Cover Image: A Holly Jolly Ever After

A Holly Jolly Ever After

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Member Reviews

This series and the setting is fun and unique. I like the character’s unique backgrounds and personality traits. Winnie is on a mission to reinvent herself after her life seemingly blows up. She is making a complete 180 on her goals, behavior and overall life. Her partner in crime in this journey is Kallum, who actually had a massive crush on Winnie when he was young. Having the chance to interact and be with his dream girl is overwhelming.

I related a lot to Winnie’s anxiety and reluctance to change. It can be very daunting and scary to have everything you thought you knew completely change. I admired her attitude towards these changes and how she pushed herself to adapt. I liked how Kallum was there for her and ready to lend a hand, in many different ways…

Although this book wasn’t an all time favorite for me, I do like its uniqueness and quirky characters. It’s a fun, easy read especially on audiobook. I for one actually love the tropes in this book and it actually made me enjoy the story more. Despite the ending going a different route than I liked for a while, Winnie and Kallum eventually landed where I thought they were meant to.

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Super enjoyed this story of Kallum getting his HEA. I know that Winnie was a part of it as well but really she seemed needy and a little irritating and blaming her past for EVERYTHING but immediately runs right back to it.
I am happy with how Kallum sticks in there and didn't let Winnie's emotional rollercoaster to put him off or change how he handled himself. What you read is what you got with him.

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2.5 stars.

I love both Sierra Simone and Julie Murphy so muchhh and I loved Merry Little Meet Cute and I was looking forward to reading more from Christmas Notch. I picked the book up I really enjoyed the first half but the second half lost me, it felt like a whole different book. Like all the growth Winnie was going through seemed to go away. I just was left feeling disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Avon for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved this return to Christmas Notch. I thought the story in this books was more relatable in the beginning.

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I loved loved loved the first book in this series. As a die hard Xennial boyband aficionado, I am near feral over the whole concept of this series. So, the second installment with Kallum (the fun one, the goofy one, the best friend) and Winnie (former child star good girl religious purity culture recent divorcee now deemed "wild" because of some not wild behaviour at all) are costarring in Santa Baby - Hopeflix's debut movie of soft core porn for "Hope After Dark".

Kallum is all big (described alternatively as having a dad bod, having a belly, looking like a non-Skarsgard viking and participating in caber toss in Highland games)and I am IN. And he's kind and funny and attentive and doesn't take himself or much of anything else seriously. He's translated his boy band past in to a successful regional pizza chain - I love that for him. He's best friends with Nolan (from book 1 - INK's "bad boy") and has a loving family. Seems he's got it all. AND - the dedication for the book includes Joey Fatone, so that also helps to solidify his character in my pop culture starved brain. But Joey then becomes Kallum in my minds eye so its a bit jarring the read about is golden beard. But I get over it.

Winnie is described as petite and blonde. (again with relating to irl celebrities I keep picturing Danica McKellar b/c you know - Winnie Cooper) And in my opinion her world view is immature as a result of her upbringing. She's been sheltered. She's trying to be more brave, and she struggles with it.

But something about Kallum makes her feel brave and comfortable, calm. And seriously its so good. They knew each other as teen stars and there's a bit of history there- good and bad. So of course it makes perfect sense for her to ask Kallum to help her with her acting research. And this is the best part of the whole book, imo.

The last half of the book once the initial filming wraps up is not my cup of tea. On the positives - Kallum is obviously an "acts of service" guy in addition to words of affirmation. Winnie has so little real world experience that she keeps making up her own narratives in her head and shows her immaturity in not taking words and actions at face value and making her own internal narrative, which is so influenced by her horrible parents, douchey ex husband and general upbringing that lacked true unselfish love.

So, I LOVED Kallum. Barely tolerated Winnie. Loved seeing Steph and Teddy (their story when??) and the set up for what will obviously be Isaac's story next (the swoony one). The whole Christmas notch crew (shout out to tall Ron, Luca and his Italian superiority lol). I love the concept of the series, and the spicy scenes, as expected, were A+. The soft core porn Santa movie with its Santa sperm fueling the sleigh is just hilarious. And as a disciple in the church of Sierra Simone, I am overlooking my personal preference of not enjoying the storyline of the last half of the book, to focus on everything I DID like and so I can with a free conscience give this a 4 star rating.

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Absolutely captivating! This book swept me away from the very first page. The characters felt incredibly real, the plot was brilliantly woven, and the themes touched my heart. It's a rare gem that deserves every one of its five stars. Highly recommend to all book lovers!

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A Perfect, Cozy, Page turning read from Julie Murphy & Sierra Simone. I Couldn't put it down for a second.

I Really enjoyed it and recommend it to all readers.

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Winnie and Kallum end up as co-stars in an upcoming film. He was once a playboy, and she never truly experienced *pleasure* so she wanted to “practice” before filming.

This was cute and funny. I liked how Kallum helped Winnie slowly get over her upbringing, and there was a lot of body positivity — hello, dad bod. I mean, I haven’t read many (or maybes even any?) books where the MMC isn’t all abs and muscles, so that was great.

I did get bored a few times though, and I kind of struggled to finish it. But it was still a fun read.

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I loved the first portion of this book. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the second half. As a spoiler here, I am not excited for accidental pregnancies. I did not get that this could possibly happen from the blurb and wish it was there. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, A Merry Little Meet Cute. I could have seen this book go in another direction and wish it had.

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I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. Sierra Simone and Julie Murphy are one of my FAVORITE writing duos. This book was HOT and SPICY and full of so much lust and cravings. THERE BETTER BE A BOOK 3 AND YOU KNOW WHICH CHARACTERS I'M TALKING ABOUT. I need that daddy romance.

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A Holly Jolly Ever After is the second book in the Christmas Notch series by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone. I really love the premise of this series—each book follows a couple as they film a Christmas movie for a Hallmark-esque channel. In this installment, follows Kallum Lieberman (a former boy-band member) and Winnie Baker (a newly divorced former child star).

The first half of this book really blew me away. Winnie comes from a religious background where she was pushed into marriage at a young age, made to feel shame about her desires, and encouraged to obey her husband and parents without question. Once she's on set for the movie (which includes a few steamy scenes), she realizes she can't fake her way through the scenes and asks her co-star to help her experience real pleasure. It's a great growth journey that dismantles purity culture and all of the shame that Winnie's held over the years.

In the second half, Winnie learns she's pregnant and this is where the book went downhill for me. I don't think a secret baby trope should be a secret to the reader, and nothing in the summary indicated that this was a direction the book would take so I was caught off guard by the plotline. It's at this point that the discussions around purity culture drop away, and Winnie instantly leans into preparing to become a mother. With the first half of the book so focused on Winnie reclaiming her identity for herself, it felt disappointing to feel like she was then defaulting to exactly what would've been expected of her without any thought or exploration around how her upbringing might be impacting her decisions. And especially in this current day and age when reproductive rights are being taken away, I wished that there had been more of an exploration of Winnie's options and why having a baby as a single mother right as she's restarting her career might not be ideal. As a reader, it felt as though the first and second half were two separate books.

Still, I really like this world and side characters, so I am looking forward to reading the next books in this series.

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Cute but steamy read. I enjoyed the narrators and the audiobook was done well.

I like the characters in the series and I am invested. I am curious whose story is next.

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Back like I never left baby, I just love Vermont in the autumn! This town of Christmas Notch, which I keep forgetting to look up if it is in fact a real place I can go to, is always on the back of my mind and this series is just too good to not talk about it! This time the movie is spicy and honestly if anyone is going to recreate it, lmk I've got some money set aside to watch cause the scenes that were playing out on the page and in the fictional movie had me feeling some type of way. We met Kallum, Callum if you're nasty, in the first book, A Merry Little Meet Cute, and he seemed very cute and very fun (it could also be because I was told he owns pizza places but that's honestly neither here nor there) and I was excited to learn more about him in this book and it starts off with a bang 😉 which if I can add, I don't think all the blame for what comes after should be placed on him because it takes two to... toss the dough? Anywho we then meet the fall from grace former child actress Winnie, who from the start you just want to go give a hug to. I loved the banter, Kallum is just such a good talker, both dirty and regular, that I know he's the type of guy to just immediately put you at ease. This becomes very apparent when he's asked to help Winnie "research" her role. I was laughing, yelling (her parents can kick rocks), and giggling my way through this and I cannot wait to come back to Christmas Notch because I am sensing some unfinished business and I need to know about Isaac, and Sunny, and maybe Addison and Krysta cause I was picking up some vibes but I am not sure, only time will tell!

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Fun spicy Hallmark like story. If you like a good Hallmark movie but desire more spice, this book is for you.

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I was prepared this time for the steamy romance. The first book in the series took me a little by surprise. The peppy pink cover was a little bit misleading (but I think that mostly stems from our expectations of romances and what their covers should look like), but I still loved every minute of the original story.

The sequel did not disappoint. It was funny, witty, and cute. There was just enough information from the first book to keep you connected to the world Murphy and Simone have created while still letting us get to know new characters and their experiences. These two are geniuses for making the reader emotionally connect and invest in their characters and Winnie and Kallum are no exception to this.

Also I love the idea of Kallum having a pizza loving dad bod and still getting the laddies (this shouldn't be a new revelation, but its nice to get to read about all the same). The book makes great social commentary on sex and purity culture without beating you over the head with it and still keeping the story fun.

I love this author duo together and hope they continue writing together and making great books!

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Cute Christmas book! Really liked the purity culture commentary. End felt a little too long but otherwise I enjoyed it!

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It was so much fun going back to Christmas Notch in this book! A new couple, new "Hallmark" style movie shoot, and the Christmas strip club are such a holiday comfort. I loved reading about this couple, still connected to INK, and their story.

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Julie Murphy & Sierra Simone are magic! A delightfully fun & sexy Christmas romance. There's nothing better than a good, spicy Rom-com.

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Absolutely loved being back in Christmas Notch! Kallum and Winnie were such a great couple to read. I loved their ups and downs and how the story ended. I need more from these characters!

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Winnie Baker, the sweet, innocent, family movie actress, recently divorced from her husband and childhood sweetheart has decided to reinvent herself. Instead of the wholesome movies she normally does, she signs up for a spicy holiday movie with racy sex scenes. Her costar is no other than Kallum Liebermanis, the boy band member she was photographed with early in her career, which sent her into a early marriage to avoid scandal. The only problem is that Winnie hasn't experienced racy, spicy sex in her life, so she asked Kallum to teach her about it.

A Holly Jolly Ever After is a cute, romantic, but incredibly spicy comedy that I loved so much. Winnie and Kallum have great chemistry and are a fun couple. This is the second book in the series, so the couple from the first book, along with all the quirky, hilarious supporting characters, make an appearance or two, and it's nice to catch up with them. You don't have to have read the first one to follow anything in this book, I just love to read series in order.

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