ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Karina Halle’s Hollow ARC Review

Thank you to Karina Halle and her team for the advance reader copy of Hollow, book one of a duet with the conclusion Legend coming on October 30th. It is part of the A Gothic Shade of Romance series, which will be made up of various horror and gothic romance retellings. Hollow is a retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Karina never misses! I knew this retelling was in good hands because I knew she could definitely deliver something equally spooky and steamy. If you are looking for a smutty read this spooky season look no further.

I am a Karina Halle review team member, but I remain honest and genuine in my reviews.

From the New York Times bestselling author of River of Shadows and A Ship of Bones and Teeth comes a smutty spooky dark academia gothic romance retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where Kat Van Tassel doesn’t have to choose between Brom Bones and Ichabod Crane, and there are worse things haunting them than the Headless Horseman.

Ever since she was a child, Kat Van Tassel knew that her parents had arranged for her to marry her best friend, Brom Bones, when she became of age. That was until Brom mysteriously vanished from the secretive village of Sleepy Hollow when he was just a teenager.
Now, at nineteen, Kat is fulfilling the tradition of attending Sleepy Hollow Institute, a shadowy and prestigious school that is run by her powerful family. There she starts to fall for her new teacher, the enigmatic, smart, and much older Ichabod Crane, whose fascination with dark magic and the occult brings out a new side of Kat—in more ways than one.
Until Brom Bones suddenly appears in her class. Her childhood friend doesn’t remember what happened to him in the four years that he’s been gone, all he knows is that he’s back in Sleepy Hollow for good. The only problem is, he’s not the same man that Kat knew. Cocky and brash as a youth, this Brom is violent and prone to bouts of madness. It doesn’t help that his reappearance coincides with gruesome decapitations that are plaguing the town, with rumors swirling about a vengeful ghost called The Headless Horseman.
Determined to get to the bottom of the murders and Brom’s volatility, Crane takes Brom under his wing to study him, and they begin to grow close, just as they do with Kat. But the more that the threesome submits to their sexual desires on the path to the truth, the more dangerous Sleepy Hollow becomes.  The Headless Horseman might claim them as his next victims…if something even more terrifying doesn’t get to them first.

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: Our heroine Katrina Van Tassel was the perfect point of view character. She is just as naive as the reader about what Sleepy Hollow holds and I loved seeing points of the mystery unfold through her eyes. Her heroes, are Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones and in Karina’s story, she will not have to choose one over the other. Crane is a professor, specifically the newest professor at Sleepy Hollow’s academy and he was probably my favourite part of this book. His character was so interesting and I loved how hard he fought to protect not just Katrina, but Brom. Brom is not just Katrina’s childhood friend but her betrothed. Crane has his own history with Brom, something I cannot wait to explore more in the sequel. Brom is complicated and I really did not know what to think of him except for he better be okay!
  • Setting: This story is set in Sleepy Hollow and I loved all the spooky vibes! The story begins with Katrina heading off to the Sleepy Hollow Academy which has the best dark academia and gothic vibes. Some of the scenes here were absolutely terrifying, especially Crane’s scenes overnight. I loved finding out more about the school, and all the teachers and students within it.
  • Pacing: From the first few pages I was hooked on Hollow. I started it Sunday night read as much as I could and got up early before work on Monday to finish it. I always find Karina’s pacing so compelling and I loved where she took the story. This book ended in the perfect spot and has made me just die with want for more.
  • Romance: What initially intrigued me about this book was that it would be Karina Halle’s first MMF romance. This first instalment only really plays with MF and MM as Karina builds all the character relationships, and so no complaints from me I like how all of it is developing. Needless to say, this book is so smutty and I ate it all up. Katrina and Crane are that professor/student dynamic that I am always a sucker for with a nice eleven-year age gap. Crane and Brom’s relationship while only given a few glimpses I cannot wait to see how it develops. Karina did such a good job illustrating how Katrina will be the glue in this triad and now I must just wait patiently for what I know will be a delicious payoff.

Hollow receives five out of five stars.

You can pick up the story here.

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Thank you again to Karin and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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