16 holiday romances to keep your fire burning
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and that means it’s also time for a fresh crop of holiday romances. Whether you prefer something naughty in your stocking or something cozy to curl up under your tree with, we’ve got plenty of reads to make your holiday season extra merry, even if this year’s celebrations might look a little different than we’re used to.
Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras
Delightful romance author Priscilla Oliveras offers an amuse-bouche of a holiday treat with this novella. Julia Fernández is ready to get out from underfoot of her loving family's expectations and baseball fever with her new internship in Chicago. Former MLB pitcher Ben Thomas is struggling to regain a sense of family after an injury-induced early retirement when he meets Julia at the youth center where she works. Can Ben's game plan convince Julia to make room for romance? Oliveras' own love for her family and passion for the great American pastime shines through as bright as a Christmas light.
Operation: Holiday Matchmakers by Alexis Stanton
Stanton also writes as historical romance master Eva Leigh, and she brings that signature steamy storytelling to this contemporary holiday tale of warring matchmakers. Sophie Mattis has a reputation as the best matchmaker in her small town of Corazon Grande, but she has a rival in the irritatingly attractive Evan Reid, who has a matchmaking system of his own. When the two team up to prove the value of romance, they find their rivalry melting under the heat of their undeniable chemistry. Stanton has also authored A Timeless Christmas, which was just adapted to Hallmark this year, and she has an undeniable gift for an irresistibly festive tale.
Party Favors by Erin McLellan
Erin McLellan continues her festively filthy holiday series with this New Year’s Eve-set tale perfect for ringing in the end of 2020. Amanda Ellis blows off her mother’s pre-selected date to her parents’ New Year’s Eve ball in favor of a last-minute girls getaway with her online friend Wren Rebello. But when the two meet in person for the first time, they’re not prepared for the very real mutual attraction they feel. After days spent sharing one bed and year-end resolutions, they go their separate ways — but will the New Year’s magic last to propel their friendship into real love? McLellan offers a sparkly take on a less-covered aspect of the holiday season, turning the tradition of New Year’s resolutions into romance fuel that will really pop your cork.
Season of Joy by Annie Rains
Annie Rains adds to her Sweetwater Springs series with this tale as fresh and familiar as a Christmas tree. For tree farm owner and single father Granger Fields, Christmas is his busiest time of year. But when a fire devastates the farm, he hires artistic free spirit Joy Benson to babysit his two daughters. Joy has her own ideas about infusing some holiday cheer into their lives and Granger’s business, increasingly making their life together feel like home. Rains’ novels tend to trend toward the cozier side, but sometimes on a cold night, that’s just what is needed to warm the heart and soul.
Miracles and Menorahs by Stacey Agdern
There are plenty of Christmas romances released every year, but love for other winter holidays, including Hanukkah, tends to be a bit rarer. Which is why we are lighting a candle for Agdern’s beautiful Hanukkah romance. Sarah Goldman is thrilled to be appointed vice-chair of her local Hanukkah festival, but when it’s threatened with cancelation, she devises a plan to advertise with a large metal menorah in the town square. Metal sculptor Isaac Lierberman is the perfect candidate to build it, but he would prefer to focus on traditions rather than commercial community events. Can Sarah change his mind about the holidays… and more? Agdern breathes new and long overdue life into the tradition of holiday romance.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Dynamic duo Christina Lauren shatter expectations like glass ornaments with their first holiday novel. When Maelyn Jones wishes for the universe to show her what will make her happy, she finds herself in a holiday time loop determined to correct her mistakes of Christmas past, present, and future. This includes finally confessing her feelings to long-time crush and family friend Andrew, as well as fighting to save the cabin where her found family gathers each holiday season. It’s dizzyingly romantic and bursting with their signature humor. Reading it is like being wrapped up in a beautiful Christmas sweater.
The Christmas Wedding Dance by Lashelle L. Turner
For those looking for a novella with characters on the naughty list, we offer up The Christmas Wedding Dance. Social media influencer and blogger Arielle Allure Richmond has everything in place for the perfect Christmas-themed wedding. Only she’s cheating on her fiancé Antonio with her high school love Lucius, and someone can’t stop posting cryptic messages on her pages about Antonio’s own secret dalliances. Will Arielle ever make it down the aisle for her holiday nuptials? For those who just need a streak of drama in their holidays.
Snowball's Christmas by Kristen McKanagh
We all need something whimsical for the holidays, and few things meet that description like a love story partly told through the eyes of a kitten. In this purrfect holiday romance, Snowball is a new kitten spending her first Christmas in a Victorian B&B. She loves the cook Emily Diemer, who dotes on her, but Emily is not a fan of her boss’s nephew, Lukas, a jet-setting photographer. Emily judges his tendency to leave his aunt to fend for herself, but once he’s in town, she softens to him. Can Snowball convince them that the B&B — and Emily and Lukas — are meant to be her furever home? Meowy Christmas indeed.
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
This charming, hilarious holiday read offers the dating version of an advent calendar. Kate Turner has turned her back on relationships, choosing to find contentment in her work and a side gig baking for her friend Matt’s café. But when her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises she’ll find love before the holidays, she ends up going on 12 dates with 12 different men in a true comedy of errors. But perhaps love has been closer than she thought all along? For those who need a fun, romantic twist on a classic Christmas carol.
A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday
Do you wish that Hallmark movies had more sex (read: like literally any sex)? A Princess for Christmas is a confection of a holiday plot with more steam than a perfect cup of hot cocoa. Leo Ricci is stretched to his breaking point, driving a cab and caring for his little sister Gabby. But when Princess Marie of Eldovia ends up in the back of his cab, he might have to make some room for romance. The two quickly bond and Marie invites Leo and Gabby to join her in Eldovia for the holidays, an Alpine paradise with a hot cocoa ball (!) and a bustling luxury watch industry. Given her surname, Holiday was virtually obligated to write a book like this — and she delivers with a sexy, sugary delight full of her signature delectable banter.
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Lizzie Shane
If the feline holiday romance isn’t the cat’s meow for you, here’s a canine twist on the festive holiday sub-genre. Ally Gilmore finds herself in a tough spot when a Grinch pulls the funding for her family’s rescue shelter, leaving her with the challenge of finding new homes for a dozen dogs. Ben West feels guilty about the shelter closing, even if he doesn’t have time to build a cuddly reputation, so he agrees to help Ally adopt out the pups. But as the two start to spend more time together, they might learn the ruff way that they’re perfect for each other.
A Highlander Is Coming to Town by Laura Trentham
Holt Pierson feels a bit trapped in his hometown, stuck at the family farm that he’ll one day inherit whether he wants it or not. But when Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, chooses his town as the perfect place to hide for the holidays, the two have to try to find a new way forward together. Laura Trentham continues her Highland, Georgia series with this holiday "Highland" fling.
Sweet on You by Carla de Guzman
Tired of the same-old snowy small-town holiday vibes? Carla de Guzman treats readers to the traditions of the holidays in the Philippines. At first glance, barista and café owner Sari Tomas resents Gabriel Capras, the fancy new baker who’s moved in next door, sweeping in on her territory as a small business owner. But as the two compete to annoy each other with a series of escalating pranks, they realize they might go together like coffee and a holiday pastry.
Christmas on Peach Tree Lane by Jules Bennett
We love a good enemies-to-lovers romp and when is it better than between a holiday lover as festive as Buddy the Elf and a true Scrooge? Event planner Violet Calhoun is determined to make her hometown’s annual Tinsel Tour the best yet, transforming it into a winter wonderland. But divorce attorney Brady has no interest in decorating his ancestral mansion, hoping to sell it and be gone by the New Year. But as the two start to work together, Violet melts Brady’s cold heart, leaving no “bah, humbugs” in sight.
Home for the Holidays by Sara Richardson
Sometimes sisterhood can be the answer to your Christmas conundrums. In this novel, three sisters Dahlia, Magnolia, and Rose gather at their beloved aunt’s inn and find unexpected developments and advice in their floundering love lives. Will all three sisters get a happily-ever-after or will the mistletoe remain symbolic in nature? Escape to the snowy Juniper Inn to find out.
The Merriest Magnolia by Michelle Major
Is second chance romance with high school sweethearts more potent to you than a cup of eggnog? This sweet small-town romance offers that in spades with its story of good girl Carrie Reed and her fight with first love Dylan Scott, who’s returned to their North Carolina town to remake it into something only money can buy. When Carrie tries to derail his plans, will he choose to rehab his reputation over a second chance at love?