With the cold temperatures finally making their debut in December and with the holiday season in full swing, cozy winter and holiday-themed books were at the top of my reading list. From new releases to some older releases, I got through four books this past month! The first was our OMP Book Club December book, The Santa Suit. It gave me major Hallmark vibes, was the perfect length, and was such a good read for kicking off the holiday season. After finishing that one up, I started the Moose Springs series before diving into The Twelve Dates of Christmas.
What I Read in December
THE SANTA SUIT BY MARY KAY ADAMS
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.
At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?
Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.
My Review: This book gave me major Hallmark vibes! It’s short and sweet and can be read in one sitting, which I can always appreciate. After finalizing her divorce, Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen and moves to a small mountain town in North Carolina, which completely changes her life. On her first night at the Four Roses Farm, she finds an old Sant Claus suit with a crumbled-up note to Santa asking for a special Christmas wish. Naturally, Ivy becomes obsessed with what happened and we follow along as she figures out what happened. While this book delivers zero surprises, if you love Christmas and Hallmark movies as much as I do, you’ll love this one!
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS BY JENNY BAYLISS
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…
My Review: I was so excited to finally be reading this book after reading so many rave reviews about it, but it fell a little flat for me. 34-year-old Kate Turner is looking for love and signs up for the Twelve Dates of Christmas, a series of blind dates leading up to Christmas, hoping she’ll find the one. I found the dates to be repetitive and predictable and within the first chapter or so, knew exactly how the book was going to end.
My Rating: 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
THE TOURIST ATTRACTION BY SARAH MORGENTHALER
When Graham Barnett named his diner The Tourist Trap, he meant it as a joke. Now he’s stuck slinging reindeer dogs to an endless string of resort visitors who couldn’t interest him less. Not even the sweet, enthusiastic tourist in the corner who blushes every time he looks her way…
Two weeks in Alaska isn’t just the top item on Zoey Caldwell’s bucket list. It’s the whole bucket. One look at the mountain town of Moose Springs and she’s smitten. But when an act of kindness brings Zoey into Graham’s world, she may just find there’s more to the man than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.
My Review: Let me start by saying if you don’t enjoy a cheesy romance, this book (and series!) is not for you. The Tourist Attraction was really cute, had a great mix of sassy characters, and had a fun setting. I had such a hard time putting it down! With that being said, the characters and relationships were very surface level and at times, the story felt a little repetitive. But alas, I loved Graham and Zoey’s instant connection and how a small town deals with tourists. It’s also a long book (around 400 pages) and could definitely have been cut down a smidge.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
MISTLETOE & MR. RIGHT BY SARAH MORGENTHALER
Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs…even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.
And really…how hard could it be?
The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast…and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong…together.
My Review: The second book in the Moose Springs series, it’s a cute book and grabs your attention. Again, if you don’t like cheesy romances, this book (and series!) is not for you. Lana is determined to help the town of Moose Springs and Zoey and Graham are in the thick of their relationship. You can’t help but cheer on all of the characters and wish the town and the tourists could live together civilly. You could also read this as a standalone book and since it’s not really Christmas-themed, you could definitely read it throughout the winter!
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️