I do love a Christmas Romance, you’ll find me seeking them out and compiling a TBR queue round about Halloween. Here are this year’s recommendations! And for those of whom the X-mas theme is not their jam I’ve included a few of my favorite books set during winter.
This one was cute I do love a Grumpy/Sunshine trope! And the cast of townsfolk characters were very entertaining. I’m fixing to add Bay’s” Mister” series in my New Year’s TBR.
I hate Christmas.
As CEO of my company, I’ve banned decorations from the office, festive music from the lobby and any kind of secret Santa gifts between employees are strictly forbidden.
I’m heading to the airport, away from the Christmas lights and the mulled wine, heading for sunshine and margaritas when I get a call from Granny. She’s sprained her ankle and needs my help filling in for her as head of the village Christmas Committee. Snowsly is the Christmas Capital of England and the last place I want to be in the lead up to Christmas.
But there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Granny.
When I arrive in Snowsly, I’m introduced to Celia Sommers who is Christmas’ biggest fan and therefore my own personal nightmare before Christmas. Worse than that, I have to work with her to make Snowsly’s Christmas market a success.
Celia is determined to get me in the festive spirit. It’s not going to work.
It doesn’t matter if she’s smart and funny and easy to flirt with—if she doesn’t stop looking at me with her sparkling eyes and pouting her completely kissable lips, Celia is going straight to the top of my naughty list.
Jill Shalvis is a favorite of mine and when I saw her new Christmas themed anthology I snapped it up. I was not disappointed. She has several series going and I enjoyed the story set in her Heartbreaker Bay series the best.
One Snowy Night
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to her family. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, her long-time crush, and his big, goofy, lovable dog. A long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past…and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.
When Sean O’Riley shows up for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, the last person he expects to see is Lotti Hartford, the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago. As the weekend continues, Sean realizes he wants to leave his hook-up life behind, but can he convince Lotti to open her heart to him again?
Mistletoe in Paradise
Years after their secret fling ended, Hannah isn’t eager to see James during their families’ annual joint holiday-themed yacht adventure. But when they’re the only people who show up, James and Hannah are stuck together on the high seas for days. As the former lovers try to make the best of the Christmas snafu, they soon realize the best things in life can’t be planned, and sometimes love is sweeter the second time around.
All of the tasks the matchmaker sets for the heroine are amusing as well as the people living in her building. I saw the conclusion of the story and figured out the big surprise quickly but still stuck around because the heroine was a hoot.
For Cassie Beaumont, it’s meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far nothing’s worked. Not blind dates, not the internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.
What other options are there? Well…she could hire a professional matchmaker. Simon Dodson has quite a reputation, but he’s very choosy about the clients he takes on—and very expensive. Cassie considers him a difficult, acerbic know-it-all, and she’s astonished when he accepts her as a client.
Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets this paragon. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell-ringer, dressing up as Santa’s elf at a mall and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (most of whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all—and then she’s finally ready to meet her match.
But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise!
This is my favorite this year. I’m a sucker for a quaint English village setting! This is one that I bought way back in September in anticipation for Christmas reading.
When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?
Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along. . . .
Also, for those who don’t want a Christmas theme here are some of my favorite books set during winter….
A rethink of Rumpelstiltskin, I really liked the adventurous Miryem.
With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. She will face an impossible challenge and, along with two unlikely allies, uncover a secret that threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike.
A very well done Beauty and the Beast reboot. I recommended it last year too. And, it’s on sale for Kindle right now!
Amarrah Brewer is desperate and grief-stricken.
For ages, the town of Bitterburn has sent tribute to the Keep at the End of the World, but a harsh winter leaves them unable to pay the toll that keeps the Beast at bay. Amarrah volunteers to brave what no one has before–to end the threat or die trying.
The Beast of Bitterburn has lost all hope.
One way or another, Njål has been a prisoner for his entire life. Monstrous evil has left him trapped and lonely, and he believes that will never change. There is only darkness in his endless exile, never light. Never warmth. Until she arrives.
It’s a tale as old as time… where Beauty goes to confront the Beast and falls in love instead.
Definitely a winter story. My favorite scene is the literary themed party Zachary attends at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC. No one writes party scenes like Erin Morgenstern!
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
Also, may I humbly recommend: