Cover Image: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

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Member Reviews

I am obviously biased but I enjoyed this very much! Am excited for more cute dog books, particularly the next one.
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I received a reviewer copy of The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Lizzie Shane from the publisher Forever/ Grand Central Publishing from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

What It’s About: After the loss of his sister and her husband, Ben moves back to his small Vermont hometown to take care of his niece Astrid. Since moving back, Ben has tried to take up all his sister and brother in laws’s plans and jobs to minimize change for Astrid. One of these jobs is being town council man. After the community center is damaged by a storm, Ben and the council make the painful decision to shut down the animal shelter to find the funds. Ally Gilmore is new to Pine Hollow and feels she’s found her purpose helping the animals and her grandparents with running the shelter. However, when she gets the news that it closed down, she’s desperate to save it. In a truce, Ben agrees to help her find homes for all the dogs.  

What I Loved: I think this book had so much promise, the concept is great for a Christmas romance. The small town in Vermont is well set-up, I like that the author doesn’t get specific so it feels like it could be in Vermont but not overreaching. I loved a lot of the side characters especially Astrid, Deenie, and Ally’s grandparents. I really liked the idea of trying to find your place to call home. This book has Gilmore Girl vibes. And following the dogs adoption mission was fun. I think this has promise as a series (which is what the author planned). 

What I Didn't Like So Much: I really wasn’t sold on the romance, mostly because I was disappointed by the male lead. I found Ben to be an extremely annoying character and a lot of the conflict to be unnecessary and unbelievable. This is one of my pet peeves when reading a romance.  I want to buy the conflict. I think that I just wasn’t convinced that this was a problem and if it was that it would be resolved a lot more cleanly, 

Who Should Read This: People who love Christmas Romances that are closed door. People who love books involving dogs. People who love small town stories.   

Quick Summary: A dog infused Christmas romance.
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This wholesome holiday romance is set in the small town of Pine Hollow and features Ally and Ben. Ally is at a crossroads in her life and retreats to her grandparents in hopes of being charmed by the at-home feel. Ben is navigating fatherhood as he adjusts to being a dad for his niece. They find themselves intertwined when the funding for Ally’s dog shelter is pulled and are left scrambling to find homes for 12 dogs right before Christmas.
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Firstly, I have to say that this one gave me all the Gilmore Girls vibes  — Pine Hollow, Ally Gilmore, quirky characters, elaborate small-town scheming and events — it was all there! You must pick this one up if you are missing Stars Hollow! Initially, I wasn’t too sure if I was going to love the dog storyline but it was perfect. The dogs were the glue keeping the characters together, while the very notion of what family means was juxtaposed with their stories of finding love. We so easily accept the responsibility of a furry family member but when we are faced with child-rearing, we very much doubt ourselves. This is exactly what Ben goes through until he meets Ally and it was so beautiful how she was able to help him see the best in himself. Of course, their love story had some cheese but I gobbled it all up. I believe this was due to Lizzie’s ability to create two characters who truly felt like soulmates. The bits of holiday-esque humour was exactly what I needed to feel entertained and it left me seriously laughing out loud. The town, the characters, and their experiences really left an imprint on my heart and I cannot wait to visit Pine Hollow again. Hands down, a favourite 2020 holiday read!
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This is quite possibly one of my favourite Christmas books of the season. Lizzie Shane brought us into a quaint little town of Pine Hollow for a delightful Christmas tale full of love and of course, dogs! 

I know many people shy away from books about dogs for fear that the story will be sad. I am here to tell you that this is indeed a happy story and no harm comes to any of the dogs! 

In this book, Ally returns to this tiny town to help out her Grandparents. She is a photographer in New York, but after her Grandma had a small accident, she returns home to help out. When she gets there she quickly learns that the animal shelter her Grandparents run has lost it's funding and is on the verge of closing. Now Ally must help all of the rescue dogs find homes. It was closed by a city council member named Ben, the town's apparent scrooge. Thing is though, he isn't really the scrooge everyone makes him out to be and he feels terrible for the shelter having to close. He sets up a plan to make up a newsletter featuring the twelve dogs of Christmas, in the hopes of getting them some exposure and therefore adopted quicker. Needless to say, as Ally and Ben begin spending more time together, the sparks begin to fly!

Throw in some awesome secondary characters and an adorable ten year old named Astrid and you have a wonderful holiday story about love, family and dreams coming true. The dogs in this book were awesome as well! They were each thoughtfully described and had unique, fun personalities. As someone who has owned multiple rescue dogs, this was the perfect read for me! The romance in this one was clean, cute and not cheesy or overdone. Overall, this was a great read and one that I would recommend!
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I had been looking forward to reading The Twelve Days of Christmas by Lizzie Shane ever since Forever's publicist, Estelle, gushed about it during a virtual event at the end of July. And I only just got to it! For shame! I love small town Christmas romances and all the doggos seemed liked such a cute addition. Final verdict? Super sweet and super festive.

Here's the synopsis:

Pine Hollow has everything Ally Gilmore could wish for in a holiday break: gently falling snow in a charming small town and time with her family. Then she learns some Grinch has pulled the funding for her family's rescue shelter, and now she has only four weeks to find new homes for a dozen dogs! But when she confronts her Scroogey councilman nemesis, Ally finds he's far more reasonable — and handsome — than she ever expected.
As the guardian of his dog-obsessed ten-year-old niece, Ben West doesn't have time to build a cuddly reputation. But he does feel guilty about the shelter closing. So he proposes a truce with Ally, agreeing to help her adopt out the pups. As the two spend more time together, the town's gossip is spreading faster than Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. And soon Ben is hoping he can convince Ally that Pine Hollow is her home for the holidays... and the whole year through.
The Christmas magic in this novel comes through with the town having various holiday events (tree lighting! A parade! A pageant!) leading up to the big day, which was featured at the end of the novel (which is not always the case). Not only were there festive events taking place for the characters to attend, but there was a big emphasis on family. Ben and Astrid are still trying to figure out how their family looks after the loss of her parents (his sister and brother-in-law) and Ally just wants to help out her grandparents but they're not allowing her to spend her "vacation" doing work (even if she's good at it and enjoys it). There are a number of sweet moments throughout as family, found and blood relatives, come together to celebrate the season.

I had some minor issues with the ridiculous lack of communication between Ally and Ben. It wasn't just lack of communication, it was the assumptions they each made even though they hardly knew a thing about each other. Instead of asking Ben about the fiancee she heard he had in a passing comment that should not have counted as fact, Ally just assumed there was one. And Ben assumed Ally wanted to get the hell out of Pine Hollow as soon as she could but she had never definitively said she wanted to go back to New York City. I know it's easy to judge when I'm outside of a situation and not trying to figure out my feelings for someone but that was the main conflict between the two - this confusion and the assumptions they make. The end of the world? No. Just a bit tiresome by the end.

I was so invested in the dog adoptions! I was, of course, rooting for a Happily Ever After with the humans, but I may have been even more into seeing who was going to bring a dog home for the holidays. That might be because I knew Ally and Ben had to get together (and which dog I was sure Ben was going to adopt after caving to pressure from his niece) but I didn't know who would get together with the dog they were meant to adopt. And each doggo had their own personality! You'd think it would get a bit confusing with twelve dogs to home but it didn't and I was cheered every time there was a successful adoption. Adopt, don't shop!

I love Pine Hollow and can't wait to revisit the town. Normally I get a bit annoyed when I can tell when an author is setting up a series or sequel but something about this town and these characters really got under my skin, in a good way, and I really enjoyed spending time with all of them. I was sad to say goodbye but happy to know I'll be able to see them again soon enough in Once Upon a Puppy.

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas was a delight to read. Yes, Lizzie Shane's holiday novel was a bit predictable but that's the charm of these types of stories. I appreciated the twist she put on the small town and having all the dogs was surprisingly charming (obviously dogs are always appreciated but I wasn't expecting to be so wooed by them!). I wanted to keep reading and am already looking forward to the second book so consider this a successful reading adventure!

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the publisher, Forever, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
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Pick this one up if you need a holiday read with a Gilmore Girls vibe and a whole cast of dogs. Thank you to Forever Books and Netgalley for the gifted egalley. 

Ally Gilmore has escaped NYC to the quaint town of Pine Hollow for a holiday break just to find out that her grandparent's dog shelter has lost its city funding. Ben, a city councilman, was the swing vote that pulled the funding. Ben is stressed out and spread thin as guardian of his 10-year-old, dog-obsessed niece, and he has built a reputation as a bit of a scrooge in town. He didn't feel good about pulling the dog shelter funding and he needs to improve his image, so he agrees to help Ally adopt out all 12 dogs at the shelter. Soon enough gossip is swirling around town about the two of them, but how could they ever start a relationship when Ally is just going to leave town? 

I loved getting lost in Pine Hollow's winter wonderland and it was the perfect cute (not steamy) romance for the holidays. If you love dogs you'll appreciate how the writing gives each dog a big personality. There was character growth throughout which is always appreciated. The pacing of the book was great and I really wouldn't change a thing about it. But, going into the book you do have to know that you are picking up a pretty cliche holiday book - that's what I needed this season and really enjoyed it.
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Ally has come to Pine Hollow to temporarily help her grandparents run the town dog shelter after her grandmother is injured.  Ben is struggling to handle single-parenthood after his sister and her husband died two years ago, and he became guardian of his niece, Astrid.  Their worlds collide when Ben casts the tie-breaking vote in the decision to cut funding for the dog shelter.  Anger turns to friendship, as they join forces during the Christmas season to try and find funding for the shelter and adopt out the 12 dogs who need homes.  But is there something more?

This is such a cute romance, which immediately transports the reader into the Christmas season, which is my top "must-have" rule for Christmas novels.  Besides Ben, Ally, and Astrid, there are many colorful characters living in this close-knit town.  This includes the dogs, who were very much a part of this story, and whose individual personalities are so well described.  This is a story about recovering from loss and heartbreak and having the courage to take a second chance.  The dogs reinforce the idea of second chances as well, because they are in the shelter waiting for new families to adopt them.  I would recommend this for dog lovers, fans of Christmas romance novels, or anyone who appreciates second chances.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley.  My review is voluntary.
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If you're looking for a Christmas book filled with small town charm, adorable rescue pups, and delightful characters then this is your book!⁣
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Seriously. It's adorable and just the right mixture of Christmas charm and a sweet budding romance. (With zero steam for those curious.)⁣
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I am so glad the author is going to continue writing about this town. I will be lining up to read them.
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This small-town romance is a sweet holiday read, perfect for Hallmark movie lovers or dog lovers. Ally Gilmore goes to Pine Hollow to help her grandparents with their rescue dog shelter and then learns that the shelter is in danger of losing their funding. Despite their less than stellar introduction, Ben decides to help Ally find homes for the dogs. Of course, after spending time together, their feelings for each other begin to change. However, Ben is overly cautious because he is concerned about his niece, who he has guardianship of, and what might happen if things don’t work out with Ally. 
Pine Hollow is a cute little town with a tight group of people (think Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow). The townspeople create gossip in less time than it takes to finish your coffee. They’re also adorably supportive of each other.  I was expecting a fluffy easy read but was surprised at how this book also ties in some more thoughtful matter such as honoring a deceased loved one and figuring out your next chapter in life. The dogs in this book are all great side characters and I enjoyed picturing each of them with their unique personalities. The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is guaranteed to give you all the warm cozy feelings and holiday cheer for the Christmas season. 
I also love how this book set up the couple for the next book in the series, due out in May. 
Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this holiday read! Set in a snowy, small town in Vermont, Ben West is the local Scrooge. As a councilman, he voted to end funding for the town’s animal shelter. But, then, in comes Aly Gilmore. She moved in with her grandparents to support the shelter and will do everything in her power to keep it open! Will her and Ben butt heads or lock lips under the mistletoe this Christmas? 

While this romance was super predictable, it was super enjoyable! Plus, it highlighted shelter dogs and I LOVE my shelter dog.

I haven’t seen this book in my bookstagram or Goodreads feed that much (but I’ve seen a LOT of other holiday books) and I’m honestly not sure why! If you’re looking for a feel good holiday read that includes adorable puppies, you need to read this one!
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12 Dogs of Christmas is a cute holiday romance about Ben, his niece (who he’s now the guardian of), and Ally. Due to budget cuts Ben needs to shut down the local animal shelter that Ally’s grandparents run. She’s in town taking a break from city life and is devastated at the news. After a rough start, and encouragement from his dog crazy niece, Ben and Ally hatch a plan to find homes for the remaining dogs in the shelter. 

This was such a cute, heartwarming story, almost a mix of a Hallmark movie and Gilmore Girls. I loved all the characters, the dogs, the holiday cheer and the town. The Romance between Ben and Ally was a slow burn, but I was so invested in the dogs and saving the shelter that it worked.
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I found this to be just an okay read unfortunately. It had cute wintery elements, however I had a hard time continuing to be interested in the story.
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Thanks to Forever and NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Twelve Dogs of Christmas!

This might be my favorite Christmas book I've read so far this year! I loved the town of Pine Hollow and the residents! This is the perfect Christmas combo of small town romance and adorable puppies!

This is a little bit of a slow burn, come together to work on a project romance. I liked that Ally was going to do whatever she could to help her grandparents and get all the dogs adopted. Ben was your lovable Grinch, who took the commitment to raise his niece a little too far and might be slightly over dedicated to the town. 

I loved that each dog had a fun personality and the gang of friends on both sides. I can't wait to read more in this series to see where else sparks might fly in Pine Hollow!
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This was such an enjoyable Christmas read. If you love dogs, this is the holiday book for you. I loved the dogs and enjoyed the humans in this story too. When Ally goes to help her grandparents with their dog rescue, she is at loose ends with where her life is going. The holidays in the small town that she's visiting put everyone in the spirit, even when the towns funding for the dog rescue gets cut and they need to get all the dogs adopted before the new year. A great heartwarming holiday read!
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Thanks to NetGalley and Forever for allowing me to read and review.

This book was delightfully charming. Everything you want in a Christmas story, small town antics, cute dogs and a couple to root for! I love Ben and Ally and their story. 

Curl up next to the tree with a cup of cocoa, and enjoy this book.
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This is my favorite Christmas romance of the year. So many romances begin with a focus on the female protagonist, but this book started with Ben. And I related to him from the beginning. He comes off as a bit of a grumpy Scrooge without coffee (me too), but he is an excellent man struggling under the weight of trying to manage everything he feels responsible for. Most important, he is trying to take good care of his niece, Astrid, whose parents died and left him guardian. His love for Astrid is his guiding light. 

Ally is a great heroine, coming to Pine Hollow to help her grandparents with their dog shelter. And when the shelter loses funding, she needs to find homes for all of the dogs. 

This is a really clever book. One of my favorite lines ends, "the butcher, the baker, and Joanie Pounds, who made her own scented candles." I just adored the reference to the nursery rhyme. Similar fun phrasing is sprinkled throughout. 

The book sounds like another sweet holiday romance. And it is. But it's much deeper than that. It's a story of two people figuring out how to deal with grief and whether to open themselves up to let others in. 

And of course, I am so pleased that the novel centered around adopting dogs. Rescuing pups is a cause near and dear to my heart.
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I am not a huge holiday romance fan, but this book was so cute! It was the perfect distraction from waiting for election results. I loved how each dog had it's own distinct personality. This book is reminiscent of a Hallmark movie with the single dad scrooge, city girl who returns home, low steam, and small town that comes together for the animal shelter.

Thanks to Forever for my copy to review!
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I love a good sweet holiday romance and this hit the spot. Add in a dog rescue with lots of cute puppies and I just couldn't put this book down. Pine Hollow is a small village where everyone knows each other. When Ally comes from the big city to help her Grandparents run the dog shelter she never thought it would lose its town funding and have to close by the end of the year. Ally also didn't expect to fall in love. The characters are very well developed and I just love them all. I felt like I was actually along for the ride with Ally as she navigates through Pine Hollow to help save the dog shelter. This is an amazing little town that I would just love to live in. I can't wait to read book two! I have three rescue dogs and understand the hard work that goes into finding the right furever home for each puppy. This was a truly great little Holiday read that I definitely could find myself reading over and over again. 

If you are a dog lover, want a little Holiday romance then this is the book for you! I give a 5 star!
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Thank you netgalley for an advanced copy of The Twelve Dogs of Christmas! A holiday romance involving dogs? Count me in! This was the such a sweet story & I cannot wait to see what else this author has in store! 

Ally’s moved back to her grandparents small town to assist with their rescue. When she finds out they’re being shut down, she does everything to try to get the dogs rescued. In comes Mister Scrooge himself, the guy who is the deciding factor to close it down. But Ben feels bad about the decision he had to make that he comes up with a plan to help Ally out. Get the dogs into loving homes before the rescue has to close their doors. Are Ally and Ben just helping each other out for the holidays or is there something more?

This has been on my favorite holiday reads yet, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t love. The connection between Ben and Ally was perfect. The slow burn romance definitely worked, even though there were so many moments I was saying FINALLY! Grandma Rita was also a character. I was cracking up at things she was saying & she reminds me of my grandmas. I 100% would rate this higher than 5 stars if I could! Run, don’t walk to the store to pick this gem up!
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This was delightful—a Hallmark Christmas movie in book form. It’s well-written and charming. I was rooting for Ben and Ally from the moment they met, and of course I got my satisfying ending. This is a wholesome romance that will be perfect for reading this holiday season.
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