Once Upon a December

Berkley. Oct. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593197790. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Reichert (The Kindred Spirits Supper Club) offers up a new romance with a magical twist just in time for the holiday season. Every year, Astra and Jack meet at the Milwaukee Christmas market—but only Jack remembers these encounters. He works in his family’s bakery in the Julemarked. Their world consists only of days in December when the businesses of their enchanted street spread holiday cheer around the globe. Market visitors forget its existence after it moves on to the next town, which means Astra shouldn’t feel such a strong connection Jack. But this time is different. She asks him to go dancing, leading to a breathtaking kiss that turns their world upside down. After she learns about the Julemarked’s true nature, Astra and Jack begin a whirlwind romance leading to the inevitable question of how they can be together. While it takes a while to figure out, the novel’s inevitable happily-ever-after feels satisfying with a best-of-both-worlds outcome.
VERDICT Reichert’s cozy romance is a nice blend of a sweet love story and Christmas magic.
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