Book reviews

The Twelve Holidates (Love Clichés, #4) by Emma St. Clair

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Before you proceed, please also see book reviews for books one to three using these links:


This is the fourth installment to Emma St. Clair’s Love Clichés series. It’s a Christmas novella, as you can see in the book cover, aimed to give readers a short breather in between exploring the different romance tropes we have all come to love and crave. It’s a quick read, with just a little over seventy pages. I mean I’d hope for more, but the story somehow acts as a preview for the fifth novel–Falling For Your Best Friend.

Right away we are introduced to Weston and Taylor–best friends who are secretly in love with each other. Having known one another most of their lives, these two are inseparable. Even their families have always hoped they’ll end up together. Not that they didn’t try–well, Taylor, at least did. When they were thirteen, Taylor did the unexpected and landed one on Weston. It was a moment suspended in time, one where a confused, awkward, and inexperienced Weston did not know how to handle. Taylor saw the hesitation, and then the indifference–which just means Weston does not feel the same way.

Only Taylor couldn’t be more wrong. Weston have always felt strongly for Taylor, even before their awkward first kiss while watching The Dark Knight when they were thirteen. Let’s just say Weston didn’t have yet the maturity Taylor had, rendering him unable to recognize, process, and act on his feelings. It’s not entirely a bad thing–I mean, they were still kids. There’s always awkwardness and uncertainty when dealing with first loves (or puppy love, as they call it). The problem was, as years went by, Weston never found the courage to tell Taylor how he really feels, not wanting to ruin the friendship they’ve worked so hard for. In other words, he was knee-deep in the friendzone, with no exit strategy.

So then comes the list: The Twelve Holidates. It’s supposed to bring Taylor closer to her current boyfriend, Chad. But, like all other plans in a romantic comedy novel, the plan backfires. Instead, Taylor learns of Chad’s indiscretions, and, mind you, in the most embarrassing way possible. Heartbroken and now single for the holidays, Taylor confides in her best friend. This is where Weston gets his big idea to go through the list, giving himself a chance to finally win Taylor over and tell her how he feels.

I give this book 4.5 stars. Despite it being short and mostly focused on the holidates, I enjoyed it for its fun and upbeat theme. (Maybe I am biased because I love the holidays.) We still see a lot of the characters’ personalities. There is still conflict and drama to be resolved. Some dates are borderline disastrous, but are extremely humorous. Overall, it’s engaging and just a feel-good read.

More importantly, we are introduced to Chase close to the end of this novella. From what I’ve seen so far, he is a lovable character who will be the swoony male lead in the next novel.

I’m also attaching the list here. Just to give you an idea how fun these dates were.

  1. Dress in something sexy and hide in a person-sized stocking in your significant other’s bedroom Burn the stocking in a ceremonial funeral pyre
  2. Eat s’mores over a campfire burning stocking
  3. Have a photo taken with Santa
  4. Attend an ugly Christmas sweater event
  5. Go ice skating roller skating
  6. Watch Christmas movies
  7. Drink homemade hot cocoa
  8. Wear matching Christmas pajamas
  9. Build a gingerbread house
  10. Give to charity
  11. Attend a holiday party
  12. Spread cheer at a nursing home Try to survive the wrath of Grandma
  13. Kiss the heck out of Taylor under the mistletoe

I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of this series. Now at book five (of six), it’s good news I’m still enjoying everything. Well, I hope you do too, when you finally read it.

  • Title: The Twelve Holidates
  • Author: Emma St. Clair
  • Year published: 2021
  • Publisher: Independent Publisher
  • Total number of pages: 80
  • ISBN-13: 979-8-503-15264-7

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2 thoughts on “The Twelve Holidates (Love Clichés, #4) by Emma St. Clair

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