Hey all! Happy hump day evening! I bring you good tidings annnnnnnd a new book (series) review! I apologize in advance because I went through a slight ordeal with this trilogy and, well, you’ll see below when I’m reviewing and explaining the journey start-to-finish. The books I’m discussing tonight are the Holton Woods trilogy by Helenkay Dimon. Each story is really well written and thorough, but I had a bit of a bumpy road, and, well, my experience with them suffered because of my silly self. The first installment is called Mercy. It’s hard for me to come up with words about this story. Let me start by saying I read book two first (seriously, just bear with me). When I found this book on the shelf of B&N… It wasn’t this book, it was Only, which is the sequel. However, when I looked it up on goodreads, I didn’t see anything about it being a trilogy, so I just grabbed the book I saw (two) and got started. See? Ridiculous, right?
I’m not going to talk about Only in this space, but I’ll say, I found it enjoyable considering I read these out of order, and I wasn’t sure if because of that, I felt a disconnect to the plot, but now that I read book one as well, I know that is not the case.
Overall, and on a technical note, Mercy was a good story. There was a plot and a lot going on. Paragraphs and pages flowed together beautifully. So on that note, I adored it and gave it full credit, I just couldn’t connect with anyone and that put a distance between me and the text.
Questions I had after finishing book two were made clear having read book one, however, I didn’t get to know these characters except for the time they spent together. Jarrett and Becca were involved and serious pretty quickly, and their jobs led to a massive falling out and even jail time for him. Now, she needs his help and as much as they want to hate each other and keep their interaction to strictly business, there’s more there that they left unfinished when they parted ways the first time.
Aside from some insight to what happened that caused this pair to split in the first place, and a sliver of a glimpse as to Jarrett’s childhood, I didn’t know enough about this couple to really cheer them on the way I wanted to all throughout the text. My Final Rating: three out of five stars
Okay, now on to book two, entitled, Only. This second installment revolves around Jarrett’s lawyer, Sebastian Jameson, and the little sister of one of Jarrett’s colleagues, Kyra. I enjoyed Bast and Kyra. They’re a lovely dynamic. I did, however, feel they rushed they’re feelings for each other a bit.
Sebastian, or Bast, as he’s called, recently settled a nasty divorce with his ex-wife who has since published a tell-all book about her ex-husband’s habits in the bedroom. He’s notorious in the Washington D.C. area, and that has attracted young Kyra’s attention greatly. Now a grown working woman, she sees the man she wants, and isn’t shy about pursuing him. Their relationship borders on taboo, but when they’re together, they’re quite explosive.
I may have been too busy with life, but it may have been because I made the mistake of not reading Mercy first, but I finished this book and still had questions to a few unresolved issues in the plot. Due to these factors, I couldn’t give this story more than three stars.
Without fail, I loved this book, entitled Mine, the most in the series! Gabe and Natalie are an absolute handful and both stubborn as mules, but they mirror each other quite well. I met these two briefly while I made my way through the first two books, so I’m glad I got more of their story.
Thrown together for a CIA investigation, Gabe is hired to protect Natalie while there’s a price on her head. They’re flown off into no-man’s-land to a teeny tiny cabin in Montana, and with very little else to do, these fiercely independent individuals have to find a way to become fast friends.
While that’s not necessarily how it goes, as a reader, I was thrilled I met characters I could connect with in some way. In their seclusion, they did some talking and were able to peel back the layers to reveal more of themselves with each other than they ever have with anyone else.
When their location is forced to move elsewhere, the pair wind up at Gabe’s house, and Natalie gets a final glimpse about any secrets Gabe had left for himself. She meets his son and brothers, and lines are crossed into a territory that is terrifying for the both of them.
It’s when more about Gabe’s past comes into the spotlight that Natalie makes a life-altering decision for him. Going against Gabe’s wishes, she does what she has to in order to ensure the future of his son, even if it causes her to lose Gabe in the process.
Out of all three books in this series, these two won hands down. They’re intense, sassy, and the chemistry is absolutely off-the-charts when they play their cards right. I saw more of the real them than I did with any of the other couples who came prior. They may have moved a bit quickly in their process of trying to become a couple, but I can see how it worked for them. Absolutely adored them as a couple and how much they adapted to make each other fit into a potential future as one! They may have a lot to learn, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for what comes down the road for the two of them.