Book Review: Marking Madden (Hearts of Hollis: Book One)


Hi back,

I’m here with a review of another great read for this winter and my first book from my TBR list for the Tackle that TBR Read-a-thon (you still have time to join, we’re down until January – check here for more details).

About the book:marking madden

Title: Marking Madden (Hearts of Hollis: Book One)

Author: J.L. Leslie & Nicole Dykes

Published: December 9th 2016

Source: received from the author (J.L. Leslie), in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy



I came to Hollis to leave my past. I couldn’t get away fast enough. I made new friends and I found a new life. I even found love. Of course, there was heartbreak too, but I’m tough. I can handle it. But I don’t know if I can handle him.


She said yes and turned my world upside down. She was supposed to be mine. Not his. Not my brother’s. So I left and I haven’t looked back. I never expected to find someone here who’d make me forget. Someone unexpected. Someone who would mark my heart forever.

**Marking Madden is the first book in the Hearts of Hollis series co-written by Nicole Dykes and J.L. Leslie. It is written as a stand-alone novel. It contains adult content, language, and sexual situations. It is intended for mature readers only.**

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

“Marking Madden” has been on my TBR since more than I want to admit. It took me a while until I got all the blogging sorted out. I’d like to think that I am more organized and more mature when it comes to that. There are so many great books out there and so little time.

“Hearts of Hollis” starts with a great couple. Jade and Madden are perfect for each other. Similar heartbreaks bring them together, even if different upbringing seems to want them apart. What starts as a friendship, turns into more, right under their noses. Once that line is crossed, there is no going back. But can our main characters settle into this “improved friendship”? Will they cross back the line and become friends again? Or will they become nothing at all?

She has been through a lot! She has finally managed to find some kind of comfortable routine in Hollis, with a tempered best friend, a steady job and even a boyfriend, actually an ex-boyfriend. Well, who knows what he is anymore, since he’s back and has another girl at his side. Heartbroken and confused, she lives her life as peacefully as possible. He needs to get away. As soon as he finds out the love of his life would marry his brother, he needs to run. He has hoped to be the one, he wanted it so badly but… I guess a town in the middle of nowhere should help calm his torment.  What starts as a plan to make her ex-boyfriend jealous becomes normal to both, even if it’s just for a little while.

I loved this book so much, I loved the main characters and how well they connected. I must admit that I did not like Brady that much, but seeing that the second book (which is out since June) has him as main character, I am a little intrigued. So 5 stars and can’t wait to read the second book in the series.


About the Authorsjlleslie

J.L. Leslie

I am a happily married mother of three (two boys and one girl). I live in a very small town in Alabama. Never lived anywhere else. I’ve been writing since my early twenties, but I couldn’t seem to finish a book. I’ve started self-publishing with the encouragement from my mom. Without her encouragement, I don’t think I would’ve done it. She always supported me and writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. As long as I enjoy it, I’ll continue to do it. I’ve learned already that I can’t please everyone. Not all reviews will be good, not all reviews will be bad. I’m the one that has to be happy with my work.

I get my inspiration from life experiences, movies, television, other authors, and music. Music is definitely a big influence on my writing. I can hear a song and it can inspire an entire book for me. I listen to it while I’m driving or before I start writing and it keeps me inspired. I like to put music in my books, even if it’s just one song the characters listen to or hear at some point. Sometimes music has gotten me through the really tough times in my life and that’s why it inspires me.

I like to write fast-paced, steamy romance reads. I like for my males to be alpha-males and my heroines to be strong, but both need to have one weakness- each other. I am an avid reader. I absolutely love romance books!

Nicole DykesNicole Dykes

I grew up in a small rural town in Kansas and currently live in a suburb of Kansas City. I love to read books that have main characters that are seriously flawed. I love to write and have been writing since I was in grade school. I wrote for my college newspaper and I just published my first book March 2015!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Marking Madden (Hearts of Hollis: Book One)

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