My apologies to author Holly Martin and Give Me Books promotions for not getting this posted on time. That seldom (once in a very blue moon?) happens.
Title: The Little Village of Happiness
Author: Holly Martin
Genre: British Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 5, 2019
The beautiful new story from the bestselling author of The Summer of Chasing Dreams. Escape to a little seaside village, where the sea sparkles, the sunshine is guaranteed, and change is in the air. The perfect place to fall in love this summer…
Willow McKay needs a fresh start. Her recent break-up may not have left her heartbroken, but it’s certainly wounded her pride. Desperate for a change, an advert offering free homes in a picturesque village on the Cornish coast sounds like just what she needs. Without thinking twice Willow packs up her life and heads to the village of Happiness.
But when Willow arrives, she finds ramshackle cottages, shops lying empty and villagers that seem in need of cheer themselves. It’s nothing like the pretty picture the advert had boasted. It seems Happiness was too good to be true. That is until she meets the handsome estate manager Andrew Harrington.
His passion for restoring the village to its former glory is contagious and soon they are working together, forming a secret society to bring happiness back to Happiness. And as sparks fly between them Willow can feel herself falling. But Andrew is holding something back.
Will they succeed in transforming the old village to its original beauty before it’s too late? Can the gift of happiness really save a village, and can it save Willow herself?
Get swept away to the sun-kissed Cornish coast with this gorgeous love story, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Sophie Kinsella and Katie Fforde.
I’ve said it before, I am a sucker for British romance novels set it small villages, probably in the same way that I am for those set in small American towns. You get to know a wonderful cast of characters besides being front and center to a sensual romance.
For much of The Little Village of Happiness, Holly Martin owned my attention. I loved this ramshackle village on the Cornish coast and I enjoyed, for the most part, Willow’s character.
However, the novel dragged at times with perhaps too much detail about things going on in the village. While I liked the detail, almost a step-by-step, about candle making because I’m a craftsy kind of person, I think others might find it off-putting as I did with certain other aspects. Likewise, the narration ventured into a level of preachiness totally disregarding the concept of less is more.
Sometimes the writing was repetitious with the same thoughts being reviewed frequently. Also, if I never see the phrase: “a big smile on his/her face,” I would be a happy camper.
On the flipside, this is an appealing story of two people finding love at first sight, questioning it but persevering despite the intrusion of outside forces. While much of the dilemmas were unsurprising, I think that many who enjoy British romances will enjoy this one.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by an 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 8 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. She is the bestselling author of 22 books.
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