Monday, 21 December 2020

Bookish Thoughts: The 12 Dates of Christmas & Christmas Every Day



The 12 Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Description:
When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say "Bah, humbug." The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn't exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate's found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt's neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?

Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before--and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures--Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it's least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it's been right under her nose all along. . . .

My Thoughts:
This book was absolutely delightful! From start to finish I was completely enchanted. Kate is an artist and I enjoyed how it was woven throughout the book. I adored the small tight-knit community she lives in, her relationship with her father, her whacky mother, her best friends and the entire concept of a dating agency that organises 12 dates over December for the participants of the "12 Dates of Christmas". Each date was different, each man was different, and I was in stitches of laughter as Kate wove her way through the various shenanigans. I wasn't remotely surprised with who Kate was with at the end (it's obvious) but for a good chunk of the book, I could not see the path to getting there and that journey - along with the dating antics - kept me engrossed. It's a warm, cozy, and funny read that is packed full of Christmas magic. I definitely want to re-read this next Christmas... Or maybe whenever I need a little pick-me-up. 

Christmas Every Day by Beth Moran

Description:
When Jenny inherits her estranged grandmother’s cottage in Sherwood Forest, she has nothing to lose - no money, no job, no friends, no family to speak of, and zero self-respect. Things can only get better...

Her grumpy, but decidedly handsome new neighbour, Mack, has a habit of bestowing unsolicited good deeds on her. And when Jenny is welcomed into a rather unusual book club, life seems to finally be getting more interesting.

Instead of reading, the members pledge to complete individual challenges before Christmas: from finding new love, learning to bake, to completing a daredevil bucket list. Jenny can’t resist joining in, and soon a year of friendship and laughter, tears and regrets unfolds in the most unexpected ways.

Warm, wise, funny and utterly uplifting, what one thing would you change in your life before Christmas comes around?

My Thoughts:

This was a weird one. I enjoyed it but I wouldn't really call it a Christmas book. It begins in December, it ends in December, and it has references to Christmas (including a 'Christmas in July' moment) but it is not a festive read. Not really. It's a book that works its way through the seasons and takes you on a journey with Jenny as she rebuilds her life and, for the first time in her life, finds out the meaning of friendship and a "found" family. There is a dilapidated house, a rowdy book club and a host of random, interesting and wonderful characters whose stories you get caught up in alongside Jenny's. The romance element was present but honestly? That was the weakest element of the book! I mean, I loved Mack as a character, I adored his grumpy kindness and how he looked out for Jenny but their romance was anything but plain sailing and I didn't enjoy the complications of his (not quite) ex-wife. It didn't stop me rooting for them to get together, I guess it just came too late for me to bask in the happiness of it? I don't know but it was honestly irrelevant as the friendships and community of the characters is what made this story so engaging. It was a book that had me laughing and almost crying with the way it all unfolded and I wouldn't change anything about it. It was touching, heart-warming, frustrating and felt so very real... I'm definitely on board for more from this author and if you haven't read Christmas Every Day I suggest you check it out! Just don't expect a "festive" read!

5 comments:

  1. I've been seeing so many raves for The Twelve Dates of Christmas. I don't even mind a completely predictable outcome when the journey is so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really want to read The Twelve Dates of Christmas. It just seems so cute; I'm glad to hear that you really enjoyed it.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some of those dates were so much fun. I was looking forward to how they would go wrong. Like you, I was hooked from beginning to end and it left me happy, warm, and fuzzy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love humor in a book so I think I will need to read the 12 dates of Christmas. Who rides a bicycle in the snow? Fantastic review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    ReplyDelete