Book Review: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates

deckedwithholly.marnibatesSynopsis: Holly is stuck with her family on a Christmas cruise to Mexico. It should have been fun, but her family is dysfunctional to the point of evilness. Oh, and to top it all off, she gets seasick. So when Holly runs through the nearest open door to find the loo, she instead finds herself in rockstar Dominic Wyatt’s room. Holly is soon swept up into a PR nightmare to preserve the band’s image by pretending to be Dominic’s new girlfriend. How hard could it be to become a famous drummer’s girlfriend for a couple weeks?

Format:  This is the first book I have read on my new kobo! It was slightly disconcerting at times to see little numbers in the margin, but I soon figured out that they must be the page numbers for the print version. This led me to realize that the print format would be better laid out on the page, as on the kobo there was some ‘widows and orphans’ happening.

Writing Style: The novel switched back and forth between Holly and Dominic for each chapter. I didn’t think I would like that at first, but it was a truly excellent way to tell the story. There is some swearing and mature content incorporated into the tale, but it did not detract from the overall “cuteness” of it.

Location: The story takes place mostly on a cruise ship sailing from Los Angeles to Mexico. There is a stopover in a couple of touristy towns, and the story finishes after returning to California.

Plot: While the chances of accidentally running into a famous drummer’s suite while on a cruise is probably pretty slim, the progression of the novel seems rather probable. Whenever someone leaves a famous person’s home (or in this case room) there is always paparazzi photographs, and that person becomes a source of speculation. This conjecture could damage either person’s reputation and some PR becomes necessary to return the star or guest to their previous standing. This tale just turns that hypothesis into a rom-com.

Character: Jen is Holly’s best friend. She is not on the cruise, but is present in person before and after the trip, as well as via Skype during the cruise. She is what every good friend should be: a little out there in personality and possibly a bit too day-dreamy, but even her good nature cannot forgive someone who messes with the people she cares about most.

Romance: This relationship takes miscommunication to the maximum. Holly and Dominic are pretending to be in love while both caught in a situation that neither is all that happy about. Yet the more time they spend together, the more they begin to like each other… or think they do, since they are not always sure when the other person is being real or just playing up for the media. Needless to say, this uncertainty leads to confusion and heartbreak. If this story teaches any lesson, it is that you should always be honest when you love.

Personal Thoughts: The one thing that confused me at first was that Dominic’s iPad was ringing. Admittedly I am not overly familiar with the item, but I would expect a phone to ring, not a tablet. Later I discovered that it was a Skype connection that caused the device to be ringing, and thus it made sense. This little factoid would bit unclear to those of us who do not frequently use Skype or iPads.

Note to Reader: One of the characters who is briefly mentioned in this book, apparently has her own story that takes place before this one. I have not read it, but there is a good chance that some of the characters from this book, make there first appearance in that one.

Quote: “Have you ever noticed that when something isn’t real it has to seem even more realistic than the truth?”

The Verdict: I really liked this story, and am sad to say that it is only a library loan and not something I currently own. It has an inherent truthfulness to it that life is not always what you hope it to be, or even what it seems to be. Plus it also has a really cute storyline!

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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