Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

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Star rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis: from Goodreads

‘Tis the season for finding romance in this hilarious and uplifting holiday read

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 cafĂ©. 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. . . .

General information: This was published in October 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

My thoughts:

This was a really cute holiday romcom!

It was a very clean romance, if that’s your sort of thing. I love a good slow burn so I loved that aspect. I also loved the main character, Kate- I felt very invested in her twelve dates. Her misadventures were funny and relatable to anyone who’s ever been on a few first dates.

I was also very invested in Kate and Matt’s friendship, but unfortunately, that was where my investment ended. I normally love the friends-to-lovers trope, but for this specific couple, I mostly just saw them as good friends. (It’s not really a spoiler that this book is about Kate and Matt’s relationship, by the way- just in case anyone was worried). I loved their interactions and their banter, but I didn’t really get a sense that they were romantically inclined until I was told so.

I also felt that the way that Kate and Matt’s other love interests were dispatched was… quick? I knew one of them seemed a little too good to be true, but the other’s departure fell a little flat, to me. (Again, no spoilers- this is a romcom, it’s not exactly a secret that they get together in the end).

As a big fan of the holiday season, though, I loved all the holiday vibes and the small town setting! The town of Blexford was adorable and very English. I also loved the cast of side characters, such as the Knitting Sex Kittens and Kate’s zany mother. The setting was charming and perfect for a holiday romcom.

I also really liked how Kate’s design job was worked into her actions- it’s a small thing, but I really enjoyed how she saw the world around her. I felt like that was done very well.

In the end, I still recommend this to anyone looking for a cozy holiday romcom! While the romance fell a little flat for me, it might not for someone else. This is a great book to read with a glass of eggnog or a hot chocolate. (Or both, I’m not judging how you live). There’s also a lot of baking in the book and several recipes at the end, which I intend to try at some point.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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