The 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 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 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.
The 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 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 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 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’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
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)