Review: Holly Freakin' Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley

July 16, 2017

Holly Freakin Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release - August 1, 2017
Genre - Contemporary Friends-to-lovers Romance
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Length - 339 pages

"People like you don't fall in love with people like me."

Meet Holly Hughes, a moderately successful teen advice columnist living in a studio apartment on the Upper East Side with her boyfriend Stephen. She has it all, but at the ripe age of thirty-one, she wants more. She wants to be married, she wants a family, and she's going to have it all with Stephen.

At least, that's what she thought, until Stephen announces he's gay, and the domino effect of unfortunate events begins. She soon finds herself unemployed, single, and living in her sister's house on Long Island, working as her niece's babysitter for less than minimum wage. She's pretty certain she's destined to live in the Land of Mediocrity forever.

And then, her niece runs face-first into a tall, handsome man at the bookstore.

* * *

Holly Freakin' Hughes is an HFN title about acceptance, feeling good enough, and the reality that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

NOTE: This book contains some strong language and sexual situations. Age discretion is advised.

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When I first saw the cover of this book, I must admit that I was a bit thrown off and had no idea wht to expect. However, after thoroughly enjoying this story, I found the cover to be quite apropos. I can easily picture Brandon with his coffee and Holly with her tea.

So what's this story about?

Holly was in her early 30s, had found some success as a teen advice columnist, and lived with her boyfriend of 5 years, Stephen. And then her life fell apart. Thinking that Stephen was about to propose, he surprised her as he announced that he was gay and in love with someone else. Ouch!

Brandon was in his late 30s and after being with his girlfriend for 10+ years, he proposed. He also happened to land a lucrative publishing deal and his career had skyrocketed. His life fell apart because his fiancee was jealous of his success and ended up leaving him. Damn!

These two literally meet by accident and although there is a strong mutual attraction, Brandon fears being burned again and has sworn off relationships, thereby leaving Holly in friend-zone purgatory. I found that the author did a fantastic job of building up to their eventual love story and there was plenty of humor, friendship, and romance along the way. The connection, chemistry, and overall tension was realistically explored and made these characters even easier to like.

For a debut book, I feel that Kelsey Kingsley knocked it right out of the park!

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