Every Day in December was refreshing, feel good, heart-warming contemporary romance and Christmas read that you would enjoy this Christmas or any time of the year.
Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson
Publication Date : August 20th 2021
Publisher : HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter
Genre : Romance / Holiday Romance / Contemporary
Pages : 384
Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
This post contains affiliate links.
Two people. One month to fall in love.
Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself ‘financially challenged’. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.
Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.
But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?
Every Day in December was wonderful holiday romance about dysfunctional family, getting over guilt and loss, having confidence and self-worth, passion, hope, family, friendship, and love.
Writing was lovely, engaging, and steady paced, first person alternative dual narrative written from Belle and Rory’s perspective. Setting of Bristol during winter and Christmas was beautiful.
Plot was great. It took place within a month with December dates as chapter headings. It revolved around Rory and Belle, once a college classmate, reconnecting again, developing a friendship and love as they spent more time together. It was interesting to read how Belle’s dream project will took off, how she would find work, how Rory will get over loss and guilt, move forward in life, learn to love December and Christmas once again, and let love in his life. It wasn’t all fluffy lovey-dovey romance. There was much more to story making it real life romance.
This was more character driven than plot driven story. All characters were realistic and some of them were relatable. Family dynamic was great. Both Rory and Belle grew up in different life style and family that had huge impact in their life. Rory’s family was lovely and caring while Belle’s family was highly dysfunctional. Belle father was manipulative narcissist, control freak jerk who always look for faults in others. He demeaned Belle all her life; her mother made it worst by staying silent, taking her husband’s side and joining laugh against Belle; and her sister was golden child and there was nothing sisterly between the two.
There were many characters in this book but my favourite secondary characters were- Louisa, Belle’s best friend who was more like a family to her. Marsha, Louisa’s daughter and Belle’s goddaughter, was breath fresh air. Alison, Rory’s mother, was fun, loving and amazing person.
Rory and Belle were fantastic character. They both knew each other when they were young and in college and now as thirty years adult gave their characters more layer. Author wonderfully described how they were when they were young and how they grew to be developed and responsible adult.
Belle was my most favourite character. She was kind, loving, jolly, mischievous, and full spirit. It was easy to empathise with her. Looking at her family, the way they treated her, it was no surprise she had self-esteem and self-worth issue. She craved for their love and praise and for that she never snapped back at insults they threw and avoided creating scene and drama. But not fighting for herself and life’s worth demoralising words created such low belief in herself and fear of rejection was so much that she struggled at every step of life.
But her will and determination were admirable. I loved how she went from jobless and struggling to pay bills to having work and more savings than she had in last few years within couple of weeks. I loved how meeting Rory brought comfort and sense of safety in her life, another friend she can open to. His unwavering support brought back confidence and strength to fight for her dignity and not give a shit to people who don’t value her.
Her passion and love for Shakespeare was infectious. I don’t know anything about Shakespeare and now after reading this book I wish she would come out the story and teach me and simplify work of Shakespeare like she did for young kids in school.
Rory was interesting character. He was caring, successful and supportive and loving person. He was close person who didn’t like to share his emotion and feeling with anyone. He was still struggling from grief and guilt of losing his girlfriend in accident five years ago and being back in hometown with news of his mother having breast cancer and needed surgery a week before Christmas didn’t make things easy for him. His fear of losing another person he loved most in world touched my heart. It was great to see how meeting Belle and spending time with her brought smile and laughter back in his life, made him let people in, confront his guilt and planted thought of moving forward in life.
Best part of the book was Rory and Belle’s Christmassy activity. It was fun to read tray hill-sledging, Dickensian Christmas improv, Victorian dance and carriage ride in Tyntesfield, and Christmas party. Belle’s knowledge and passion for Shakespeare was another best thing in book. I didn’t know Shakespeare never wrote full play or sonnet on Christmas. Out of all his work he mentioned Christmas just three times! And it was fun to read about so many Christmas phobias – syngenesphobia, Melegrisphobia, christougenniatikophobia, ghabhphobia, selaphobia. I liked how author showed not every one enjoys holiday and Christmas and it’s often tough time for people and yet they experience magic and hope if they tried.
Romance was slow burn with friends-to lovers arc. Author taking time with both Rory and Belle’s feelings, making them friends first and them slowly developing chemistry between them made it more realistic.
Twist and turns were not much. Most were predictable. I knew Rory was going to have second thought and there was going to be heartbreak in climax but the way he acted and his words surprised me. I’m glad he quickly realised his mistake and planned for big gesture which was fun to read. The end was lovely, entertaining, and uplifting.
Overall, Every Day in December was refreshing, feel good, heart-warming contemporary romance with lots of Christmassy spirit.
I highly recommend this if you like,
friends-to lovers arc
Slow burn romance
Clean adult romance
dysfunctional family trope
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…
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