With the holiday seasons comes a new batch of holiday romances to read. I am one of those people who waits until December 1st to rewatch Love Actually. I romanticize the hell out of it, and my favorite story lines are Colin Firth's sad writer love, and Bill Nighy's bad Santa. If they can find true love during the holidays, then so can the rest of us. Why? Because of the magic of the holidays. As the song goes, " I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes."
December is magical. The coat of freshly fallen snow, the decked out trees covered in glitter and light, the warmth that families and friends share, mistletoe and hot toddies. All of these things are attributed to the magic of Christmas and the Holiday season. And so, a recurrent theme found in many of these holiday romances is serendipity. It isn't just about a romance novel taking place in December, it's something cosmic that drives these characters to be at the right place at the right time. Possibly even snowed in at a bookstore with no other choice but to have sex.
Here are some readable treats to get your holidays started. There are Montana cowboys, Hanukkah celebrations, snowed in booksellers, women who are modern versions of the Grinch. And yes, their hearts do grow three sizes when they find their Christmas Baes.
1. Snowbound at Christmas by Jennifer Ryan, Maisey yates, and Lia Riley
A collection of three Christmas novellas, Snowbound at Christmas follows three couples from three different series as they get a second chance at love. Close to Perfect by Jennifer Ryan reunites star-crossed lovers. Snowed in at Copper Ridge by Maisey Yates follows a Mia Landry and the cowboy she wants but shouldn't. Hot Winter’s Night by Lia Riley perfects heat and charm all at once.
2. Let it Snow by Jeanette Grey
It's the night before Christmas Eve and a blizzard has two booksellers snowed in. Holly and Sam are polar opposites, after sharing the store owner's cheap vodka and leftover holiday sweets, they also share the hottest sex scene ever to take place at a book store. Must have.
3. Unwrapping the Holidays by Nana Malone and Sheryl Lister
In Hot Coded Christmas by Nana Malone, CEO Jamie reed wants to spend the holidays alone in a guesthouse upstate New York. Too bad her business rival, Cole Nichols, is unexpectedly there. Two sexy tech bosses, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Be Mine for Christmas by Sheryl Lister follows Maya Brooks after her Christmas wedding is canceled. But her Christmas fling might not be all he seems. Can Maya learn to trust again?
4. Cowboy, It's Cold Outside by Katherina Garbera
Lucy DeMarco is more Grinch than Cindy Lou Who. Trey Scott is a photo journalist, and solid Montana man back home for Christmas. Trey's only in town until New Year's, but he can't help fall for the enigmatic Lucy.
5. Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, Stacey Agdern, Jennifer Gracen, KK Hendin
A sweeter addition to this list, but completely full of heart. In Miracle, Megan Hart gives a Hate to Love a Chanukah miracle. In A Dose of Gelt, Jennifer Gracen has lawyers Shari and Evan tackle family, prejudice, and love. Stacey Adgern makes opposites attract beautifully in A Home for Chanukah, and KK Hendin takes us to Israel for December in All I Got.
6. Welcome Home for Christmas by Annie Rains
For those looking for a sweeter romance this holiday season, Welcome Home for Christmas delivers just that. Allison is all single girls who go home for the holidays. This time, she hires herself a "boyfriend" in Seargent Troy Matthews. Troy wasn't really for sale. It was a charity auction. They did it for the kids, I swear. But as Christmas Eve gets closer, so do Allison and Troy. Bonus: a hilarious vibrator scene.
7. When Snowflakes Fall by Tara Wyatt
Alternate title: When Snowflakes Melt. Seriously, it gets hot. This novella packs the perfect Christmas punch. A second chance romance for both Christie and Luke, Tara Wyatt combines heat-melting dialogue and steamy sex scenes. Bonus: a companion novella following another Grayson brother and his New Year's Eve serendipity romance.
8. More Than Once by Elizabeth Briggs
A darker, sexy take on the "pretend boyfriend" for-the-holidays story. Becca is a rock and roll bad girl dumped on Christmas Eve. Andrew's a typical nice guy trying to start over. But it's his turn to rock Becca's world for a change. Another smart and sexy book by Elizabeth Briggs.