Stories from Holly Creek
Small-town heroes and big-town hearts.
When Jefferson Lee Davis leaves his life in the big city to return to the small Southern town of Holly Creek, his natural charm soon has the residents eating out of his hand. Jefferson Lee steps up to help with Holly Creek's biggest festival, Dogwood Days, which puts him directly in the path of the town's hunky sheriff, Zane Yarbrough. Quirky neighbors, meddling family, and a sassy best friend make Jefferson Lee's life a full-time adventure, and he warms to the idea of making a home in Holly Creek - a life that might include Zane.
But as the summer Rose Festival looms around the corner and more small-town secrets come to light, Jefferson Lee and Zane must take a long look at their blossoming romance. If they're going to make it as a couple, they ll have to work through their trust issues and believe that the relationship they're building can weather any storm that blows their way.
Jefferson Lee Davis, Holly Creek's new director of publicity, is gearing up for the next big town event, the summer Rose Festival. The job is running smoothly, but the course of true love has hit a rocky patch. His hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Zane Yarbrough, is receiving mysterious phone calls he doesn't want to discuss. While Jefferson Lee is blindsided by jealousy, the second shoe drops with the appearance of a handsome stranger in the small, tight-knit community. Needing answers, Jefferson Lee enlists his best gal pal, Clover Crofton, to help find out what secrets Zane is hiding. When they land themselves in more trouble than Jefferson Lee bargained for, he and Zane face the first big test of their relationship. Zane and Jefferson Lee must work through their trust issues if they're going to make it as a couple, and Clover may just have a thing or two to learn herself.
©2016 Poppy Dennison (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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I do love it when I get surprised by a book. I’ve only read a few books by Poppy Dennison books before—namely her Triad series. They were well-written but paranormal is regularly my thing so I haven’t paid too much attention to her other books. When this audio book collection came available for review I decided to take a chance and I am very glad I did.
These were sweet and hilarious stories. In her review of Spring Fever Brandilyn said they are almost sickeningly sweet. I disagree. I think they are just the perfect amount of sweetness. These are southern men after all and I think their personalities were spot on.
Both stories reminded me of the show Hart of Dixie. Sweet, likable, but, yes, somewhat over the top characters who are too good to be true. But that’s why I liked them so much. These are gentlemen who do gentlemanly things with malice or bad attitudes.
All the characters in these stories are likable none more so than Jefferson Lee (Can you get a more southern name than that?) and Sheriff Zane. I love that neither one was in the closet allowing us to skip past the is he gay or not? plot and get into the romance.
The supporting characters are equally enjoyable with more larger-than-life men and women than you can shake a stick at. The town of Holly Creek is so well-drawn it almost became a character itself.
Both stories are highly enjoyable in several different aspects. Great writing, great characters, great plot.
Matt Armstrong did a perfect job with the varying degrees of southern accent here. I don’t know if he has that accent in real life, but judging by the narration here I’d be surprised if he didn’t. His voice worked perfectly for the angst-free tone of the stories.
"Drama-free, but I wasn't too impressed"
*2.5 stars, rounded up for the audio*
Welcome to Holly Creek, a southern small town where everyone has double first names, no one minds that ALL the men are gay (no prejudice here!), and planning a rose festival is the hottest item on the agenda!
Okay, I'm going to be frank here because this was sort of a rough listen for me. This book was CAMPY and waaaaaay too hokey for my tastes. Maybe I'm just not cut out for southern-style romances because I was rolling my eyes left and right. It was also almost completely tension-free, once Jefferson Lee noticed Zane's blatant flirting.
What bothered me the most about this two book set (the stories sort of flow one right into the other, so it is hard for me to review them separately), is that I think I got more relationship development between Jefferson Lee and his BFF Clover (aka, Clover Berry) than I did between Jefferson Lee and Zane. First Jefferson Lee is totally oblivious to Zane, so much so that I wanted to hit him over the head, and then they are moving super quickly to boyfriend/partner-ville. I also liked the spunky Clover more than any of the two MCs. Go figure.
While there are parts of this book that were cute and charming, there were also many, many moments where I was underwhelmed. It was an easy, comfortable listen, made better by Matt Armstrong's appropriately over-the-top narration (really fit the story-vibe well), but never got to the point of really engaging me with the story. I liked the narration, though, and enjoyed the narrator's range of voices and the effort that he put in, even if some of the voices sort of grated on my nerves (again, fitting the story).
I see lots of glowing reviews of this two-story set, so maybe it just wasn't a good fit. I found the characterization of a small town where absolutely no one, even the old, traditional men, minded two men kissing in public to also be a bit of a reach. And I hope I got a looooong time before reading another story with multiple double first-name characters again.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
"Sweet, Funny, Southern Charm"
When Jefferson Lee comes back to his small town to help his Uncle Sherman with his blog he doesn’t realize his life will change in a big way! First, he seems to find trouble at every turn – including catching the eye of the sherriff, Zane.
Next, his blogging is a hit, but his ideas for the town stir up old resentments.
When Zane keeps showing up to check up on Sherman, he ends up spending time with Jefferson Lee. It seems everyone but Jefferson realizes Zane has an interest in the nephew not the uncle.
This is the sequel to Dogwood Days and pretty much takes off where book one left off.
Jefferson Lee Davis is still dating the hot sheriff Zane and things are beginning to look serious between the two of them.
There is some drama surrounding the town’s annual festival that Jefferson manages to create into a big hub-bub, and a mysterious “friend” of Zane’s comes into town stirring all kinds of jealousy in Jefferson Lee.
The two fight a bit – Zane asks Jefferson Lee to move in but Jefferson’s not ready and Jefferson realizes he doesn’t trust Zane or vice versa when it comes to the mysterious stranger. But… the two manage to figure things out and we get a lot of ooey gooey sweet and sexy lovin’ between the two as their saga continues.
These are light, fun and quirky romances that focus on a small town with a dash of romance between Jefferson Lee and Zane. It’s funny, sweet and literally angst-free!
Jefferson Lee is just a clueless sweetheart who needs a swift kick before he realizes what’s right in front of him, even when it’s practically gift-wrapped!
I highly recommend this to fans of “light and fluffy” romances, fans of the small town, fans of “clueless MCs” and anyone looking for a breath of fresh air!
Though we get the idea that Zane and Jefferson Lee are an “item” it’s still more of a HFN – but still quite Happy!
4 of 5 stars
Matt Armstrong is a new narrator to me, and he’s fantastic! He does a really great job with the southern accents and all the female characters. If you’ve enjoyed the books you’ll love this audiobook!
Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
To say you are much more likely to run across a werewolf or vampire before you find this southern town is a given. Yet I haven't enjoyed a stories setting more in a long time. The characters are quirky without being so far out there that you can't relate to them. All around enjoyable time living for awhile in this authors world.
I loved it. I laughed frequently. I will definitely listen to it again. Yeah. Poppy.
must listen to again
it was just as enjoyable to listen to the story as it was to read it in ebook.
Jefferson Lee, he's so much fun.
I hope there's more books in the series.
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