‘What did you say?’ the lady asks me.

I look to my mum, who is still comparing antacids, oblivious to the fact that I’ve regressed back to being a child and clearly want my mummy to come and shout at her.

‘Oh, no, nothing,’ I insist. ‘I was just joking with my sister. I wasn’t talking to you. Sorry for the mix-up.’ 

Wow, I’m babbling with fear, like a ticked-off child. Tragic.

‘You can’t even stand up for yourself, can you? How do you think your generation would have survived during the war, hmm?’ she asks, pausing as though she expects an answer. 

I’m briefly distracted, glancing over her shoulder, trying to work out what Jess is doing. Eventually, I realize. She’s placing boxes of condoms in the woman’s trolley.

Just Date and See is a delightful, laugh-out-loud holiday romance that you will not be able to put down.

Billie is looking forward to a quiet, man-free Christmas. It’s just a shame her family doesn’t feel the same way…

With a house full of unexpected (and unwanted) guests, Billie needs to find the perfect escape to get away from the chaos.

So when her dating app recommends a week of singles nights in her area, Billie decides that braving these events has to be better than making conversation with her dad’s new wife, dealing with her mum’s mid-life crisis or witnessing her sister flirting with her insufferably arrogant next-door neighbour.

While this is definitely not the festive season she had planned, between disco bowling and boozy bingo, little does Billie know that she may find love this year after all – she’ll just have to date and see… 

I really do adore Portia’s books; they are fun and charming and leave you with all those feel-good feelings. Just Date and See is her latest holiday romance, and if you are a fan of The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss, then you will love this book.

Our heroine Billie wants a quiet Christmas in her newly renovated house, but the universe (or her family) has other plans for her. This book is full of quirky and fun characters that will have you laughing and smiling for the entire story. Billie’s holiday plans go out the door as more and more family members appear at her front step, looking for a place to stay for the holiday season. Her home becomes a bit of a mad house with her mom, sister, dad and his wife living all under one roof. Throw in a few other unexpected guests, and you have got lots of fabulous drama and awkward family situations that I just devoured. All this craziness at home pushes Billie to participate in a series of festive dates with strangers arranged through a dating app. While on one of these dates, she meets the gorgeous Rocco. Sparks fly between these two, but Rocco is only in town for a short time, and Billie has sworn to have a man-free Christmas, so is there any reason to pursue a relationship that won’t last past Christmas? 

I flew through this book! I could not put it down and read it all in one day (while sitting on a beach in Greece). The story is fun, with just the right amount of holiday and craziness to hook you in and leave you wanting to read more. Even though this is an easy read, there is still plenty of depth to the characters and their relationships. The family dynamic in this book is complex and full of drama and heart. Portia did a fabulous job at showing readers how complicated family life can be. Families are constantly changing, and sometimes it can be hard to deal with these changes. I thought she dealt with those serious issues by putting a positive spin on them.

I love Billie, she is fun and sweet, and I love how disaster tends to follow her wherever she goes. Whether dealing with her family or going on these festive dates, I knew I would be laughing alongside her as she struggled to get through the holiday season. The series of dates that Billie went on were hilarious! Because Billie didn’t decide to join this festive dating series with the intent of finding her one true love, it meant she approached these dates in a more fun and playful manner. 

I adore Billie and Rocco as a couple! Their banter was perfect, and I loved every moment they had together. I loved how they were able to joke around with each other, and I loved their antics at these dating events. The chemistry between these two was believable, and even though there were lots of light cute moments between them, I still felt like their relationship had lots of depth. 

Just Date and See is one of my favourite holiday rom-coms! 

Thank you, Boldwood Books and Rachel Random Resources for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.