Discussion: Holiday Romance ~ Books

Happy Holidays! I love this time of year, because it means it’s finally time to GLUT MYSELF ON HOLIDAY ROMANCES! Today I want to focus on holiday romances in book form. (Don’t worry, I’ll do another post in a couple of whiles on holiday romance movies!) 

Here are a few holiday romances I adored. A lot of these are contemporaries because most holiday historicals tend to be novellas, for some reason. *shrug* 

Not Just For Christmas by Annabeth Jacobs
For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable. 

Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man. 

In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.

(Goodreads – and check out my review here.) (Available on KindleUnlimited!)

Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Meet cute…
Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…
Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself… just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime. 
(Goodreads – and check out my review here.)

The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr
Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve. 

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her
flakey actor beau.


It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.

(Goodreads – and check out my review here.)

The Decoy Date by Mira Lynn Kelly
Brody O’Donnel doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters—at least, not for himself. But he wants the best for his vivacious, beautiful friend Gwen Danes, and he’s tired of watching her pine for a clueless man. Figuring a little bit of jealousy will motivate the guy, Brody proposes a fake relationship. It’s an outrageous plan, but Gwen figures there’s no harm in it—until they share a passionate kiss she never saw coming.
Suddenly, Gwen’s fighting a growing attraction to a man she knows she can’t have. After all, he’s just faking it…isn’t he?
(Goodreads – and check out my review here.)

Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Outwas a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir–only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.
(Goodreads)

I’ve also got a list of Kindle Unlimited Christmas reads a mile long – here’s a sneak peak of a few books on it!

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And here are some great holiday recommendations from other book bloggers around the web!

A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can’t forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him…or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He’s been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he’s determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss…

A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella (38,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series. It follows The Duchess War. Each book stands on its own, but those who prefer to read in order might want to read that book first. 

(Goodreads – recommended by Peekaboo @ Bookquarium)


Do you read holiday themed books around this time of year? What are some of your favorites?

8 comments

  1. Fun post! I really want to read Not Just for Christmas. There are a few holiday themed books that I hope to get to this year, including the third in the cozy mystery series by Vicki Delaney (all the books are Christmas themed).-Laurenwww.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. I don't *usually* read a lot of holiday/Christmas themed books, especially not romance, but this year I am ALL about them! I'm on I think my 4th…so far my favorite has been One Day in December, which was SO MUCH better and 100x more relatable than I thought it would be!

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  3. Oh man, I was so busy all month I don't think I checked my comments AT ALL, and now Christmas is over and I'm on Goodreads searching for One Day in December… Got this one marked to read for Christmas 2019, thanks! 😉

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  4. To some extent, they can be super repetitive (which I know that people say about all romance and it's NOT TRUE, but it's maybe a little bit true for holiday romances…) Also a lot of them tend to be novellas within a larger series, like a little Christmas Special! so if you don't read the rest of the series you can end up feeling lost (ESPECIALLY with some of these small town ones where there are eleventy billion characters!) I had pretty good luck with them this year though. 🙂 I didn't end up reviewing most of them (not even on Goodreads, which I have ENDLESS BOOK READER/BLOGGER GUILT ABOUT) because I was blitzing through them so fast I was done with 2 or 3 before I sat down to write a review and then just honestly… Couldn't remember which book was which, LOL.

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  5. Yes! Romance seems to have them, and I've noticed cozy mysteries have holiday themed ones (Halloween and Christmas especially), and I'm also big into fairy tale retellings and managed to find quite a few The Nutcracker retellings for some Christmassy fantasy. I bet if you were creative you could find at least seasonal/wintery books in your genres of choice. LIke I bet True Crime has some sort of ice pick killer or a serial killer that dresses up like Santa Claus or something… Hahahahahahahaha oh man, now I want to go find a bunch of Christmas true crime books… I know what my sister-in-law is getting for Christmas next year!

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