Cover Image: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

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I have the sneaking suspicion that I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I were a dog person.  As it was, I feel like the book took a long time to get to where it was going.  A charming romance with plenty of Christmas spirit (and more than one nod to Gilmore Girls -- Ally Gilmore? Pine Hollow?  I'm pretty sure there's even a town gazebo), I recommend this to dog lovers and those wanting to curl up by the fire with a meandering Christmas romance.  I can definitely see this as a Hallmark Christmas movie.

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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It's 2020 and we can take all the joy we can get.  The Twelve Dogs of Christmas provided that joy for me.  I'm not normally a Christmas book person but that may be slowly changing.  Thank you to Forever Pub and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

In Pine Hollow they're gearing up for a busy Christmas season.  What is suppose to be a cheerful season is anything but for Ally Gilmore.  She's returned to her grandparent's dog shelter learning the city is stopping their funding at the end of the year which means she, and her grandparents, need to find home for the twelve dogs in the shelter.  

Ben West isn't a holiday person.  In fact he considers himself to be the town Grinch.  Heck he was the deciding vote to stop the funding for the local dog shelter.  When he learns his niece, who he's guardian of, is volunteering at the shelter he decides to help them find shelter for the current dog occupants.  Maybe working to help the shelter will help him shed his Grinch facade...

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is a cute little Christmas novel.  It felt like reading a Hallmark Christmas movie.  One problem I have with some romances, and this one is included, is that if the characters communicate with each other it would resolve everything.  It got frustrating reading about Ben and Ally's feeling go misunderstood when if they'd communicate it would all be solved.  It isn't uncommon to read situations like this, especially in romance, but it can get irritating after awhile.  Regardless of that small annoyance, The Twelve Dogs of Christmas hit the spot of a feel good book for 2020.
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Thank you to Net Galley and Forever publishing for allowing me to review an eARC of this book! 
3.5 stars. This was so cute and would make the perfect Hallmark movie! This book is about Ally and Ben. Ally lives in the city but goes back to her hometown to help her grandparents with their animal shelter. She let her lease run out on her apartment and she's a freelance photographer so she has nothing pulling her back to the city. When she gets there, she finds out the city council is cutting funding for the animal shelter because it needs to be allocated elsewhere so she tries to find a way to save the shelter. Ben was the swing vote on removing funding, so the 2 instantly have an adversarial relationship. He feels guilty so together they start a project where they take pictures and feature a dog every day (or week maybe?) in the local newspaper to try to get them adopted. The dogs also take part in a Christmas festival and they work to find the perfect match for each dog. I thought it was such a cute project and this is a MUST READ for a dog lover. 
Ben is also a single "dad" to his niece Astrid. Because of this, he is very hesitant to start a relationship and my only real complaint in the book lies in the fact that Ally and Ben went so far out of their way to prove to the town that they weren't a couple-- it felt silly. I know how it is in small towns and a lot of times it does happen where everyone is in your business, but it just felt like a little much. 
Overall I would recommend this book for a cute Christmas read.
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This is an absolutely delightful offering from Lizzie Shane.  'The Twelve Dogs of Christmas' addresses the lives of two engaging people who need enormous introspection to learn and be free for love.  At times I felt like I'd like to get them in a room and force them to face the obstacles they continually put in each other's way.  All pf this is wrapped up in the cuteness of puppies and Christmas. I can see the opportunity for more about Ally's friends Elinor and Deenie, and I for one can't wait.

O received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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This book was holiday romance at its best! The romance, the small town, and the cozy community, were all perfection. With most of the events in the story centered around Christmas festivities, I was feeling the holiday joy from the start.

I might be a bit biased about the book's theme since I had just adopted a shelter pup a week before reading this, but I think the Furry Friends rescue and the Gilmore family would capture any reader's heart. Ally and her grandparents are in a race against time to get 13 dogs (and a few soon-to-arrive puppies!) adopted before the shelter is closed at the end of the year, and they receive unexpected help from city councilman Ben.

Ben is the guardian of his niece Astrid and I couldn't help but cheer him on as he navigated the ups and downs of parenthood and overcame his fear of asking for help and letting others in. His loyalty and devotion to Astrid guided all of his decisions, for better or worse.

I thought this book would have an enemies to lovers trope after Ben and Ally's first meeting, but the enemy part resolved itself quickly and the book settled into a friends to lovers story. I loved the growing tension between the friends as they worked together to get the dogs adopted. This isn't a steamy romance, but rather a sweet, feel-good, small-town romance.

The secondary characters enhanced the story and gave the reader more insight into the struggles of the main characters. I loved Ally's grandparents, Rita and Hal, and the mayor, Delia. 

The town and community of Pine Hollow are the perfect backdrop for the holiday festivities in the story and this book has me excited for December and Christmas already!! This book will be on my gift lists for the animal lovers in my life!
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This is a super small town Christmas romance story! I can easily say that because it fits my top requirements for loving a Christmas story. Pine Harbor has a number of special events throughout the month of December and that's important to me because it makes the story very Christmasy. The characters all exude that special Christmas spirit, also important to me. The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Lizzie Shane fulfills my #1 top requirement. This story gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling and made me smile a lot as I was reading. So, yes, this is definitely a winner in my opinion!
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

This is such a fun Christmas story to get you in the holiday spirit. 

Ally, has come from New York to help out at the animal shelter with her grandparents after her grandmother is injured whilst out dog-walking. 

Stressed out over all the responsibilities that he took on, after his sister and brother-in-law died in a car accident, Ben is now the guardian of his niece.  

Now, Ally has to find homes for all the cute, big, small, furry friends after the animal shelter is at risk of closure. Will she be able to do this and what part will Ben play in this?????

Will Ben learn that he doesn’t have to be the one to do everything and it’s ok to ask for help??? 

Ally is at a crossroads and unsure of whether she’s home or to go back to New York. Will Ben and his niece be the ones to help her make a decision???

Lizzie Shane is a new author to me. I will be looking forward to reading more books by her. 

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This is a fun Christmas story that gets you in the holiday spirit. Ally is at a crossroads in her life and has come to help out her grandparents with their animal shelter after her grandmother gets hurt while walking a big dog. Ben is stressed out over all the responsibilities he took on two years ago after his sister and her husband died in a car accident, leaving him guardian of his niece. You will want to want to read this story that includes the matchmaking ten year old niece and a shelter full of dogs looking for a new home.

Lizzie Shane is a new author to me and now I will be looking for more books of hers to read.

I received a copy of this book to review through NetGalley from the publisher Forever and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Very rarely do I finish a book in a day, but once I got into The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, I couldn't stop thinking about it and instantly knew this was a book I would read, read, read until I had it finished!
This is the romance between Ally and Ben. Ally has returned to small town Pine Hollow from New York City to assist her Grandparents with their animal rescue shelter and shortly after arriving, she learns that the town council is cancelling the shelter's funding to use that money toward the community center after their roof caved in. The deciding factor on that vote, was Ben. Ally and Ben do not get off on the right start so when she learns that he had something to do with the vote which now gives her about four weeks to find homes for all the dogs in the shelter-this doesn't help her already bad vibes with him. This is a romance though, so brace yourself and watch as Lizzie Shane unravels the romance between these two.
My only 'con' with this book is a personal preference thing, specifically something I noticed. You know how when you're reading a book and you begin to pick up on certain words the author uses a bit too much.. Every time someone spoke to Ben, we'd get, "Ben grimaced," I was seriously at one point, like Why is Ben grimacing all the time? Again, this is just something I noticed and it's a really small con.
One of my issues with 2019 Christmas romances is that they didn't really feel Christmas'ey at all and if the rest of the new releases I read this year give off the same vibes as Twelve Dogs of Christmas, I'll be happy. Can we please get Hallmark to adapt this into a film? I think it'd be perfect. Small towns are perfect for Christmas romances. Sometimes you have to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of the big city to figure things out and I liked seeing that with Ally. I loved her selflessness which I think you have to be when you're rescuing and caring for animals, a lot of which have been completely discarded. I loved that entire premise to the story. Ben realizes how crappy the whole vote is that is effecting the shelter, so he goes to Ally with the idea to help her get all of the dogs adopted before the end of the year by posting photos of them in the town paper and website, as the Twelve Dogs of Christmas. They eventually get some of them on a float during the holiday parade and some get to be part of the Christmas pageant. I'll never get tired of that close knit, small town feel and seeing people come together to help out. I am a sucker for the close proximity that working together brings and how that factors into the blooming romance so I loved seeing Ben and Ally spend time together and get to know more about one another.
Ben was so complex. He is the guardian of his niece Astrid, after her parents died. He is so consumed with getting everything right on his own, he's one of those guys who refuses to ask for help and unintentionally pushes people away. His journey and his growth could be frustrating at times but it got to a point where Ally had to stick up for herself and put her own feelings first which leaves Ben to either get his crap together or lose the girl. Sometimes we truly do get in our own way.
As a girl living in South Texas where a beautiful white Christmas is nonexistent, I loved the descriptions of the snow and all of the holiday festivities. This was really a fun holiday romance and I am excited for more from Lizzie Shane.

My Review is posted on Goodreads, my blog and a mini review on Instagram
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I love dogs. And I love reading about dogs and omg this was just the cutest little Christmas story ever. I hope they write more because yes it’s so adorable.
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I loved this book! It is well written and hooks you on the first page. It's a sweet small town romance that will put you in the Christmas spirit. This is the perfect book to curl up with and forget all your troubles for a while. I highly recommend this book.  5 stars all the way!!
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A cup of hot chocolate. Cozy blanket. Roaring fire. Christmas lights in the dark. Soft, white snow. A warm hug. This book is basically ALL the warm fuzzies and holiday cheer you could ever wish for!

Ally heads to her grandparent's home in Pine Hallow for a much-needed break from city life. She figures she'll stick around for the holidays, take a break from her photography career, and help her grandparents out at their animal shelter. She didn't expect for the shelter to lose it's funding or for the Grinch who shut them down to be so darn attractive! But with a few short weeks until Christmas to find new homes for the dogs, maybe someone's heart will grow a few sizes in that time...

This book is if a Hallmark movie were put into written form. It's adorable, it's sweet, it has puppies (and I'm not even a dog person!) and plenty of Christmas spirit! Fans of Gilmore Girls will love its small town charm and gossip grapevine (doesn't hurt that the town is called Pine HALLOW and the main character's last name is GILMORE...). Nothing in this book is super surprising--in fact, The Big Hurdle(TM) is that our male lead is being a bit too typical male (think refusing to ask for help, sending mixed signals, not knowing what he wants... sound familiar to anyone?) and not anything groundbreaking. But sometimes (especially around the holidays), you won't want a thriller, you just want a cozy romance and a cup of cocoa and HAPPINESS. Why NOT choose happiness?
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The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is guaranteed to make you smile and put you in a Christmas mood.  Professional photographer Ally has come from New York to assist her grandparents with their dog shelter.  Ben is the guardian of his young niece.  When he inherited Astrid, he also “inherited” his late brother’s city council seat and his sister in law’s position on the PTA.  Ben is swamped by all his responsibilities and when he learns that his council vote is also why the shelter will be unfunded after Christmas he just has to do his part to help Ally get the dogs adopted, especially once his niece learns what is coming.  Lizzie Shane has created wonderful characters...human and canine to inhabit her story and situations and dialogue that are completely believable.  The book is sweet, clean and totally wonderful.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.  Most highly recommend.
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