The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson

Title - The Twelve Dates of Christmas
Author - Lisa Dickenson
Publication Date - October 22nd 2015
Publisher - Sphere 
Format - Paperback
Pages - 384

At thirty, Claudia's life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds her facing life - and Christmas - alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It's also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing's for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different...

This is the story of Claudia and her twelve dates of Christmas. Hilarious, uplifting and romantic, it's a story about losing love, finding love, and discovering what's been there all along. Expect Christmas sparkle, butterflies-in-your-stomach romance and a lot of very funny moments in The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

This is the very first novel by the wonderful Lisa Dickenson that I've had the pleasure of reading, and I have to say that it has been a complete and utter joy! There has been so much talk of this novel floating about on social media, so much so that I really couldn't wait to disappear inside.

In The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson, we're introduced to Claudia, a wonderfully amusing yet endearing character who I loved right from the very beginning. When we first meet Claudia, she's off on a very overdue date with long-term boyfriend Seth, and honestly? The excitement and enthusiasm brimming from Claudia within these first few pages was completely infectious. The reader is told, with Dickenson's gorgeously sweep-you-off-your-feet voice, of the relationship between Claudia and Seth isn't exactly what it used to be, and I think is definitely something readers can relate to! It was impossible for me not to get swept up in Claudia's positivity for the evening which she'd share with Seth, so when it all came tumbling down around her, my heart felt crushed too, just like Claudia's. From just the first chapters of The Twelve Dates of Christmas, I was rooting for Claudia. I wanted nothing but brilliant things to go her way and couldn't wait to see what Dickenson had in store for me, and Claudia, throughout the rest of the novel.

As the title suggests, Claudia ventures upon twelve dates in her story, of which made this an incredibly entertaining and delightfully humorous and witty book. Upon these dates, Claudia experiences a whirlwind of positives and negatives, having me both crying out loud with unsuppressed laughter and cringing horrifically with mortification. From Covent Garden and the Royal Opera House, to London Bridge Quarter and The Shard, Lisa Dickenson took me on a merry jaunt through the snowy scenery with a fabulous heroine, Claudia, by my side. It was exciting, at times deliciously sweet, and at others, heartbreakingly tender. It was a novel full of ups and downs that only added to my pleasure, and I really didn't want it to end. Ever. And although Dickenson's wit and winning humour won me over again and again, the snow-sprinkled romance shone through, regardless of other events taking place in Claudia's tornado-like life and won my heart over completely.

Besides the chaos of Claudia's new dating life, and the arrival of some pretty tough decision making, another aspect of The Twelve Dates of Christmas that warmed me from the inside out were the friendships within this novel. Claudia's two best friends, Penny and Nick, were an absolute delight to be introduced to, especially Nick. I loved the bond between these three, the shared past in ballet which they shared, and the hilarious banter and camaraderie that pinged back and forth. I feel like the friendship only intensified the festive cheeriness of the novel and made me love it ever more.

I can't enthuse about The Twelve Dates of Christmas enough. It's certainly one to ensure you have in your Christmas to-read pile this year, and one that I know will definitely, without a doubt, leave you with the silliest, biggest grin on your face. Ever! 

Fabulously festive, fire-cracklingly funny and sprinkled with the rosiest of romance! Becca's Books is awarding The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson with FIVE GORGEOUS CUPCAKES! You will laugh your Christmas socks off, I promise!

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