Hollen the Soulless

Dokiri Brides, Book 1

Narrated by Shane East
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Pub Date May 18 2021 | Archive Date Jan 02 2024

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He'll mark her flesh. She'll claim his heart.

Always the dutiful daughter, Lady Joselyn is weeks away from marrying a rival lord in order to save her house. However, she suddenly finds herself in the clutches of an ancient beast she’s only ever heard of in legends. More terrifying than that is the beast’s master, a wild man who insists Joselyn is his bride by right, and plans to seal his claim in blood.

Dragon-rider Hollen has finally captured the woman of his dreams, though he quickly learns waiting for her was less than half the battle. His new bride wants nothing to do with him, and Hollen knows he only has one chance to change her mind.

Their wills pitted against each other, Joselyn will go to any lengths to free herself from this savage and fulfill her marriage contract. Her father’s life depends upon it. To win her over, Hollen will do whatever he must, even if it means keeping secrets. Even as she plots her escape, Joselyn begins to wonder if one can also be bound by a duty to their own heart.

Includes "Sven the Collector", a bonus story from The Dokiri Brides series.

©2020 Denali Day (P)2021 Podium Audio

He'll mark her flesh. She'll claim his heart.

Always the dutiful daughter, Lady Joselyn is weeks away from marrying a rival lord in order to save her house. However, she suddenly finds herself in...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781774248690
DURATION 19 Hours, 55 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 37 members

Featured Reviews

Great listen on love and duty, also choosing who you love great adventure and dialogue and the narrator was perfect and loved the bonus chapers.

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One of my favorite narrators Shane East's voice is swoon worthy. Imaginative well developed world.
Wyvern Riders!!
Stubborn heroine
Steadfast Barbarian Hero
Epic love story
Highly anticipating all the brothers books

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This was a really good read that had me super conflicted while reading it. I was rooting so hard for Hollen and I wanted him to win over his girl and get the relationship he desired so bad but I was also rooting for Joselyn to escape. She was totally justified in her feelings of hating Hollen. He kidnaps her from her home and mutilates her body all without her permission because of his Gods and his beliefs, which Joselyn has no faith in. I was angry for her but once we get to know Hollen and his feelings and thoughts, you get to see that there is a sweetness there and a greater purpose for why he did the things he did. You get to see that he doesn’t want to hurt Joselyn and he really was trying to win her over. I felt her stubbornness and refusal to see the situations for what they were went on too long for me but this book was still a hell of a ride. I loved the world that Denali Day has created and I will be picking up the next book. Thank you to NetGalley and Podium audio for the audio arc in exchange for an honest review.

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*"How far is your home?" she asked, praying to the gods it wasn't far. Her captor leaned even closer to whisper in her ear. "When you have wings, everything is nearby."*

Joselyn is weeks away from marrying a rival lord in order to secure the future of her father’s house. However, she suddenly finds herself taken captive and wedded to Hollen the Soulless. He must win over her heart all while she tries to flee back to her horrible situation. This book reminded me of the Immortals After Dark series but in my opinion, done better.

This was very a fun slow-burn romance with dragons, what else can I ask for! The world-building was really well done and The Dokiri felt so vivid and real. This is my first book by Denali Day and I am so excited to pick up more of her books after this one. I enjoyed Joselyn, she is feisty, stubborn, loyal, and flawed, which made her so much more enjoyable. Hollen is brave, patient, loyal and even though he is her kidnapper, I fell unreasonably fast for him, he's such a softie.

Since many of the Dokiri traditions are primitive, the pacing was felt perfect and allowed me time to understand the characters and their circumstances. It also makes Joselyn's feelings way more believable and lets me really get enjoy her character growth. Let me not start on watching them go from enemies to lovers! I will always have a special place in my heart for books where the love interest wants the heroine to become her badass best self. This book does include assault/rape but it isn't graphic and is seen for what it is, horrible.

Most of the sexual scenes are fade to black which kinda made me sad, but I did enjoy that most of the romance is based on their growing connection and respect for each other. The action and adventures were a lot of fun but I wish there was more of it! Overall though this book was a lot of fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the plot.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I've had the Dokiri Brides series on my TBR for awhile now, so I was super happy to be able to listen to Hollen the Soulless early! And let me say, it did not disappoint and I will be reading the rest of the series, stat!

Shane East is an absolutely fantastic narrator. He performs each character's distinct voice quite well and his voice is really easy to listen to and get lost in making diving into the story that much easier.

As for the story itself, it was exactly what you'd expect and hope for after reading the synopsis. The way Hollen and Joselyn's relationship grew over the course of the story was great. Plenty of tension and romance woven into an intriguing plot! I definitely recommend giving this one a listen!

Thank you Podium Audio via NetGalley for the early copy to listen to and honestly review.

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Book: Hollen the Soulless (Denali Day)
Rating: 5⭐️
Format: Audio (Shane East 5⭐️)
Genre: Fantasy romance
Smut: 🔥
Trigger warning: Abduction

Khal Drogo meets the Vikings.
Romance meets epic fantasy.
Lady Joselyn meets Hollen the Soulless.

Favourite character: Hollen. SERIOUS Rhys heat levels added with flavours from Khal Drogo and Bjorn Ironside. Holy smokes and sweet wyverns! GIVE ME MORE!!

To whom: To lovers of Maas, Armentrout, ToG, the Vikings, and fantasy. This is everything and more, easily one of my favourite books - and series!

Additional notes:
Shane East, people! He did a brilliant job with this one and I'm all for relistening bits and pieces while suffering from this hangover! This book has been one of my favourites since I read it (still, no abducting others, bad Hollen!) and I died very happily a couple of times listening to Mr East's (hot) narration!

✨Thank you so much Podium Audio, Denali Day and NetGalley for sending me this audiobook to listen and review!

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The story is set in a medial fantasy type of world. And it has a very different approach from other fantasy books. This story is fresh and unlike other fantasy books I have read. The characters are likable, even if I wanted to smack the heroine a few times.
The first half was a little slow, I wish there was more action. But then it picks up and skyrockets with action and tension. Overall a great story.

And there's a bonus novella at the end too, which I totally enjoyed. The banter between the two main characters was great.

I love this narrator. I have listened to several books narrated by Shane East, and that's what first grabbed my attention. I'm glad I decided to listen to this book.

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Hollen the souless review

The synopsis is intriguing and right up my alley.
It was a great dive into the fantasy world of viking type era with a royal house divide feel.

I was excited to hear an audio version of this book and the narrator is amazing . I’ve listened to several books narrated by Shane East and absolutely love his voice . I definitely recommend the audio ! Make sure to check it out . I liked how it included Sven the collector as well as outtakes from Denali , the author herself and why she wrote the series and things she changed . Five star audio .

We meet Lady Joselyn, house Fury, daughter of troubled Lord, destined to save her kingdom, serve her father, no matter the cost. She is loyal , loves hard, and so selfless.
We then meet the Dokiri Man, Hollen the souless, Wyvern rider, hunter, total Alpha leader, and soon to be capture of a not so willing lady in waiting .

The insight into each Kingdom and traditions was so great and easy to follow. The Dokiri traditions are very sacred to them and each moment is very special into leading into the chapter of their next move.

We begin to ease into a flow of routine with our characters and see some beauty meets beast action when they are intertwined into each others lives. An age gap and forced marriage , was executed well and we see our enemies to lovers soften to each other. The chain of events unfolds and we see Joselyns inner turmoil :should she stay or go?

The twist and turns will leave you on edge and wanting more. I stayed up so late to finish because after a certain point i was so emotionally invested and I had to continue ! My heart almost stopped near the end , but picked back up and was a very intense ending. It was magnificent and would definitely recommend this and continue into the other books into the world created .

Slight Spoiler below
......slight triggers ..........of forced sexual scenes not graphic or full rape by no means, i was never un comfortable reading this, the love and sexual scenes between Lady Joselyn and Hollen are all consensual and done tastefully . Violence and torture , again not over done, but present .

Sven the collector

Great back story into Sven and the beginnings of the Dokiri people and their traditions .
Sven and Collette are perfection of fighting the relationship and the angst was real . I enjoyed their banter and tough spots they make it thru .
Great ending to birth our Dorkiri Men to follow .

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A wild barbarian has his sights set on Joselyn. He'll do whatever he must to claim her, and he'll start by giving her his mark.

Captive brides? ✔️
Dragon riders? ✔️
Enemies to lovers? ✔️
Hot, Viking barbarians? ✔️✔️✔️

One Audible credit will get you Book #1 in the series AND also the prequel novella which Shane narrated together for one giant mega-fantasy experience you won't want to miss!!! 🤩

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A romance with dragons but not shifters? That was new to me, that usually reads paranormal romances. This was more of a primitive approach, a good one.
The story gives us Joselyn, a Lady, that wants nothing more than for her father to love her and is willing to do almost anything to get it. The almost end up being Hollen, the warrior that protects her world without anyone her knowing.
They have a rocky begging, but Hollen’s love for her was very insta-loving and I had no problem with that. The way the relationship went and how his willingness to wait for her while taking all of her unwavering resolve to leave, felt very real to me. That he knew what he want and went about a delicate way to win her was a nice story to read, although some aspects were not my favorite.
The book itself gets 3 stars. The audiobook, though, it is definitely 4 stars. The narrator was brilliant while performing the book; the tone of voice for each character made it easy to identify each one. Also, all the emotions that the narrator infused into the right scene were amazing.
Definitely want to continue the series, but only in audiobook format.

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This fantasy romance was different than I expected. The setup is very Ice Barbarians, following a group of male warriors who steal brides. And they ride dragons! I love this premise. The first half of the book was nicely domestic, with the stolen bride getting to know the other women and learning about this life. The romance is closed-door, so it was a long, slow burn full of tension. Perfect.

Then there was a sharp turn into violence and torture. With this change, the book fit more into the grimdark fantasy represented by the cover, but this departure was very abrupt and did not cohere well with the earlier story.

I really enjoyed the world and writing style, so I am interested in reading more in this series. I just hope there is more romance and less violence in future installments.

This book was read by the amazing Shane East. He was wonderful, as always, and makes the book especially engaging.

I listened to this audiobook through NetGalley.

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Lady Jocelyn is a highborn lady, set to marry a man that has deadly secrets against her father. She is dutiful and plans on respecting her fathers wishes to save her people and hopefully earn the love and respect from her father that she so desperately wants.

However, before that can happen, Jocelyn is stolen by a creature and brought to Hollen, the leader of an alpha warrior tribe. Hollen is determined to make Jocelyn love him, but Jocelyn fights him around every corner and refuses to give into his charm.

Hollen has a year to win her heart or lose her forever. Jocelyn has a choice to make and she needs to make it quickly before someone else makes it for her.

Thank you so much to the author for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved Hollen and his people. He was a fantastic leader and a great man, even though the concept of kidnapping a woman to make your wife sounds...wrong, Day makes it work so good.

For over half the book though, I could not stand Jocelyn. I didn’t not like her character, the way she treated Hollen and his people, and the need to be a martyr when literally no one but her father is asking her. Hollen definitely deserved better.

Despite her, I did enjoy the book and I can’t wait to read more!

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I don't know how I never thought to consider that a mashup of my love of romance and fantasy would make the perfect book, but I guess Denali Day wrote what I needed to read to show me the truth of that. She created a world full of history and culture and traditions that the reader can just plunge into and explore.

Hollen is the chief of his wyvern-riding tribe and ready to find himself a bride, so he does what the Dokiri have always done and abducts the woman that catches his eye. Who he chooses is Joselyn, the only daughter of a tyrannical lord that only sees her as a pawn to get himself out of trouble by marrying her off to a man known for his sadistic and violent tendencies. Thus begins a story of two people getting to know and love each other even while cultural clashes and Joselyn's misguided loyalty keep getting in the way. It's an exciting and sometimes violent story that gives the characters room to grow and the reader the chance to explore a creatively realized world.

There was a momentary twinge over the old trope of abduction and the first thing that Hollen does to Joselyn, but the super respectful way that the Dokiri treat their brides and the fact that nothing happens without full consent eventually helped me just enjoy the story and turn a bit of a blind eye to that detail. It might not be possible for everyone to do that, but the story really is worth giving it chance.

Overall, I really enjoyed the world that Day created with the Dokiri and I'm looking forward to seeing all the brothers find their brides. I particularly need to know that young Sigvard finds happiness.

The narration by Shane East is pitch-perfect. He does a delightfully growly Hollen, and switches between characters and moods seamlessly to set each scene perfectly. I suspect that a portion of my enjoyment of the story had something to do with how good a job he does in narrating.

Many very happy thanks to NetGalley and Podium Audio for the early listen!

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If you like the Game of Thrones and the Throne of Glass series, then this will be an easy, enjoyable read for you! Tough Wyvern riding mountain men, beautiful duty-bound women, and lots of headbutting and steamy parts in between!! I truly kept cleaning the house just to keep listening to the story...it was that good! And the narrator, Shane East, is phenomenal!

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It was my very first novel of the genre–specifically in the romance genre, because I’ve read some ‘classical’ fantasy before–and I was surprised. Pleasantly so.

First of all, the world building, though not completely original, was very well done. The species, the societies, the geography… all depicted an interesting world with enough details that the reader could be transported there without too much effort. Some elements were even quite vivid. Not sure I want to go there though, it’s hostile.

The kidnapping trope and everything it entails could be seen as cringey. But the author created rules and traditions that restored consent and put it at the forefront, and in the meantime it prompted many intense scenes between Joselyn and Hollen. Too bad it was closed door though, I’d have loved to read about Joselyn and Hollen’s intimacy.

That guy was a lovely take of the alpha male character. He was strong, massive, powerful, but he’d do anything for his woman, including dying if necessary. Joselyn, on the other hand, was a headstrong character who discovered both her softer side and her real strength through her contact with the Dokiri people, especially Hollen and his brother.

Family was a big part of the plot, with Hollen’s and Joselyn’s completely opposite. The contrast, if not subtle, was an interesting touch.

I enjoyed the narration quite a lot. The male narrator working solo was enough to convey all the emotions of the characters, and even all the characters–I loved the various voices. And I especially enjoyed the bonus novella in the audiobook, and even found it more entertaining and more fast paced than the novel itself. I want more.


- Series: Dokiri brides #1 (can be read as a standalone)
- Hashtags: #fantasy romance #paranormal romance #abduction #bonding #warrior #virgin #wyvern
- Triggers: violence, death, abduction
- Main couple: Joselyn Fury & Hollen
- Hotness: 1/5
- Romance: 4/5
- + I loved the deleted scenes included in the audio version
- – “intimacy behind closed doors” definitely isn’t my thing…

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Came for the delectable man on the cover called Hollen the Soulless, stayed for the sinfully delicious "sex on a stick" voice of Shane East.

Hollen the Soulless starts with the prim and proper Lady Jocelyn of House Fury fulfilling her duty by marrying to save her father's reputation and her house. She is plucked right out of the air by Hollen who takes her for his bride.

While this savage display would normally set my anger ablaze, Hollen was penned as the ultimate gentle savage. He treats Jocelyn with the utmost respect, never crosses the sexual boundaries set, equips her with weapons and teaches her self-defense, and devotes his time towards assuring her comfort and wellbeing.

Hollen is the bad boy all girls secretly want deep down- viciously alpha towards his enemies, loyal to a fault to his tribe, and utterly devoted to his lady love. I am enthralled by Hollen's depth of character, his emotional intelligence, his purity of heart despite all the rejection by Jocelyn, and his innate sense of righteousness and honor.

Any man who uses these lines on me can get it (I am not joking):
"I am not your master, but I can master you"

"You are mine but you are free"

I was fascinated by the Dokiri culture and enjoyed learning the traditions and customs, some of which are very similar to my own Caribbean culture. The author did a fabulous job providing a solid foundation for future books and I loved how she incorporated Hollen's family. I am hooked on clan Dokiri and cannot hide my impatience for more!

My biggest peeve in this book has to be Jocelyn. Jocelyn was such a prude, unwilling to adapt to the customs, and while she may have had good reasoning in the beginning- based on her upbringing of a prim and proper noblewoman and being kidnapped and what not. Roughly 80% of this book depicts her resistance to Hollen despite all the reassurances he can give. While I am all for an extremely slow burn and relish when he gradually breaks down her barriers and wins her heart, I have no qualms in saying that Hollen was simply too good for Jocelyn (yeah, I said it!)

The real winner of this book is the brilliant audiobook narration by Shane East. Shane has such a profoundly unique and inviting voice that I garnered true enjoyment from listening to him. His voice has excellent range and perfectly portrayed each character with finesse. His narration has a hypnotically erotic quality that heightened the overall appeal of the book.

Many thanks to the author, Podium Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an arc. I will be posting this on my blog and bookstagram for pub date 18th May 2021.

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HUGE SHOUT OUT to the audiobook release of Hollen the Soulless !!!!

❤️ Hollen the Soulless- Denali Day
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 .5

I want to say that this fictional man right here, Mr. Hollen, stole my heart from the very first night with him 🤣👏 He is often called a barbarian and he may be a little, but oh my gosh is he also a man who wears his heart on his sleeve! Plus he is a great dancer, rides a dragon type beast, loyal AF, and the leader of a very Viking like group of people! I’m sold, come steal me away 😅❤️

For this book though we follow the story of Joselyn, a high born well off lady, who has never truly known love from anyone, she has only been trained to do the duty required of a high born lady. Marry who her father chooses, to further secure here family... buuuut while she is on her way to her future home she is stolen away by Hollen and his beast 👏

Hollen choses Joselyn as his bride and immediately is devoted to her. She on the other hand takes a very long time to warm up to him, not because he is cruel, but because she feels she is not worthy of him and that she must get back to her duty and marry the man she was promised to!

Needless to say these two put me through all kinds of emotions, but in the end I was left very happy! Hollen got his love and Joselyn found a true family ❤️

This book is great for anyone who enjoys, Found family reads, stolen bride tropes, true love tropes, and slow burn build up romance❤️

(There are triggers.. a few are abduction & abuse)

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Hollen the Soulless.
{ Dokiri Brides, Book 1. }

The Dokiri Brides is one of my all-time favorite fantasy series that I’ve been planning to reread ever since I finished it last year so when I received an arc of the audiobook from Netgalley and the author I was ecstatic to revisit one of my favorite fictional worlds and characters.

Hollen the Soulless sweeps you into an epic fantasy realm filled with monstrous creatures and wyvern riding warriors with some major viking vibes.

In this book we meet Lady Joselyn Fury who thanks to her father ( a horrible man ) is being carted off to marry a man who has a terribly violent reputation but thankfully she doesn’t make it to her intended and is instead swept off her feet - or should I say horse? - by a wyvern and his beast of a rider Hollen.

The characters in this book ( and the other four Dokiri Brides books ) are so well written and are some of my favorite fictional characters. Joselyn is such a strong female lead who is not a traditional timid noble woman but instead fierce and made of iron and an absolute perfect match for Hollen.

The realm and the creatures the author has created is truly magical and the books are a perfect fantasy read for those cozy rainy days. My revisit through the audio book to the Dokiri world was made even more amazing by the perfect narrator for this series. I am now impatiently waiting for the next in this series. I recommend this book along with the others in the series to anyone looking for their next favorite paperback, e-book, or audiobook.

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This review is about the audiobook adaptation of this great book.

Sometimes I forget just how wonderful it is to read (hear in this case I suppose) a really great fantasy. The world building of someone's imagination and the characters they created like nothing we have in our daily life. Kingdoms, monsters, barbarians and nobles. Customs totally outlandish to us. I love it when a story comes alive in my mind, where my imagination grasps the story and I can feel it, see it. Great world building.

This is a love story that is so much like an epic fantasy fans of either genre will be totally satisfied. Basically a nobles woman is stolen by a warrior, taken to a land so alien she tries to fit it's reality into her perspective of life. After all how could a "barbarian" be more honorable than the civilized land she came from? Mind bender of a story. It's wonderful.

Narration is by Shane East. His voice is amazing for this book. His accent is absolutely perfect for the overall feel and setting of the story.

This was an ARC audiobook from #NetGalley and #Podiumaudio . My review and opinions are my own.

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Okay Y’all! So I read Hollen the Soulless earlier this year and I liked it a lot, but I’m terrible with series so I haven’t continued the series.

Then one magical day the wonderful @denaliday reached out to us wanting to know if I wanted to try the audio book. Umm... Yes, please! Also, just know that my memory is awful, so this was a perfect way to get refreshed with Hollen and the world so that I can continue the series!!

And if you like audiobooks, you need to pick this one up! If I could have Shane East read every book to me, I would be a happy girl! I hope he is the narrator for the rest of the series! There is something about a sexy voice reading to me that is a great motivator to continue listening. 😜

The world of the Dokiri is so interesting and well thought out. They have their own customs and traditions that you learn about with Joselyn, Hollen’s “love interest”, and not go through info dumps. Thank the Gods! (Info dumps are a big pet peeve of mine.)

This series really has everything I love: HOT Alpha Males, a historical aspect, great world building, interesting characters... Oh! And did I mention dragons?!?!! Also... I can’t forget some nice spice. LoL!

Thank You @denali_day for a copy of the audiobook in return of an honest review.

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This was a great start to a new medieval fantasy series.

Joselyn is on on her way to marry a man who is suspected of butchering women but she will marry him for her family. She never gets to her destination because she is swept away on a dragon and dropped into a cave. Where there is a privative man claiming that she is his bride and they have to do a mating ritual involving knives and blood. Joselyn wants nothing to do with this and fights him at every turn.

Okay, so I really enjoy the premise of this. I like that our hero stole his bride. I really liked Hollens character. I did not like Joselyn. She was very judgmental. She wanted to get married to the butcher to save her fathers reputation. Her father hated her and was awful to her. I sure wouldn't marry a killer to save an awful father. Joselyn was just very annoying and I think Hollen should have picked a better bride.

Besides Joselyn thought I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the other characters. I will be reading the next one!

Thank you netgalley for my advance copy of the audiobook!

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I loved this audio book!
To be honest, this was my first ever audio book experience, and what better way than with a book I already loved?
The narrator was perfect! His voice was clear and smooth, exactly how I imagine Hollen’s would be!

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Hollen the Soulless was actually really freaking good. I was super hesitant to read it because I’m not into dragons, but the romance and the story really had me captivated from The beginning! The narrator was also REALLY good!

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I loved this audiobook. The narrator was amazing and his voice kept you wanting more. The book was wonderful and I devoured the entire series after.

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So this book had me straight from the beginning. Seriously though, if I could have Shane East read every book to me, I would be eternally grateful. He has an amazing voice and did a fantastic job narrating.

Besides the fantastic narrator, the storyline is really good. The main heroine, Joselyn, is on her way to marry a horrible horrible man, who is suspected of butchering women but because of her evil father, she will marry him to save her families reputation. Did I mention that I hate her family? Because I really do. Luckily for her she never gets to her destination because she’s kidnapped by Hollen and his dragon.

I really loved how strong Joselyn’s character was, but man did she irritate me sometimes. If a gorgeous man, abducted me and prevented me from marrying a man who would have potentially tortured me, and then treated me like a queen. I would have been like yes, I’m okay with this. 😂 So yes some of her decisions irked me, but when she smartened up I loved her and Hollen together.

I can’t wait to read or listen to the rest of the series, although if Shane East narrates the whole series, I’m definitely going for the audiobook route.

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The build up was a bit too slow for me, and I think I read this at the wrong time- but other than that, this one is a really enjoyable read! The world building, the atmosphere, and the romance are so much fun! The narrator also did an excellent job

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I really enjoyed this read. It is a very well written fantasy romance. I've always loved the stolen away trope, but, at times, I just thought Jocelyn was too immature and stubborn. The world building in this series is absolutely beautiful. Denali Day created a majestic world and I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
As for the audiobook, I absolutely loved the narrator. He really did a great job with the accents and gave the characters life.
Altogether I gave this 4/5 stars because I very much enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't one of my favorites. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read!

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This was a really good book! The narrator was excellent, I would listen to him read a grocery list honestly. However since this was dual split between male and female POV I thought it would be better if the female POV had a female narrator. But it’s ok that it didn’t

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Thank you Net Galley for an audio ARC of Hollen the Soulless. I enjoyed this so much! This is honestly one of the best fantasy romances that I've ever read. I will be continuing this series. I freaking loved every minute of this audio!

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