Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Unless you have been living under a rock, this book has been just about everywhere. At least on my social media it has been! Its seems like everyone has been reading this one and raving about it.

So needless to say, in all my holiday reading I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I thought for sure this was going to be a book that I would breeze through and it would leave me feeling all full of Christmas cheer and happiness.

But instead this one left me feeling a little like a Scrooge. I didn’t love it. It wasn’t awful but it definitely wouldn’t have been my pick for a holiday romance. I had hoped for a lot more humor but I got an angsty vibe that I didn’t anticipate.


‘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. (summary from Goodreads)


The premise of this book started out really strong. I loved the setting and the idea of holiday speed dating. The concept was great and the outcomes of some of the random pairings was hysterical. Plus the dates the couples went on sounded so fun (hello salsa dancing , gingerbread house making etc). The charming small English village was a big plus and I loved the villagers.

But that is where things kind of stalled for me. The main characters felt childish and immature almost form the beginning. Matt and Kate teased each other and bickered like brother and sister for most of the book that I had a hard time believing them to be harboring any romantic feelings toward one another. On her dates, Kate was really self aware and articulate when it came to expressing her feelings towards her dates and I admired that about her, but then she would be around Matt and it was like she was a completely different character.

Matt on the other had didn’t have any charm, I simply found him irritating. All he did was tease her and lecture her on being safe, similar to an older brother but since he wasn’t an older brother it just came across as juvenile. Between the two of them, they just seemed to have this angsty teenager thing going on and they are supposed to be in their thirties. There was nothing about Matt that made me feel anything except annoyance and with Kate I felt like she had such potential as a character but for some reason she just didn’t carry that consistently through the novel.

There were also plot points that I felt as though weren’t necessary……Kate’s mother’s plot for one. It added nothing to the story. Also Kate’s dad’s plot and budding romance didn’t really add anything either in my opinion.

Overall it just didn’t wow me in the way that I had hoped. Yes it has some funny moments and some holiday cheer but it lacked the charming romance that I was hoping for. This book is definitely written with the modern woman in mind…..a young late twenties or early thirties reader that might feel a connection with Kate’s upbringing and struggles as a single professional but it just wasn’t for me.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 320 pages

Published October 13th 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons 


Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 2 stars

Genre: holiday romance, romance


Charming comments go here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s