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?
You may not have realised this about me yet, but I'm a HUGE fairytale fan. Seriously, anything even remotely linked to a fairytale gets me overly excited. And don't even get me started on Disney... So naturally, when I saw this book (and its gorgeous cover!) I knew I HAD to read it. Fairytale Beginnings delivers exactly what it promises, "a heartwarming romantic comedy" with great characters, a dreamy setting... and a lot of Disney references (which, let's face it, should really be mandatory everywhere. But I digress...).
The plot combined the exact amount of fluff, drama and mystery to make for a really compelling read. I really liked the mix between history and fantasy that the author created. Even though I'm usually pretty picky about stuff like this in non-openly-fantasy books, she actually led me to accept both the truth of a family curse and the presence of ghosts in the castle without question, and I didn't really realise that I had done so until I sat down to write the review. Well played, Ms Martin, well played...
On to my favourite bit of every story: the characters! I loved Milly and Cameron to bits. It was so easy to relate to them, especially Milly. Her sparkly personality (and shoes) and her positive outlook on life won me over almost immediately. And, of course, our mutual love of all things Disney did help our bond immensely... She was sweet and funny, but also conflicted about her feelings and I really liked getting inside her head and heart, because it all felt so incredibly real. And Cameron, oh Cameron was a true gentleman through and through. Complicated to the right point, he is also battling his own personal demons from the past and develops a lot throughout the story, which was great to see. My main complaint about their relationship that it kind of felt a little bit like instalove at the beginning. But maybe we can call it "love at first sight". This is a fairytale, after all... Well, I'll let it slide, because
sometimes I'm nice like that. The cherry on the cake was the gorgeous setting, with its dreamy castle and wonderful surroundings from the little village to the sea, all of them described so very well it felt like I had actually been there myself. A colourful cast of secondary characters completes the set, particularly the villagers with their odd traditions and affinity with magic. Of course, the ending is rather predictable... But hey, it's a romantic comedy, what else can you expect?
Overall, this was a really lovely read. If you're looking for a light read to lift your spirits, a sweet romance mixed with ghosts and a terrible curse, or simply a whole lot of pink sparkly stuff and Disney references, you should check out this book. Its unique characters, gorgeous setting and uplifting romance make for a great remedy to a hard day, kind of like a bookish tub of chocolate ice cream. So, dig in and enjoy!