Kiss Me, Katie/Hug Me, Holly – book review

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Kiss Me, Katie!/Hug Me, Holly!
(Harlequin Duets #42)
by Jill Shalvis
Release Date:  December 1, 2000
Publisher:  Harlequin Special Releases
Contemporary Romance – M/F
Stand Alone Book (Two Short Stories)
Number of Pages:  384
Kindle Edition
Source:  borrowed from Midwest Collaborative for Library Services
Rating:  R
Read 8/29/16 to 8/31/16

I’ve been working my way through the Jill Shalvis library of books that I can find, trying to stay in order by publication date.  I was excited to see next in line for me was two short Christmas stories in one book I was excited.  I love Christmas themed romances. This should be great! Not exactly. There was definitely some good, but also some not-so-good.

In Kiss Me, Katie! we get to know daredevil pilot Bryan, straight-laced accountant Kate, and their romantic foil Holly. It seems Kate and Holly have know each other all their lives and Holly has always been jealous of Kate so has a habit of stealing her boyfriends. Kate thinks she needs a “nice guy” since her father was a hotshot pilot and it got him killed when she was young. So Holly does everything in her power to NOT let Kate get close to her “nice guy” because Holly wants him for herself, thereby putting Kate in the path of daredevil Bryan. I know I don’t usually do a recap style of review, but there’s a reason I did that we’ll come to eventually.

Bryan is a great hero. Sexy, patient, good sense of humor, and did I say sexy? I was endeared to him right away when he could have embarrassed Kate and didn’t. Kate, on the other hand, is a bit too blind to her feelings and those around her. I liked her and sympathized with her in many ways, but it’s like she had to be whacked over the head – more than once – for her to realize what was going on around her. Although the conversation was short, I liked when she talked to her mom about some issues she was having. Very important. All in all this was a sweet story.

As for Hug Me, Holly! This is where my recap of the first story comes into play. The Holly in the title is the same conniving Holly from the first story. This made it very hard for me to like her for about the first half of this story. That’s a long time to go without liking the main character. It made it worse because I adored the hero, Riley. He had such a good heart and loved his town. I wanted to scream at him to stay away from the new witch in town. Even though I knew, from a very brief moment in the first story, what Holly’s motivations were in regards to Katie I still had a hard time seeing beyond that. Of course, Holly’s family being a bunch of douche bags helped me find some kindness in my heart to extend to her.

I have a thing for kooky townspeople and this story sure had them. I was a bit annoyed with them at the beginning though. Even though I was not sympathetic to Holly in the beginning, I still think the patrons of the diner were extremely rude and could have given her a break.  They didn’t know her or her past the way I did so I didn’t understand the animosity.  Thankfully, that changed and mean townspeople became lovable kooks.

One last thing, Hug Me, Holly! is not what I would consider a Christmas story. It takes place a couple weeks into the new year and the holidays aren’t really even mentioned. Not a huge deal, but I did think I was getting two holiday stories.

I love the current book by Jill Shalvis and still enjoy her old books, but I’ve found there are a lot of short stories in her older stuff and she doesn’t get a chance to really flesh out these characters.  If you are new to Jill Shalvis I would strongly recommend you start with her Wilder series since that is a series I know is good and is more current.

3 Stars

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About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is 23 and living at home while working. He just finished trade school for media arts and is looking for a job that will be a career so he can get out on his own. In the meantime he's got a steady job with benefits. Our youngest, Griffin, is 19 and in the Army. He just got married so I have also gained a daughter. Unfortunately, he is stationed in Washington so they're across the country from us. I was lucky enough to have the option of leaving the work force a few years ago. Since that time I've been slowly trying to get our house in order and catching up on a lot of reading.
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