Book Review: Twelve Days of Christmas
By: Debbie Macomber
Published By: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: October 2016
Page Count: 288
Adult - Contemporary Holiday
This is my second Macomber Christmas novel review of the holiday season. I'm truly enjoying spending time in the holiday romances crafted by Debbie Macomber. They are like a mug of hot chocolate full of marshmallows and peppermint. I know that reading one of these will get me in the holiday spirit and make me crave a comfy chair and burrowing under a quilt. I've come to think of Macomber's holiday novels as the comfort food of books.
I have also come to expect a romance in each of these holiday tales. They often take a page from Pride and Prejudice pairing together an unlikely couple that has to overcome some misconceptions about one another to find their happily ever after. Even though I know there will be a somewhat predictable formula with these novels, I don't mind and I find myself lost in the story each time.
Twelve Days of Christmas focuses on Julia, a cheerful retail employee who is trying to land her dream job in social media, and Cain, an aloof neighbor of Julia who doesn't seem to have a smile or kind word for anyone. Julia's previous run-ins with her neighbor haven't been pleasant, but it isn't until Cain steals her newspaper that Julia truly gets irked. (I've noticed that newspaper theft is also a theme in these holiday stories as it is a plot point in The Perfect Christmas as well.) She complains about his behavior to her best friend who suggests that Julia kill Cain with kindness. While Julia is tempted to give Cain the cold shoulder, she decides to try the kindness idea while blogging about her progress to aid her quest for her dream job. She never expects that her kindness experiment will show her a side of Cain (as well as herself) that she never could have expected.
I immediately liked Julia and knew that we would make great friends. Cain, on the other hand, took a bit more perseverance on my part. I, like Julia, felt like Cain was an Ebenezer who couldn't inspire romance anymore than an icicle. He surprised me in the end, but he certainly made me work for it.
Full of Seattle charm and holiday romance, Twelve Days of Christmas is a fabulous read to keep you cozy this December.
One Last Gripe: Some of the dialogue between Julia and Cain was a bit cheesy for my tastes.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the segments that included Bernie.
First Sentence: Cain Maddox stepped into the elevator, and then just as the doors were about to close he heard a woman call out.
Favorite Character: Julia
Least Favorite Character: Cain until he won me over later in the novel
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.