We’re celebrating the release of Holly Freakin’ Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley!!!
Holly Freakin’ Hughes
Adult Contemporary Romance
“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 got me all kinds of torn up. I can’t remember exactly what I expected when I first found this book but I’m almost a hundred percent sure it wasn’t this. I didn’t expect something better but guess I expected something… different.
Holly is a thirty-one year old nanny. After her boyfriend dropped the I’m-gay-and-in-love-with-someone-else bomb and losing her job as a columnist, Holly had to move out of her lovely Upper East Side apartment and back to Long Island where she nailed a job as her niece’s babysitter.
“It was funny how quickly things could change. Just when you think it’s all going so well for you, or decent at the very least, an atomic bomb lands itself right on your head.”
Brandon Davis is a very famous writer. He once had a fiance, but she turned out to be a jealous piece of crap and dumped him after he got a seven-figure book deal. Since then, he hasn’t really dated. The only thing people can see when they look at him are the dollar signs.
That’s why when he meets Holly—after an incident involving Holly’s niece—it feels a lot like love at first sight. She’s the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen and she’s also completely oblivious to his celebrity persona.
“Just a woman in love with a man she knew would never want her in the way she wanted him.”
That encounter led them to become friends and then… stay friends. Somewhere along the way they both end up thinking they’ve been friendzoned. Holly starts dating again and Brandon tries to keep it together even though seeing Holly dating other men is driving him insane.
Will they pull their head out of their butts soon enough for you to not want to knock them over the head to bring some sense into them? You’ll have read the book to find out!
I always say I would rather read about a boy-next-door/good guy/beta male character over an alpha male but in this case, I think it would have been really entertaining to have Brandon be an alpha male. Countless times I found myself begging for Brandon to go after what he wanted—Holly. He could have reached “book boyfriend” level if he were a tad bit more confident.
Holly is a hilarious character. I found myself loving her at times and then disliking her some other times. Sometimes she felt like too much. Overly dramatic and overly insecure. Sometimes she felt more like a twenty-something year old than a thirty-one year old woman. I’m not a huge fan of her character but she was entertaining for sure.
I love me a friends-to-lovers romance any day, but friends who clearly want to be more than friends since the beginning and who also end up friendzone-ing each other over nonsense drive me up the freaking wall. I don’t even remember how it happened but somehow both Holly and Brandon think they’re on the friendzone for almost the entire book. It was extremely frustrating for me to read all about their feelings towards each other and them not going after what they wanted.
If you don’t mind instalove stories then you’ll enjoy this read for sure. Cupid stabbed Brandon with one of his arrows so darn fast he didn’t even see it coming. I don’t mind a little bit of instalove but I gotta say this one had me rolling me eyes a couple of times.
I liked that it took Cupid a little bit longer to stab Holly with one of those arrow’s of his. It was a nice balance to Brandon’s already head-over-heals heart.
Overall, Holly Freakin’ Hughes is a fun and light read that will have you cracking up at times. It was good enough to get me out of my horrible reading slump so I’d say it is definitely worth a try. It might not be my favorite book but it might be yours.
Kelsey Kingsley is definitely an author I’m going to keep up with, she has amazing potential and I can’t wait to see what she comes up next.
Standing outside the door, I inhaled and exhaled slowly before knocking, making a conscious effort to clear my brain of anything but excitement for the night ahead. I told myself that Brandon didn’t want me, Brandon was only a friend, and with a final deep breath, I knocked.
As if he had been waiting right on the other side, the door flew open. There to greet me was Ben and three large tail-wagging Labrador Retrievers, two black and one yellow. The three beasts pushed past Ben, tripping up his legs as they rushed toward me; pushing against me with their huffing black noses and slobbering mouths.
One of them, the biggest of the black dogs, jumped up to rest his heavy paws against my chest. A thick tongue lapped out of his wide mouth to slurp over my face. My eyes squeezed shut through the sloppy assault, hovering somewhere between amusement and panic. After regaining his balance, Ben grabbed the dog by the collar and gently pulled him back to the ground.
“Jesus, Rocky, that’s not how we make friends,” Ben told the dog, crouching next to the excited animal, mushing his snout affectionately with his hands before standing to flash me a genuine grin.
“Hey, I’m sorry about that. We don’t get too many strangers around here. I hope you’re not afraid of dogs,” he said, apparently noticing the way I clutched my hands to my chest in an attempt to guard myself from the watering mouths of his hellhounds.
“O-oh, no, I, uh, I-I …” I closed my eyes, taking a deep controlled breath. I opened them again to Ben scratching the ears of the dog named Rocky, and I smiled then. “Let me try that again. No, I’m not afraid of dogs. I just wasn’t really expecting that to be the first kiss I got tonight, but you know, here we are.”
“Rocky just has a thing for the ladies, but here, let me make it up to you.” And before I knew what was happening, he was standing and snaking an arm around my waist. He pulled me into him to press his lips firmly against mine for all of a couple seconds before backing away with a dimpled grin. “Better?”
“Much,” I said with a relaxed smile.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelsey Kingsley is a writer of short stories, poetry, and novels, primarily centered around romance from both the perspective of men and women. She prides herself on being both witty and depressing, but finds it easier to be depressing for some depressing reason.
Huge thanks to Wordsmith Publicity and Kelsey Kingsley for sending me an ARC of Holly Freakin’ Hughes in exchange for an honest review!