Cover Image: Always, in December

Always, in December

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Net Galley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. I didn't read any reviews of it prior to starting, so I didn't have any expectations. I thought it was going to be a light-hearted romance, but it was much more than that. It was about friendship, family, following your dreams, heartbreak, and of course love.

I enjoyed the main character of Josie very much and her family and friends too. I loved the descriptions of the various settings - London, Scotland and New York. As for the actual story, I liked the concept, but didn't really feel the strong connection between Josie and Max, during their whirlwind Christmas weekend, so it took me a little while to warm up to the idea of them as a couple. I got frustrated around the middle of the book, because I knew there was something Max was trying to tell her - but he didn't try hard enough and she didn't give him enough of a chance. Without giving anything away, I was very surprised by the ending, but felt it gave the book some depth beyond just a cute Christmas love story.

I thought this book was very well written and the characters were very well developed. I will definitely welcome the opportunity to read another book by this author.
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Always in December is a beautifully written story about love and life. It is hard for me to describe how I feel after reading the book because it was both captivating and heart-breaking. 
The story follows Josie and Max, who met by chance on Christmas time, throughout a year and we can see how fate both separates and brings them back together. 
As I said, the writing is beautiful, the characters are deep and interesting and even when it is a bit slower in pace you can easily read it in a couple of hours. However, you should have some tissues at hand because it will probably make you drop some tears. 
The ending is sad and I could not really believe it, but I understand that it was part of the bigger picture and it works. 
If you’re looking for a romantic story that will make you cry, this is definitely a good choice.
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Always in December,,

“You were the light in mine when you were there, and so many times when you weren’t.”

Well, pass the tissues, these tears are about to freeze on my face from sobbing. 

Always, in December really kind of hits ya in the feels on this story of star crossed lovers that meet by chance, and continue to meet. It 
gives you all “The Holiday” vibes where things connect with a bit and there’s a crappy office romance, but also, it gives you of serendipity of soulmates seeing each other each time. 

I’m kind of frustrated with the story as I feel like time is so precious these days and it was just wasted being angry and thinking of the other instead of bucking up and saying how they feel. Like, y’all could have that had happily ever after 11 months before now. C’mon. 

I did love all the supporting characters and I’m glad we got to really understand everyone’s foundation to see how they would all interact. However, I still felt a little disconnected from the characters and the story didn’t invoke the emotions I would have thought it should have.

For fans of The Holiday, Serendipity of My Girl, I think Always, in December is a heartbreaking holiday read that leads you reflecting on self discovery in the end.

Thank you @penguin for the gifted copy. This is out now.
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Josie literally runs into Max with her bike one December day, and that accident turns into them spending the next few days together until he disappears off to New York without any way to get in touch. Over the course of the next year they randomly run into each other by chance. But the question is, will the end up together?

I’m a sucker for a winter romance set in London. I’m an even bigger sucker if that romance also involves fate bringing two people together time after time. Add in some very emotional moments and I’m done. You’ve got me. This story was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. As many other reviewers have said, get the tissues ready. I adored so much about this book: the character development, the message about grief, the side characters. Truly I loved all if it. I cannot wait to read more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the advanced copy.
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It was a sweet book with an ending you didn’t expect until halfway through. I wanted Josie & Max to have their happily ever after. Especially since it was a xmas book!
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I had to take some time to write this review because it just wasn't what I was imagining. I think up until the very end I would have given it many many stars, but the ending really ruined it for me. I didn't know what I was going into, thinking it was going to the cute fluffy rom com I needed, but instead, it dangled exactly what I wanted and then took it away at the very last minute. 

All in all, the main characters grew and progressed enough, I guess, but at its heart the reveal took everything away from Max, and frankly made some of his storylines not make sense at all. His point of view was far more interesting than Josie's imo, and then when the carpet got pulled out from under me, I found that the rest didn't quite make sense? The relationships, the dynamics, it fell apart for me with what felt like a plot twist for the sake of a plot twist that didn't really belong in a holiday book with a cover as cute as this one. I loved it, until I didn't.
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Not a HEA/Romance. Although this was a women's fiction novel, the advertising/cover led me to believe it was romance, overall story was cute until IT happened.
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First up in the holiday reads is Always, in December. This book broke me. Big fat ugly sobs. And I loved every minute of it. It is the story of two people who have a chance meet cute right before Christmas that leads to a whirlwind but abbreviated romance, only to cross paths inadvertently throughout the following year. Oh, my heart. There are miscommunications and misunderstandings but there is grief, heartbreak, sadness, strength, resilience, love, humor, and second chances. I am a puddle of mush from this one. Make sure you have Kleenex nearby.
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It’s time! I’ve been sitting on this book for a few months now, as I was lucky enough to have access to an early eArc from Net Galley (Thank you Penguin Randomhouse!) The endorsement from Josie Silver is what got me. (She the queen of my favorite Christmas book, One Day In December.) 

Verdict? I really liked this book BUT it is very sad. Let me clear…I don’t mind books that break my heart–I revel in a bittersweet ending, and I love a tortured love story. And the plot, romance, and holiday vibes worked for me in Always, In December. My gripe, though, is that I could have used 30 more pages before being sucker-punched (even though I could see the writing on the wall.)  I still liked it a lot! But potential readers beware that this is not a fluffy holiday Hallmark read (not that you would ever find that here anyway–sorry to the Hallmark lovers) and it might quite possibly make you sob. Just me? Cool, cool. Someone bring me a mulled wine. Merry Christmas!
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This book was absolutely adorable! i really needed a nice holiday romcom and this did the trick! 4.7🌟
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This book was really cute but a little too long - I thought that some of the story could have been trimmed down a bit. Very cute holiday romance though and I think other romance lovers will like this! 3.5 stars/5
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Unlike myself, our main character Josie is NOT a fan of Christmas.
When she was a little girl her parents were killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve; and while her grandparents provided her with a stable and love-filled life, Josie can’t help but feel sad when Christmas times approaches every year.
As an adult, she can’t get herself to go back to her grandparent’s house for Christmas, as she’s afraid being back there will bring up sad memories.
Instead, she has a tradition.  
Every year, a few days before Christmas, she writes a letter to her parents.
No address.
No stamp.
Just a letter in an envelope put in the mail bin.
But this year, a random bump with a stranger sets Josie on a different course.
Could this chance encounter help Josie to embrace her Christmas spirit again?

Josie writes letters to her parents.
So I thought it would be fitting to write a letter to EmilyStone

“Dear Emily,
You don’t know me.  But I am very angry with you.
(Not really… but yeah… KIND OF!)
At first I wasn’t sure I believed that this random encounter would turn into what it did.
I fell under your magical Christmas spell and became so committed to these characters and their relationship.
It was a slow burn, but so excellently written.
Sometimes books like this show how the characters grow individually. But I loved how your book showed that but with both the characters constantly interacting with each other.
I literally couldn’t get enough of these two.
I make a joke sometimes how once I became a nurse I forever lost the ability to cry.
But CONGRATULATIONS.  You had me ugly crying for about 5 full chapters.
Anyway…thanks for writing this book.  It was NOT what I expected but I absolutely loved it.
Always your fan,
Justagirlandhercouch (Sherry)”
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Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC copy of this wonderful book!

This book personifies the perfect "meet cute" and had me rooting for Josie and Max and their constant run-ins the whole book! I was expecting this to be a very light-hearted and easy Christmas read, and in one way it was, but it also dealt with a lot of heavier topics such as loss of loved ones, illness, loneliness, etc. 

This book was one surprise after another and just when I thought I knew what was coming...Boy, was I wrong! Grab some hot cocoa and turn on your Christmas tree lights and snuggle up with this great read!
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I’m honestly not the biggest fan of the events that took place in this book. There was a lot going on & I thought it was supposed to be a Christmas romance. 

The good thing is that everything wraps up in the end, which would have made me give this book 2⭐️ if it didn’t. The story itself wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
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Now that I can see the computer screen through my tears, all I can say is...  What the actual heart stomping madness of goodness did I just read?!?!?  I was not expecting the ending at all, and it absolutely gutted me.  Had I known in advance that the book would touch on death (present day) and medical emergencies quite this much, I probably would have been better prepared, or held off on waiting as those things are very triggering for me right now.  I loved the story, but it definitely ripped my heart out.
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THIS BOOK. I am livid. I went in knowing that this wasn’t a feel-good holiday romance and I still have a lot of THOUGHTS. So do not be thrown by the cutesy cover, this one is not your hallmark December read. 

Okay, most of the this book was a 4.5-5 star for me. I liked the chemistry between the characters Josie and Max. I LOVE a story that revolves around fate and chance meeting. So most of the book was pleasurable for me. I even had an idea of what the plot twist was—and I was mostly right. I would have been content with a bittersweet ending if I had liked the way it was executed in those final moments. I LIKE getting my heart smashed to pieces by books—I call myself a book masochist. I like broken characters trying to find love and acceptance despite their brokenness. BUT I felt like that ending was so abrupt and a cop out instead of making these characters have a MOMENT where Max is forced to be honest with Josie. I hated the miscommunication throughout the entire novel, which seemed wholly unlikely to have persisted as long as it did. And THEN the ultimate final miscommunication that ends with a LETTER. I get it is supposed to have a continuity factor from other elements but jeez, this felt cheap. I am sorry, this potentially great story ended up making me so mad haha. I was devouring this book, ready for the heartbreak. I was not ready to be completely unsatisfied by the ending. It felt like and cop out and took the rating down a few notches. The writing was mostly very good. The author is super engaging, I obviously have my issues with the final product, though.
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Be warned; this is not the cutesy Christmas romcom you’d expect based on the cover. Yes, part of it takes place over Christmas and it gets you in the right vibes but it’s really a story about loss & grief & heartbreak & discovering who you are and how much stronger you are than you ever knew. It’s a story about family & good and bad timing & being there for those you love. And it was so beautiful and unexpectedly heartbreaking. 

My biggest complaint is that there was NO warning for the end. Seriously, the first 95% of this did feel like that cute Christmas romcom and then the carpet gets pulled out form under you and you find yourself sobbing on the couch when all you asked for was an HEA. I honestly don’t even think this should be classified as a romance. BUT, I still really enjoyed it, thought the story was unique, loved the meet cute, and loved spending Christmas in London, summer in New York, and fall in Edinburgh.
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You've probably seen this book everywhere on social media if you follow booktok or bookstagram. Full disclosure that you should know going into it: it is not a romance. 

Reading it as non-romance just felt like trauma porn for me. Maybe it's the frame of mind I was in, but I couldn't get into it.
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Always, in December had me going in thinking I would know how it would end. It took me for a loop. I loved the character development but was really hoping for a different ending.
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This book is not a romance! Is there romance involved? Yes. Be prepared however, to bring a box of Kleenex. It's a beautifully written story about a woman who does not celebrate Christmas because she lost her parents around Christmas when she was nine. As an adult, she's somewhat stuck in her career and a little lost personally after her long term boyfriend has an affair with a mutual coworker. Enter Max-a mysterious man who she runs into on her bicycle while mailing an annual Christmas letter to her deceased parents. 
Over the course of a year, Max weaves in and out of Josie's life as she learns to take charge, deal with her grief and become the woman that she was meant to be.
Loved the story but trigger warnings for those who are not looking for a tearjerker!
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House-Ballantine for the ARC in return for an honest review-albeit very late.
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