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'Tis the season to read a romance novel that puts you in a festive mood.

There's so many things to celebrate this time of year, whether you decorate for Christmas, feast for Diwali, or light the candles for Hanukkah.

If you need the perfect book to put you in that holiday mindset, we've rounded up some of the best holiday romances of 2021 to give you a gift to unwrap again and again.

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Christmas in Rose Bend: A Novel by Naima Simone
Credit: HQN

Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone

Nessa Hunt is trying to cope with both the loss of her mother and the revelation that her dad wasn't really her dad. When she and her sister travel to Rose Bend looking for answers, Nessa can't resist the innkeeper's ruggedly sexy son, Wolf. But can she overcome all her baggage to find the Christmas spirit and a happily-ever-after? Naima Simone always balances the most delicious angst with extremely satisfying heat and the utmost heart. This Christmas present is no exception.

 

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli
Credit: Berkley

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli

Niki Randhawa has always lived her life by the book, but when she gets laid off, she decides to finally take a chance and books a last-minute flight to her friend's wedding in Mumbai. She arrives in India just in time for Diwali and meets London musician Sameer Mukherj, who sweeps her off her feet and helps her rediscover her creative side. A Holly Jolly Diwali is a sweeping global romance that epically showcases India's festival of lights.

A Cowboy Christmas Legend: A Historical Western Christmas
Credit: Sourcebooks Casablanca

A Cowboy Christmas Legend by Linda Broday

A historical Western more your cup of cocoa? This Texas-set tale follows Sam Legend II, a bladesmith just looking for some peace and quiet for the holidays. But when Cheyenne Ronan comes literally blasting into the picture, he finds his life filled with far more passion and danger than he ever anticipated. If you want some truly exciting adventure in a rugged setting, A Cowboy Christmas Legend is the read for you.

Duke, Actually: A Novel by Jenny Holiday
Credit: Avon

Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday

Her follow-up to last year's A Princess for Christmas, Duke, Actually is another confection of a novel that gives readers the fuzzy feelings of a Hallmark movie with a heck of a lot more steam. When Maximillian von Hansburg is sent to New York to meet a prospective bride, he is determined to befriend Dani Martinez before their best friends marry. But the more time they spend together, the more their cynical views on love transform into something more optimistic and romantic when it comes to each other.

Holiday Ever After: One Snowy Night, Holiday Wishes & Mistletoe in Paradise
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Holiday Ever After by Jill Shalvis

Contemporary romance fave Jill Shalvis has combined three popular holiday novellas into an anthology for the first time. Featuring settings in her beloved Lake Tahoe and Northern California climes, Holiday Ever After bursts with the most delightful of romance tropes, including forced proximity, getting snowed in, second chances, and more. Shalvis can be relied on to keep you warm this Christmas with solely the steam from her pages.

Jingle Bell Wolf: An Action-Packed Holiday Shapeshifter Romance by Terry Spear
Credit: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Jingle Bell Wolf by Terry Spear

Paranormal stories aren't just for Halloween! In this holiday romance, ski lodge owner Landon Wolff has to cope with an influx of wolf shifters in his town at Christmastime — but his wolfish instincts get turned to 11 when veterinarian Gabrielle Lowe comes to stay. If you prefer your holidays on the sexy side with hot guys who shapeshift into wolves, Jingle Bell Wolf is the perfect present for you.

Just for the Holidays...: A snowbound Christmas romance
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Just for the Holidays by Adriana Herrera

Dreaming of getting snowed in with someone you can't resist? Adriana Herrera turns up the heat on this delicious holiday trope with Just for the Holidays, an entry in her Sambrano Studios series. Casting director Perla Sambrano knows actor Gael Montez is perfect for her next project, if she can just resist temptation. But when a snowstorm strands them together, they make a bid for the naughty list together.

Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Suzanne Enoch
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Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Suzanne Enoch, Amelia Grey, and Anna Bennett

Three historical romance authors team up for this sprightly collection of Christmas stories that stretch from the Scottish highlands to a cozy inn to the busy streets of London. In Kissing Under the Mistletoe, there's breaking and entering, DIY home projects, and romantic carvings on trees. When the holiday hustle gets to be too much, fall back into the past for an escape.

Love and Latkes by Stacey Agdern
Credit: Tule Publishing Group

Love and Latkes by Stacey Agdern

Web designer Batya Averman is ecstatic to be chosen to head up the website for a latke fry-off, until she discovers it means she has to return to the hometown she fled. There, she crosses paths with her former unrequited crush Abe Neumann, who dreams of ditching his accounting job to open a Jewish deli. He wants to win the fry-off to earn prize money to help him realize his dreams. But maybe another dream will be fulfilled for them both along the way. Agdern is never short of charm and heart in her enchanting Friendships and Festivals novels, which have helped carve an essential place for Hanukkah romances on the holiday shelf.

Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology by Eloisa James
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Mistletoe Christmas by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley

A Christmas house party serves as the linked setting in this historical romance anthology featuring four of the buzziest authors in the sub-genre today. The Duke of Greystoke's Christmas Revelry is renowned for its entertainment and its tendency to stoke scandals that lead to marriage. From women dreading pretending to love their husbands or horrified of the fate of becoming an old maid to those involved in managing the evening's festivities, Mistletoe Christmas is bursting with fascinating and feisty heroines ready to make you fall in love this Christmas.

Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist
Credit: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

Who doesn't want to read a festive rom-com that takes place at a Christmas tree farm? When Nick's longtime girlfriend reveals she cheated on him while she was overseas, he fears his Christmas is ruined. But his shifts at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel, and her endless supply of Christmas music brightens his spirits. When the two kiss following a night of fun, Nick has to wonder if maybe Noel was the one all along. Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist is perfect for anyone who ever wished Nora Ephron directed an outright Christmas movie.

One Christmas Wish: A Novel by Brenda Jackson
Credit: HQN

One Christmas Wish by Brenda Jackson

Romance legend Brenda Jackson returns with One Christmas Wish, a heartwarming holiday tale about an exonerated, wrongly convicted former Wall Street hotshot and the vulnerable café owner he falls for. Having barely escaped a bad marriage, Sierra is wary of Vaughn Miller, but all she wants for Christmas is true happiness. Can he make her Christmas wish come true?

The Certainty of Chance by Jacquelyn Middleton
Credit: Kirkwall Books

The Certainty of Chance by Jacquelyn Middleton

Madeline Joy is prepared for this to be the worst Christmas ever. Stranded alone in London thanks to an Icelandic volcano and approaching the one-year anniversary of her best friend's death, she's struggling to find the holiday spirit. Her cab driver Julian Halliwell only makes things worse with his eternal optimism, but soon the two connect. In The Certainty of Chance, Jacquelyn Middleton gives readers a snowy, festive romance that truly captures the magic of London at the holidays (one of the merriest places on Earth, truly).

The Holiday Switchby Tif Marcelo
Credit: Underlined

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo

Bookish Lila is so ready for winter break when her plans come to a shrieking halt at the discovery that her boss' frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy, is now her co-worker. When the two accidentally switch phones, they learn each other's secrets — and grow closer together. If you can't resist a charming rom-com, The Holiday Switch is as sweet as a frosted sugar cookie.

The Matzah Ball: by Jean Meltzer
Credit: MIRA

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a Jewish girl who secretly loves Christmas. So much in fact that she has a career as a Christmas romance novelist. But when her publisher pushes her to write a Hanukkah romance, she's desperate for inspiration and tries to find it in the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah. There's only one problem: It requires her to work with her summer camp nemesis, Jacob Greenberg. But as Rachel learns more about Hanukkah and Jacob, maybe she'll learn just how special they both are in this liltingly romantic tale that celebrates the magic of all holidays.

Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey
Credit: Tessa Bailey

Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey

Poet of dirty talk Tessa Bailey delights with this holiday-infused romp. When Aiden asks Stella her thoughts on his department store windows, she doesn't realize he owns the store. He promptly hires her to work her magic on the windows, but she has a tougher job trying to resist her attraction to him. Inspired by Ted Lasso and the Roy/Keeley dynamic, Window Shopping is a perfect read for those who are having holiday withdrawals from the Apple TV+ show.

The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish
Credit: Harlequin Special Edition

The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish

When Adam Mills moves back to his small town of Garnet Run as a newly single parent, he fights to give his daughter the childhood she deserves. He even enlists his reclusive neighbor Wes Mobray to help fulfill her Christmas wish. But as Wes lets down his walls, the two men start to fall for each other, leaving Wes to decide if he can confront the demons of his past to embrace a future with a new family. Roan Parrish's The Lights on Knockbridge Lane is a beautiful, feel-good LGBTQ love story to add the holiday oeuvre.

Amor Actually: A Holiday Romance Anthology
Credit: Adriana Herrera Publishing

Amor Actually by Zoey Castile, Alexis Daria, Adriana Herrera, Diana Munoz Stewart, Priscilla Oliveras, Sabrina Sol, Mia Sosa

Seven star Latina authors bring us nine holiday tales inspired by the story lines of Love Actually. Set on Christmas Eve in New York City, Amor Actually takes the beloved threads of the Richard Curtis holiday film and whips them into something new. Always wish Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightley had a better ending? How about a thruple? Did you yearn for Bill Nighy to consummate things with his manager? Adriana Herrera has got you covered. Don't miss this sterling reminder that Christmas and (love, actually) is all around us.

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