I don’t know about you, but I adore holiday-themed stories. I got hooked on them years ago when the big presses would release a Regency or Victorian Christmas anthology every year, and I would indulge in my favorite tropes: the gathering of people for the holidays, brisk walks in cold weather to collect holly and mistletoe, sleight rides and ice skating, the dilemma that threatens to keep the lovers apart, the magic of the season and the miracle of love.Toss in snow and Yule logs on the fire and I am your slave. Better yet if you strand my lovers in a cabin in the woods, an inn in a small town, or on an English estate. MY CATNIP.
Now movies have gotten on board as well, and we have Hallmark, Netflix and more vying to bring us sometimes cheesy, sometimes touching holiday romances, but my first love will always be books. As soon as fall creeps in, etching frost on the windows and blades of grass, bringing blustery days and chill nights, I start reading holiday-themed stories.
I’ve invited some writers to share their holiday stories–past or present–here with us today. And if you have a favorite holiday romance you’d like to tell us about, please tell us in the comments! We’d love to hear about it!
In no particular order, here’s a little something for every taste imaginable! All heat levels, all pairings, contemporaries, historicals, and paranormals so take your pick!
The President’s Daughter by Seelie Kay
When presidential candidate Jamisen Powell meets volunteer Sarah Lee Pearson, he is shocked to discover her eyes mirror his own. But Sarah was raised by two loving parents and has no questions about her heritage. Instead, after their death, she merely longs to find an extended family. She becomes convinced that Powell could be a distant relative. Powell, on the other hand, has spent twenty-five long years haunted by the memory of a daughter kidnapped from her bed. He suspects Sarah could be his long-lost daughter. As both launch separate covert searches for the truth, Sarah is found by the estranged parents of the man who raised her. Suddenly, the truth will no longer set her free. It could destroy the happy memories of her childhood. Hang on to your seat, and more importantly, hang on to your heart, as one woman discovers the true meaning of family.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-presidents-daughter-seelie-kay/1130048641?ean=2940156333790
Model Christmas by Jaime Samms
Here is the Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082FQ8JZL/?fbclid=IwAR1SeiqPjg8SxtqpL19fmGhOw3YWGUt-Pw0Gml0Iy1hFZTcO-oT1ofhxaug
Blurb: Sebastian’s ideal Christmas looks nothing like his picture-perfect childhood experiences, but neither should it be spent wandering the cold streets alone and homeless.
Cody has no time for the holidays if he wants to eat. He needs a new model for his next commission–and he needs him now.
Seb can’t go home and Cody’s model took his pay and left. Both men are in dire straits, so when they meet over soup-kitchen chili they each see the answer to their problems in the other.
They never expected more than a means to an end, but now, that perfect Christmas might be as simple as seeing what’s right in front of them.
The Gift exchange
by Adriana Kraft
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B01NAI0ITB/
It’s Christmas Eve—what gifts will Mack, Carol and Tara unwrap together?
What is Carol up to now? Mack has always known his free-spirited wife is bisexual, but it seems she has new adventures on her mind this Christmas season.
Carol has long entertained fantasies of a threesome with herself, her husband, and their attractive nearby neighbor, Tara. Now that Tara’s troublesome ex is out of the picture, is this the season to make her fantasies come true?
Tara’s felt a little deprived since cutting things off with her ex, and she’ll admit she envies what Mack and her best friend Carol seem to share. If they invite her to join them, will she dare?
Midwinter Masquerade Blurb by Rosemary Gemmell
Edinburgh, December 1816, young widow Lady Lenora Fitzallan accepts an invitation to the country estate of Edward Montgomery, the man she once thought to marry seventeen years previously. Until he left without explanation.
Accompanied by her godmother, Lady Pettigrew, Lenora forms a friendship with Edward’s young niece and ward, Annabelle, who has a propensity for getting into scrapes and falling in love with the wrong man.
As the Masquerade Ball approaches at the Winter Solstice, the past unravels, the villain is unmasked and Lenora must decide with whom her future lies.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076JGLZZV
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076JGLZZV
THE SNOW BRIDE (THE KNIGHT AND THE WITCH 1) by Lindsay Townsend
Brief Blurb – She is Beauty but is he the Beast?
SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE by Lindsay Townsend
Brief Blurb – What is the true treasure of Christmas?
SIR BALDWIN AND THE CHRISTMAS GHOSTS by Lindsay Townsend
Brief Blurb. Will Baldwin heed Sofia or will the restless dead prevail?
A sweet medieval Christmas Romance
A CHRISTMAS SLEEPING BEAUTY by Lindsay Townsend
Brief Blurb. What can the prince do when the princess won’t wake?
TWELVE KISSES by Lindsay Townsend
Brief Blurb. She has Twelve Days to win his heart.
A WITCH’S HOLIDAY WEDDING by Tena Stetler – Paranormal Romance
Elemental witch, Pepper McKay and former Navy SEAL, Lathen Quartz built Lobster Cove Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on enchanted McKay land. Wedding planning goes awry when the couple spends Thanksgiving with family in Colorado, a Maine snowstorm fills the center with injured wildlife, Lathen finds himself drawn into a covert military mission, and Pepper wants to cancel the wedding. Is she having second thoughts? Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?
Available at: Amazon, Kobo, The Wild Rose Press, and Barnes & Noble
Holiday House Swap by Sarah Madison
Reclusive writer Noah Kinley is facing a dilemma: how to confess to the world he’s really the author of a best-selling romance series. For years, his friend Julie has been the face of his brand, but she wants her life back now. Fast running out of ideas for his popular series, Noah wants to break out into other genres. Not that he’s writing much of anything at the moment anyway, thanks to paralyzing writer’s block. With his publisher breathing down his neck for the next installment, he hopes a change of scene will get his writer’s juices flowing again. Desperate enough to try anything, during the holidays Noah swaps his isolated cabin in the woods for a gentrified horse farm.
USAF Major Connor Harrison has chosen forced retirement over facing charges for an unauthorized mission to rescue a buddy from behind enemy lines. No one expects him home for the holidays, and he certainly didn’t anticipate finding a stranger in his house, much less Noah Kinley with his acid tongue and a wry sense of humor that pierces all of Connor’s defenses.
Both men need to figure out what the next chapter in their lives will be—and whether it will include each other.
Christmas Crush by Mickie Sherwood
Although Ashley Wagner feels more like Scrooge than Santa, she keeps her promise and accompanies her sister back home for a Christmas wedding. Her three-day weekend is off to a rocky start, thanks to the unexpected run-in with her womanizing ex-husband, and his very pregnant new wife. She manages to get away with her dignity intact, but later, with old wounds ripped open, the professional crisis manager ends up in the middle of her own life-altering predicament.
Then, sports journalist Craig Johnston, wheels to her rescue.
Will Ashley spend Christmas brooding over bitter memories? Or will Craig, a dynamic paraplegic, present the deserving divorcée with a gift she can’t resist?
Christmas in Meadow Creek by Katie Eeten
Sarah Laughlin left her big-city life and dead-end relationship behind for a fresh start as a fourth-grade teacher in the small, Wisconsin town of Meadow Creek. And it feels like home, too, despite the persistent troublemaker in her class and the lack of familiar faces. But the holidays are going to be lonely this year. Until she meets firefighter Lincoln Thompson. Suddenly, the hope of spending Christmas with someone she cares about is within reach.
Lincoln loves his home town of Meadow Creek, but ever since his long-time girlfriend left him for a better life in the city, he wonders if he’ll ever find love in this small town where everyone knows everyone. Then he meets Sarah during her class’s field trip to his firehouse, and a spark is lit. But when they discover that Sarah’s troublemaking student is none other than Lincoln’s beloved nephew, their newfound relationship is put to the test. Can they navigate through the complexities of family dynamics to find a love that will last?
Santa Baby, Several Stars Away by Samantha Kougar.
Kaily has been consumed by curiosity ever since Dylan suddenly appears in her small town. Surreptitiously, she watches the mystery man restore a rundown Victorian mansion, all while his charm and sincerity gain him the good will of most everyone. This is especially true when he volunteers to become the annual Santa Claus for the children at the town’s park.
The problem for Kaily: No one really knows anything about Dylan’s past or where he came from. With her attraction to him growing day by day, she becomes a driven woman. On a desperate whim, she gives herself to him as a Christmas present. Will Dylan be able to resist her waiting naked, but gift-wrapped beneath his tree?
Perfectly Christmas by Linda O’Connor
On the first day of Christmas, his true love said to him, “Sorry, I have to work.” That’s the life of a surgeon, and Dr. Madison Hayes wouldn’t have it any other way. Dr. Quinn Malone has another priority. In the countdown to Christmas, he needs to convince his old flame that there’s more to life – and love – than the job itself. This time, his heart is in it for the long haul. Really.
Romantic and . . . complicated – it’s Perfectly Christmas!
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MYW5T7X
Forever Winter by Amber Daulton
— historical romance — https://books2read.com/u/bwYYKO
Just imagine the perfect wedding… hundreds of candles, the perfect gown, a wonderful man and loving family in attendance. And then imagine everything that could go wrong.
A Christmas Eve snowstorm barreled through the English countryside and wreaked havoc on the residents of Lorican Manor. Susanna Lorican and her fiancé, Viscount Camden Beckinworth, had planned the perfect wedding, but will a series of unfortunate events turn the tide on their happily ever after?
A Hero’s Heart by Amber Daulton
— contemporary romantic-suspense — https://books2read.com/u/mgLLjR
When it comes to revenge, nothing is sacred, not even Christmas.
DEA field agent Jarrett Brandt returned home on his Harley Davidson to visit his brother’s grave, not to reconnect with his first true love.
Now widowed with a son, Marissa Reinn Brandt expected nothing from the one who broke her heart—the twin brother of the man she married—but when her son offered him a place to stay for Christmas, she agreed for her son’s benefit. As they rekindled the flames of love that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present threatened to destroy everything they held dear.
Mistletoe in the City by Amber Daulton
— New Adult contemporary romance — https://books2read.com/u/4XKKD1
Krista Hartley never expected the unrequited love of her life, the irresistible Derek Weston, to work as the groundskeeper at the apartment building she just moved into. They barely spoke in high school but now, three years after graduation, they tore at each other’s clothes and jumped into bed together at every opportunity. Then another woman threatened their whirlwind romance.
With just days to Christmas, Derek vowed to win back her heart and trust, and prove his innocence once and for all.
Love often means sacrifice—but what if you might have to give up a commitment to be one of Santa’s reindeer and deliver holiday toys to kids to be with the one you love?
Peter McGuire is an EMT with a secret: he’s a reindeer shifter, a Prancer on Santa’s team. His holiday obligations often require him to make excuses for his absences, and even downright lie. That makes it almost impossible to develop a real relationship.
But the secret isn’t his alone, and if he opens up to too many people, he could destroy Christmas.
Jonny Santos is a ski bum distancing himself from being the family caregiver. He knows that his mother’s MS is going to require him to devote himself to her someday, but in the meantime he’s sticking to the slopes and staying single.
Then a pre-Christmas hike goes wrong, and Peter is forced to shift into reindeer form in order to rescue Jonny from a wilderness trail. The sparks between them are real—but are they enough to overcome the obstacles that keep them apart?
Contains Prancers, Vixens and other reindeer, and smoking hot shifter sex! Free in KU; buy link https://amzn.to/2PvUt49
A Saddle Creek Christmas Romance by Lorelei Confer
Cold Snow and freezing temperatures come early to the small town of Saddle Creek, Wyoming, wreaking havoc on the Christmas plans of four close childhood friends, now grown men. Though unforeseen perils challenge their joint celebration, with each trial comes triumph as together, they discover the true meaning of Christmas.
A Family Christmas
Chase is forced into protective mode, when a ghost from Lauren’s past threatens to destroy, not only their Christmas, but their lives.
Samantha and Elliott’s relationship is put to the test when Sam’s newly divorced and heartbroken sister arrives on their door step five days before Christmas, forcing them to rethink their holiday plans. What they need is a Christmas miracle.
Avri and Dillon’s Christmas may be ruined when Dillon has one last dangerous mission, but will he keep his promise to return in time…does he return in time for Christmas? And can Avri, once again, forgive him?
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/32kwARz
Christmas Awakenings by Lorelei Confer
Four Christmas Short Stories in one!
A Star Bright Christmas:
A young family can’t be late with their mortgage payment again. So, two days before Christmas, at the onset of a blizzard, he heads to the bank leaving his wife and two young sons to endure a blackout on the 24th of December. Will he make it back in time for Christmas? How?
When a newlywed soldier recently returns from deployment only to work on Christmas day. He’d promised they’d never be apart for Christmas again. But then she discovers the true meaning of Christmas.
A widower and a younger woman get to know each other better but not until after he accepts the concept that ‘life goes by in a flash and you don’t want to miss a thing.’
A Palm Tree for Christmas:
A young family travels from the northeastern United States to the hot sweltering south for a better way of life. Sunny days, sandy beaches, and summer heat. Their dreams are soon squashed and their surplus of money dwindles to their last pennies. Until Christmas Eve….
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/32e41Fk