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Monday, October 29, 2012

No Holly for Christmas...Review

About the book:
As Brian McAlister struggles to move past being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he’s ever loved, he’s all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA’s office, he crosses paths with ex-socialite turned social worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter—and romance blossoms.

Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at Walmart, Holly is dreading the approaching holiday season. However, her angst isn’t due to her husband’s untimely death the previous December 25th, but because of a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas.

Love at first sight quickly turns frigid for Brian and Holly when Holly gets pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.

A heart-warming story of suspense, healing, giving and receiving, No Holly for Christmas is the perfect addition to everyone’s holiday reading list.

Holly is just the best name.  Seriously.  It is.  It's not common and it's pretty. Of course, I'm partial to it and a little bit biased and so love stories where the heroine is named Holly.

This is not a typical Christmas story.  It's much grittier, with the murder and suspense.  I never really did connect to any of the characters and found little depth to any of them.  Holly was too much the superficial socialite, even with her moments of compassion. Her "I may be suddenly poor but I'm still better than you" attitude got a bit old and her first experience shopping at Walmart was incredibly stereotypical.  I liked her daughters and her sister Margo though. Brian was a typical rich boy attorney who started out with a big pity party over a past love.  However, he kind of grew on me as I enjoyed his moments with Holly's daughters.  I hate the endearment "Baby" and it was used quite a bit, here.  I realize that is my personal preference and other people use that endearment and don't mind it.  There was very mild profanity and some sexual situations that were unnecessary and after reading Countdown to Love, a bit disappointing.

This is a sequel to The Woman He Married, which I have not read.  When it came to Brian's interactions with Josie, I felt I'd missed a bit not knowing their back story, but the novel seems to stand alone just fine. I had read Julie's first novel, Countdown to Love and enjoyed it.  It was funny and clean.  So, I was surprised to see such a different story here.

The premise kept me hooked and I read the book in two sittings, but unfortunately, it's not going to be one of my favorites.  My review is one of many however and will no doubt be in the minority.

Thanks to the author and Steph and Jules at vbooktours for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Julie N. Ford here. You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see links to other reviews here.

Read 10/12

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. Holly,
    Thanks so much for agreeing to read and review my novel. I'm so sorry that you were disappointed with this one. I write different novels for varying audiences which, unfortunately, throws readers off at times.
    I have a novel coming out this Spring/Summer titled The Cadaver Ball. I hope you'll give it chance and that you'll be pleasantly surprised :)
    Have great holiday season!
    Julie N Ford

  2. Sometimes certain aspects of a book don't work for you, but the book seen as a whole isn't that bad. I think this might be the way you felt about this one. It doesn't sound like it's my type of thing, but I know a few others who might love to read it!