It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time where we curl up with a warm blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and a good book — perhaps while Christmas songs play on the radio and we admire the twinkling lights of our tree. If you’re looking for a holiday happily-ever-after, we’ve got 18 new titles just for you, whether you’re looking for something heartwarming or toe-curling. Here are some book options to help escape from the madness of holiday planning or make for the perfect item to gift wrap.
Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera
Adriana Herrera wraps up a superb 2019 for her writing with an inviting holiday novella that will capture the heart of any foodie. Kiskeya Burgos has traveled from the Dominican Republic to Scotland with the intention of winning a Holiday Baking Challenge, but she’s getting more than she bargained for in baking partner Sully Morales. For her part, Sully is looking to fall back in love with baking after finally getting her life back on track. The two quickly discover an affinity outside of the kitchen, leaving plenty of room for sparks to fly under the holiday mistletoe. Herrara brings her knack for mouthwatering storytelling to the tried-and-true holiday tale of a baking competition, offering readers a female-female love story that’s hotter than a roaring holiday fire. We wish all Christmas snacks were this delicious.
We Met in December by Rosie Curtis
You ever meet the perfect guy only to discover he’s both your new housemate and dating another even hotter member of your household? That’s precisely what happens to Jess when she moves to London and falls for the guy sharing her floor in her new Notting Hill home. Only to find out, when she returns after a two-week Christmas holiday, that he’s already started dating Emma, who lives one floor above them. If you need all the rom-com holiday feels with an extra helping of Richard Curtis infused wry British wit, We Met in December is the only book you’ll want to find under your tree. Romantic, innit?
All I Want for Christmas Is You by Miranda Liasson
Talk about a holiday surprise! After a one night stand with longtime crush Rafe Langdon, Kaitlyn Barnes discovers she’s pregnant. After everyone assumes they’re engaged, they decide to fake it through the holiday season — but they can’t help feeling like their fake engagement is feeling more real by the day. If you’re a sucker for a good fake boyfriend/fiancé for the holidays tale, step into the delightful world Miranda Liasson has crafted in her Angel Falls series, a fictional small town bursting with warmth, romance, and nosy neighbors. So take a holiday visit, if you’re looking for that Hallmark feeling with an extra burst of heat and drama.
A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan
With youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind romance and impulsive wedding, this White Family Christmas promises to be eventful. Add to the mix her parents’ possibly impending divorce and Rosie’s own second thoughts, and you have lots of room for December drama. Eldest sister Katie is also concerned her sister is making a mistake, but she gets side-tracked by the infuriatingly attractive best man, Jordan. Morgan always knows how to deliver a holiday read bursting with familial sentiment and plenty of romance for good measure. A Wedding in December is one snowy set of nuptials that is guaranteed to keep you warm.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Guillory’s wildly popular romance novels continue with Royal Holiday, a tale that follows The Wedding Party heroine Maddie’s mom, Vivian. When Vivian accompanies Maddie to London for a royal styling gig, she immediately finds herself drawn to Malcolm Hudson, the charming royal Private Secretary. Guillory gifts readers an older romance, following characters in later middle-age so often reduced to supporting roles in the pages of romance. Guillory was, in part, inspired to write this story because of Meghan Markle’s mother’s own sudden fame and connection to the royal family. If you can’t resist the sights and sounds of London and the fantasy of the royal family, all bundled up with extra festive spirit and cheer, Royal Holiday will prove irresistible to you. If you’re an Anglophile with royal family fever, this is the perfect Christmas gift.
Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler
Karen Schaler has proved herself holiday gold as the writer of Netflix hit A Christmas Prince and Hallmark’s Christmas Camp. This year she offers up a new story for the holidays, one involving an irresistible Christmas scavenger hunt. Emmie plans a series of holiday-themed clues and activities to help get her overworked boyfriend Grant more in the Christmas spirit. But when the clues mistakenly lead best-selling mystery author Sam to Emmie’s mountaintop rendezvous, Emmie is dismayed that the wrong guy showed up. Only as the two start to spend more time together making holiday memories intended for Greg, Emmie starts to think he might just be Mr. Right. If you want a Christmas romance from a storyteller with Hallmark bonafides, Finding Christmas is gift, wrapped special for you.
Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert
We never met a fake relationship story we didn’t like, and Mr. Right Now is no exception. After a disastrous Thanksgiving, newly discharged marine Russ finds unexpected salvation in his neighbor Esteban, a former Hollywood hunk. When an innocent mix-up leads them to pretend they’re dating, they find themselves wishing it was more than just pretend. But the expiration date of New Year’s Eve has them both wondering who might have the courage to confess they want something more. For a sweet, quirky romance heavy on the holiday cheer, Mr. Right Now could just be your “Mr. Right” too.
Cowboy Christmas Redemption by Maisey Yates
For those of us missing a loved one, Christmas can be a tough time of year – and it has been for Ellie Bell and her daughter ever since her husband died five years ago. Her best friend and rock Caleb has kept her going, but he’s also been hiding the feelings he has for out of respect for her late husband. When she includes a kiss under the mistletoe on her Christmas list, Caleb decides to finally throw caution to the wind and try to prove his love for her. If a story of friends-to-lovers with a little bit of best friend’s widow angst thrown in for good measure is your idea of a happy holiday read, look no further than the latest Gold Valley novel from all-star cowboy romance author Maisey Yates.
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan
More women’s fiction than romance, Colgan’s latest is still the type of pull-at-your-heart-strings sentiment that proves irresistible this time of year. Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to the perfect Christmas with her boyfriend nestled away in her restored sweetshop in her cozy English village. When tragedy strikes the town, Rosie channels her indomitable spirit and the goodwill of her community to turn things around into a Christmas worth remembering. If you want an uplifting holiday read with some quaint Britishness and delicious winter treat recipes for good measure, feed your sweet tooth with this emotional read.
Stocking Stuffers by Erin McLellan
Even more LGBTQ+ romance for your stocking is here! Erin McLellan delivers an authentic portrait of a bisexual woman embarking on a M/F relationship cast against a holiday back-drop. Sasha Holiday is a sex toy saleswoman who just happens to hate the Christmas season. When she gets snowed in while pitching naughty toys to a romance book club, she is drawn to Perry Winters, a hot, bearded book club member down to help her make good use of the toys she has for sale. Only things get messy when their no strings attached fun because something more serious — will it last once the snow clears? Stocking Stuffers belongs in the stocking of any romance reader looking for a fresh take on holiday romance, with a healthy side of kink.
Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas by Soroya Lane
Cody Ford is a cowboy turned hotshot Wall Street honcho, but he finds sudden appeal in the small town he once sneered at when he returns home for the holidays to find his former girlfriend Lexi Murphy working as his dad’s new live-in nurse. Lexi still holds a grudge at Cody for skipping town, but the two can’t help but fall for each other with the help of the magic of Christmas and a sudden snowstorm. Cowboys and snow – almost as perfect a holiday pairing as cookies and cocoa.
My Favorite Things by Lynsay Sands
For the first time ever, Avon combines three of Lynsay Sands’ holiday anthology short stories into one volume. This special Christmas collection features “All I Want,” “Three French Hens,” and “The Fairy Godmother” that offer up a little something for everyone. “All I Want” grants lovers of historical romance a holiday tale set inside one of Regency London’s most notorious gaming hells, while “Three French Hens” is a classic historical tale of scullery maid in disguise as proper lady — who might just find love with a real gentleman. If you’re looking for an outright fairy-tale, “The Fairy Godmother” will do the trick with actual fairy dust a key part of the plot. These three holiday tales are like a Christmas box of chocolates, offering up readers sweet delights no matter what flavor profile is their preference.
Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward
If you love J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood has she got the Christmas gift for you. Ward unites some of the most iconic brothers for this novel heavy on the holiday heat. After losing his beloved, Trez has led an existence dominated by suffering, but when Therese enters his life, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Seizing upon some of the most potent themes of the season, Ward offers fans a tale of redemption and self-discovery to offer up a story of heart and courage guaranteed to melt even the coldest heart.
Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle
Is it even Christmas without at least one heartwarming story set in an inn? If your answer is no, look no further than Nancy Naigle’s Christmas Angels. Liz Westmoreland always dreamed of running her grandparents’ inn in their small town of Angels Creek, but it was sold when she was still a young girl. When the property goes up for auction, she places a bid and wins, only to discover the property has fallen into disrepair. Local boy Matt Hardy also had plans for the end, but sparks fly when he recognizes Liz from his childhood. When her grandmother’s collection angels start appearing all over the inn, Liz thinks it’s a sign of goodwill until tragedy strikes. Naigle offers readers a feel-good holiday read with all the attendant escapism of a small-town inn and the warm, fuzzy vibes of family legacy renewed.
Wrapped Up in You by Jill Shalvis
Shalvis continues her enchanting Heartbreaker Bay series with this latest holiday entry. Ivy Snow finally feels like she’s found her footing with her successful taco truck and an apartment she loves, but she’s back on shaky ground the moment she meets Kel O’Donnell, a vacationing sheriff/ranch owner from Idaho. Shalvis knows just how to balance angst with holiday cheer, digging into the ghosts of Ivy’s past while also delivering steamy romance and all the feels. Wrapped Up in You is a holiday romance you’ll want to unwrap over and over.
A Very Surrey SFS Christmas by Nicola Davidson
If you prefer your Christmas a little more naughty than nice, look no further than this Nicola Davidson novella that also earns a spot on this list as a rare historical holiday romance. Davidson dives back into her Surrey Sexual Freedom Society, where uninhibited ladies and gentleman discuss all things erotic, for a festive tale. The Society members plan to host a masked ball, but a naughty cat, colorful local residents, and a curmudgeonly duke are just some of the factors that threaten to derail the whole thing. If you need banter and some truly wicked holiday fun, step back into the past for this erotically charged historical holiday romance.
The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White
If you prefer your holiday tales with bit of a ghost story, look no further than The Christmas Spirits of Tradd Street. It’s perfect for fans of A Christmas Carol and Hamilton, blending a tale of spectral rumors and American Revolutionary history. Melanie Trenholm should be looking forward to Christmas with glee, but instead she’s haunted by the excavation of a centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic home — one with the potential to unleash ghostly spirits and deadly rivals in the hunt for a secret treasure left by the Marquis de Lafayette. If you prefer mystery and suspense to heavy duty romance, the latest from Karen White will chill you further on a cold night.
25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander
Need a tale of advent to count down the days of December with? Poppy Alexander offers readers a tale of unexpected love in the days leading up to Christmas. Lonely widow Kate Potter is determined to make her son Jack’s Christmas absolutely perfect, but as her countdown begins, her plans go astray and lead her to cross paths with the loneliest man in town. Like a Hallmark movie, it offers up plenty of feels and the always relevant message of helping the sad and lonely at this time of year. With some sweet romance to boot!
A Cowboy for Christmas by Sara Richardson
What’s Christmas without a slew of fake engagements? Sara Richardson offers up another one with A Cowboy for Christmas, which not only includes a fake relationship, but a bachelor auction featuring plenty of sexy cowboys. To help save a local café, Darla Michaels decides to put on a Cowboy Christmas Festival with a bachelor auction and benefit rodeo — only to make it work she has to pretend to be engaged to hunky bull rider Ty Forrester to draw his NFL star brother out to make the festival a true success. Yeehaw for the holidays.