Special thanks to the author for providing a digital ARC via Valentine PR in exchange for an honest review!
The Holly Dates Pub Date: 07 December 2022 Genre: Contemporary (Holiday) Romance
All she wanted for Christmas was a boyfriend for the holidays…
All he wanted was for her to take her crappy first dates elsewhere…
Quirky Holly Jackson was unlucky in love, yet her romantic heart refused to give up her search for companionship—even after her fiancé left her at the altar on Christmas Eve.
Grumpy restaurant owner Kai Kane wanted nothing to do with love after his last relationship crashed and burned. Romance was the last thing on his mind. Unfortunately for him, when an eccentric Holly kept entering his restaurant nightly with a different first date, his annoyance grew.
When Kai volunteered to help Holly find a suitor it was for one reason only: to get her out of his restaurant and on to a second date with someone at a different location.
Once Kai became Holly’s dating coach, her confidence grew.
It was all going great until Kai became increasingly jealous of the connection Holly developed with another man. The more Holly fell for Kai’s pick for her, the more overprotective he became.
Kai quickly realized that all wasn’t fair when it came to love and the holidays.
He was going to have to step up his game if he wanted a shot at the ultimate prize—being Holly’s favorite date.
*The Holly Dates is a steamy, full-length romantic comedy that will put you right in the holiday spirit.*
Childhood abandonment and abusive parents (recounted), infidelity (on-page and recounted), manipulative gaslighting partner, body shaming (one incident on-page), cancer (former partner of one of the main characters)
Falling for the hopeless romantic was never part of the plan…
Elle Van Helsing wants to start her life away from home. Constantly living under the shadow of her brother, she plans to find romance and survive on her own: even if it’s financially harder than she thought. Getting a job at a dive bar three doors down from her new place is the perfect solution. Well, it was until the owner has a family emergency and asks his nephew to help out in his absence. The guy she used to have a crush on until he ruined it.
Cal Holt might be a legend on the ice, but off it? He’s alone and likes to keep it that way. It’s easier to protect himself when he’s always a jerk, but the one person who gets under his skin is Elle. Torn between wanting to get to know her and pushing her away, he’s surprised when he learns she hates him. She looked at him differently the year before, and now that they’re stuck managing a bar for a few weeks, tensions rise.
She’s a hopeless romantic who wants grand gestures and sees the world through rose-colored glasses. He’s a grumpy cynic with a permanent scowl. She dreams of love, and he wants a one-night stand. She plans to build a life on campus, and he plans to leave and head to the NHL. Complete opposites in every way, they shift from enemies to friends…but Cal refuses to fall in love, and Elle deserves more. For the girl who never felt enough, and the guy terrified to feel, fear might ruin their chance at finding love.
Ada Treadway has been in love before, and it brought nothing but heartache. Still, she retains her cheerful optimism and is fiercely protective of the independence and respect she’s earned as bookkeeper of the Phoenix Club. When the owner enlists her help to organize his friend’s estate ledgers, she’s eager to prove her expertise and her worth. But his friend turns out to be a disagreeable, unpleasant beast, and Ada works to find the warm-hearted gentleman she’s sure lurks beneath.
Maximillian Hunt, the Viscount Warfield doesn’t care if he lives to see tomorrow, and he certainly doesn’t want to recall yesterday. The arrival of the meddlesome and effusively positive woman who will put his accounts in order not only reminds him of the past he’s desperate to forget, she sparks something within him he thought dead. Tempted by a future he never imagined, he must do the impossible: convince her that he’s worth risking her heart a second time.
TL;DR:Overall, while this started off strong, the romance felt a little too half-baked for me to fully enjoy it. That’s not to say that I didn’t like these characters or enjoy their story because I did, and I was actually quite convinced that this was going to be a favourite in this series, so it was quite disappointing that their romance ended up being a bit unsatisfying for me. I am looking forward to the next book in the series though as we finally get McDougal’s story!
As a refinement tutor, Mrs. Juno Langton helps young ladies develop the skills and confidence to secure an advantageous marriage. Her cheerful disposition never wavers no matter how challenging her assignment. When a house party provides an opportunity to match her difficult charge with a duke, Juno will go to any lengths to satisfy her employer and ensure the young lady’s future. Too bad the duke is an unsmiling, rigid grouch, albeit an irritatingly handsome one.
The Duke of Warrington dislikes social gatherings and despises the Marriage Mart which makes it nigh impossible to find a wife. He plans to secure his future duchess at a house party, but she’s being managed by a thoroughly meddlesome—and provocative—Mrs. Langton, who is determined to find his better nature. He’ll do anything to avoid her sunny charm and room-brightening smiles, but she’s breaking through his shell and the only way he can think to keep her quiet is to kiss her. He must marry the young lady, not desire the companion.
But now he’s rethinking his wife choices.
TL;DR:I’ve come to really enjoy Darcy Burke’s books ever since discovering her historical romances last year and The Rigid Duke was no different. It was an enjoyable grumpy/sunshine romance that’s slightly more sex than plot but was a quick and entertaining read that delivers a sweet HEA!
FRIENDS! I’m so excited to share the cover reveal for Blind Pass, book two in Teagan Hunter’s sports (hockey) romance Carolina Comets series. The book is coming to #KindleUnlimited on January 27th, 2022.
I would know. I’m coming home with a brand-new ring on my finger.
My wife? Ryan Bell. We’re polar opposites. She’s sunshine and happiness. I’m grumpy and scarred—literally.
We could get it annulled and no one would be the wiser. Only problem? We posted about it online, and it’s already making headlines.
I can’t afford to get that kind of attention and tank my career, and Ryan needs my help too. We make a plan: stay married for one year, play our roles, and divorce amicably at the end. No harm, no foul. Besides, there’s no way the beauty is going to fall for the beast…