Once Upon a December
Contemporary Holiday Romance
Setting – Wisconsin
Berkley (October 4, 2022)
Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593197798
ISBN-13 : 978-0593197790
Kindle ASIN : B09PZTF1R4
A one-of-a-kind Christmas market offers holiday magic in this 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.
Astra Noel Snow meets Jack Clausen at the Milwaukee Christmas Market and the rest is history.
Astra Noel Snow is a library director in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and a group of friends visit the Christmas Market every year. One of Astra’s favorite stops is a bakery that serves up the best Kringles around.
Jack Clausen lives in Julemarked and is a baker of the fabulous Kringles Astra loves. But you see time works differently in Julemarked. It is always December in Julemarked and the residents travel the world to a different Christmas market each December 1st. Jack’s favorite is Milwaukee because he has fallen hard for Astra.
“Once upon a December, a girl met a boy, but she didn’t remember.” With a prologue like that, I was hooked from the start.
I loved everything about this book. It was just what I needed to enrich my Christmas spirit.
Ms. Reichert has created a wonderful cast of characters.
Astra Noel Snow, what a great name and she embraces the holiday fully. Plus she shares her joy with an annual getaway with her college roommates. They are a fun group that tries to be there for each other through thick and thin. Astra shares custody of Bernie, a giant loveable Bernese Moutain and Lab mix dog, with her ex-husband. She really hopes one day he will give her full custody and she may have a few ideas on how to make that happen.
Jack Clausen has a great family. Together they own and operate Kringle All The Way, the only bakery in Julemarked. He and his brothers have worked out quite an assembly process to make all the kringles they sell. Living in Julemarked the family remains as close as ever,
The author has also created a magical place in Julemarked. Such a clever idea. Her descriptions paint such a clear picture of this place that is only there for days and not necessarily every year. She has placed it in an area of Milwaukee that is well known where a lot of people congregate too. The landmarks make the story feel so real. It is so easy to imagine the market with the Julmarked offshoot.
Once Upon A December is a magically delightful read. It is a love story but it is also about strong family ties and epic friendships. Heartwarming and unique, funny and emotional, romance and magic, Ms. Reichert blends it all together to make a very entertaining story with an unexpected ending. I think it would make a great Christmas movie! The only thing that could make this story better was if it came with a Kringle!
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About Amy E. Reichert
Amy Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a lifelong Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”