Holly Freakin’ Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Pages: 339

Goodreads: Holly Freakin Hughes

Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Drama

Publication date: August 1st, 2017


Holly thought her life was heading in the right direction. She ran a moderately successful teen advice column and was certain she was about to get married and start a family with the love of her life Stephen. That is, until Stephen breaks the news to her that he’s gay, setting off a domino of events that leaves Holly single, unemployed, and living in her sister’s guest bedroom as her niece’s babysitter. Struggling with the knowledge that she’ll be stuck in the Land of Mediocrity forever, Holly’s niece runs face first into a handsome stranger in a bookstore and sets Holly down a path that’ll change her life.


“They want B. Davis, Nick, because he has fancy hotels and party invitations. Why the hell would they trade that to be with Brandon, a sarcastic bastard with a cat and a Keurig?”

I wished they only wanted the sarcastic cat and the Keurig.

Ch. 2, Brandon


Overall I enjoyed the way that the characters interacted with each other. The secondary characters didn’t feel like an afterthought and just a plot tool in order to progress the main plot and romance of the story. They all had their own lives, their own motivations and desires. The characters carried the story for me, making the world in this book feel like a real place.

This story also touched on some real issues that seem to be prevalent in the world. One of these topics is the way that childcare workers are looked down on. I have quite a few friends who went into early childhood education and became teachers for younger grades, and it’s ridiculous the amount they have to put up with. People are constantly saying that their work is “easy” and that they don’t have to put any effort into things. That’s absolutely false. Working with children all day is challenging. It takes a lot of dedication and thick skin in order to keep up with the demand of these jobs. I applaud anyone who’s able to work with children because I can tell you I do not have the patience or personality for it. Trust me, I tried for a bit. I adore kids, but sometimes they just know the exact wrong buttons to push…

Well done to Kingsley for dealing with this topic the way she did. It’s clear that there are some characters in this story that look down on childcare work, but Holly doesn’t let that stop her from finding a passion in it. Heck, even Holly’s own mind gets changed on the concept in a positive way. This is the kind of character growth I love seeing in a story.

Another topic that this story touches on is fame and the limelight. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with this, but I can only imagine – from what I’ve read and seen from an outsider’s perspective – that the pressure that comes with fame is ridiculous. I don’t blame Brandon for not wanting to use his fame to help him get with someone. If you’re trying to find your forever person, them being attracted to your name and the celebrity status that comes with it is not going to help.

This was a cute little romance read, middle of the pack in relation to the other romances I read in 2020 but still enjoyable. While I cringed at some of the stances taken in this book vis a vis “babysitting” – childcare is a serious job with a lot of commitment and not everyone is suitable for it – I enjoyed this story. If you’re looking for a fun romance read, why not give this one a try?

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