- One of the best parts of the holiday season is cozying up to watch a Hallmark movie marathon.
- But if you’re not in a movie mood, there are a ton of romance books set during the holiday season.
- They have both the fun of the holidays and the sexy themes of a romance book.
- Best-selling authors combine their talent for romance writing with Christmas cheer in novels like Jasmine Guillory’s “Royal Holiday” and Christina Lauren’s “In a Holidaze.”
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“In a Holidaze” by Christina Lauren
Fans of “Groundhog Day” and “Palm Springs” will love “In a Holidaze,” a delightful story about a woman who gets stuck in a Christmas time loop by the writing duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, who publish together as Christina Lauren.
Maelyn Jones is having a quarter-life crisis, living at home with her mum while working at a job she hates. The only thing sustaining her is the annual Christmas trip to the Utah cabin, where her family and two others have been spending the holidays together her entire life.
But the trip ends terribly, as Mae kisses her best friend Theo, and his brother, Andrew – who Mae has been in love with for the last decade – saw. Even worse, Andrew and Theo’s parents tell everyone at the end of the trip that they will be selling the cabin, sending the one stable thing in Mae’s life just out of reach.
She ends the trip despondent, but when her family gets in a car wreck as they leave the cabin, Mae wakes up on the plane on the way to Utah, travelling back in time almost a week. She finds herself in a time loop, reliving the vacation over and over again. But what starts as a nightmare might be the key to making things right: Will Mae be able to kiss the right boy with another chance, and can she find a way to save the cabin, too?
Sexy, festive, and heartwarming, “In A Holidaze” is the perfect book to read as you curl up under a blanket near a fire this holiday season.
“Royal Holiday” by Jasmine Guillory
Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory combines her skill for romance writing with holiday cheer in “Royal Holiday.”
Meet Vivian Forest, an overworked single mum who finally gets a break when she tags along on a trip to England with her daughter, who has been given the opportunity to style a royal family member for the holiday events. Vivian figures she’ll spend the week relaxing in the English countryside, but things change when she meets Malcolm Hudson, the Queen’s private secretary.
Malcolm and Vivian are drawn to each other from the second they meet, as Vivian’s laid-back warmth and Malcolm’s polite formality somehow create a perfect balance. Their feelings for one another grow as they spend afternoons together, and a kiss under the mistletoe that leads to more marks the start of a steamy fling.
They plan for their romance to end once New Year’s comes, but ignoring the feelings they have for each other might be harder than Malcolm or Vivian expected.
“One Day in December” by Josie Silver
“One Day in December” by Josie Silver is about missed connections, friendship, and the overwhelming power of true love.
Laurie isn’t looking for love when she locks eyes with a man through a bus window, but with just one foggy glance, she knows he’s the one. But the bus drives away before she can speak to him, literally taking Laurie away from the person she knows is the love of her life.
She spends the next year hoping she’ll run into him again to no avail. But in a cruel twist of fate, Laurie finally sees him again at a Christmas party the next year, where best friend Sarah introduces the man as her new boyfriend, Jack.
Silver’s novel unfolds slowly, with Laurie, Sarah, and Jack exploring what they mean to each other and what fate has in store for them over a decade. Filled with poignancy and warmth, the novel will give you the holiday fuzzies you’ve been waiting all year for.
“Jingle All the Way” by Debbie Macomber
If you’re looking for a book that will make winter feel a little less cold and dreary, Debbie Macomber’s “Jingle All the Way” will hit the spot.
Perpetual middle sibling Everly Lancaster has always been an overachiever. It’s what’s made her a success as a real-estate executive, but it’s also why she hasn’t made time for love (or anything else that isn’t work-related). So when her boss insists Everly takes a month off work for the holidays, she’s shocked. What’s she supposed to do with her time?
The answer comes in a cruise through the Amazon her assistant booked for her, which sounds like a nightmare to Everly considering the ship’s lack of Wi-Fi. She plans to be thoroughly miserable for the duration of her journey – until she meets Asher Adams, the ship’s naturalist. Asher forces Everly to live in the moment, and she soon finds herself falling for him.
She knows her feelings for Asher are bigger than this vacation can hold, but figuring out how he could fit into her fast-paced life will be a challenge. Everly will have to decide if she’s finally willing to prioritise love over work.
“Hot Winter Nights” by Jill Shalvis
Part of the “Heartbreaker Bay” series, Jill Shalvis’ “Hot Winter Nights” is the perfect dose of steam for your holiday season.
Molly Malone is the office manager at Hunt Investigations, but she’s ready to transition to investigator. Her first case doubles as an ideal distraction from the night she spent with her crush, Lucas Knight. They didn’t sleep together, but Lucas doesn’t remember that as a result of combining whiskey and pain medicine he’s taking from a bullet wound.
Molly uses his lapse in memory to convince him they shared a night of passion, which adds another secret to Lucas’ plate. He’s already keeping from Molly that her brother asked him to watch over her as she takes on her first case, and he knows she’ll be furious if she finds out.
But shielding Molly from the truth and stopping himself from falling for her might just prove impossible.
“A Princess for Christmas” by Jenny Holiday
The last person Leo Ricci expected to step into his cab is a literal princess, but when his sister Gabby sees Princess Marie of Eldovia hailing a car, she somehow ends up in the back seat of his taxi.
Both Leo and Princess Marie are dealing with more than they can handle. Marie is struggling to run her country in the aftermath of her mother’s death, which has left her father in a deep depression, and Leo is struggling to balance raising Gabby, driving a cab, and maintaining his role as super of an apartment building in the Bronx.
Love is the last thing either of them have time for. But Leo’s kindness immediately draws Marie to him, while her tenacity softens him in ways he didn’t expect. When Leo and Gabby journey to Eldovia for the holidays, Leo will have to confront the powerful feelings he has for an equally powerful woman in Jenny Holiday’s “A Princess for Christmas.”
“The Noel Letters” by Richard Paul Evans
Richard Paul Evans’ “The Noel Letters” is a story of love in its many different forms, and it has all the hallmarks of a Christmas romance.
Noel Post hadn’t planned on returning to Salt Lake City, but when she finds out her father is dying, she leaves her life in New York as a book publisher to care for him. But when he dies, Noel finds out he left her his bookstore, making her stay more permanent.
As she adjusts to life in Salt Lake City, Noel reconnects with her old flame Dylan, stirring emotions in her she hasn’t felt in years. At the same time, she starts receiving anonymous letters that will help her understand her father, herself, and her future.
By the time Christmas season hits, Noel will reevaluate everything she thought to be true about love.
“A Warm Heart in Winter” by J.R. Ward
“A Warm Heart in Winter” is a holiday instalment of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brothers series.
The Caldwell Christmas book stars Blay and Qhuinn, who have been planning their official mating ceremony. But a tragic event throws the event and their lives into chaos, leaving them unsure of what the future holds.
The couple will have to see if love can triumph over a winter storm, and they will lean on the Black Dagger Brotherhood to help them figure it out.
“Lighting the Flames” by Sarah Wendell
Genevieve and Jeremy have known each other their whole lives thanks to Camp Meira, the Jewish overnight camp they have both been going to since they were seven. They have always been just friends, even when they both secretly wanted more.
They haven’t seen each other in over a year when they both end up at Meira for a special Hanukkah camp. They can use the time together to rebuild their friendship, but Genevieve and Jeremy might finally be willing to take their relationship to the next level in Sarah Wendell’s “Lighting the Flames.”
“A Wallflower for Christmas” by Lisa Kleypas
Hallmark fans who also love period romances will swoon over “A Wallflower for Christmas” by Lisa Kleypas.
It’s Christmas in 1845, and American Rafe Bowman has travelled to London to win the hand of the prim and proper Natalie Blandford. But his reckless reputation from across the sea is less than appealing to Natalie, so Rafe needs to learn how to succeed in London’s high-society before he can win her over.
He enlists the help of the Wallflowers, four London socialites who know a thing or two about love. Can the combination of the Wallflowers’ efforts and the joy of Christmas make true love a reality?
“Merry Me” by Amanda Siegrist
Lynn Carpenter sweeps into Chief Elliot Duncan’s life with a misdelivered Christmas gift. He usually hates the holidays, but her beauty and strength have him feeling unusually festive.
Elliot is determined to make Lynn fall for him, but the combination of his overbearing father and Lynn’s independent nature might make wooing her more difficult than he anticipated.
Amanda Siegrist’s “Merry Me” is a sweet and fun Christmas romance, and it’s part of a larger series of holiday books that can keep you reading all season long.
“Mangos & Mistletoe” by Adriana Herrera
Adriana Herrera’s “Mangos & Mistletoe” is a steamy holiday novella that’s perfect for avid bakers.
Kiskeya Burgos and Sully Morales are both determined to win England’s Holiday Baking Challenge, a reality TV show that could put them on the map in the culinary world. The women are teamed up in the competition, but Kiskeya’s surly disposition doesn’t fit with Sully’s upbeat demeanour.
But when Sully and Kiskeya realise the tension between them is sexual in nature, everything changes. They will have to be open with each other about their feelings if they want to win the challenge, but a shocking act of treachery might upend their chance at winning – and their relationship.
“Snow Angel Cove” by RaeAnne Thayne
Eliza Hayward finds herself in Haven Point during the holidays after her new job falls through in RaeAnne Thayne’s “Snow Angel Cove.” She feels lost, until the handsome and smart Aidan Cane offers her a job renovating his guest house after he almost hits her with his car.
It seems like the perfect setup for both of them – until Aidan finds himself falling for Eliza. After spending years focused only on his work, he’ll have to figure out how to win over the woman who is everything he’s been missing.
“The Boss Who Stole Christmas” by Jana Aston
Jana Aston’s “Reindeer Falls” novella series is equal parts Christmas cheer and sexy fun.
The first instalment in the series, “The Boss Who Stole Christmas,” follows Holly Winter, who hates her boss. Sure, Nick Saint-Croix is as sexy as they come, but his personality leaves much to be desired.
But maybe there’s something softer hiding under his hard (and handsome) exterior.
“Holly Pointe & Mistletoe” by Cindy Kirk
Desperation brings Stella Carpenter to Holly Pointe, Vermont, the so-called “Capital of Christmas Kindness.” Stella’s personal and professional lives are in shambles, and her last hope is debunking the holiday spirit in Holly Pointe so her editor will give her a new writing job.
She doesn’t expect to meet Sam Johnson, a rancher who hates Christmas even more than Stella does as a result of losing his brother. But something about Stella makes Sam feel hopeful again, and neither can deny the chemistry between them.
Stella will be forced to choose between getting her old life back on track and starting a new one she never expected.
“Better Not Pout” by Annabeth Albert
Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki hates Christmas as much as Teddy MacNally loves it. But he ends up playing Santa for a charity event at the behest of his commanding officer in his last month before retiring, where Teddy happens to be working as an elf.
The connection between them is instant, and the unlikely duo fall into a holiday fling against Nick’s better judgment, stealing snowy kisses that are so nice it feels naughty.
Their romance has a built-in expiration date because of Nick’s retirement, but the kisses they share and feelings they have for each other are more serious than either Teddy or Nick care to admit. Can they turn their festive foundation into something real?