A late one this evening, sorry! Feel free to blame Strictly Come Dancing! Anyway, I am excited to be reviewing Holly Martin’s stunning new novel, ‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:
Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.
Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.
As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.
But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?
What does TWG think?
Oh Elliot, what a boy! My poor ovaries! That boy is my favourite character for sure – his personality is like sunshine on a rainy day. I just want to cuddle him!! If you’ve read any of the books in the series, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about! I have absolutely no idea how I managed to miss the second book, but I did. However, despite only having read the first book and then the third, I was able to slot back into Sandcastle Bay as though I had been there all along. In simple terms – you CAN read the books as a standalone with no problem at all. Although if you’re the type of reader who likes getting the background information on most of the characters, you might find it easier if you did read the books in order!
‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’ focuses on Isla’s life with her little nephew, Elliot; a little boy who lost his dad at such a young age, and his mother even younger. But, with Isla having his back and loving him like he was her own child, little Elliot’s future is looking rosy. Well, as long as people stop sticking their noses into Isla and Leo’s business that is!
Be still my beating heart!!!! What a gorgeous, gorgeous book this is! Holly Martin never fails to capture my heart with her storylines and her well-rounded, colourful and beautifully written characters. Of course not all of the characters are lovely, as just like any place, there is always at least one person who is determined to stuff things up for other people. Why couldn’t people just leave Isla and Leo alone? What exactly would they benefit from watching the little family crumble before their eyes? It wasn’t fair and actually made me quite emotional as I just wanted Elliot to be settled and happy. Surely for a little boy of his age, that isn’t too much to ask?
The humour in this book was on point, as always, and I found myself holding my belly and crossing my legs whilst I laughed. I found that the giggles were just so natural and unforced, I couldn’t help but laugh with the characters. Hell, my face certainly got some exercise as my cheeks were aching from grinning so much! Not that I’m complaining obviously!
For me, ‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’ is everything a romantic comedy/’chick lit’ should be and more, and that is down to Holly Martin engaging with her readers and making them believe that love is in the air. Like I have said many times, I’m not really a romantic person, yet I could feel the love between two of the characters and I believed it as though it was coming from my own heart and not theirs. I could feel the tenderness between the two characters, I don’t think that anyone would be able to miss it!
I adored every single word, every single joke, every single flutter of the heart, and every single line that Elliott came out with. I just loved this book from start to finish and I have everything crossed that the author doesn’t end the series with this book as I need to find out more. What happens to Isla and Leo afterwards?
‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’ made my heart flutter, my belly laugh, my mind dream, and my cheeks ache – all the signs of an absolutely perfect, beautifully written, tender, and utterly divine read. I could read it over and over again and not get bored – more please!!