Halloween decorations are just starting to hit store shelves, but we’ve got our hearts set on a very different holiday, one that’s full of mistletoe and Mariah Carey. Holiday romance books make a romantic read regardless of the season, whether you're in the mood for something nice...or something decidedly naughty.
The festive setting of a holiday romance automatically ramps the tension up to eleven. Not only do our romantic heroes need to tackle their growing feelings for each other, there’s also the added pressure of the holidays—and all the cozy romantic situations that come with them! That’s a perfect recipe for a book that can hook you, regardless of what your calendar says. So pour yourself some hot chocolate, curl up in a comfy chair, and get ready for a little Christmas, right this very minute. From Christmas cowboys to historical romps, give yourself the early gift of these festive, flirty tales.
Bring Me Sunshine
Christmas, cruise ships, and an Antarctic mystery—Bring Me Sunshine truly has it all. After an unfortunate romance with her professor, marine biologist Jenny decides to escape with a tropical Christmas cruise. But she can't sail away from trouble. Before long, Jenny finds herself in the South Pole and falling swiftly for a mysterious fellow passenger who rarely leaves his cabin. The stern Kit Walker is hiding something ... and his secret might sink Jenny, too. With choppy waters ahead, Jenny will have to decide if she's willing to risk it all—including her life—to pursue her attraction to the mysterious seafarer.
This fantasy romance proves that winter magic can bend the very fabric of time (talk about having high expectations for the holidays!). Grad student Emma is pregnant, single, and massively depressed on Christmas Eve. Rather than face the night alone at home, she makes an evening pilgrimage to the gravesite of Wyoming historical figure J.D. McNulty, the subject of her thesis.
On the way home, Emma crashes her car—and wakes in 1870s Wyoming. Her baby is on its way, and Emma herself is half-dead, but she struggles to the doorstep of a good samaritan ... one J.D. McNulty himself. J.D. saves the life of Emma and her child, and soon the single mother and the subject of her thesis fall deeply in love. But their time-spanning romance has one major flaw. Emma knows J.D.'s whole life story. And she knows he's about to die—soon.
A Christmas Bride
What would a Christmas romance be without a traumatic brain injury? Timothy Crawford needs to present a bride to his grandfather this holiday at their ancestral estate, but Timothy's as single as they come. He spins a web of lies about his fictitious fiancée, Serenity Adams, but he's got no way of delivering on his bold claims.
When Timothy rescues a woman from a carriage accident—a woman who conveniently has no memory of who she is—he desperately asks her to join him in a little festive deception. Before long, the fake lovebirds develop very real feelings for each other. But their lies, and their newfound love, may be torn apart at the annual Crawford Christmas Ball.
A Christmas Charade
This second-chance regency romance will delight you no matter the season. Political skullduggery! A sullen, heartbreaking duke! A brave young woman determined to prove her heart has healed! What more could one want from a tale of wintry passion?
When Lady Astley requests the company of her paid companion Elizabeth at Stenton Castle's Christmas party, Elizabeth is in no position to refuse. Besides, it's been years since her heart was broken by Clive Rowland, Fifth Duke of Stenton, and in that time she's become more proud and sure of herself than ever before. At last, Elizabeth is ready to face the duke who once made her weak in the knees. But when they come face-to-face at Stenton Castle, the Duke is preoccupied. There are traitors at the Christmas ball—including his heart, which pines for Elizabeth despite his common sense.
An Angel's Touch
A tale of loss and transcendent love, you'll need a box of Kleenex close by when reading Heather Graham's magical An Angel's Touch. College sweethearts Don and Cathy Angel have it all—but their perfect life ends abruptly when a train smashes into their car on a snowy Christmas Eve. Soon, the young couple are looking down at their bodies. Now spirits, these soulmates only have until midnight to manifest six miracles on the Earthly plain in order to move on to the next life. But how can two inexperienced angels work magic on a deadline?
The Trouble With Mistletoe
When her old high school classmate Keane walks into Willa’s pet store, she’s not inclined to help him with his feline emergency. He doesn’t even seem to remember her, let alone recall what a jerk he was to her in their teenage years. But Keane is desperate for some help in his pet-sitting duties, and it is the holidays, after all...
The second book in Jill Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series, The Trouble With Mistletoe is the purr-fect second-chance romance for when you need a festive Christmas story filled with plenty of cute furry friends.
A Wallflower Christmas
Visit holiday time in Victorian England with this companion book to Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series, the core volumes of which follow four ‘wallflowers’ as they navigate their path to true love. In this festive tale, the four ladies—wallflowers no longer—combine forces to help rakish American Rafe Bowman prepare to meet, and court, his genteel intended, Natalie Blandford. Rafe isn’t used to working for what he wants, particularly when what he wants is the affection of a beautiful lady. But this London Christmas, Rafe starts to develop feelings for the one woman he's ever been challenged by. Ice won’t be the only thing that melts …
Better at Weddings Than You
The ninth book in Mina V. Esguerra’s Chic Manila series kicks off at a Christmas Eve engagement dinner. Wedding planner Daphne has been hired as a last-minute replacement planner for her friend Greg’s wedding, because Greg feared his fiancee was falling for Aaron, the red-hot event-planner who was initially in charge of the ceremony.
When Daphne finally meets the man whose job she’s taking, she can see why Greg is insecure: Aaron is undeniably hot. Before long, she and Aaron have put their professional competition aside for some, uh, reindeer games of their very own. Full of juicy wedding drama and chemistry between the leads that will have you glued to the page, this is one present you won’t be able to resist unwrapping.
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Love Story
Sarah Wendell, co-founder of the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog, spins a totally delightful tale of friends-turned-lovers in this Hanukkah romance. Genevieve and Jeremy have been close for over a decade, since they first met when they were both seven at Camp Meira. Their friendship has blossomed over the years, from their time as campers to co-counselors. But Jeremy left camp abruptly last year, and Genevieve hasn’t seen him since returning from her graduate studies. Now they’re back together for the first time in forever to host a special Hanukkah camp session—and all the feelings and secrets they’ve been holding back are about to come to light.
A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas
After his life is changed forever by tragedy, Grant Dodge has resigned himself to the looks of pity everyone in Gold Valley gives him. He knows they’ll never see him as anything more than the local widower. So when Grant discovers a strange woman hiding in a cabin on his ranch, he's relieved to suddenly have an acquaintance who doesn't know his backstory. McKenna Tate has a tragic past of her own, one that she’s secretly come to Gold Valley to confront. Grant lets McKenna stay on the ranch, and before long, the two struggling loners find a strange peace with each other. There’s no better time than Christmas to believe in miracles like healing and second chances.
Season of Wonder
Single mom Dani Capelli has a long history in New York. From her childhood in Queens foster homes, to her turbulent relationship with her late ex-husband, there’s a lot she and her children are leaving behind when they make the move from New York to a remote area of Idaho so Dani can take over a veterinary clinic. Both Dani and her daughters struggle to adjust to their rural new surroundings. Luckily, their next-door-neighbor—Deputy Sheriff Ruben Morales—is on-hand to ease their transition.
Lone Star Christmas
Callen Laramie has long avoided his home town of Coldwater, Texas. But the studly cowboy learns the hard way that you can't outrun family. When a family crisis occurs one December, Callen is forced to return to the town he left behind—and runs straight into his forbidden childhood crush. Shelby McCall is all grown up, and Callen finds himself increasingly drawn to the woman he tried to forget.
But when she learns the truth about his homecoming, it will take a Christmas miracle for Shelby to forgive Callen's withholding ways. Will mistletoe win out? The first in a new series about the Laramie brothers, Lonestar Christmas will have you swooning, regardless of your stance on cowboys or Christmas.
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