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.
Stand Alone Title
Title: Twelve Days of Christmas
Author: Debbie Macomber
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Random House – Ballantine
My Rating: 5 stars
I’ll be honest. My holiday reading marathon never really kicks into high gear until I’ve got Debbie Macomber’s newest Christmas novel in my hands. Oh, sure I’ll be re-reading all of her Christmas stories right up until Christmas Eve, but I always am happy to see that new title on my shelf. This year it’s on a virtual shelf, but that’s okay.
Twelve Days of Christmas is a charming, fun, clean Christmas romance. Two people who seem to be such opposites, yet they share one major trait. They both have trouble trusting others. Oh Julia would deny it. And Cain would just grumble about it, but at the base they’ve been hurt before and they won’t easily allow others in to do that to them again.
Julia has tried to be nice to her gruff neighbor but when she catches him red-handed swiping her newspaper she draws the line. Okay, so maybe people in the building do just grab a paper and expect everyone to do the same until eventually they all get at least a newspaper if not their numbered one – but still he has her newspaper and she wants it back. After Cain grumpily hands it back, and immediately swipes another one she’s done with the man. Later that morning she’ll complain to a friend about her rude neighbor – and will be given the perfect revenge and opportunity. Kill him with kindness turns into a blogging adventure with many followers who will encourage her to continue her quest. It looks like she’s going to win that competition for the social media position – but at what cost.
Throughout the twelve days leading to Christmas, Julia will indeed attempt to kill Cain with kindness. And it’s slowly working as they become more gentle with each other and eventually find a kind of friendship forming. That there might be something more is a possibility that each are a bit afraid to explore but Julia has additional fears now. If Cain discovers her Twelve Days of Christmas blog detailing their growing relationship he’s bound to be angry and find that his trust once again has been used against him. Has she found the perfect for her man… only to lose him over a competition blog? Only time… and reading the book will tell.
I adored Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s full of Christmas spirit, interesting characters, a lovely if mistrustful at times couple and eventually the love that makes it all worth while. I would definitely recommend adding this to your Christmas reading list – for may years to come.
*I received an e-ARC of Twelve Days of Christmas from the publisher, Random House – Ballantine and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
This review first appeared on my book blog Keeper Bookshelf.
Available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle