Holly Lovelace’s brain never stops thinking. It’s both a gift and a curse, as Holly can’t help thinking she should be able to do more to save the world. Being super smart also gives her an excuse for never taking any time for herself since she’s irreplaceable.
After she calls him in the middle of the night, crying and babbling that she just can’t do it anymore – a phone call she doesn’t remember the next day -, her best friend Nolan forces her to take a leave of absence and sends her to the house he inherited on King Popham’s (aka Poppy’s) Island, off the coast of Maine. Being the stubborn workaholic she is, Holly views her exile as punishment and isn’t prepared to give the island and its inhabitants a fair chance. As she waits for the ferry that will take her to what she sees as the middle of nowhere, she meets Ivy, whose truck broke down. Ivy is hot so she offers her – and her goat – a lift. Misunderstandings and bursts of lust ensue, resulting in a love story that manages to be both comedic and romantic.
Ivy is the island sweetheart, always trying to make life easier and better for the struggling families yet not conscious of how loved she is by them, how grateful they are. I was expecting Holly to be more of an ice queen, as a big-city tech genius millionaire, but she’s more socially awkward than icy. It’s that awkwardness that drove her to isolate herself from the rest of the world and focus on computers and apps, to the point of not being aware of the difficulties others face. Under Ivy’s influence, she’ll open her eyes and do better.
I always find it very interesting when authors get together to write a story. At first, I can’t help wondering who wrote what, but when it’s done well (as it is in this instance), you can’t really tell. At times I thought “Oh this is pure Markinson!” and then “Or maybe MacLeod?”. Their styles mesh incredibly well and they share a sense of humour that works perfectly with this story. I’m not big on bodily functions-based jokes, and there are quite a few in Holly & Ivy, but as they come from two of the funniest and clueless secondary characters I’ve read about in a while, I’ll give them a pass.
There’s nothing groundbreaking in this story, but every time I mentioned it while I was listening, I said: “it’s such a cute story!” It’s sweet, funny and heartwarming. And you can always count on Stephanie Murphy for a solid and lovely narration.