Title: Fairytale Beginnings
Author: Holly Martin
Publication Date: 10 July 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5
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?
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.
If we consider all the elements of a traditional fairy tale – a protagonist with a thoroughly good character, an evil character, an element of royalty (i.e. king, queen, princess, castle etc…), poverty, romance, a supernatural element (i.e. poisoned apples, dwarfs, evil curses etc..) and universal truths – Fairytale Beginnings has them all. It really is a modern day fairy tale!
Milly Rose and Cameron Heartstone meet when she visits his family home, Clover Castle, to assess whether her company can help Cameron to restore the castle. He needs an injection of cash, otherwise the castle will need to be sold to a fairly unscrupulous hotel chain (royalty/castle – tick; poverty – tick, evil character/company – tick). The setting of Clover Castle sounds delightful. The author brings to life a beautiful building full of turrets, dungeons, secret passages, hidden doors, ghosts and hidden treasure. It’s impossible not to be intrigued by the thought of exploring such a building.
Milly is a lovely main character with a love of castles and sparkly Converse trainers, she is bouncy, positive and energetic, going above and beyond her remit to help Cameron to find a suitable solution for his current problems. Milly is a very endearing character with a thoroughly good nature (good character – tick). Cameron is a hero worthy of the title. He is tall, dark and handsome. He is also funny, thoughtful and slightly mysterious! How can Milly possibly resist the man after a week in his smouldering company?! The chemistry between Milly and Cameron is believable and sizzling hot! With their up and down dance of flirting and then backing off, I found myself anxious for them to get together before they missed their chance! The development of their friendship and trust was lovely to read.
The fun and humour of the story shines through from the start as Milly enters the odd, off-the-map village of Clover’s Rest in her ancient car, Dick, and meets the first of its unusual inhabitants. I particularly liked the scenes involving the weird and wonderful villagers and their unique outlook on life. This added a great sense of fun to the story. The Summer Solstice scene is certainly an odd moment. Whilst it doesn’t really add much to the story, it provides a humorous break from the main plotline and gives the reader chance to really understand what an odd village Clover’s Rest is.
The plot is interesting and it was impossible not to be intrigued by the mysteries of Clover Castle, the curse which Milly must help break and the castle’s very own ghost (supernatural element – tick).
Fairytale Beginnings is another beautiful and magical tale, showing the reader that with love is the power to defeat evil (universal truth – tick). You really get the sense that the tale begins with a “Once upon a time” and ends with a “Happily ever after”! I think I’ve now managed to tick off all of the fairy tale elements 😉
Fairytale Beginnings is a cute and entertaining read from the fabulous Holly Martin. If you are in the mood for an uplifting, feel-good, light-hearted romance, this may well be the book for you!
About the Author
Holly lives in sunny Bedfordshire in a house with round windows. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.
Holly has been writing for 6 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014.