Book: 320 pages (eBook and paperback)
Publisher: Pan (eBook 28th September 2020, paperback 12th November 2020)
On the first day of Christmas, a dating app offered me
Twelve tailored chances for perfect harmony . . .
Kate Turner is happily single – a bit too happily, in fact. Since returning to her hometown of Blexford, a sleepy village where everybody knows each other, and between catching up with her oldest friends Laura and Matt, a flourishing career as a fabric designer, and taking care of her beloved dad, love hasn’t really had a look in.
But Kate does love Christmas. So when Laura insists she signs up to the Twelve Dates of Christmas, a brand new dating app service, she doesn’t need too much persuading. Twelve perfect festive dates with the area’s most eligible men – who could say no?
Amongst the twinkling lights and over hot chocolates and glasses of red wine, romance is easy to find. But with each date, Kate learns more about the men, and even more about herself.
As the big day approaches, Kate’s left wondering – is it really the season for true love, or will this Christmas be the coldest yet?
I’ve had this ARC waiting on my kindle for a few weeks now and the title really appealed to me so I decided to opt for this as my next Christmas read.
The book starts with Kate, unlucky in love, being coerced into signing up to a singles event run by Lightning Strikes dating agency by her best friend, Laura. This isn’t like your usual eHarmony or Match.com dating agency, and there is no swiping involved. All Kate has to do is pay a LOT of money, fill in an online form and then pick 12 different date events she fancies and the company will match her up with a date at each event. Simple. Right?
Kate’s first date doesn’t quite go to plan but luckily her childhood friends Matt and Laura are on hand to offer support, and by support I mean to take the mick out of her! The book moves through the month of December and each of Kate’s 12 dates and we see her go salsa dancing, ice skating, wine tasting, hiking, gingerbread house making (my favourite of the dates!), cocktail tasting, cooking, an escape room and to an outdoor cinema, among other things. She finds herself matched with men who aren’t over their exes, REALLY aren’t their type or who have signed up for a bet to complete “the twelve shags of Christmas” and as Christmas is drawing closer Kate is beginning to realise that this isn’t the way to find true love – maybe her knight in shining armour can help her.
I really love how matter of fact Kate is and how she is a strong female protagonist rather than a pathetic, needy woman who feels she needs a relationship to validate her life – she is successful in her career (a pattern designer for Liberty no less) and decides that if she doesn’t find Mr Right, she’s strong enough to have a baby on her own. She doesn’t need a man.
The story is a funny take on the wonderful world of dating in our modern society but Jenny Bayliss also explores childhood friendships, community, difficult parental/family relationships, loss, divorce and finding love when you are on the wrong side of 30! A truly festive read – although be warned, you will want to snack (and drink coffee!) while reading this. I can’t wait for Jenny’s next book, this one was unputdownable (I read it during a school day!)
To buy this book, please click one of the links below:
To buy from Waterstones (affiliate link)
To buy from Gullivers Books (my local independent book shop)
Or to order from an independent bookshop, please click here to go to Bookshop.org