Review of ‘Holly and Ivy: A Lesbian Holiday Romance’ by T.B. Markinson and Miranda MacLeod
Holly Lovelace is a multi-millionaire and computer programmer responsible for creating the country’s most successful dating app. Always feeling invisible and only sought after for the wrong reasons, her best friend sends her to a forced extended leave after she calls him in the middle of the night in a crisis. The leave is to take place in an island off the coast of Maine, right after the summer season ends and only islanders remain. Holly meets Ivy Winters on the ferry as Ivy returns from a day trip to the mainland. This is a lesbian opposites-attract romance, with Holly being an introvert genius and Ivy a personable social worker who is always doing the right thing and helping others. Long story short, they connect, then later reconnect and develop a relationship that is tested by truths and lifelong fears.
The mains are definitely the center of the story with some secondary characters filling the gaps. Both mains are likable and the authors do a good job of showcasing their individual faults and personality traits. Holly is a geek with great T-shirts proving just that. Ivy is selfless and the sunshine in the story. They have good chemistry together and the intimate scenes benefited as a result. The secondary characters, specifically Ivy’s friends, were a turn off for the most part for me and I found them annoying. Also, I could not connect them with Ivy, who repeatedly asked herself why they were her friends throughout the book.
This is another one of those books with a great setting. However, it didn’t quite have me wanting to move to the island like my recent read ‘When the Stars Sang’ by Werlinger, or to the Idaho mountains in Radclyffe’s ‘Firestorm’. It was a somewhat wasted opportunity considering Ivy’s passion for the island. I did get tremendous joy out of the lighthouse drawing marking each chapter!
The other thing that aggravated me some was the way the mains reacted when the conflict reached the proverbial fan… or something like that. I would have expected Ivy to be the more mature and understanding of the two. Quite frankly, I’m not sure Holly did anything wrong. You guys will have to read to see if her reaction was warranted or not. I will say that I did enjoy the resolution to the story, from Holly’s creation to the ending of the book.
Overall, a nice story for the holidays (although not strictly a holiday story) that even includes a rooster and a goat! 3.5 stars