Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson

Belle loses her job at the beginning of December and is finding that replacements are thin on the ground. She is happy to spend her time working on her Shakespeare website, designed to make the bard more accessible to school children, but still needs to be able to pay her rent. At her mother’s birthday lunch, she is reacquainted with Rory, an old friend from university, who is now a reputation management consultant trying to salvage her father’s tattered reputation. He is back in Bristol for a month to support his mother who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Rory is not a fan of the Christmas season, having lost someone very close to him at that time of year five years previously. Belle, on the other hand, is a massive fan and sets out to change Rory’s mind and distract him by planning various activities with a Christmas theme.

I am not normally a fan of Christmas-themed fiction, but I’m glad I agreed to read Every Day in December as it is about so much more than just Christmas. Belle and Rory are both damaged characters, but very likeable. However, it is her friend Luisa’s daughter, almost-five-year-old Marsha, who steals the show.

There is a chapter devoted to each day in December, with a section from the point of view of both Belle and Rory, so the reader gets a rounded picture of what is going on in both their minds. They are both denying the growing attraction between them, for different though equally valid reasons, but the slow pace makes the romance all the more believable. I also thought the Shakespeare quotes at the start of each chapter were a nice touch.  I had not read anything by Kitty Wilson before, but will look out for her books in future. Thanks to One More Chapter and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.