Release Blitz Review: A Holly Jolly Ever After (A Christmas Notch #2) by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

Posted October 11, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Blog Tour, Review / 7 Comments

Experience a Holly Jolly Ever After Like Never Before!

A Holly Jolly Ever After By Sierra Simone & Julie Murphy is now LIVE!

Get ready to unwrap the ultimate holiday romance!

This book has all the magic of the season and more!

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Release Blitz Review:  A Holly Jolly Ever After (A Christmas Notch #2) by Julie Murphy and Sierra SimoneA Holly Jolly Ever After by Julie Murphy, Sierra Simone
Series: A Christmas Notch #2
Published by Avon on October 10, 2023
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Holiday Romance, Adult Romantic Comedy
Pages: 432
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: four-half-stars


Following the success of A Merry Little Meet Cute, a new holiday rom-com cowritten by #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy and USA Today bestselling author Sierra Simone–about an actress and a perpetually single former boy-band member reunited as costars on a steamy holiday film.

Kallum Lieberman is the funny one(TM). As the arguably lesser of the three former members of the boy band INK, he enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame and then moved home where he opened a regional pizza chain called Slice, Slice, Baby! He’s living his best dad bod life, hooking up with bridesmaids at all his friends’ weddings. But after an old one-off sex tape is leaked and quickly goes viral, Kallum decides he’s ready to step into the spotlight again, starring in a sexy Santa biopic for the Hope Channel.

Winnie Baker did everything right. She married her childhood sweetheart, avoided the downfalls of adolescent stardom, and transitioned into a stable adult acting career. Hell, she even waited until marriage to have sex. But after her perfect life falls apart, Winnie is ready to redefine herself–and what better way than a steamier-than-a-steaming-hot-mug-of-cider Christmas movie?

With decade old Hollywood history between them, Winnie and Kallum are both feeling hesitant about their new situation as costars…especially Winnie who can’t seem to fake on screen pleasure she’s never experienced in real life. She’s willing to do the pleasure research–for science and artistic authenticity, of course. And there’s no better research partner than her bridesmaid sex tape hall of fame costar, Kallum. But suddenly, Kallum’s teenage crush on Winnie is bubbling to the surface and Winnie might be catching feelings herself.

They say opposites attract, but is this holly jolly ever after really ready for its close-up?


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My Review

I loved the first book and couldn’t wait for this next one! I guess we are going to be (hopefully) getting all the members of the boy band INK that we met with Nolan in the first book, and now we have Kallum. Nolan’s story included Bee, who was a porn star, and so it was so different in that way from Kallum and Winnie, who was the original “good girl” and so so innocent. Kallum was the “Fatone” of his boy band. I say that, because Joey Fatone from N’Sync even joked himself one time that his last name was what people called him, the “fat one” of his group. Kallum was considered the 3rd best in their group, at least until he had a sex tape come out and all the women wanted to take part in what they’d seen. Or they wanted to have sex with him because usually he was the one right before “The ONE”.

Winnie was coming off of a divorce and a bit of a disgrace from her good girl image, which actually the downfall began with a picture Kallum had taken, not realizing what people would think of her in the picture. She had narcolepsy, and he thought she was so cute just asleep in the limo while everyone else was partying. It looked to the world though, like she was passed out, sloppy drunk. That led to her ending up marrying her boyfriend at the time, whose parents were big deals in the world of religious entertainment.

Kallum’s family was a bit different, loving, but still kind of waiting on him to grow up and stop being with all the bridesmaids. I loved that his family was from Kansas City, and I wish there really was a Slice Slice Baby Pizzeria here! All of that in the story made my hometown loving heart enjoy so much more of the story with that familiarity and fun hearing about things that were real in my city as well as made up things that I could just imagine perfectly.

From the start though, Winnie’s introduction to the whole world of sex toys and even just being sexy for the on-screen moments in her new naughty film, I loved it. There were several things she felt and went through that I believe I’ve related to in the past. Her feelings of having to wait until marriage, I felt that way for the longest time as well when I was younger. But then the scenes of her lessons on that intimacy and orgasms with Kallum, boy were those as hot as can be!

There was so much more to this story that happened right about the halfway point. I can’t even really mention one of the things that happened early on that gave me the heads up that what happened was coming without giving that away! But the emotions, and the way things were handled, all of it was great, and I did love it. I loved the silliness of the rewritten ending to the Santa Baby movie, I loved all the funny peppermint bits, not only her little toy, but what the magic peppermint in the new movie ending was. These two authors together can totally come up with some things that are just so out there I can’t help but giggle!

The only thing that bothered me a little, and made me drop to a 4.5 here on my blog, is that it was a tiny bit long for me. A few bits I think maybe could have been shortened? I don’t know. Overall it was such a great story in the end, and I can’t wait for the next book, I assume it will be Isaac’s story!

About the Authors

About Sierra Simone:

Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.

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About Julie Murphy:

JULIE MURPHY lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure. She is also the author of the young adult novels Dumplin’ (now a film on Netflix), Puddin’, Ramona Blue, and Side Effects May Vary. You can visit Julie at

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7 responses to “Release Blitz Review: A Holly Jolly Ever After (A Christmas Notch #2) by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, Sierra Simone is pretty racy. But hearing them talk about when they get together to write and how they came up with the story was funny! I do like the racier romances myself though. 🙂

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