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I wouldn't normally write a full review of a novella - there's rarely enough to write about - but Holly's Christmas Kiss by Alison May really, really impressed me and I'd hate anyone to miss it and write it off as just another Christmas short read.

Holly Jolly - who understandably prefers to use her middle name Michelle - has very good reasons to hate Christmas. When her plans to take a holiday in the sun to escape all the festivities are thwarted, she's taken under the wing of Sean Munro, and spends Christmas with him and his chaotic family. He loves Christmas - and has good reason to - and wants to share the magic with Michelle. In 116 pages, this was an excellent story well told, with well-developed characters and bagsful of Christmas magic. Sean is fantastic - Michelle does everything in her power to put him off, but he's genuinely one of the good guys and most definitely one of my most loved Christmas heroes.

Published by Choc Lit, one of my very favourite publishers, this was an excellent read - and as it's still available at 77p for Kindle, I'd highly recommend you snap it up ready for next year. I loved Alison May's writing style - and have already downloaded her full-length novel, Much Ado About Sweet Nothing, available for Kindle at just 99p at time of writing (but only for the next couple of days).
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on 14 May 2016
Holly hates Christmas, she hates her name so goes by her middle name rather than Holly. At her friends wedding she meets Sean, theres a spark but she has no time for that. She is leaving to go on a holiday and get away from all things Christmas. A chance meeting brings her and Sean together again and rather than spending time alone she reluctantly agrees to spend it with him. Thing is, Sean loves Christmas and wants to share that love with Michelle, without getting involved, he has been hurt too. They have different views on Christmas, they are strangers but there is no denying there is something there, will this be another reason to hate Christmas or can Michelle actually move on and enjoy it?

This is a wee novella, I could have read it in one sitting however life is busy and I had to pick it up and down as commitments dictated. The story flips a wee bit from Michelle's past, when being Holly was something to enjoy not hate, then comes back to the present. The small glimpses in the past are to allow the reader to appreciate why Michelle hates Christmas so much and gives some insight into her character. Sean is the kind of guy you would love to meet, friend of a friend, sweet, thoughtful and family orientated, plus he loves Christmas, winner in my eyes!

The tale takes place over a few days, Michelle and Sean are the main characters and the whole book is around their meeting, interaction and where, if anywhere, will this go. I really quite enjoyed this, I think I would pull it out again and read in December, I do love season themed books. This is my first time reading this author, I would definitely read her again, 4/5 for me this time.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 July 2015
Holly Jolly – that’s a name to put you off Christmas for life. Holly, more happily known by her middle name, Michelle, is not a fan of Christmas. Things go wrong at Christmas and it’s just not worth the time, money and effort for her. Instructed by her mother, who has passed-away, to go on the holiday of a lifetime, Michelle chooses Christmas to go to the Caribbean on her own, avoiding all the festivities at home and finally putting herself first. But thanks to some heavy snowfall, things don’t exactly go to plan for Michelle and the holiday is cancelled. Disaster. Except, maybe there’s a certain Sean Munro with a little glint in his eye to make the festive season a bit more bearable for the woman who hates Christmas.

Ok, Michelle is hardly your typical warm-hearted protagonist. She’s a bit too guarded and could do with lightening up a little. But then again, not everybody is full of festive spirit and she’s hardly had the easiest run in life. Sean, however, is the complete opposite. I loved his character. He’s positive, friendly, funny, happy. He loves Christmas. It’s magical and fun and all about family. Michelle has caught his eye and he knows she can’t wait for the festive season to be over, and that she has no family left to share Christmas with. But he’s determined to change her mind and make her see Christmas isn’t all that bad.

Sean’s very likeable and I found Alison made it really easy to connect with both characters. The length of this novella did not make the story underdeveloped – Michelle and Sean’s stories are built up well and we learn a lot about them both. I liked seeing Sean push Michelle out of her comfort zone and introduce her to the nicer elements of Christmas rather than just the snow that caused her flight to be cancelled. Michelle was a stubborn soul but Sean was definitely a trier – he was very persistent in having an enjoyable Christmas and I couldn’t help but smile at his character.

I found Holly’s Christmas Kiss to be a quick, fun read and how could Sean’s enthusiasm for Christmas not inject some festive spirit into you? It’s a light-hearted story and the ideal read to pass a couple of hours with – glass of wine in the other hand, maybe? You can’t go wrong with this uplifting little novella.
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on 13 December 2013
I really fancied reading something Christmassy and I'm so happy I decided to download this! It's such a lovely feel good romance and I loved Sean so much - sometimes the nice guys make the best heroes.
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on 7 January 2014
Looking for a nice winter read that will leave you with that nice, warm fuzzy feeling? Look no further people than Holly's Christmas Kiss.

Join Holly as she gets over loss and disappointment at the hardest and best time of the year. She'll make you laugh and cry, even when you're silently shouting at her to open her eyes to what's in front of her. You'll come away with a new belief in Christmas and love in general. Buy this book, you won't be disappointed.
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on 27 April 2014
I know it's April but just read this in the garden with the sun peeking out - I really enjoyed this little read, Sean the hero was warm & Holly the heroine was protective of herself, not going to go into detail to spoil it, It doesn't take long to get through, well written & warm hearted. Will read more from this author
Thoroughly recommend
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on 12 January 2014
Along came the hero's X and stirred everything up. It was just like so many stories and one could probably quote chapter and verse as to what would happen next. Sorry, not for me.

2 stars for having done the work.
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on 29 December 2013
A cracking novella - ideal for the Christmas holidays. I was hoping that Sean would materialize with my presents on Christmas morning, sadly not. Holly Michelle Jolly is such a festive name and yet she has such a dislike for the season. A cosy read that leaves a good feel factor on completion.
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on 22 January 2014
Michelle's name is Holly Jolly, poor kid. She hates Christmas. Sean, on the other hand, loves Christmas.
I picked up this novella because, well, it was Christmas, plus I liked Alison's first book. This was a fun short book. A smallish stretch of the imagination, some misunderstanding type plot twists combine with believable (and likable) characters and excellent dialogue to make this a book well worth reading.
Holly Jolly *shakes head* Poor, poor kid.
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on 23 March 2015
This is the first book I have read by this author and really enjoyed it that why I rated it a 5* and will certainly read more . I would recommend this book to friends and clients who enjoy a great read.
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