By: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 10/4/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
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 even the most guarded hearts.
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.
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A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Debbie Macomber delivers her annual heartwarming Christmas holiday story, Hallmark style, TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS —when a little kindness goes a long way. From, a creative blog, and two neighbors which have different opinions of the Christmas holidays. A little holiday contemporary romance magic in the most likely of places. Opposites attract.
Cain Maddox is not a friendly neighbor. He, in fact, steals Julia Padden’s newspaper and thinks nothing of it. Neighbors in the same apartment complex, Julia is appalled by his behavior. He also has an Irish setter, Schroeder, the one he had inherited from his grandfather Bernie when he moved into the assisted-living complex. Not only was he unfriendly, he was a thief.
Julia Padden is about the Christmas, the season of goodwill and charity. Apparently, her grumpy neighbor had not taken the spirit of Christmas to heart. She works at Macy's (in the men’s department) and is debt-free, for the last seven years. She had been forced to drop out of college and take night classes while working full time. It took her longer to get her degree in communications.
The holidays were quite challenging and got in the way of visiting with her family and other activities. She also volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club to help her friend and the youngsters with their holiday program.
She was thirty-one, and not currently in a serious relationship, after Dylan. She also ran a blog. She was going through interviews with a software company, and because the job was in social media, the company suggested a competition between the final two candidates in the form of a blog. The candidate who could generate the largest following in the month of December would be awarded the job.
Cain thought his neighbor, was a bit "over the top" with her cutesy, talkative personality. Usually, the chirpy and happy ones did not appeal to him. He could sense she was "trouble" the first moment he saw her with her exuberant good morning, “Ms. Sunshine.”
Julia’s friend, Cammie suggested she kill him with kindness. After all, it was only twelve days to Christmas. The idea comes to her to generate interest in the blog. The neighbor would be a perfect topic. She would report the progress. Readers would love it!
Her friend said she needed something fresh and fun. A subject to pique interest. The man was annoying, disagreeable, and stubborn (handsome of course, as well). She decided to do it, “Twelve Days of Christmas.”
From her creative funny blog entries, Julia begins trying to turn “Scrooge” into some kind of nice person, with the help of her readers and followers. She welcomes their comments and ideas.
The comments start rolling in, and at the same time, she begins to notice how buff her neighbor is. Cain also had to admit his irritating neighbor was beginning to "get to him."
From Bah humbug to a little help from his grandfather Bernie at the Manor House, and some holiday baking, Julia begins to learn a little more about her mysterious neighbor and his background.
Ebenezer even accuses her of stalking him, when they wind up in the same places. Will" killing him with kindness", be the death of her? She continues on with the help of her newfound social media blog fans’ comments and encouragement--which is a hit.
Soon she finds herself looking forward to seeing Cain, but she could not let him know about her little experiment. From the flu, and possibly falling for the guy, a little mischief and holiday romance may be in store, while at the same time, the blog may be so popular, she may even win the job as December 25 comes to the final chapter.
Will he find out she was using him and risk losing the relationship with her newfound romantic love? Now the TV station wants to interview him for a human interest story for Christmas Eve! She was praying he would not find out about her blog.
With some holiday cheer, unexpected romance, puppies, some fun and witty social media creativity for the ultimate a dream job, and an extra dash of love—Macomber captures the Christmas spirit with a modern day twist.
As an added bonus, savor the magic of the season with Debbie Macomber’s Christmas novel preview: Dashing Through the Snow, (coming in paperback Oct 11, 2016) filled with warmth, humor, the promise of love, and a dash of unexpected adventure. (Highly recommend the Hallmark Movie) love Megan Ory.
After a snafu at the airport, Ashley is forced to rent a car in order to make it home to Seattle by Christmas. She ends up sharing the last car on the lot with Dash, a handsome stranger, who also needs to get to Seattle. Little does Ashley know that the "snafu" is because she is on the FBI's no-fly list, and Dash is an undercover agent assigned to trail her.
I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Suzanne Elise Freeman, for an entertaining performance.
Pre-order If Not For You, Coming March 21, 2017.
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About the Author
Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 950 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Ten of these novels hit the number one spot.
In 2016, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include A Girl’s Guide to Moving On (February), Sweet Tomorrows (August), and Twelve Days of Christmas (October) and an adult coloring book, The World of Debbie Macomber: Come Home To Color (April). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.
Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.
Macomber owns two businesses in Port Orchard, WA, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove Series. These include The Grey House Café, formerly the Victorian Rose Tea Room, featured in the Cedar Cove Series, and A Good Yarn Shop, introduced in her popular Blossom Street novels. They are located on the Village Square campus, which also serves as Debbie’s corporate headquarters.
She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington and winter in Florida. Read More