Books are like balms — grabbing the right book at the right time can provide the perfect antidote for what you’re going through at that very moment. Whether you need a dose of hope, happiness, comfort, inspiration, courage…you name it, a great book has the power to ease worries and offer a safe haven to rest and recharge. After a long day, there are few things better than snuggling up with a good read that makes you smile. And holiday romance books — with their idyllic settings, dashing heroes and heartfelt charm — are the perfect escape.
Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite holiday romance books — both new and old — that capture a snuggly, starry-eyed seasonal feel. Grab yourself a blanket, a mug of something delicious (like one of these cozy vanilla coffee drinks) and a novel that will warm your heart. Keep scrolling to discover 10 of the best holiday romance books, from magical realism to lol-worthy rom-coms and more. Happy reading!
If you like irresistible romances with a dash of time travel…
Try In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
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: “Overall 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.”
If you like spicy second-chance romantic comedies…
Try Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey
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: “The instant connection of the characters immediately pulls you in. I have loved everything from Tessa Bailey and this didn’t fail me. If you’re a Tessa fan, don’t wait to read this one!”
If you like enemies-to-lovers stories set in charming towns…
Try The Christmas Fix by Lucy Score
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 love a good ‘grumpy and sunshine’ enemies-to-lovers trope full of angst! This wasn’t just a favorite holiday read for me, it was definitely a top 10 read of the year.”
If you like laugh-out-loud travel stories with a dreamy hero…
Try Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh
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: “This is the perfect read for the holiday season. It makes you feel warm and cozy. And who doesn’t love a good ‘snow storm while trying to get home for the holidays’ adventure?”
If you like stories about overcoming hurdles and finding love…
Try Home for Hanukkah by Rebecca Crowley
Memorable characters, simmering romance and endearing moments abound in Home for Hanukkah — the fourth installment in Rebecca Crowley’s Orchard Hill series. Zach Strauss is facing a career crisis: his Bay Area start-up may have failed, but he vows to raise more money to fix it. Now, back in his hometown, he finds himself in the unfamiliar position of needing a job. After a turbulent childhood, Noa Jacob is set on making her thrift store-turned-boutique in Orchard Hill a success. So when a handsome stranger named Zach walks into her store full of ideas, she hires him to help. As they work together, they launch a Hanukkah Miracle Market that draws families and tourists into town. Though they’re different in so many ways, Zach and Noa realize they might make a perfect pair.
What readers are saying: “A sweet and gentle romance, with some steamy scenes, between two people presently a bit lost and down on their luck. It also provides an interesting detour into Jewish faith and traditions. The way Zach and Noa relate and complement each other — and how the romance develops between the risk taker hero and the cautious heroine — was delightful.”
If you like heartwarming holiday romances set in Alaska…
Try Mistletoe in Juneau by Dahlia Rose
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.”
If you like sizzling on-set romances between costars…
Try A Holly Jolly Ever After by Sierra Simone and Julia Murphy
Spicy scenes, winter charm, memorable main characters…this romance has it all! Winnie Baker entered the acting scene as a teen and was famous for her wholesome life, including waiting until marriage for intimacy. But now as an adult, she’s divorced — and finds herself co-starring in a steamy Christmas movie with a former boy-band singer named Kallum Liebermanis. Before long, Kallum notices real attraction bubbling to the surface and Winnie might be catching feelings herself.
What readers are saying: “Overall, this was a great book — especially the spicy scenes! You get a lot of spice, real life struggles, a caring MMC (male main character) and of course plenty of Christmas. You should definitely add it to your winter TBR lists!”
If you like wholesome sweet-as-pie stories…
Try The Christmas Café by Eliza Evans
Fans of Hallmark holiday movies will adore this festive 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.”
If you like uplifting novels about coworkers who strike up romance…
Try Right Beside You by Mary Monroe
This heartwarming holiday love story by New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe stars Felicia Hawkins, who has a fantastic career and a solid future planned. The one thing missing in her life? Love. Oh, and her hopeless crush on her friend and co-worker, Richard, isn’t helping. Little does Felicia know, Richard actually feels the same way, but pre-Christmas work demands keep them apart again. Then, after a slew of misunderstandings and a blizzard, Felicia wonders if a holiday happily-ever-after might be possible.
What readers are saying: “Right Beside You is an engaging, heartfelt work of fiction. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of the central characters. Alternating viewpoints can be tricky, but Ms. Monroe handles them easily with appropriate chapter headers.”
If you like ‘opposites attract’ stories set in picturesque locales…
Try Wrapped with a Beau by Lilli Vale
Small-town charm, warm, fuzzy feelings and holiday joy abound in this novel by author Lillie Vale. Set in the snowy town of Piney Peaks, this story follows successful film liaison Elisha Rowe, who is determined to put her hometown back on the map. Fifty years ago, Piney Peaks was made famous for its feature in the classic holiday movie Sleigh Bells — and now Elisha wants to make it happen again. So when she gets the chance to work on the movie’s sequel, she tries to secure permission to film at the town’s historic Christmas house. The only hitch? Permission is denied by the icy yet handsome new owner, Ves Hollins. Ves is only in town to sell the house he inherited from his great-aunt. As sparks fly and opposites attract, Ves and Elisha wonder what the holiday season has in store for their hearts.
What readers are saying: “I love the grumpy/sunshine dynamic between Ves and Elisha. It brought dimension to their journey as Elisha tries to persuade him to open the doors to the Christmas House and enjoy the holidays. There’s also an element of fake dating as Elisha convinces Ves to be her pretend boyfriend to keep her ex-fiancé at bay. Their chemistry was oh-so-good!”
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