Holiday Romance: ‘Tis the Season!

Holiday Romance - cropThe holidays are coming fast and furious, as they seem to do each year. The leftover oranges and blacks of Halloween haven’t even reached the clearance aisle when the blues, silvers, reds, greens, and golds begin to replace them. Thanksgiving is just a speed bump as we race to the end of the year and the winter holidays.

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with a romance novel, as the holidays create a great backdrop for stories that will warm the heart. Holiday romance offers a little something for everyone and we’ve selected a few titles and authors to highlight.

Most holiday romances focus on Christmas, but there are a few that feature Chanukah, New Year’s, or are simply set in the wintertime without making a particular holiday the primary focus. Holidays seem to bring out the romantic in many of us while also setting the scene for forgiveness and reconciliation. Series fans will be happy to see that many of their favorites include a holiday feature.

Ilene & C. L.’s Top Picks:

The Bells of Times Square by Amy LaneThe Bells of Times Square, by Amy Lane

Making sure his grandfather gets to Times Square on New Year’s Eve is a priority for Blaine—it’s something his grandfather has done for years. This year, Blaine is bringing his boyfriend, Tony, to meet his grandfather, Nate. At Times Square, Nate hopes to hear the church bells ring, a sign that the love of his life, Walter is there. Walter and Nate fell in love back in 1943 when Walter was a POW who nursed a wounded Nate back to health. A beautifully told WWII love story that is sure to have you sobbing by the end.

The Christmas Cottage by Samantha ChaseThe Christmas Cottage and Ever After, by Samantha Chase

Chase tells the story of two best friends in the connected novellas, The Christmas Cottage and Ever After. Ava Callahan has some doubts about her groom, but spending the wedding night in the family cottage has guaranteed a happily-ever-after for all of the couples in her family. Lacey Quinn is Ava’s maid of honor and, despite the long list of demands Ava has for the cottage, Lacey is going to try to make it perfect for her. A trip to check it out during a freak snowstorm leaves Lacey stranded with best man/teenage crush/Ava’s brother Ean. Will the cottage bring Lacey luck with Ean? Ava’s story follows.

First Love Cookie Club by Lori WildeThe First Love Cookie Club, by Lori Wilde

Successful children’s book author Sarah Collier returns home to Twilight, Texas after a self imposed exile to visit with a sick fan. Sarah steels herself for the flood of memories, not all horrible but she is completely unprepared for meeting her high school crush Travis. Travis who is still as hot and sexy as he was in high school, maybe even more, is the young fan’s father. Can Sarah overcome her memories and past transgressions to see Travis for the man he is today? Perhaps with the help of the town legend she can. There is a legend that if you sleep with christmas cookies under your pillow on Christmas Eve and dream of your true love, it will come to be.

Hunk for the Holidays by Katie LaneHunk for the Holidays, by Katie Lane

Cassie McPherson can’t go to her family’s company Christmas party alone, but she has no time for a social life. A male escort seems like the perfect answer—but the gorgeous hunk in a tuxedo isn’t her date. James Sutton is her father’s biggest competitor, and his immediate attraction to Cassie makes him decide to play along. James wants to tell her who he really is, but things keep getting in the way. Will Cassie and James get their Merry Christmas or will they be left feeling scrooged?

A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney MilanA Kiss for Midwinter, by Courtney Milan

If anyone knew about Lydia Charingford’s past, the scandal would ruin her. As it is, despite putting a happy face on for everyone around her, she knows that she’ll never be able to have a happy life. Dr. Jonas Grantham has returned to Leicester and drawn up a list of women who have marriage potential. Then he meets Lydia again and knows she’s the only one for him, but since he is one of the few people who knows about her disgrace, she wants nothing to do with him. After more than a year of pursuing her, he proposes a wager: if he wins, he gets a kiss, but if she wins, he will never speak to her again. This e-only novella is a between-the-numbers romance in the Brothers Sinster series.

Lighting the Flames by Sarah WendellLighting the Flames, by Sarah Wendell

Jeremy and Genevieve come together to help staff Winter Camp at their beloved summer camp the week of Chanukah. Jeremy and Gen have been best camp friends for years—but last year, before Jeremy left, they shared a single kiss. Now they are back together and neither knows if they are camp besties or something more. Between color wars and scavenger hunts, they have to figure out where they stand in the real world. A sweet and tender exploration of what it means when friends become lovers.

Rebound Remedy by Christine d'AboRebound Remedy, by Christine d’Abo

Getting dumped right before Christmas sucks. Just ask Cole. His now ex-boyfriend Steve dumped him at the airport right as they were leaving for a sexy getaway. Turning to drown his sorrows at a local watering hole, Cole finds a friend in bartender Owen. Over the course of the next twelve days the two men find they have far more in common than they thought both in the bedroom and out of it. Sometimes love on the rebound is exactly what you need.


Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories, by Megan Hart, K. K. Hendin, Stacey Agdern, and Jennifer Gracen

Christmas in Duke Street, by Miranda Neville, Carolyn Jewel, Shana Galen, and Grace Burrowes

The Heart of Christmas, by Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, and Courtney Milan

Midnight Kiss, by Robyn Carr, Jean Brashear, and Victoria Dahl

New Year’s Resolution: Romance, by Christie Ridgway, Leslie Kelly, and Tanya Michaels

On the Naughty List, by Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, and Sugar Jamison

Contemporary Romance

All is Calm, All is Bright, by Colleen Coble

Chasing a Brighter Blue, by Gerri Hill

Dashing through the Snow, by Debbie Macomber

Kiss and Tell, by Suzanne Brockmann

The Lodge on Holly Road, by Sheila Roberts

Marry Me at Christmas, by Susan Mallery

You Give Good Love, by J. J. Murray

Yours at Midnight, by Robin Bielman


All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy, by Jennifer Ryan, Katie Lane, Emma Cane

A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas, by Kim Redford

An Outlaw’s Christmas, by Linda Lael Miller

Red’s Hot Cowboy, by Carolyn Brown

Sweet Cowboy Christmas, by Candis Terry


By Winter’s Light, by Stephanie Laurens

His Mistress by Christmas, by Victoria Alexander

Season for Scandal, by Theresa Romain

What a Lady Needs for Christmas, by Grace Burrowes

A Winter Wedding, by Amanda Forester


All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire, by Kerrelyn Sparks

The Bite Before Christmas, by Heidi Betts

Christmas with a Bite, by Patricia Wolf

North of Need, by Laura Kaye

A Silver Wolf Christmas, by Terry Spear

The Winter Laird, by Nancy Scanlon


Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle 

My True Love Gave to Me, by Stephanie Perkins (editor)



About the Author:

Ilene Lefkowitz is a supervising librarian at the Denville Public Library in Denville, New Jersey. Along with C. L., co-author of Read On . . . Romance (2014). When she is not reading romances she can be found cooking up a storm or attempting to be crafty. Follow her on Twitter @ilefkowitz. C. L. Quillen is the director of the Spotswood Public Library. In her spare time, she likes to get creative in the kitchen, travel, and spoil her already very spoiled Siamese-mix cat. She is the co-author of Read On . . . Romance (2014). Follow her on Twitter at @cielle.

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