The Holly and the Ivy

A Ladies of Legend Christmas Tale

So first off I will start by saying I love romantic novels in which the hero and heroine have a love/hate relationship. It usually leads to a passionate read. And this one had the potential to be a really great passionate novel. However, it ended up being a cute short romantic read. Still enjoyable, but I wanted so much more. It's a novella, so while I did expect it to be short, the abrupt ending threw me off. Literally, it was building and building and then it toppled over, without giving me any juicy or steamy scenes.

I did really like the main characters. There was so much good tension and competition between them. I loved the idea of a small town. I loved the writing style (which hasn't been the case with some of the other books from this site I have been reading). I was fully prepared to give it a 4 or a 4.5 rating, because I was really invested in the story. I imagined what would happen once the tensions build to a simmering point, and the situations they would get themselves in. None of that happened and I was left disappointed. Still I think I would try some of her other works, maybe see if she has an actual story written instead of a novella.

I also really liked the Christmas theme of it. It really made me wish I was in the mountains of Tennessee with a warm cup of hot chocolate. If you're looking for an enjoyable cute short story, this is the book for you!

Book Blurb for The Holly and the Ivy


Jeannie Adams has a pain in her neck, and its name is Eli McClain. The school board is honoring him at a big community dinner, and Eli has done nothing to deserve all the fanfare. Nothing, that is, except leave their hometown of Legend, Tennessee right after high school and become an internationally known singer. Why make a big deal over somebody who walked out on everything that?s important?

For Eli, Christmas in Legend is a way to placate the family he left years ago, and impress the very impressionable people of Legend. As far as they?ll know, Eli has everything. But at twenty-five years old, he?s feeling burned out with fame and fortune and doesn?t understand why life is so hollow.

All through school, Eli and Jeannie were the bane of each other?s existence. Yet the fleeting kiss he left her with right after graduation has never quite faded for either of them. Jeannie has deep roots in Legend, and Eli jerked his roots up years ago, so even the magic of a beautiful hometown Christmas can?t bring these two opposites together. Or can it?

Night Owl Reviews May, 2011 3.50