My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hollie + Layne = One trip. One week. One chance meeting that they'll never forget. Two hearts. Two different places, and one event that could change it all.
Hollie goes off on her senior class trip with her best friends expecting some fun in the sun before starting life after high school. She didn't expect to meet Layne.
Layne is stationed in Hawaii, anticipating his next deployment. He doesn't expect to meet a girl that will change his life.
This Christmas, take a stroll down Holly Lane where you'll discover the unique journey of friendships, a town full of holiday joy, and the healing power of love.
Note: This is not a heavy book. It's light, has swoony romance, filled with humor and great friendships with some holiday magic thrown in.
Holly Lane is JB Morgan’s debut novel about first loves, lost loves, reunions and a Christmas miracle!
I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of Christmas stories. I know I’m definitely in the minority with this one but Christmas books make me think of winter and being cold and honestly…give me a setting of the beach and I’m totally there! So, in a way this was perfect, because Hollie and Layne meet in Hawaii when both of them are on vacation.
The story starts out in present day and then goes back in time (not that long, we’re not talking Outlander here ;) ) and shows you how Hollie and Layne met and fell in love while on vacation.
I have seen some other reviews and I will agree with them that this is a sweet book. There’s really no angst, no love triangles, no horrible childhoods with abuse, no traumatic experiences that will keep the heroine from connecting with the hero…nothing you’d typically find in a New Adult novel. And to be honest, it was refreshing. After a while, for me, NA books tend to all start blurring together because they all have the same elements. I’ve burned myself out on them recently and have been looking for something different so this definitely fit the bill.
Something Hollie says early in the book was "Soldier Boy" so throughout the whole book, this was playing in my head:
I really liked Hollie and her friends. They felt like real people, people I could be friends with. One of the things I loved was Hollie’s internal commentary of the events going on. She sounded so real. And the author did a good job of portraying her emotions. In the beginning, when Hollie and her friends are on their way to Hawaii, Hollie’s nervousness and fear of flying came through loud and clear.
Layne…oh man, I’m not quite sure what to say about him. There were times where he was too good to be true (more on that in a moment) and others where I wanted to smack him. But overall, he was a great guy that fell for Hollie and would move heaven and earth to get to know her and be with her. I really felt bad for him when Hollie wasn’t entirely truthful about her past, not that there was anything to hide, she just didn’t tell him her true story. Going back go the too good to be true thing…Layne was a nice guy, never a jerk. He never treated Hollie like crap and it while I do enjoy jerk heroes that redeem themselves, it was refreshing to read about a genuinely good guy. He’s only too good to be true because I doubt I’ll ever find a guy like him. Curse JB Morgan for making him so perfect! ;)
I do know the story behind why Layne and Hollie didn’t spend much time alone together, but I have to say I wish they had more private time. Group time is great and all, but I loved the private moments when it was just them.
One of the best parts of the book by far was Layne’s friend Miller. He totally stole the show of any scene he was in. He cracked me up!
One other comment I need to make, it’s not a complaint or anything, just a word of warning in case people miss the author’s note in the blurb….this is a clean romance. I’m not opposed to this but I’ll also be honest and would have liked to see just a tiny more steam between Hollie and Layne…but I’ve also been corrupted by my steam loving blog partner Nikki. ;)
But overall, this was a great first novel from JB Morgan. I can’t wait to read more from her!
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