Published by Ballantine Books on October 4th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
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.
¬¬Reviewed by Meril¬¬
When perpetually upbeat Julia meets surly neighbor Cain they get off to a bad start. She nicknames him Ebenezer (for Scrooge) and he thinks she is pesky and way too enthusiastic. As they get to know each other, things change and the sparks start to fly.
Julia is determined to “kill him with kindness” every day for the twelve days of Christmas and report the results on her blog. If the blog does well, she will win her dream job. It isn’t easy, as Cain has been burned in the past by a woman who used him , which makes him suspicious of Julia’s kindness. Julia tries something new every day to win him over, and even befriends Cain’s Grandpa. Things don’t always go smoothly, but as they develop a relationship, things get interesting. Julia just has to keep him from learning that she is blogging about him every day!
Julia is cheery and optimistic, and is a character that everyone would like to have for a friend. She works hard, but takes time to help others. Her soft heart makes her reach out to Cain in hopes of softening him up. Cain is a loner who has no use for women and works hard to keep Julia at a distance. Both characters were believable and interesting.
The book portrayed a modern romantic conflict, because it was played out on-line for thousands of others to read, comment on, and make suggestions via Julia’s blog, unbeknownst to Cain. As Cain is warming up to Julia, the secret lies between them and adds suspense to the story. The reader is kept guessing, “What will he do when he finds out about the blog?” “How will she explain the deception, and will he forgive her?”
I enjoyed this book and readers who like a light hearted modern romance should enjoy it, too.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.