Book Rant: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

twelve dates of christmas book review

Title: The Twelve Dates of Christmas
Author: Jenny Bayliss
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo
Rating: Donate It
Disclaimer: Mild spoilers.

summary book review

‘Tis the season for finding romance in this hilarious and uplifting holiday read

When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?

Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along. . . . (Goodreads)

Thoughts book review

Not many books annoy me. This one unfortunately annoyed me from start to finish. From the character to the plotline to the dialogue, I just found it all one-dimensional and, well, annoying.

I love Hallmark movies (they’re my guilty pleasures and I can’t get enough), so this year I decided to read some Christmas romances. I was hoping to find a feel good, probably cheesy, romance that gave me gooey sweet feelings. The Twelve Dates of Christmas just left me feeling, well, meh.


Kate signs up to go on twelve dates with twelve different men in hopes of finding Mr. Right. Turns out Mr. Right was always there from the start – her best friend Matt. I figured this out from the first page and then spent the whole book screaming at the pages going, “Come on!!!!! Just get together!!!”. Instead I read Kate go on twelve, mostly disastrous, dates with boring, predictable men. The only thing that redeemed this book for me was Drew, her salsa date. I wanted that man’s romance story.

When I pick up a romance, I expect romance. The premise was cute in theory, but in practice it just dragged. I wasn’t invested because I knew Kate wasn’t going to meet Mr. Right on one of these dates. I started to dread every time Kate went on a date because they started to feel like filler. She wasn’t really committing to dating any of these men or getting to know them, so on the romance spectrum we just got a load of first dates. Except Richard, but we don’t talk about Richard (*cough*Asshole*cough*).

The ending was so disappointing. When Kate finally does get with Matt it felt extremely anti-climactic. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good friends-to-lovers romance, but all we got this entire book was their friendship. Sure there was chemistry and you could tell they liked each other, but there was no ROMANCE. I want romance!!! They kiss with like 30 pages left to go and that’s it. All the romantic development is implied through their past history as friends and not fleshed out in the book, so I didn’t really care. They finally get together and I was so exhausted from the 7642 dates of Christmas that I was mostly just happy it had finally happened and the book was ending.

Also, if I had to read one more seven page description of Kate baking brownies or designing fabrics for her job based on some leaf she saw I was going to lose my mind. After the second one I just skimmed all of those passages. There was so little description elsewhere and not much plot development that I feel like these words could have been used better.

The one thing I did love was the cute Christmas town it was set in. The book did give me feel good Christmas vibes, I mean there were a bunch of Christmas themed dates. It definitely felt like the kind of cute, Hallmarky, British town I would want to spend Christmas in.

I enjoyed the premise and I think this book had great potential, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me unfortunately.

Have you read The Twelve Dates of Christmas? Are you planning to? What are your thoughts? Any other books that have gotten you in the Christmas mood lately? Please share in the comments! I NEED more!

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7 thoughts on “Book Rant: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

    1. Haha yes! This book really was an example of what can go wrong in romance (i.e. no romance lol). While it wasn’t a bad book per se, it just really didn’t do what it set out to. I’m like 1-1 for Christmas romance books right now. I’m hoping I find some more good ones. – Amber

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha sorry! It isn’t the worst book, just if you’re looking for a book with lots of romance, this one really didn’t have it. I think it was just the execution of the story with the twelve dates that made it really drag. – Amber

      Liked by 1 person

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