Blog Tour: Holly Freakin' Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley (Review & Giveaway!)

Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website
“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.

After seeing Kelsey Kingsley's Holly Freakin' Hughes on a few blogs, I decided I needed to read it. I'm always willing to try a new chick lit, romance read, and this one sounded 100% adorable. As it turns out, I enjoyed Holly Freakin' Hughes quite a bit.

Holly Freakin' Hughes starts the night Holly's boyfriend Stephen texts her with surprise dinner plans at a fancy restaurant. It's out of the blue for Stephen to make such plans, and with that in mind, Holly's mind lands on one big assumption: this must be the night he's going to propose. Finally, Holly will go from being Holly freakin' Hughes to Holly freakin' Keller. Holly couldn't be more ecstatic. However, Stephen doesn't have wedding bells or a ring in mind; instead, he confesses to Holly the one thing she least suspects: he's gay and leaving her for his boss. Holly's shocked, how could Stephen - the love of her life, the man she thought she'd grow old with - break her heart like that. Before she knows it, Holly is left single, jobless, and homeless. The only person willing to help her back on her feet is her younger sister. Now watching her sister's kid & trading in advice columns for story times, Holly's miserable, so miserable in fact that she never expects to find a new man...that is until Brandon lands in her path.

Some parts of me really liked Holly and Brandon and other parts of me really didn't like them.

Throughout the story, Holly's down on her luck and understandably sad, angry, and depressed over it. I felt really bad for Holly. To have your whole word turned upside down like that? I'd be just as a mess as she was, and it was hard for me to see her down so low. Here's this girl who has so much to offer - she's smart, attractive, kind yet she feels like she has nothing left to offer. However, this is also where her character went wrong for me...I felt for most of the book she just wouldn't make the best out of the situation. Instead, of viewing the glass half full, she tended to view it half empty, and even though parts of me understood, other parts of me were annoyed. There's only so much wallowing you can do, in my opinion, before you need to pick up the pieces and move on. Thankfully, over the course of the book, she improved and became better than ever, but man, sometimes it was a hard road to watch.

Like Holly, Brandon's had his fair share of a relationship gone terribly wrong. Due to that, he's cold, untrusting, and almost completely closed off to the world; however, deep down there's a guy just dying to love and be loved again. Similar to Holly, I was a times torn over Brandon's progress. Sometimes he did really well, but other times he made such rash decisions, especially when it came to admitting his feelings to Holly. While parts of me liked that it brought a slow-burn aspect to their relationship, other parts of me just wanted it to happen already.

The plot in Holly Freakin' Hughes was rather addictive. As mentioned above, there's a slow burn romance at play between Holly and Brandon, and for the most part, I enjoyed watching it unfold. It was interesting to see them go from strangers to friends and finally to something more. There shared time at the bookstore/coffee shop were some of my favorite moments in the book. I just loved the energy and atmosphere that setting brought to the story - also it brought to the surface Holly's love of romance books which gave her major points in my eyes! I also liked the addition of Holly's family and friends...Esther, Holly's sarcastic, cranky neighbor was probably my favorite out of the entire bunch. Now that's a woman who speaks her mind and knows exactly what she wants!

The writing in this was good. Kelsey did a good job of switching between POVs switching between POVs as well as using them to build some suspense and tension. As mentioned before, she did a great job of establishing settings in this one.

Overall, while I wasn't the biggest fan of the main characters at times, Holly Freakin' Hughes is still a fun, fast paced read perfect for a lazy weekend. I look forward to seeing how Kelsey develops as a storyteller in her future novels!

Grade: B

Holly Freakin' Hughes is now out! 

Source: eBook provided by publicist for blog tour 

About Kelsey Kingsley:
Kelsey Kingsley grew up in the great state of New York, and still lives there with her family and a cat named Ethel. When she isn’t writing her fingers to the bone, she enjoys a good (or bad) book, reruns of Frasier, ruining the lives of her Sims, and singing and dancing in the kitchen. She somehow survives off a diet of tea, doughnuts, and French fries. However, she hates cheese and listening to people chew. You’ve been warned.

Find out More about Kelsey: 



  1. Ahhh I love that it's fast paced and fun! I think I'd enjoy it, despite the character issues. And I like the sound of the atmosphere and setting, too. Seems like a wonderful, light read :)
    Great review, Lauren!

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. Thanks, Amy! Even with my character issues, I did enjoy it. So I think if you'd be able to connect with the characters more, it would be a slam dunk kind of read.

  2. This sounds like a cute, light read. I'm glad the main character improved as the book went on. Disliking the main character can sometimes totally ruin a book for me. Great review!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one that happens too! Thanks for stopping by, Angela!

  3. Glad that it sounds like you were still able to really enjoy this one even if you did have a few hangups about the MC's "cup half empty" attitude. That can definitely be frustrating sometimes. Great review!

    1. I think the reason why it annoy me the most was I have enough "cup half empty people" in real life, I don't need even more in my books lol It was still a fun read overall though!


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