I know, I know. I’ve been featuring a lot of Christmas-themed books on my blog lately, and it’s January. Time to move onto the next thing, right? While the me from a few years ago would have agreed with you, no Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, the current me just has to celebrate the successes of my friends.
Audrey Bodine has quickly become one of my best friends. We met on Instagram, and I think it was clear that we were meant to be more than just “likes” and “followers.” I have had the privilege of reading her writing on a couple of occasions now, and let me just say, it NEVER disappoints me.
And so, it is with great excitement (and some pride) that I announce to you all, her debut novel 18 Days of Christmas will be available to each of you on January 18, 2019. Make sure you’re following her on her instagram so that you see all the details about the release. This is one you’re going to NEED to add to your virtual shelves!
Before I get into my official review, let me share with you the synopsis:
She was ready for another predictable holiday season. He was praying for an actual merry Christmas for his daughter.
Beckett Caden has one wish this year: that his daughter’s Christmas would be as magical as children’s holidays were supposed to be.
After two bittersweet December twenty-fifths without his wife, Beckett knows he needs to do something different this year, for his daughter. Listening to his parents’ advice, he takes a break from his executive position at their family-run bookstore chain and books a trip for Holly and himself. Beckett hopes that a few weeks in a charming lodge, with a laundry list of fun activities, will help to restore the smile that used to light up his little girl’s eyes.
Through snowman building, city sightseeing, and a constant theme of Christ through the season, Beck begins to think this was the right decision. The only downside? The sarcastic and irritating elf of a woman with hair as boisterous as Santa Clause, himself.
When an unexpected snow storms traps them all inside, it’s either work alongside the Elf or watch chaos overtake the understaffed inn. Surviving with the aid of caffeine and prayer, Beckett has a feeling this Christmas will turn out to be one of the most memorable he’s had.
Elise McKenzie needs a social life. At least, that’s been the constant mantra from her family for the past, oh, all her adult years.
With her freelancing graphic design work and the volunteering she does at her grandparents’ lodge, Elise seems to be the only one happy with her life. Even if the male she most frequently has deep conversations with *is* her cat.
For Elise, this holiday season brings a flurry of unsanctioned blind dates, questions about the future, and a snowfall that will keep her toe-to-toe with the single father whose dimples remind her of the infuriating enjoyment he receives from pushing her buttons.
Elise’s Christmas wish? Survive this season and try not to bonk the obnoxious guest over the head with a gingerbread house.
There are some great things I could mention about this book. The family aspect, the unique and well-developed characterization of each of the characters, the tender and yet still comically endearing approach to romance, the vivid descriptions of the town, all of the Christmas festivities… But I think my favorite part of about this book was the way it made me smile and giggle like a little girl!
Audrey Bodine writes with a kind of laugh-out-loud humor that sneaks up on you and surprises you every time. 18 Days of Christmas is full of relatable dialogue and witty one-liners that come off as so natural, you’ll have a hard time believing this is fiction and not an actual transcript of conversations you’ve had with your friends at the coffee shop. It’s a style that is no doubt going to define her career and quickly become her trademarked “thing.”
But I think that the best part of that humor, is that you feel good after you read it. 18 Days of Christmas, although full of punchlines and shenanigans, still points back to the most important things in life: faith, love, and the grace of God.
I highly recommend that you add this book to your wish list, and add Audrey to your watch list! Even though this book hasn’t even been officially released yet, I can honestly say I’m already waiting anxiously for more!
Happy reading everyone! Until next time,