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If You Love Hallmark’s ‘Christmas In July,’ You’ll Love These Festive Holiday Books

Heartfelt romance and small-town charm abound in these 16 must-reads!

Sometimes in the middle of a scorching hot summer, it’s fun to daydream about cozy snowy nights, colorful twinkle lights and holiday cheer. And this month, whether you’re celebrating Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July or just looking for a celebratory change of scenery, a festive book is just the ticket. Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite holiday books with charming settings that feel like they’re right out of a Hallmark movie! Keep scrolling to discover 16 of the best Christmas in July books.

If you’re in the mood to escape to a Christmas festival in Connecticut with a grumpy hunk, pick up Lucy Score’s The Christmas Fix. Or you can beat the heat and head to Juneau, Alaska for snowy small-town charm and a blossoming romance in Dahlia Rose’s Christmas in Juneau. Happy reading!

Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin's Press

Bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews is known for her sweet, heartfelt holiday novels — and her latest delivers! Kerry Tolliver travels from North Carolina to New York City to help her brother sell Christmas trees at their family stand in Greenwich Village. Before long, Kerry gets close to her new neighbors and a single dad named Patrick. A warm and sparkling Christmas story!

What readers are saying: “This was a great Christmas read. Quick read, great holiday warmth vibes, entertaining and just all around fun. Family friendly, low spice, so I enjoyed, but so would my Nana (and I would not be embarrassed to share it with her)!”

Unleashed Holiday by Victoria Schade

Unleashed Holiday by Victoria Schade
Berkley

A feel-good story begins in this charming tale following dog trainer Chelsea Higgins. It’s the holiday season, and everything is going fine in Chelsea’s life…until she comes face-to-face with her former nemesis, gym bro Andrew Gibson. After a run-in with Andrew’s dog, Chelsea is left with a bum wrist. So they strike a deal: Andrew will help rehab her wrist if Chelsea trains his dog. But will they help each other in more ways than one?

What readers are saying: “This is a cute holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) story that includes adorable dogs, a couple who seem not suited at all, and all the festivities of the season. Fans of Hallmark movies and author Victoria Schade will love it!”

Every Day is Christmas by Karen Schaler

Every Day is Christmas by Karen Schaler (Christmas in July books)
HawkTale Publishing

Emmy-winning Hallmark movie writer Karen Schaler delights in this novel about second chances and the magic of Christmas. The story is based on her hit film and features workaholic Alexis Taylor, who doesn’t have any Christmas traditions, except breaking up with her boyfriend right before the holiday. But when a surprise visitor shows up at her door, Alexis begins to realize that maybe falling in love during the Christmas season isn’t so bad after all.

What readers are saying: “Christmas Karen has written yet another spectacular story. Alexis, the “Scrooge” in the story, sees the joy of the holiday happening all around her and refuses to partake until it’s almost too late. Every Day Is Christmas is truly a fabulous Christmas read that you won’t want to put down!”

You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh

You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh (Christmas in July books)
Bethany House Publishers

Lovable characters, festive charm and a surprise romance…this saga has it all. Starr Lewis is single, jobless and dreading going home for the holidays. To make matters worse, she has to help with her sister’s Christmas Eve wedding. But when she reunites with her brother’s best friend, Waylon, sparks start to fly. Starr has to decide what she really wants — to go back to the city or pursue a new dream.

What readers are saying: “This book is great for lovers of Hallmark Style Christmas stories. I love what Toni Shiloh does in the Christian fiction market – she always weaves faith in her stories and I appreciate her so much in that regard. A fun and sweet read.”

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Gallery Books

Brimming with festive charm and heart-fluttering romance, this novel, written by best friends known as “Christina Lauren,” delights! Maelyn “Mae” Jones is really struggling with life and pleads to the universe: Show me what will make me happy. Next thing she knows, she’s living the same Christmas over and over again. As Mae breaks free of this time loop, she may actually find joy and love under the mistletoe.

What readers are saying: “This was such a whirlwind, fun-filled and heartfelt story. With Christina Lauren’s magic touch, the story’s unique plot had twists on the “Groundhog Day” time loop theme and made it more enjoyable than I could have imagined. What a great book to read around the holidays — I’m now overjoyed with the Christmas spirit.”

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey
Avon

New York Times best selling author Tessa Bailey’s prose sparkles in this steamy holiday rom-com about Melody Gallard and Beat Dawkins, who have known one another since they were teens. Mel and Beat might both be children of rock stars, but they could not be more different. So when a producer offers Mel a lot of cash to reunite her mom’s band — the Steel Birds — years after their infamous breakup, she accepts the challenge. And Beat, the lead singer’s son, agrees to help. The problems: Their parents still hate each other and Beat and Mel are trying to ignore their attraction while dealing with a chaotic 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas and mobs of adoring fans all before Christmas Eve.

What readers are saying: “Tessa Bailey is one of my favorite authors, and Christmas is my favorite holiday, so this book was the best of both worlds,” exclaims Carissa Mosness, Woman’s World Assistant Digital Editor. “Filled with Bailey’s signature spice and smiles, this book definitely put me in the holiday spirit.”

The Christmas Fix by Lucy Score

The Christmas Fix by Lucy Score (Christmas in July books)
Bloom Books

Lucy Score delivers a sizzling holiday romance that will have readers believing in the magic of Christmas! Home renovation and reality TV star Catalina King is on a mission to save Merry, Connecticut’s Christmas festival. After the town was hit with a hurricane, she arrives with a film crew and a big budget, ready to help. If only the grumpy town manager Noah Yates weren’t such a thorn in her side. Noah is a single dad and he doesn’t need a celebrity diva capitalizing on his town’s dilapidated state — and he certainly doesn’t want Cat to fill his daughter’s head with glamorous, unrealistic ideas. Can these two arch enemies work together long enough to save the town or will it all come crashing down?

What readers are saying: “I absolutely love Noah and Cat. They are both such strong capable people, so different but so right for each other. It’s a funny and steamy love story that I re-read every year because it feels like the perfect holiday Hallmark movie.”

Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh

Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh
Bookouture

In a roundup of holiday romances, we just had to include this hilariously captivating and aptly titled rom-com by Catherine Walsh. Molly and Andrew are friends and friends only. And once a year, for the last decade, they take the last flight from Chicago to Dublin before Christmas to see their families. They drink bad wine and catch up for seven hours and it’s a holiday tradition they both have grown to love. But when a mammoth snowstorm grounds their flight, they’ll have to find a way to get home no matter what. An unforgettable rom-com that is sure to delight!

What readers are saying: “So grab a cozy blanket, a mug of something warm and festive and settle in for a cheeky and heartwarming Christmas read. ‘Holiday Romance’ is a must-read for anyone who loves a good laugh and a happy ending, served up with a side of holiday magic.”

Mistletoe in Juneau by Dahlia Rose

Mistletoe in Juneau by Dahlia Rose (Christmas in July books)
Hallmark Publishing

Fans of Debbie Macomber and Rochelle Alers will enjoy this jolly holiday tale set in the snowy wilderness of Alaska. Fresh off her very public breakup, social media influencer Danni flees New York City and heads to Juneau, Alaska, to spend Christmas with an old friend. As she settles in, she basks in the warm tight-knit community and starts to notice the handsome local sheriff. Declan is a state trooper now, but he used to be in the army — where an explosion cost him his leg…and his fiancée, who couldn’t deal with the injury. As Danni and Declan grow closer, Declan wonders if a city girl like Danni could learn to love the wilderness like he does. Could two different people find what their hearts are looking for?

What readers are saying: “I thought this book was perfect. I liked the opposite situations that Danni had going on between her normal life and her visit to Alaska. Oh, and Declan! Sweet Declan. It’s impossible not to like him. The chemistry between them melted my heart.”

The Christmas Café by Eliza Evans

The Christmas Café by Eliza Evans
G.P. Putnam's Sons

Fans of Hallmark holiday movies will adore this tale! Sylvie West has worked at the Christmas Café in Silver Bells, Wyoming, ever since her eggnog fruitcake won the town’s annual bake-off. The café complements her ordered life with her roommates: recently widowed Gramps and her dog Crumpet. But when Sylvie hears the café might be sold, she concocts a plan to save it: She asks the Holiday Channel to film a scene at the café for one of their upcoming movies. She then meets the movie’s lead actor, Royce. What follows is a series of events that include an acting gig, a budding romance and the return of her gruff yet reliable friend Abe — who is back in Silver Bells to help manage his parent’s goat farm. A cozy Christmas story featuring a love triangle, adorable animals and quaint settings!

What readers are saying: “If you like the Hallmark holiday movies this is for you. It literally is about a holiday movie and a small town girl getting swept off her feet. I loved that Sylvie was unapologetically herself and didn’t care what other people thought of her.”

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert (Christmas in July books)

Time travel, Yuletide magic and new love…this feel-good novel brings tidings of joy! Jack Clausen spends his life magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He’s never minded his charmed existence — until he meets Astra Noel Snow at a Milwaukee Christmas market. After a series of dates, Astra shows Jack the life he’s been missing. But will their new love last through all the seasons?

What readers are saying: “I grabbed this book on a whim and quickly fell for it! it was such a fun holiday read filled with magic, friendship, love and more magic.”

Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone

Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone
HQN

Author Naima Simone returns with another installment in her beloved Rose Bend series. Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip to the festive, picturesque town of Rose Bend with her teen half-sister, Ivy. Nessa meets the innkeeper’s handsome son, Wolfgang Dennison, but she decides she has too much weighing on her after her mother’s death to think about love. But soon, she finds herself smiling and rediscovering home for the future in Rose Bend.

What readers are saying: “I adored this book, from its main characters, secondary characters and its full story line from start to finish. This book will be one that I pull out and re-read. I think this is the perfect story for the holidays.”

Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley

Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
G.P. Putnam's Sons

When strangers Maryam Aziz and Anna Gibson fly to Toronto over the holidays — Maryam to her sister’s wedding and Anna to meet her boyfriend’s family for the first time — neither expects to have an emergency landing in quirky Snow Falls Inn, Canada. While in town, Anna gets the chance to hang out with her actor crush, and Maryam begins to bond with her childhood crush, Saif. But as the snow continues to fall, their problems escalate, and they are left with nothing but the hope of holiday magic.

What readers are saying: “What a wonderful winter story set in 2000 when Ramadan, Hannukah and Christmas were all within days of each other. While the two protagonists had typical romance storylines, the combination of all the holidays and their new friendship elevated this novel.”

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Berkley

There’s just something extra special about a royal romance — and Jasmine Guillory, bestselling author of The Wedding Date, gave this royal romance a holiday twist! When Vivian Forest tags along on her grown daughter’s work trip to England, she’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights. What she doesn’t expect is to have an instant attraction to Malcolm Hudson, the queen’s private secretary. Sparks fly in this festive and fun love story.

What readers are saying: “This was a memorable, cozy Christmas read. I think this story will stick in my mind for a while (especially the Sandringham setting in Norfolk, England). I also appreciated the more mature characters who were both are in their 50s.”

Lovelight Farms by B.K Borison

Lovelight Farms by B.K Borison (Christmas in July books)
Berkley

In this heartfelt holiday story, Stella enters a contest with Instagram-famous influencer Evelyn St. James in an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid. To make the farm seem like a romantic holiday destination, she lied on her contest application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with a boyfriend. Now, she needs someone to play along with her charade. Thankfully, she has her best guy friend Luka Peter, who somehow agrees to ‘date’ her for the time being. But this fake dating tryst might be the best gift either of them has ever received…as long as they don’t mess it up along the way.

What readers are saying: “This book had many of my favorite elements, like friends to lovers, small-town romance and great side characters. Plus, it’s perfect for the holiday season. It takes place on a Christmas tree farm and has so many cute moments. I will be reading the rest of the books in this series!”

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
G.P. Putnam's Sons

This cheerful tale follows Kate Turner, a 34-year-old single woman who is ready to say bah-humbug to dating. When she moves back home to England, she busies herself with her design career, her friends and her family and takes up a side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. Then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love right before the holidays. With 23 days until Christmas, Kate lines up 12 dates with 12 men. But each night out is worse than the last and she begins to wonder if real love has been under her nose all along.

What readers are saying: “All the holiday charm made me smile,” says Melissa D’Agnese, Woman’s World Senior Editor. “I found myself rooting for Kate to find her happily ever after!”


For more holiday book recommendations, click through the links below!

10 Holiday Romance Books Guaranteed to Make You Swoon This Season!

10 Holiday Books To Snuggle Up With This Season: From Romance To Magical Realism

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