Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

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 fa├žade 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. (from goodreads.com)

I started my Christmas reading a little bit early this year! Now if only I could plan ahead for once and get my Christmas shopping done too.

But all jokes aside, I was looking for a light read to listen to while I go for walks with my dog, and I saw that Twelve Days of Christmas was available on Libby. When I saw it was in audiobook format I figured it was a sign that I should listen to this book again (my first time reading it was a couple of years ago), although I can't seem to find any record of it on my goodreads account. Oh well!

Twelve Days of Christmas is about a young woman named Julia Padden who has a lot going on in her life. She works at Macy's, she's the accompanist at her church, she volunteers, and she takes on a special challenge right at the beginning of Christmastime. Her dream job is to work in social media and she has the chance at a new job, but it's down to her and another candidate. The employer asks them to both start a blog and whoever gets the most hits and comments gets the job.

It's a silly premise, but as Julia's blog takes off during the holiday season, it makes for some pretty interesting situations. It was really enjoyable to read about how the challenge brings her and her neighbor Cain closer together. Another fun aspect to the story is Cain's grandfather, who helps Julia learn more about Cain, which makes her more empathetic to his somewhat defensive personality.

Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite authors to read Christmas romances from and I definitely recommend this one. It's a cute story and although it's a little bit predictable, it's sweet enough to make you want to keep reading and find out what happens next.

xo Marian