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Christmas Without Holly

2.88  ·  Rating Details ·  203 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Christmas is a time for pampering yourself.

At least, that is what Holly Nightingale thinks.

A hard-working nurse, she has given herself an early Christmas gift - three days at Willows, a posh health farm in Surrey.

She's looking forward to day after day of skin treatments, dips in the hot tub, and relaxing sessions with the handsome masseurs.

But not everything is perfect.

Kindle Edition, First Edition, 62 pages
Published November 22nd 2012 by Endeavour Press Ltd.
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I enjoyed this book, but then the end was a big let-down.

This was an enjoyable chick-lit read, and I liked Holly, even if she did moan and ramble a bit. I felt quite sorry for her in the way she got stuck with Rebecca, and I liked that she was a normal down-to-earth sort of girl.

The storyline in this wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was entertaining, and I found it quite funny in places. I liked the way Holly used what she learned at the spa to evaluate her
Kirsty Wenn
Dec 24, 2015 Kirsty Wenn rated it liked it
Not quite a 3/5...I liked some moments in the story, but on the whole, I wasn't sure I liked Holly. She was very snarky with her thoughts but didn't seem to be able to assert herself when put in situations she clearly wasn't happy with (mainly concerning Rebecca). It also wasn't a very plot driven story so it seemed a bit boring at times, but once you realise that the whole story is going to take place at the spa retreat, you can start to appreciate that the story is about Holly coming to some r ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Fiona rated it liked it
Read this under its other title "The Spa Day".
vicki zimmerman
Nov 26, 2016 vicki zimmerman rated it it was ok
Good comedy, no romance

Quite adequate as a comedy, but there was no romance. So, as a romantic comedy, Id say it flopped.
What, Im assuming, was to be considered the romantic part, came exactly two pages from the end. In other words, it would have been a much better story, had it begun where this one ends.
But, it doesnt, does it? It starts where it starts, and goes, well, really nowhere. For me, this one is a huge miss.
Anne OK
Dec 21, 2016 Anne OK rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reads
BAH HUMBUG! This one was missing all the sparkles and tingles and joy of the holidays. Not much romance -- some comedy. Felt like I got a stocking full of coal with lots of the blah - boring variety.
Dec 07, 2016 Jatana rated it it was ok
Holly was treating herself to a spa getaway just before Christmas and she makes some revelations while on this getaway. It is a very nice story.
Alicia Kline
Dec 25, 2013 Alicia Kline rated it liked it
I rounded my star rating up to a three for this one. I was somewhere between an "it's okay" and "liked it". I've read other works by this author and found them to more enjoyable than this novella.

I agree with others that this book could have used a little more editing. I am really anal when I read, so I likely notice things like missing words and punctuation more than others. I realize that no one is perfect, so I'm willing to forgive a few instances. But there is one passage towards the end of
Natalie aka: PajamaBookGirl
Nov 06, 2013 Natalie aka: PajamaBookGirl rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a fast-paced, gritty, sarcastic humoured book this is one for you.

Once I'd started reading, I was drawn straight in by Holly's quirky personality and honesty. (I'm sure a lot of people are actually going to criticise how honest she is, but me, I found it refreshing.)

Holly is your typical girl. Moody, anti-social, sarcastic, food obsessed, with a heart of gold, and a longing to be loved and happy.
When she ends up being forced into a "friendship" with sex mad, glamour puss Re
Pamela D
I wanted to like this novella so much. I liked the idea of a character finding love while at a spa. I picked up my Kindle and curled up with a blanket on the futon. I was ready for a cozy romance. This was not the cozy romance that I was hoping for. First, Holly is mean. The book blurb describes her as a Bridget Jones, but I never see the Jones' sparkle. Granted, Holly never says the mean things, she just thinks them. I just wish I didn't have to read her thoughts. Second, the romance is a bit s ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
The first thing I must say here is that this novella was also available with an alternative title "The Spa Day".

This is a fantastic, well written little chick-lit novella, perfect for the run-up to Christmas. It focusses on Holly who has booked herself in for three days at a swish health spa to fortify and beautify herself in readiness to spend Christmas with her fiancé Clive, with whom she has a long term relationship as he is working in Hong Kong, and his parents. The author's characters are a
Ellen (more books, please)
Amazon freebie. It is now $2.99. I liked it for free; I would not have liked it for $2.99. But then again I would never pay $2.99 for what is essentially a short story.

It is competently written with some misspellings, typos, wrong word choices. Not egregious, but present.

Our heroine Holly takes herself to a posh spa to prep herself for Christmas with the future in-laws.

In a vague, nonspoilerish fashion Holly (yeah, there are Christmas/Holly jokes) begins to re-evaluate her relationship with her
Dec 04, 2016 Gina rated it did not like it
A warning to anyone who is thinking about signing up for Kindle Unlimited: don't. Books like this are all you're going to get.

This is a Christmas story? Nah. It's 45 pages of descriptions of different types of massages, 20 pages of tedious conversation between two completely unlikeable characters, and about half a page talking about Christmas. And OMG author, please work with an editor next time.

"‘I’m going to start with the small of your bag, then slowly work up to your shoulders and neck.'"

Nov 24, 2013 Dawn rated it liked it
A lovely little pre Christmas novella. Holly a nurse has been secretly saving and books herself into a spa for three days of pampering in anticipation of Christmas with her new finance at his parents.

Holly meets Rebecca a very spoilt rich wife who she goes to great lengths to avoid. Rebecca likens Holly to herself and Holly doesn't like what she sees.

Time away from her everyday life gives Holly the opportunity to really see what path she has chosen - does she like the direction her life is headi
Bernadette Robinson
Dec 11, 2014 Bernadette Robinson rated it really liked it
7/10 from me. I enjoyed this tale about Holly and her experiences while staying at a Health Spa.

Holly is engaged to be married but her fiance works abroad and she hardly ever sees him. During her stay at the Health Spa she begins to think about her relationship and whether this is the life that she wants for the rest of her life.

As Christmas is fast approaching and plans that have been made look like they are set to change, will life ever be the same again?

Whilst this is a short read at 62 pages
The Digital Ink  Spot
Dec 16, 2012 The Digital Ink Spot rated it really liked it
This story reminded me a lot of Bridget Jones. A single girl trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to give herself to, Holly has had terrible luck with men until she meets Clive, a successful business man. He seems to be her knight in shining armor until time at the spa causes her to stop and analyze her relationship and life.

I liked the story. It was cute. Christmas was not the center of the story. It loomed in the background waiting for its time to appear. What was center stage was
Mar 30, 2013 Annette rated it liked it
A novella about Holly and her gift to herself - 3 days at a spa. It is right before Christmas and she receives many lovely treatments which make her feel pampered and special. During her time there, she has the opportunity to start evaluating her life. Mostly she considers, Clive, her jerk of a fiance and their lack of a relationship. One woman is someone she fears is her future if she continues the long distance love affair with Clive. The thought is appalling. She also meets one of the employe ...more
Oct 28, 2014 Bethan rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
This book started really well, at least for the first paragraph. Then it all went wrong.

Firstly, the author seemed to overuse exclamation marks in an attempt to sound engaging or point out the sentence was supposed to be 'witty'. Every other sentence has one and it was so irritating.

Then there were the typos and the words missing, and, I think at one point the wrong character's name was used because it just didn't make sense. Thank God this book was free...

The characters were not hugely likeab
Nov 12, 2013 Chelsea rated it it was ok
Okay, I was bummed by this book. It doesn't happened often, but this one it did. I knew it was a novella, I didn't realize it would be so depressing. Also it ended with NO closure, does she go with James? There was a part in the book where she was talking about Clive but it was printed James, which was an obvious over look. I think this could have been good, but there was nothing making me even like the main character or even care what happened for the most part. She was funny, but also some of ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great little novella, centering around nurse-with-attitude, Holly, that is just perfect for those wanting to squeeze a read into a hectic festive schedule.

As Holly relaxes her troubles away, even more come to the forefront as she realizes Christmas won’t pan out as she’d hoped. Over the course of 72 hours, Holly hilariously attempts make sense of her and Clive’s relationship, dodge spoilt rich wife Rebecca, and endure the pain that is bamboo massages. It’s a quick and easy read that’s a great
Dec 12, 2012 Jules rated it really liked it
Shelves: free
3 1/2 stars!

I dont get why this book has such a low rating. It is well written, funny and short. There are no typos or mistakes as in other free short e-books out there. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Its about Holly and her three day health-farm vacation a few days before christmas. Holly meets some people and starts to think about herself and her life - especially her fiancé Clive and their long distance relationship.

It is nothing innovative or new. Its the usual chick-flick but that d
Dec 21, 2012 Pattie rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle, read-2012
This book needed an editor. Badly.

I got this book when it was free, and I like a cute Christmas story as much as the next person. My criticism has to do with the editing of this novel. Too many exclamation points! Even for a chick lit romantic comedy! Seems like Holly thought in exclamations all the time! Even after her massages!

I hope Ms. Yeager reads this and takes my critique to heart. Cute story, yes. Hunky romantic interest, sure. Needed a bit more depth to the story, and about a hundred fe
Grass monster
Dec 27, 2015 Grass monster rated it liked it
I quiet enjoyed this short story, i felt i engaged with the charactors and i will be trying out the Bamboo massage next time i am at a Spa. I actually didnt realise id got to the last page. I didnt want it to be the end. I felt this could of been made into a longer story by following Holly & James to his idealic house for Christmas. Rebecca was your typical 'Get out of my face' person. Maybe Clive & Rebecca would be much more suited.
Ashley Messersmith
Feb 06, 2017 Ashley Messersmith rated it it was ok

It was a short easy read. The ending fell flat. Wasn't much leading up to the wndinf . The main character Holly was really rude and snarkey
DawnMarie  Carpintero
Not sure

3 stars

This book confused the heck out of me. The title brought me into the book but once I got in it all I really wanted was not to finish this book but I did. I still have no idea what the title has to do with the book unless it was one big metaphor.

Boring to me.
Happy Reading
Dec 18, 2012 Katie added it
Another abrupt ending without much exploration from this author. It was an enjoyable read, but I could see where it was going and thought that the ending of it left so much more to be explored, which I've found previously with this author's books. It's a shame, because, as I said, they are enjoyable reads up until that point.
Dec 09, 2012 Kylene rated it did not like it
I was looking for a quick, light read, and i figured it was a bonus that this one we set at Christmas time. I got it for free on the amazon kindle site, so I probably shouldn't complain. But the story was super predictable and boring, and trite. I just didn't enjoy it. There's also a bit of profanity, which always makes me rate a book lower than I normally would.
Dec 11, 2012 Crystal rated it really liked it
This book was a little bit different than what I am used to. Glad that I read it because I really liked it. I like trying new things and I just wished that it was a little bit more to the ending.
Dec 26, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Not one I would read again as you knew what would happen and it was a very abrupt ending with no real imagination as well as not being very Christmasy.
Lori Henrich
Dec 10, 2012 Lori Henrich rated it did not like it
I kept thinking I had read this before as I was reading it. I don't even know why I finished it.
Erin Marie
Dec 11, 2012 Erin Marie rated it really liked it
This was a lite fun chick lit/romantic comedy read that I downloaded for free. I was just looking to break from what I normally read and this wasd great for that.
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