Brenda Malloy wants nothing to do with Christmas ever again. Last year, Brenda and her husband rushed their beloved dog Tim to the emergency vet on Christmas Eve. The good news: Tim survived after the vet cleared the obstruction–a pair of women’s lace undies. The bad news: the undies were not Brenda’s.
A year after the breakup, Brenda has put her life back together. She’s trained for a marathon, is writing a children’s novel, and she’s found purpose and healing as a volunteer with a dog rescue organization in Houston, Texas. The rescue partners with a program in Avalon, New York–a small, snowy town deep in the Catskills. Now, Brenda is arranging the transport of rescued dogs from Houston to Avalon—just in time for a merry Christmas with their forever families. Brenda’s friends worry about her driving a van two thousand miles with twelve dogs in crates, but she shrugs off their concern. How hard can it be? She knows the way, and she’s just looking to escape the Christmas overload for a while.
But a blinding snowstorm, an escaped mutt, and a life-saving encounter with Adam Bellamy—a single dad and paramedic—means Brenda has to stay in Avalon longer than she planned. As she drops off each precious pup at their new homes, some of the comfort and joy of the season begins to creep up on Brenda despite her determination to avoid the holidays. Perhaps you can bring Christmas into your heart after all…if you have the right furry friends to guide the way.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
NetGalley ARC & I purchased my own personal copy.
Title: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas
Series: —Standalone Title—
Author: Susan Wiggs
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published: October 17, 2023
Publisher: William Morrow
My Rating: 4.5
I was easily drawn into and absolutely fell in love with The Twelve Dogs of Christmas. It should also be noted that I had a NetGalley ARC and went back to purchase a copy for my own personal re-read Christmas Romance Stories every year collection. So, that alone should tell you how much fun I had with Brenda, Adam, little doggie Tim, and a whole bunch of pups in this heartwarming, fun Christmas Romance that also highlights some very strong emotions for those who just don’t understand (or want to ignore) the magic of Christmas.
I feel that the Cover Description (Blurb) goes into enough detail to capture your imagination that I don’t need to add much to that. I firmly believe that the fact that I chose to purchase it in addition to having an ARC (no cost to me beyond an honest review) says a lot about my love of this story.
I loved both Brenda and Adam for different reasons. Brenda for what she’s gone through in the past year and the strides she’s made in her own recovery from that mess. But also her vulnerabilities that go far beyond her recent divorce. She’s a very relatable, understandable character, and watching the magic of Christmas take hold in her heart (as well as allowing love to find a home there as well) made her so realistic and believable to me. Adam and his son I just simply adored. Yes, he has a very emotional post-divorce with his ex over shared custody of their son – but beyond that, he is also a man who, while open to finding love again, also has some issues that need to be faced as well. Together, they make a believable couple, realistic enough that I was completely emotionally engaged in their story.
And, not to mention the amazing secondary characters we meet, along with some adorable, personable, and lovable dogs who are finding their own unique forever home. The Twelve Dogs of Christmas simply has everything I want and need in a Christmas Romance (or any Romance for that matter). I would highly recommend this story to any reader who loves a good love story, has a heart for the magic of Christmas, and adores any story with dogs involved as individual characters themselves. I loved this one so much!
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.* **Plus, I purchased my own personal copy**
Available in a variety of formats, including print or your favorite e-reader