Title: Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 290 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Continuing in a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Times bestselling 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.
Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber is a heartwarming holiday romance that carries a lovely reminder to treat others with kindness.
Julia Padden is blessed with an upbeat and sunny personality but her neighbor Cain Maddox is not buying her friendly act. While venting to her best friend Cammie about his grumpy attitude, her friend suggests that she go out of her way to be kind to him. Cammie also encourages Julia to blog about her experiment to build her following and hopefully secure the social media job she is vying for. So for the next twelve days, Julia redoubles her efforts to be nice to her cranky neighbor and much to her amazement, her blog attracts a huge following who offer suggestions and helpful advice on how to win over Cain. She is also pleasantly surprised by the positive changes in herself as she continues being kind to Cain despite his initial indifference.
After a lifetime of heartache, Cain is standoffish and emotionally closed off. He is devoted to his grandfather but with everyone else, he holds them at arms’ length. He is definitely not a morning person and he resents Julia’s endless chatter and unrelenting optimism. Convinced she is putting on an act, Cain resists her friendly overtures until he realizes that she is genuinely nice. Slowly but surely, Julia begins to chip away at his defenses, but once he finds out about her blog, will his trust issues ruin their chance at happiness?
Although the story takes place over a course of twelve days, the relationship between Julia and Cain is believable and grows naturally as they become friends. At first, Julia does not give Cain the benefit of the doubt as she seethes over his unfriendly attitude and somewhat questionable actions. For his part, Cain is suspicious that Julia is only being nice so she can get something from him, but he relaxes his guard once he is assured she is perky and friendly to everyone. The shift from reluctant friendship to romance is gradual but realistic as Julia and Cain take the time to get to know each other. But trouble awaits since Julia is reluctant to tell him about her blog. Will Cain forgive her once he knows the real reason she was being so nice in the beginning?
With a cast of charming characters, a conflict free, unique storyline and a sweet love story, Twelve Days of Christmas is an absolutely delightful read. Old and new fans of Debbie Macomber are going to love this uplifting romance that perfectly captures the holiday spirit.