Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber is the latest, and likely my last, Christmas read of the 2021 season. Macomber has written many more Christmas novels which I might wait to read until Christmas 2022, so I will keep tabs on those titles. I found Twelve Days of Christmas to be similar to her Starry Night, where a woman, in this case Julia Padden, a sales associate at Macy’s, pursues a brutishly impolite man. In this case it’s Cain Maddox (whose surname I just encountered as the name of the child in my last read, A Nantucket Christmas) who lives across the hall from her.

Julia is inspired to transform her Scroogish neighbour by killing him with kindness, and blogs about her humanitarian mission. Typical of Macomber’s heroines is that they are charitable sorts who volunteer at their church or give their time to children’s causes. In this case Julia plays piano for a children’s concert at a seniors home where she meets Cain’s grandfather Bernie, and uses him to find out more about Cain. The relationship between Bernie and Julia is unbelievable in that this older man is so trusting to welcome Julia into his life and spill his life story out to her.

Drama ensues when Julia starts to fall for Mr. Grumpypants and doesn’t want him to find out that she had been using him as a social media experiment. As in Starry Night, both men have miraculous personality changes where they go from loathing to loving the women who pursue them in all but a few pages. I found this all incredible, but maybe this is Macomber’s modus operandi, or of light romance fiction in general.

Macomber has given me five easy-going happy holiday reads that didn’t require any in-depth concentration. I was charmed by the cover art, the colours and the titles. My mood was primed for warm Christmas stories that didn’t disappoint. I wouldn’t have bothered to read five of her novels if I didn’t like them, but there wasn’t much variation. Over Christmas when I have so much to do, leaving little time for leisure reading, I like these simple stories that are quick reads which don’t require a lot of thinking.

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