Review: Once Upon a December

Title: Once Upon a December
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 4, 2022
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A one-of-a-kind Christmas market offers holiday magic in the new romance from the author of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club.

With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn’t just a seasonal specialty–it’s a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra’s yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She’s ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.

For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He’s never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he’s been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.

After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they’re feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa.

Review:

Astra Noel Snow loves going to the Milwaukee Christmas market with her best friends every year. They eat, drink, dance, and go to the mysterious Julemarked area of the market where they buy kringle pastries from a handsome man. Jack Clausen is one of the workers at the bakery. He’s looking forward to seeing Astra again that Christmas, but she won’t remember him. The Julemarked is a market that only exists from December 1st to 24th, and then jumps to a different city to open as a Christmas market there. Only a few special people can remember the Julemarked from one year to the next. Jack is hoping this will be the year that Astra finally remembers him. After spending a night together, they make plans to meet again at the end of the month. When Astra can’t find him for their date because the Julemarked has disappeared for the year, she spends her time searching for answers so she can finally have her happily ever after. 

This was an unusual story. The world of the Julemarked was hard to wrap my head around. It was confusing at first. The people who live and work at it only ever experience the month of December in different cities around the world. They don’t know what year or location they will end up for each month. It was disorienting and unexpected. 

I really didn’t like Jack. He had a closed mind when it came to deciding on his and Astra’s relationship. He wanted her to give up everything for him without even thinking about it. There was also the dreaded pregnancy trope, which seemed forced. 

Unfortunately Once Upon a December didn’t work for me. 

Thank you Berkley for providing a digital copy of this book.

Have you read Once Upon a December? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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