Dating Mr. December, by Phillipa Ashley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Author Phillipa Ashley studied English and Literature at Oxford University before working as a journalist and freelance writer. She didn't start writing fiction until 2005 when she joined an internet creative writing site. Other titles include: It Should Have Been Me, Just Say Yes, and Wish You Were Here. She resides in Staffordshire Village in England with her husband and daughter.
Emma Tremayne wasn't expecting a move from London to the Lake District, but she had no choice. After a disastrous event makes her lose her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in the course of a day, she takes a job far from the city she knows and loves with a small town tourist board. Finally she feels as if she's regaining her esteem and confidence after settling in-- that is until she's asked to be responsible for a fundraising effort for the Mountain Rescue Team. An effort that involves a calendar for twelve naked men! As if the task wasn't challenging enough, sexy and rich rescuer, Will Tennant, is opposed to the idea. He thinks it'll make them a laughing stock. But as all things in life, Will is more than he appears. Much, much more. Can these two set aside their differences long enough to not kill each other... or fall in love?
This book was originally published under the title "Decent Exposure" in 2006 in the UK, by Little Black Dress Publishing. This has also been adapted into a Lifetime channel television movie in 2009 called "12 Men of Christmas," starring Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Hopkins, and Anna Chlumsky. Unknowingly, I had seen the TV movie last Christmas season before agreeing to review the book this year. The movie was set in the States and varied pretty drastically from the book, though followed a similar storyline. Though the movie was a cute fluff holiday piece, I enjoyed the book much more. Readers can enjoy the movie before the book, or vice versa, as neither should disrupt the other.
Even more than the witty romance, it's the secondary characters in the small town of Bannerdale that makes this book pop. A group of ordinary people that will capture your heart. With dry humor and candid dialog, I was laughing aloud several times. The book also had it's share of "Aww" moments. Whether you're in the mood for a little Christmas spirit, a funny story, or a heartfelt romance, this is the perfect book to cuddle up with. Highly recommended.
Author and Reviewer