Review: Tracing Holland by Alyson Santos

Posted September 17, 2016 by Wil in Blog Tours, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Tracing Holland by Alyson SantosTracing Holland (NSB Book 2) by Alyson Santos
on September 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Artist, Contemporary, Friends to Lovers, Musicians, Road Trip, Romance
Buy on Amazon

Book 2 of 2 of the NSB Series.

Second chances are hard enough when you deserve them. Then there are the ones you don’t.

Callie asked if I was ready. And that’s the question, isn’t it? Ready for what? The spotlight? The music? Or ready for life. Ready to face the reality that what I was is going to attack the very fabric of who I am now. No one knows I’m a different person. Well, no one except the two most important people in my life, which is why there’s a remote chance I might actually pull off the comeback I never saw coming.

Then again, that was before Holland Drake crashed into my life. I didn’t ask for her. Heaven knows she didn’t ask for me. But sometimes it’s not about what makes sense; it’s about accepting that not everything will. It’s learning you have a choice when it feels like you don’t. It’s believing even the worst past can still have a future.

And sometimes it’s none of that. Sometimes it’s survival. A blind fight through the pain as you cling to any shred of hope you can find. And it’s those moments, those desperate pleas into the darkness for a flicker of light, when you have no choice but to confront the blessing that often feels like a curse:
You’re still alive. You’re still significant.

You’re once again Luke Craven, frontman for Night Shifts Black.

This novel is a work of fiction and intended for mature readers. Events and persons depicted are of a fictional nature and use language, make choices, and face situations inappropriate for younger readers. Please note this book also addresses the issues of depression and suicide in a compassionate, realistic manner.





“Perfection is finding that one disaster that makes sense with yours.”


I loved everything about this book, no ifs, not buts, you won’t find that on this review. I LOVED EVERYTHING. This was just simply beautiful and plain amazing and one of my top reads of 2016.  If you’ve read my review of Night Shifts Black, you know I was slightly disappointed by the fact that Luke wasn’t really the hero in Callie’s story. To be honest and fair, I had no idea Luke would have his own book, had I knew then, maybe my perspective would’ve been different. Not that I didn’t love NSB, I did. But I loved Luke too much, I was so sad for him and so invested in his story that I felt was incomplete. I didn’t understand, but now I do, Tracing Holland needed to happen, Luke needed Holland for his life to be completed, and I needed this book. I honestly didn’t know how much I needed this book until I read it!


Anyway, I do have to say that this is Book 2, you need to read Book 1, you need to read Night Shifts Black, there’s no way around it, this isn’t even a “could be read as a standalone” it’s not, the events of NSB are not recapped here, the story just continues. So, if you haven’t read NSB, stop reading my review and do me a favor and pick up NSB, you WILL NOT be disappointed!


Tracing Holland picks up after NSB ends, the band is going on tour and it chronicles Luke’s journey through this second chance at life, in general and on the road. I love Luke, I love, love, love Luke. He’s been through so much, he struggles with so much, depression and self-deprecation, they are so real, so so real, and yet he’s able to survive and thrive. His light is so bright, he just needs help seeing himself, the way others see him.


“You deserve to be loved. You deserve friends. You deserve to let someone in. I’m not saying it has to be Holland, but if it is, you need to let it happen.”


Enter Holland. Oh how I loved Holland! She’s my favorite, she’s not lost, she’s not broken, she has her life together, she’s a musician and understands that aspect of his life, she is exactly what Luke needed. The attraction between them was instant, but Holland being the awesome person she is, had a set of rules that included no hook-ups with musicians, yet, she couldn’t help to gravitate towards Luke.


“You’re the very reason I have my rules and yet make me want to break them every second we’re together. I don’t know what to do anymore! I don’t know how to fix it, how to make it stop and put things back to the way they’re supposed to be. I don’t know how to forget the music now that it’s ingrained in my soul!”


I assume that if you kept reading my review, you’ve read NSB, lol. So, one of the things I loved about Tracing Holland was the pacing of how the relationship progressed, it moved slow, it happened organically, nothing was forced, the timing was perfect.


“We may not have a clue about how to be together, but there’s no more denying we can’t seem to separate no matter how hard we try.”



Have I mentioned how much I loved Holland? I love how she understood Luke without effort. I loved that she never gave up on him, even when Luke would give up on himself.


“You’re not broken, Luke. Just lost,” she says softly. I glance up, and she brushes my wet cheek. “Not a ‘broken wanderer,’ just a wanderer like the rest of us. You just insist on doing it alone, which never works.”



“No, you know what scares me, Luke?” she whispers, still staring into my eyes. “I’m terrified I’m not even close to finished falling in love with you.”


And Luke, my brave Luke, he finally believed in possibilities, he gave himself a second chance, and I loved every minute of it.


““Damn, you’re beautiful. Perfect,” I observe, suddenly pulling back and gazing down at the goddess beneath me. “Not as beautiful as we are together,” she returns, lacing her fingers with mine and kissing them.”


Callie and Casey are also very present in the story. I love them a lot too and I love the relationship between the 3 of them. The love that they have for Luke is endless and there’s no doubt Luke feels the same way about them. Some other second characters were introduced that I loved as well, Holland’s family, especially her sisters were awesome. I also loved Luke’s relationship with Jesse.


I also loved the writing. Alyson Santos is ridiculously talented and her writing on this book is simply gorgeous. I have so much highlighted it’s not even funny.


 “ I’m amazed at how we fit, two halves forming a whole, two imperfections transforming into a beautiful masterpiece.”


“Holland squeezes my hand and gives me that smile that links my soul with hers. That makes me believe my life might actually be more than a maybe. That turns my future into a conversation instead of a punch-line. The smile that refused to believe my lies.”



So, needless to say, I absolutely positively, 100% recommend Tracing Holland. Alyson Santos has now become an instant one-click for me and Tracing Holland is a must read, after you read Night Shifts Black of course! And I want more of this gang, pretty, please? I’m greedy, I know.


 “I’m going to be in love with you, Luke Craven,” she breathes into the peace. I smile. “I’m going to be in love with you, too, Holland Drake.”




**An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**





Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Amazon AU







His name is Luke. But nobody knows that. He was an iconic musician before he gave up music. But nobody knows that either. They also don’t know he’s twenty-seven, that he used to have an infectious laugh, and that he’s way too young to be widowed. They certainly don’t know the rest of his tragic story. All they know is that he comes into their café at the same time every morning and stares at the same chair at the same table. They know he’s strange. They know he interrupts their breakfast with a cold blast of air as he hovers in the doorway, mustering the courage to confront a piece of furniture.

No one asks why. No one cares. He’s fine with that. He’s done with life. This isn’t even his story anymore. It’s actually Callie’s, the young writer who sat in his chair one day.


Amazon USAmazon AUAmazon CAAmazon UKB & NKobo


Greetings from the Inside is a song written and produced exclusively based from the story of Night Shifts Black.

Watch the lyrical video on YouTube:

Greetings from the Inside (feat. Night Shifts Black) is also available for purchase on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes.

Google Play:










About Alyson Santos

I’m a writer, musician, and cat lover. I’m an alternative music junkie. Seriously, totally addicted.

I write what needs to come out, whether it’s pain, tears, or laughter. I write people and relationships, about the beauty and horror of what we do to ourselves and each other. I write Love. Vengeance. Compassion. Cruelty. Trust. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Darkness, and the incredible way humans destroy and heal each other.

I like to eradicate barriers, refusing to be confined by the laws of physics or limitations of reality. I will befriend a vast population of possibilities and introduce them in ways that might surprise you.

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