It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, but when I accidentally wrote one at work sharing my favorite holiday romance novellas, it seemed like a sign that I needed to flesh it out and turn it into a proper post!
We have a slack channel where people like to share what romance novels they’ve been reading lately, so I mentioned that I started reading Masters in This Hall by KJ Charles, a historical m/m romance between a hotel detective and the jewel thief who betrayed him, set at a house party in the country. I’m halfway through and really enjoying it!
But the thing about this slack channel is that most of the people in it tend to read trade paperback, traditionally published romances with illustrated covers. There are lots of great books to be found there (some are even on this list!), but I wanted to share some more romances with people that they might not have heard of if they’re not tuned in to the social media grapevine, which is where I’ve discovered a lot of books over the years! And as always, I wanted to make sure it includes a diverse range of authors and characters to make sure we don’t keep things too white and straight.
Anyways, on to the books!
The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese
The Mistletoe Motive was my first introduction to Chloe Liese, and I loved it so much! I’m a sucker for a good enemies-to-lovers, sunshine/grump story, and this one has the added benefit of being a You’ve Got Mail retelling. Oh, and the heroine is autistic! Everything about this is delightful, and I think I need to be sure and reread it this holiday season.
Our Favorite Songs by Anita Kelly
Another book that was my first introduction to a fantastic author! Our Favorite Songs is a bit more of a winter romance than a Christmas one, and I adored it. This contemporary m/m romance features two high school nemeses who wind up reconnecting as adults through a mutual friend and realizing how much they have in common. But of course, they fall in love after they find themselves snowed in together after a night at their local karaoke bar.
The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
The Christmas Pact is a great one for those who prefer audiobooks, as it’s an Audible original. It had me laughing out loud so many times while I was listening to it! Riley Kennedy and Kennedy Riley constantly get each other’s work emails and can’t stand each other. But after an unexpectedly fun time together at the office Christmas party, Kennedy agrees to be Riley’s fake date to an upcoming wedding. This one was just so much fun!
Dance All Night by Alexis Daria
If you don’t know this already, basically everything Alexis Daria writes is amazing, and Dance All Night is no exception! This holiday novella starts on New Year’s Eve, when the main couple share a magical midnight kiss. But the hero has to leave the next day to go on tour, and they don’t wind up reconnecting again until the next holiday season, when Nik convinces Jess to give him a chance to make her believe in holiday magic.
One Bed for Christmas by Jackie Lau
I tend to love Jackie Lau’s holiday novellas, and I adore that she has them for so many holidays! But I think One Bed for Christmas is my favorite, not least because it involves an inflatable t-rex costume! This is an excellent friends-to-lovers romance with just one bed and cuddling for warmth — Wes has been in love with his best friend for years and finally has a chance to turn their friendship into something more when they get snowed in together and the power goes out.
Mangoes and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera
Again, I am a huge sucker for a sunshine/grump romance. Plus, as a big fan of the Great British Bake-Off, I love all of the baking competition romances. In Mangoes and Mistletoe, a grumpy chef and a sunshine chef have to team up together in order to win a holiday baking competition. Of course things start out rough in this f/f contemporary romance, but the two quickly find their stride both in the kitchen and the bedroom!
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Ok, so technically Royal Holiday isn’t a novella, it’s a full on book. But it’s great and one of my favorite holiday romances I’ve read, so I had to include it. The heroine in this one winds up going to England for Christmas to spend time with her daughter, who’s working as a stylist for a member of the royal family. But while her daughter is working, the heroine is falling in love with the Queen’s private secretary. It was a fun twist on a royal romance, and I loved seeing their relationship develop from a holiday fling into something more
This list is by no means exhaustive, and of course there are plenty of other holiday romances out there that I’ve enjoyed over the years. But these are the ones I thought of first when putting together a list for my coworkers!
As for my own holiday reading plans, after I finish Masters in This Hall, I want to read a couple of new romances I picked up recently: Once Upon a Midnight Kiss by Elisa Braden, which Beth (@bandherbooks) sold me on with this tweet about a starchy professor who’s upset his secretary doesn’t ask him when she needs a marriage of convenience, and Season of Love by Helena Greer, a f/f holiday romance set at a Jewish-run Christmas tree farm. Leigh’s review is what really pushed me to pick this up when it was on sale! I’m also ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert, which I definitely need to correct this season. I love her books and can’t believe I haven’t read this yet!
I also found two Christina C. Jones holiday stories on my kindle that I’m excited to read: A Touch of Sugar and Christmas with the Wrights. And I have kindle copies of A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews and Mistletoe Mistress by Nicola Davidson, which I can’t say I know anything about, but I think it’ll be fun to give them a try this season. Oh, and someone mentioned Let It Snow by Michelle Stimpson, a new holiday Audible original that sounds cute!
Are there any holiday romances you’ve read and enjoyed lately? Let me know in the comments! I have plenty of room this holiday season to add more to my TBR.
Also, you might have noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged! It’s definitely something I’ve been less excited to do for a while for various reasons, so I just let it taper off. I’ve been increasingly less enthused with social media lately (not just because of the disaster takeover at Twitter) and more interested in journaling and connecting with the romance community in different ways, hence my renewed interest in blogging! I make no promises that I’ll be back consistently anytime soon, but it felt good to write this post, so we’ll see.