Published October 4th 2016 by Ballantine Books
Synopsis: Continuing in a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Timesbestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer—and the magical prospect of finding love in the most unexpected places.
Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.
To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.
My Review: My Christmas reading season begins with Debbie Macomber’s Christmas romance. I look forward to them every year. They are a light, happy read that you can read in a day or so and end up smiling and feeling good. The holiday reading season has now begun. Other reviewers have described this book as a Hallmark Movie and that is right on. The ones where you cuddle up under a blanket with a hot chocolate or a Bailey’s coffee and just enjoy. The plot was fun and light, although somewhat predictable. The idea of trying to get someone out of their funk or grouch by “Killing them with Kindness” is a great theme and idea for this book.
Julia is a perky, happy single woman who meets her neighbour from across the hall in the elevator. He is rather grouchy and it is obvious he wants nothing to do with her. She gets exasperated when she sees him stealing her newspaper and her best friend, Cammie, suggests she kill him with kindness. She is trying to drum up business for a blog to win a new job and what better topic than this?
We know it is a romance so nobody should be surprised that within the twelve days before Christmas, there are strong feelings between Cain and Julia. As we have come to expect in the Christmas Romance books from this author, there is turmoil. Nothing goes perfectly. There is a time when it looks like all is lost, but fear not.
The characters are great. The only complaint is that we really do not find out much about Julia’s past. I would have liked to have gotten to know her better. She is a great person, happy and cheeful to everyone, does charity and volunteer work and is in a job that is only a stepping stone for her, but not much about how this all came about. On the other hand, we learn a lot about Cain’s past. I enjoyed the addition of his grandfather in the book, he seems to be quite the character and certainly loves his grandson.
Twelve Days of Christmas is exactly what I expected when I picked this up, a romance with a happy ending set during the Christmas Season. It makes you feel good when you read it and you root for both Julia and Cain to have their happy ending.
The publisher generously provided an ARC of this book through Netgalley.