I’ll confess. I’m not overly sentimental during the holidays and I generally shy away from Christmas themed stories. My idea of a great Christmas is hiding away from the noisy crowds with a cup of hot chocolate and a great book. But there are still holiday stories which I enjoy reading and this is a list of ten of them.
Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan. This is a story about two people who regain their love for Christmas. Eva Jordan used to love it but then her beloved Grandmother died. Crime writer Lucas Blade lost his wife and hates every tree, ornament and Candy Cane. The meet cute involves cops and a disgruntled doorman but the two eventually rediscover both love as well as the holiday spirit.
White Hot Christmas by Serenity Woods. Some Christmases come without snow. This one takes place in sunny New Zealand where Merle, our heroine, is vacationing. While she’s there, she decides to embark on an affair with a hot firefighter. The best part of this book is the dialogue. It’s smart and sly and funny.
A Christmas Kiss by Elizabeth Mansfield. I confess. I like my holiday stories filled with pretty dresses, dance parties, and titled lords which is why this list is full of Historical romances. This is a Cinderella-esque story where a recently fired governess finds love with an Earl. Who doesn’t love a fairy tale that culminates with kisses under the mistletoe?
Married for Christmas by Noelle Adams. I’m a huge fan of Noelle Adam’s prose. She writes pragmatic heroines and her stories always feel very genuine to me. This story is unusual in that it features a sexy pastor! He’s young and widowed and decides to propose a marriage of convenience to his best friend so that the elders in the church don’t kick him out of his position. She accepts, in part, because she’s loved him forever. Don’t be put off by the fact the hero’s a pastor. There’s plenty of sexy times.
A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh. Mary Balogh is one of my favorite historical romance authors. If you haven’t read her, rectify that this holiday! This story is a Grinch re-telling but the mean-hearted green person is the heroine. But the heartbreak that has turned her away from celebrating the holidays affects her year around. And it also causes her to mistake the actions of a businessman who falls in love with her. She doesn’t believe she deserves happiness and it takes a persistent suitor to convince her otherwise. I loved her bah humbug attitude but I also enjoyed her melting at the end.
Santa Baby by Jennifer Crusie, Lori Foster and Carly Phillips. This is a collection of three novellas (about 90 pages each). Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie features snappy dialogue, a fun heroine, and speedy plot. For authors, the plot of this story is the search for a MacGuffin—or the season’s hot toy. The hero is a secret agent pretending to be a Chinese literature professor. He’s an ass but it still works.
All I Want for Christmas by Lori Foster is a sex-romp featuring two characters who’ve longed for each other but never acted on their desires. As the title implies, they both get what they want for Christmas.
Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips is a fun, office romance. Toni has the hots for her boss, and promotion right before Christmas which moves her to another office gives her the courage to plant a kiss on her boss, only she discovers that it’s her boss’s twin. Whoops!!
Winter Wedding by Joan Smith. Ms. Smith is one of my favorite Regency romance authors. This Christmas story is very sweet. Clara is an orphan who shuttles from one relative to another. She and Lord Allingcote shared a brief flirtation before he was called away when his father fell ill. In the two years since, the two were like two ships passing in the night. When he arrived, she was leaving or vice versa. They find themselves at the same house party one Christmas, but he’s got a young beautiful woman with him. Clara is all the more confused when Lord Allingcote starts flirting with her instead of the beautiful young heiress. In the end it all works out, but there is more than one misunderstanding before they get to that happy ending.
A Curious Courting by Laura Matthews. I’ll admit this isn’t a holiday focused story but it does have winter and Christmas scenes including a wonderful sleigh ride. I really love the female lead in this book Miss Selena Easterly-Cummings, a 23 year-old young woman whose father left her with “pots of money.” She’s not interested in men, particularly wealthy and well-connected Mr. Gareth Rushton. The reason why she’s not interested isn’t surprising but the journey of love between these two prickly characters is. I’d recommend this to any lover of Pride and Prejudice. It’s a story I re-read almost every holiday.
Happy holidays everyone! I hope you share your fave holiday stories with me.
Jen’s next project is coming late in December to help treat any post Holiday blues. Steve Thomas, former SASR soldier and current bodyguard, has been avoiding his past for years but he has to come to terms with his estrangement from his family in order to convince the woman that he loves that he’s worth the risk. Be sure to catch more info about it by following Jen on social media!