ARC Review: Just for December by Laura Jane Williams

Happy Monday Everyone,

I hope you all had a marvellous weekend and that you’re feeling refreshed and ready for a new week. This is my penultimate working week for the rest of this year. I’m away on holiday mid-December and and because I’m a contractor, my clients go into closedown over Christmas. So I cannot even express how excited I am to have such a big chunk of time off work.

Book πŸ“–

Thank you to @avonbooksuk for this advanced copy of Just for December by @laurajaneauthor in return for an honest review. Just for December was published on 24th November 2022 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Evie Bird is a romance writer and one of her bestsellers is being made into a Christmas movie. Duke Carlisle is a world leading actor and he has landed the male lead role in the movie. Duke is a huge fan of Evie’s so he is understandably disappointed when they meet and it is very frosty between them.

Images of the pair arguing on set start to leak to the press and this is not a good luck for production so Evie and Duke are forced into a fake dating situation to try and rescue the image of the movie. As the two of them spend more time together, their differences start to fade away and the frostiness between them thaws. But can they really make a romance work within a snowstorm?

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I got my hands on a sample of this book before I kindly got the full version and I knew just from that small section I was going to like it. I really liked that the story wasn’t overly Christmas focused, but had enough of the Christmas feels to make me feel cosy and wintery. The focus was mores on the relationship between Evie and Duke and everything that the world (and they themselves) decided to throw at them.

Characters πŸ‘«πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬

I loved Evie so much. She reminded me of myself in many ways (except I haven’t got lots of money en route to my bank account). She was independent to the point of getting in her own way. She was feisty to the point of making people think she was rude. But all of it was just a barrier for her own protection and I think it was as a result of pain she had gone through in her past. I think she was reluctant to trust anyone but she was also unable to trust herself in many ways.

Duke was such a sweetheart and he was the perfect solution to round off and smooth out Evie’s sharp edges. I did get a bit frustrated with him (and Evie in the interest of fairness) towards the end of the book because they were so very bad at communicating with each other. Both of them wanted the same thing, but neither of them was letting the other one know. I knew Duke would come through with the big romantic gesture in the end though.

Writing Style ✍️

This is the second Laura Jane Williams book that I’ve read and I’m now certain I need to go and add all of her books to my TBR. This book did have quite a different tone to the first of hers that I read (One Night With You review here) but I really liked that about her writing. One Night With You was a bit grittier I thought whereas Just for December was a bit heavier on the romance and the cutesy feelings. Which was perfect for this Christmas book.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–

I had been looking forward to reading this book for what felt like a really long time and it didn’t disappoint. It gave all of the Christmas feels without being too “in your face Christmas”. The romantic up’s and downs between the characters was beautifully frustrating and should be enough to make even the coldest of hearts melt. A fantastic book for this time of year and I definitely recommend snuggling under some blankets with a hot chocolate for this one.


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