The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read some books and think, "movie." For this, I thought "miniseries."
Thirty-something Kate lives in one of those English villages that I think exist only in TV shows. Also she has one of those jobs that makes me think, "that's a real job?" She designs fabric. I'll say this: the details of how that is done, and where she gets her inspiration, had me answering that question with "oh, yes, and how fascinating."
It's quaint and since she grew up there, she has many friends. But there isn't anyone special so she signs up for a dating agency. But it's with a twist: twelve dates in December, "the twelve dates of Christmas." Each date is an event arranged by the agency (a cooking class, ice skating, hiking, etc.), and each one will be with a different person. Each chapter is a "date."
Kate and Matt are best friends from childhood, and he's dating someone else, but their chemistry is clear from the beginning and one of the delights of this book is seeing how they get to a place where it makes sense they can be together. That it does so even though he's dating someone else -- I won't give it away, but it's done very well and convincing and with no "bad guys."
Kate's dates are a mix, and it's very realistic: there are some with potential, some are "eh," some that she really likes. I love how she is willing to entertain the possible.