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 an historical building in the village of Clovers 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?
*Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
‘Fairytale Beginnings’ is Holly Martin’s 8th novel and one I’ve been eager to read ever since I found out she was writing it. Following Holly on twitter is certainly one great joy, she’s one of the nicest and coolest people on twitter, always ready to make you laugh. She’s also one of the most respected authors which I follow, well known for her big heart and genuine relationship with book bloggers. Having all this said, no wonder I’m looking forward to each of her releases. Beside writing contemporary romance, she’s also published two fantasy novels and two more steamy, adult novels under the pen name Amelia Thorn. It’s obvious Holly is multi talented and these transitions in genres come very easy to her.
‘Fairytale Beginnings’ is definitely a cute story. I even tweeted to Holly saying I want to adopt her (age is just a number, right?) because lately I’ve been feeling kind of down and was in terrible need of some good laughs. And yes, there were some memorable, LOL moments in this novel and I had the feeling I’ll end up competely loving it. But as you can see from my rating, some things went wrong. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it though, trying to write the most balanced and honest review I can, because while this book had it flaws, it certainly had some unique moments too.
The book really read like a fairytale, just like the title suggests. But a very modern fairytale with some adult content, so a fair warning to those who’re bit prudish. It’s the story of Milly who’s off to Clover Castle to estimate it’s value and origins and see if her company is willing to help the Lord bring back the castle to all it’s glory, like it has seen in the old days. She’s very good and efficient worker, never lazy or too proud to get her hands dirty. She’s definitely excited to the start of her research, but what she wasn’t ready for it to discover the owner is so young and damn hot. Scorching hot as a matter of fact! Haunted by ghosts, family secrets and now, this awesome, hot guy, will Milly stick to being professional or give in to Castle’s beauty and charm?
As I said in my review previously, there were some amazing moments which I read with great pleasure, and there were some that left me puzzled, not sure what to make out of them. The first half of the book was for me just amazing. I liked Milly so much, I honestly thought she’s the most awesome romance heroine. My opinion didn’t change even in the second half, but there were some weird moments I was kind of surprised with her reactions. Still, Milly is adorable, though to be completely honest, at times she did act too childish even though she’s 28/29 years old. Nothing wrong in being childish, especially when you feel those butterflies in your stomach, however it seemed to me she gave in too early and easily despite saying she ‘was burned’ in life before. It did feel a bit surreal to me, but it could be me and my 36 years who look on things from different perspective than younger population. Speaking of age, Cameron Heartstone, the owner of the Castle and fameous writer is 34 and yet he too seems childish at times. They’ve both been very hurt in the past in their relationships, yet they sure let things happen rather soon.
Believe it or not, I do believe in love at first sight and Milly’s and Cameron’s chemistry is undeniable. It’s like..electricity, so raw and powerful. This is what I enjoyed the most, their chemistry which made me feel of fuzzy inside. However, some things felt a bit rushed and I wish Holly made her characters take things more slowly. But their banters, they were super cute and hilarious. Despite knowing each other for such a short time, Milly and Cameron really enjoy each other’s company and are definitely comfortable around each other. This might seem weird to some readers, however I didn’t mind the whole ‘grabbing boob and talking about willies’ all in a span of just few short days. But what I did mind was that weird ceremony they hold each year during Summer Solstice. I won’t tell you why, you’ll have to read it for yourself. I’m no prude, but I didn’t expect to find these parts in a book like this. It just seemed wrong for this story, you know. At least, that’s what I think.
But the romance part was amazing! I do believe this is Holly Martin’s strongest feat as a writer, she really knows how to deliver a hot, steamy and mind blowing sex scene without going very explicit. Everything felt natural and tasteful. However, my biggest problem and main reason for the rating is the mystery element which was a bit disappointing. Despite simply flying through this book, I wasn’t really hooked on the history and origins of the Castle or the legends of the Heartstone family. Some parts felt dragging and others were simply rushed, and I won’t lie, I was kind of lost at times thinking where the story might go. Uncle Boris’ treasure, the secret coves, the Grey Lady, it all seems blurry to me, even moments after finishing this book. But the romance part is just amazing! Mind blowing! I really enjoyed those parts and think Holly Martin shows her amazing talent in these very scenes.
I’m glad I read it and I certainly enjoyed the romance. I was never a Disney princess, always were more of a tomboy, but I certainly enjoyed being in this fairytale. It is definitely an easy read you’ll devour in one or two sittings.
My rating: 7/10