Friday, 7 March 2014

The Guestbook - by Holly Martin

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying 'wish you were here' - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve been part of Holly’s Book Tour the Gosling Girls organized and it’s been a pleasure. Holly wrote a great guest post, including some very lovely characters we know ;) Read her post here:

Now I’ve finally been able to read the book myself and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’d like to say a few words about the cover first: It’s absolutely gorgeous. The couple in the middle is so adorable and then there’s the beautiful pink/red part, the flowers and this magnificent background – WOW – definitely one of my favourite covers.

Let’s go on to the story now. It was the first Holly Martin book for me to read and I absolutely fell in love with her writing.

It’s so different from other books and that makes it so unique and special. It’s full of entries in the guestbook of Willow Cottage and that’s also the way we are able to follow the story. This idea is outstanding and takes this book on a higher and magical level.

The novel follows Annie, the owner of the cottage. She lost her husband two years ago and is finally living again. It’s still hard though, of course it is. I loved reading about Annie and getting to know her closer. A brilliant main character who seemed so real to me.
Then there was Olly. He’s her brother-in-law. Well, actually he’s more than that and we can read about their past in the story. Annie, Olly and Nick (her husband and Olly’s brother) were inseparable when they were kids and she loves them both and they do as well. Of course that’s really complicated and Olly was there for Annie after Nick’s death, but he would never take her away from Nick.
For me Olly’s and Annie’s connection was undeniable from the start.

Willow Cottage had a lot of funny, interesting and also strange guests and they all added the right spark to the novel. It was so lovely to get into the story through their entries and they still had their own story to tell, which is great. I loved the family, who called their daughter Willow Rose ♥.

There was always enough drama and many ups and downs looking at Annie’s and Olly’s relationship. The ending was full of adventure first and then so adorable. I’d actually really like to read more about Annie and Olly.

I went through a range of emotions reading this book: smile, laughter, sadness and many more. You are really in for a treat with this book.

Holly used a different font for every guest writing in the guestbook. Such a great idea, which made it easier to distinguish between them.

An amazing novel, so refreshing and brilliantly written ♥ 


My possible cast:

Annie: Ashley Benson  


Olly: Jensen Ackles

Holly on Twitter: @hollymartin00

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