Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay, #1)” as Want to Read:
Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Christmas at Lilac Cottage

(White Cliff Bay #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  4,090 ratings  ·  495 reviews
Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry an
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published September 25th 2015 by Bookouture
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Christmas at Lilac Cottage, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Christmas at Lilac Cottage

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,090 ratings  ·  495 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay, #1)
Eve (Between The Bookends)


Penny Meadows loves her home in White Cliff Bay. She loves her job as an ice carver. She loves her little lilac cottage, but she finds herself stuck in life. All her friends are getting married and starting families. When she rents out her annex she hopes to make the married couple feel welcome and maybe make some friends in return.

Imagine her surprise when that married couple turns out to be a smokin hot single dad with a teenage daughter.


This is a confusing review for me to write to be honest.
Claire Robinson
Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
3 - Everyone had someone. Stars.

This is a hard review to write in a way. Mainly because I absolutely adore all of the previous books I have read by this author. They are always well written, quirky, massively entertaining and just a little bit different. And although this book offered most of the above it was missing that little spark that I associate with Holly's writing, storytelling and characterization.

Another small niggle for me was the mad rush of emotions Henry and Penny seemed to go thro
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars.

🎼🎶 Deck the halls with boughs of holly fa la la la la la la la la.
Single dads they make me jolly fa la la la la la la la laaaaaaaaa 🎶

All very insta on the lovin’ and was a tad on the predictable side, but with an endearing bunch of characters and plenty of humour and festive flirting, it was an enjoyable visit to White Cliff Bay.

description I didn’t realise cake was the international sign language for I want to get you into bed.”

Norah Una Sumner
"She remembered the wish she had made on the shooting star the year before and smiled knowing that every wish she'd ever made had finally come true."


"Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penn
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing

You just have to make time for at least one Christmas book don't you? I made room for 3 this year and this book is one of a series.

This kicks off very well.

We meet Penny, all is well in her world, she lives in a lovely little cottage, all christmassy with fairy lights around the door. A smashing view of White Cliff Bay.
Her job is sculpturing lovely things from ice. She loves what she does and has a great talent for it.

Next to her cottage is an annex which she rents out. She has rented it to He
Louise Wilson
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Penny Meadows loves her cosy cottage that she's decorated with fairy lights and the stunning views over White Cliff Bay. She is an ice-carver making breathtaking sculptures.

When Henry and his daughter Daisy arrive at her cottage to rent her annex Penny does all she can do to make them feel welcome. As she gets to know Henry she realises they have a strong connection that's hard to ignore. Will this be the perfect Christmas Penny has always dreamed off.

A heartwarming Christmas love story. An enjo
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 Curl Up In Front Of A Log Fire Stars

 photo 6aff1ba1be155d267253a93e326fc79a_zpsakml8ass.gif

What a perfect story to curl up in front of a log fire to read and just before Christmas

Penny Meadows lives alone in her pretty cottage in White Cliff Bay, although she loves her job as an ice sculpture her life is quite a lonely one.
When she decides to rent out her annexe, for company, Henry and Daisy arrive. After a misunderstanding Penny is thrilled with her new guests.

Henry isn't looking for a serious relationship but there's something about Penny h
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Order your copy now from Bonnier Zaffre . This is a very pretty silver sparkling cover with a one of the best romantic stories that I have ever read. It really is a page turner with lines that made me smile, laugh and had me in tears. I just never knew what a fantastic author Holly Martin was until I read Christmas at Lilac Cottage. I am now following Holly on Goodreads. I would one hundred percent read another paperback book by Holly Martin.
The story is about Penny Meadows who's parents emigrat
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Christmas, love, loss, family, community.

This story takes a well used trope and adds in some extra sweet treats in a lovely festive setting.

I found the story itself just a bit too predictable, but I did like the community spirit and the artisan workers and the cast of characters.

When I first started, the main character felt about 10 years older than what she was. It took a while for me to settle in to the story, it seemed to ramble on a little before the plot was established. But once I
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This was a cutesy Christmas read. I found elements of it really fun yet on the other hand found somethings a bit drab. The insta-attraction between the two main characters very early in the book is ridiculously quick and I think the book would have been better with a bit more build up. Just my thoughts.

I don't mind a good light read but this one for me just fell a bit flat, it was a tad slow and drawn out in places and it took me a while to get into the whole story. The characters did grow on m
Carla Johnson-Hicks
I love books by Holly Martin, and this one did not disappoint. Penny is a damaged woman, one who has been holed up for eight years in Lilac Cottage after a devastating experience. She is not looking for a man, she is looking for friends and is hoping that Henry and his wife Daisy will fit the bill. When Penny is your friend, she goes out of her way to help and care about you. When we first meet Henry, I thought he was a miserable, uptight snob, but when we got to know him, how wrong I was. Daisy ...more

Originally posted on This Chick Reads

* Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *

In a short time span of just couple of years, Holly Martin has managed to write so many novels, successfully switching from fantasy, to contemporary romance then to chick lit. In just two months, she's releasing two Christmas novels which are parts of the White Cliff Bay Series.

'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' is the first one in the series and is such a charming, cute read. It follo
Ange H
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Christmas 2019 - Nice!

This was cheesy, silly, formulaic and set in a quirky Small Town, as all Christmas romances must be by law. I can't put my finger on why this is okay with me in some instances, and why I can't get past the first few pages in others. In this case, I really enjoyed it.

The premise: lonely Penny has been Really Hurt in the past and has given up on love. She rents the annex of her cottage (I'm not even sure what that means) to a couple, Daisy and Henry, hoping to make new friend
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
4.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, Holly Martin and the publisher, for an ARC in return for an honest review.

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and dau
Nicola Clough
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So loved this brilliant simply brilliant and so enjoyable from the first page. The characters are very good and the plot is brilliant and didn't want it to end. So engrossed and just didn't want to put the book down. Worth far more than five stars as so good. Full of romance and being happy in yourself.
Penny has always lived in lilac cottage with stunning views but her parents have moved abroad and she decides to rent out the small annex she has. She has had a very bad past relationship and fro
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Holly Martin is an author whose books I keep buying but never actually getting around to reading – until now. I know that the ebook of this was originally published by Bookoutre last year but when Bonnier Zaffre sent me an unexpected book parcel, this looked just too pretty to leave on the shelf for a later date. The cover picture really doesn’t do it justice – its sparkly and shiny – just what you would want for a Christmas read.

Penny Meadows works from home as an ice sculptor, rather an unusua
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]Twitteresque reviews are for books where I don’t feel like writing a full review but I want to give you a flavour of how I felt during the book.  All in 140 characters or less!




Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin


Very cute, full of Christmas cheer and a whole village cast of zany, nosey but loveable characters!  Perfect for you wan
I received an eARC of Christmas at Lilac Cottage from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sadly I only got about 10% of the way through this before I had to DNF it. It's far too instalovey and, though I hate to say it, I don't think it's been written very well; I was hoping for something that would fill me with the warm fuzzies in the way Love Actually and The Holiday do, but this book is a bit of a hot mess.
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Christmas at Lilac Cottage was my first Christmas read of 2015 and was a great way to kick off my festive reading giving me everything I could want in a cute, cosy, Christmas story. This book made me laugh out loud and gave me the warm fuzzies when I was only a few chapters in which is always a good sign!

The book follows Penny, a lovely woman with a tragic past who is facing another Christmas alone in her lilac cottage in the seaside town of White Cliff Bay. Penny is lonely and looking for a bit
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holly Martin is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She has a way of warming you up inside and will have you falling in love with all the characters from the very beginning of CHRISTMAS AT LILAC COTTAGE. You can't help but care for Penny. She is damaged where love is concerned, and very fragile, but she goes out of her way to help those she cares about. Henry is my new book boyfriend who I thought was an uptight snob in the beginning but the way he protects Penny and looks out for her h ...more
Dec 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was actually so bad that I returned it to Amazon to get my $3 back. Things you can expect: Generic repetitive writing. Insta-love. An MC so stupid she assumes that her new tenant is married to a 16 year old (who happens to be his daughter) because the agency who rented out her annex never specified whether the people moving in were a couple or not and freaks out on him causing some ridiculously contrived drama. A group of bleached blonde mean girls that the MC and her friends refer to as th ...more
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a divine love story for this time of year! I have to admit it took me a couple of days to get through, but I enjoyed every minute. I felt like Henry and Penny were perfect for each other and the story built around them was wonderful! This is a perfect read for an early Christmas present to yourself.

I received this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

ضحى الحداد
2.5 stars
Well, if you are looking for a book that has a ton of Christmas in it and nothing else I think you will like this book, the main reason I didn't like this book as much as I wanted is that it was unnecessarily long, I was bored from half of it when Penny already got together with Henry .. but the story kept dragging and so many things happened that I really didn't care for .. so yeah it was an ok book for Christmas
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed on

First of all, I'd like to say a massive, huge, flappy-happy excited THANK YOU to the wonderful Holly Martin and her fabulous publishers Bookouture for inviting me along to be a part of the blog tour for Christmas at Lilac Cottage.

I've been a major fan of Holly Martin's novels for so long now, I feel like she writes her books only for me (which is ridiculous I know, seeing as she has hundreds of other fans out there, understandably),
Rosemarie Short
This is the seventh in my #12DaysofChristmas read-a-thon! Each day I will post a review of a Christmas / Winter related book. Hopefully this will give you some Xmas-Inspo and give your holiday reading a boost!

I have always had a certain leaning towards romantic stories in small towns. I think because the reality of living in the same tiny place all your life, knowing absolutely everybody and making a living in a fascinating, eclectic and enjoyable way is virtually impossible; therefore these bo
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!
This was my first Holly Martin book and I bought it on the kindle deals last month as I thought it would be a nice easy christmassy read. It was that, but it was also so much more! It was so heartwarming, captivating, cute and funny. I absolutely loved it and it exceeded my expectations.

Penny was such a lovely character and she deserves the absolute best. She decides to rent her annexe out to Henry and Daisy, who she believes are a married couple that are new to the area. But she is
Claudia García
Aug 08, 2016 rated it did not like it

DNF at 80%

I tried, but I just can't take it anymore. I really really wanted to like this book, because I like romance novels, I love chick lit, and I truly adore everything Christmas related, but clearly Christmas at Lilac Cottage it's not for me.
Let's make this quick:

- There's instalove in the second chapter. IN THE SECOND CHAPTER.

- This is a short romance novel, so I suppose I could forgive that instalove, but, the main characters were considering MARRIAGE after FIVE DAYS of knowing each ot
Aven Ellis
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Grab a slice of Christmas cake or plate of sugar cookies, a cup of coffee, and your favorite blanket because it's time to get cozy and enjoy an utterly perfect Christmas novel from Holly Martin!

Ms. Martin never ceases to amaze me with her ability to tell a story you've never read before. In the picturesque town of White Cliff Bay ( beautifully described in rich detail), we meet Penny, a single woman who has had her share of heartbreak in the
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked Christmas at Lilac Cottage, but I didn't love it.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I will definitely look for more of her work. Reading a book from an author I have never read before is like going to a just opened restaurant ... you have to go more than once to really get the feel for the place before deciding if you like it or not! Books are the same you have to sample the author's work before forming opinions.

That being said, I had trouble with the two main charac
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2015, net-galley
Penny is looking forward to getting new lodgers- hoping that they will be great company. Henry is a brooding, tall man that she is instantly attracted to- but she initially thinks he is married and quite aloof! He's not looking to spending time with his 'landlady'- but he also feels the pull between them.

Penny is an ice sculptor- which is a fascinating part to the story. You can just imagine the events that her sculpture's are delivered to- and the whole magic around it. There is an 'ice sculpto
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin - 4 stars 4 15 Dec 07, 2018 11:19AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tied Up with Love
  • If Every Day Was Christmas
  • A Home On Bramble Hill
  • Christmas at Lock Keeper's Cottage: The perfect uplifting festive read of love and hope for 2020
  • Finding Love at the Christmas Market
  • Escape to Christmas Cottage
  • The Lake House (Love Heart Lane Series, Book 5)
  • The Winter Garden
  • Autumn Spice on Sunflower Street (Sunflower Street #3)
  • Christmas Lights and Snowball Fights
  • Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terrace (Willowbury #2)
  • Surprises at the Loch (Loch Lannick Book 6)
  • Christmas at Aunt Elsie's: a delightfully festive, feel-good romance and the perfect Christmas treat.
  • A Surprise Christmas Wedding
  • One Family Christmas
  • Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe
  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
  • A Pretty Beach Christmas : Delightfully sprinkled with Christmas sparkle and all the festive romance of Pretty Beach.
See similar books…
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 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 ...more

Other books in the series

White Cliff Bay (3 books)
  • Snowflakes on Silver Cove (White Cliff Bay, #2)
  • Summer at Rose Island (White Cliff Bay, #3)

News & Interviews

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
47 likes · 18 comments
“serious with her. Well, if he” 0 likes
“Your dad always told me I deserved better and I do. No one gets to treat me like a piece of shit and then come crawling back and apologise for it later. If you care for someone, you’d never treat them like that in the first place.” 0 likes
More quotes…