuck in life. All her friends are getting married and starting families. When she rents out her annex she hopes to make the married couple feel welcome and maybe make some friends in return.

Imagine her surprise when that married couple turns out to be a smokin hot single dad with a teenage daughter.


This is a confusing review for me to write to be honest. I enjoyed this one, but at the same time I didn’t. If that makes sense? The first half of the book was wonderful. I LOVE Penny, in fact I loved her through the whole book. At first I thought Henry was going to be this gruff curmudgeonly old guy because the first impression of him isn’t great. Luckly he apologizes quickly and we move on from there. I loved the small town feel and the festive setting of the book. It had great secondary characters as well as well as some laugh out loud moments.

Which leads me to some of the issues I had with it. Both Penny and Henry sound at least 10 years older then they are. At the start I thought Penny was in her late 30’s (she’s 29) and Henry was in his 40’s (he’s 32). Also, about half way through I started to get sick of Daisy (Henry’s daughter) she wasn’t a bad character. I just got sick of everyone being ALL about Daisy. Henry basically plans his EVERY move around his 16 year old daughter. I could have accepted that had she been 8, but she is a 16 year old.


He doesn’t want to hurt Daisy, so he can’t have anything permanent. Then Daisy tells him not to “date” Penny and he agrees. THEN he starts dating Penny on the sly, and tells her they have to keep it a secret from Daisy so as not to hurt her. Going so far as to stuff Penny in a closet the night after they have sex for the first time when Daisy shows up unexpectedly. I wanted Henry to have some damn balls and stop letting how Daisy would react dictate EVERYTHING.

I also thought the last half of the book dragged a lot. There were things I thought were out of place in the story. Like the whole Clara “sexual harassment” storyline which added nothing to the overall plot of the book. No drama within the couple, really no drama for Henry either as it was all resolved without any mess. Some of the ice carver stuff didn’t add anything to the book and “I” felt took away from couple time between the H/h.

So overall, loved the first half of the book. Wish the second half had been tightened up a bit plot wise. So a “down the middle” 3 stars from yours truly.


About Eve1972 3973 Articles
Hi there! I’m a mom and wife by day (and night), aspiring writer (in my dreams), and an avid reader (every day of the week). This is my little corner of the web to post about ALL things books. I live in Copenhagen, but I am a Canadian girl (born and raised) at heart.


  1. Sorry you weren’t totally crazy about this one either. I remember getting a little annoyed about the whole daughter issue too. And I was furious when he shoved her in the closet! lol! Sometimes, after I read books and rate them really high and then I know someone who doesn’t rate it as well, I start to wonder if I rated it higher because I read a REALLY horrible book before this one and it made this one seem better. hahaha! Does that make sense?

    • TOTALLY makes sense! It wasn’t a BAD book. I thought the first half was REALLY good. Then the wheels started to come off. It dragged and the daughter issue was never ending.

      I’ve also been in a really picking mood lately with books!

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