The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Jenny Bayliss

Quick Synopsis

Kate is happy with her life but has not fully given up on finding love. With some nudging from her best friend, Kate signs up for a dating agency’s twelve dates of Christmas to find love before the holidays. Will Kate find love with one of her twelve dates or give up all together?

Publisher’s Synopsis

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. . . .

Book Review

The Twelve Dates of Christmas was Jenny Bayliss’s debut novel about a thirty-four year old looking for love in her small English village during the holiday season. Bayliss takes the reader on a journey as Kate, the protagonist, attends twelve blind dates – all winter- or holiday-themed.

For me, The Twelve Dates of Christmas was more contemporary fiction than romance. I just did not find much romance within its pages. Does our protagonist end up in love and happy at the end? Yes, but there was not enough of a build for me to label this book as romance. Regardless, it was a lot of fun to follow Kate on her dates, both good and disastrous. If nothing else, this book will entertain you and immerse you in the holiday season.

I loved the quaint, English village setting, where everyone knows everyone and gossip spreads like wildfire, but not in a vicious manner. The protagonist was surrounded by family and friends making it feel even more Christmas-y to me. All the snow fall and descriptions had me pining extra hard for a white Christmas (which is looking very unlikely).

I thought that The Twelve Dates of Christmas was a strong debut novel. There was an interesting plot, and the writing was solid. I did not care for how descriptive portions of the book were and had to keep myself from just skimming those paragraphs. My personal preference is descriptions that provide a clear picture of what is happening, the setting, etc. without being overly verbose or slowing down the story. There was just a bit of that within The Twelve Dates of Christmas but not enough to hamper my enjoyment or become annoyed.

Overall, I enjoyed The Twelve Dates of Christmas, especially as a story that will immerse you in the holidays and all that they include. I would recommend it unless you are looking for a book heavy on the romance.


Overall Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Character development

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas


Romance – Holiday

Publication Date
October 13, 2020


Storygraph Rating
3.49 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.65 stars

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