Recent Holiday Romances to Enjoy this Season

by Bailey

Fun and cheesy, holiday romances are a staple to my winter season. Curl up with your favorite warm beverage and enjoy a cozy night in with a new release or a book you may have missed last holiday season. But beware: these titles may get a song or two stuck in your head!

A holly jolly ever after

Murphy, Julie, 1985- author.

FICTION Murphy Julie

Kallum Liebermanis the funny one. As the arguably lesser of the three former members of the boy band INK, he enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame and then moved home where he opened a regional pizza chain called Slice, Slice, Baby! He's living his best dad bod life, hooking up with bridesmaids at all his friends' weddings. But after an old one-off sex tape is leaked and quickly goes viral, Kallum decides he's ready to step into the spotlight again, starring in a sexy Santa biopic for the Hope Channel. Winnie Baker did everything right. She married her childhood sweetheart, avoided the downfalls of adolescent stardom, and transitioned into a stable adult acting career. Hell, she even waited until marriage to have sex. But after her perfect life falls apart, Winnie is ready to redefine herself--and what better way than a steamier-than-a-steaming-hot-mug-of-cider Christmas movie? With decade old Hollywood history between them, Winnie and Kallum are both feeling hesitant about their new situation as costars...especially Winnie who can't seem to fake on screen pleasure she's never experienced in real life. She's willing to do the pleasure research--for science and artistic authenticity, of course. And there's no better research partner than her bridesmaid sex tape hall of fame costar, Kallum. But suddenly, Kallum's teenage crush on Winnie is bubbling to the surface and Winnie might be catching feelings herself. They say opposites attract, but is this holly jolly ever after really ready for its close-up?

The follow-up to 'A Merry Little Meet Cute' (2022), I have high expectations for this companion novel set behind the scenes of a Hallmark-style movie.
- Bailey

The Christmas Café

Evans, Eliza, author.

FICTION Evans Eliza

"Clumsy, earnest baker Sylvie West has worked at the Christmas Café in Silver Bells, Wyoming, ever since her boozy eggnog fruitcake won the town's annual holiday bake-off. Her forever happy place, the café complements her sweet, well-ordered life with her roommates: recently widowed Gramps and her yappy chihuahua-pug, Crumpet. So, when Sylvie learns the café might be sold, she's determined to save it the only way she can: by getting the Holiday Channel crew to set a scene at the café. She's even met the film's charming lead actor, Royce, thanks to Crumpet's meddling. "--

On the topic of Hallmark movies, this one sounds right up your alley if you're a fan of the channel's films.
- Bailey

A winter in New York : a novel

Silver, Josie, author.

FICTION Silver Josie

"A young chef stumbles on a secret family recipe that might lead her to the love--and life--she's been looking for"--

This book will be my first Josie Silver read ever and I'm very intrigued! Don't miss out on this new release from the same author as 'One Day in December!'
- Bailey

Faking Christmas

Winfrey, Kerry, author.

FICTION Winfrey Kerry

"Laurel Grant works as the social media manager for Buckeye State of Mind, an Ohio tourism magazine and website. She is most definitely not an owner of a farm--specifically, the owner of her twin sister Holly's farm just outside of Columbus--but she lets her boss think she is. Laurel only handles the social media for the farm, but she's happy to keep her little white lie going. And keep it going she must, when Gilbert--recently dumped by his wife--invites himself over for the farm's big holiday dinner (as advertised on Meadow Rise Farm's Instagram, thanks to Laurel herself). Laurel immediately goes into panic mode to figure out how she can trick Gilbert into thinking she's basically the Martha Stewart of rural Ohio and keep her job in the process. Laurel and Holly come up with a plan: all Laurel has to do is pretend to own the farm for one dinner. But when Laurel shows up at the farm, an unwelcome guest is there: Max Beckett, her nemesis since Holly's wedding. The annoyingly attractive man she hates will be posing as Laurel's husband just for the evening, but when a snowstorm traps them all for the entire weekend, Laurel is going to have to figure out how to survive with her job and dignity intact. Whatever the case, this promises to be the most eventful Christmas in ages."--

As a huge fan of the movie 'Christmas in Connecticut,' I was delighted by this fun and festive retelling!
- Bailey

Love in winter Wonderland

Bello, Abiola, author.


Trey Anderson balances the pressures of school popularity with a job at his family's beloved local bookshop, Wonderland. Quirky, creative Ariel Spencer needs tuition for the prestigious art program of her dreams, and an opening at Wonderland is the answer. When Trey and Ariel learn that Wonderland is on the brink of being shut down by a neighborhood gentrifier, they team up to stop the doors from closing before the Christmas Eve deadline-- and embark on a journey that will change them forever. -- adapted from jacket.

I am incredibly excited to dive into this new YA romance set in a Black-owned bookshop in London!
- Bailey

All I want for Christmas

Knox, Maggie, author.

FICTION Knox Maggie

"A pitch-perfect holiday rom com about two oil-and-water reality-star country singers who must fake a relationship in order to win the opportunity of a lifetime, perfect for fans of Sally Thorne's The Hating Game and Christina Lauren's In a Holidaze"--

How to excavate a heart

Arlow, Jake Maia, author.


"It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, literally, with her mom's subaru. Attempted vehicular manslaughter was not part of Shani's plan. She was supposed to be focusing on her month long paleoichthyology internship. She was going to spend all her time thinking about dead fish and not at all about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break. It could be going better. But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May's path, the fossils she's meant to be diligently studying are pushed to the side--along with the breakup. Then they're snowed in together on Christmas Eve. As things start to feel more serious, though, Shani's hurt over her ex-girlfriend's rejection comes rushing back. Is she ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a winter fling?" --

Though set on Christmas Day, this YA sapphic romance features two Jewish women who fall for each other while riding out a snowstorm together--a perfect read for anytime during this winter season!
- Bailey

Season of love

Greer, Helena, author.

FICTION Greer Helena

"A witty, glittering rom-com about finding the courage to face your past and learning what it truly means to return home, perfect for fans of Jenny Bayliss and Alexandra Bellefleur. Artist Miriam Blum has her decoupaged glitter ducks perfectly lined up. Only for one phone call to bring her whole life all crashing down. Her beloved and eccentric great-aunt has just died-leaving her part-owner of the only Jewish-owned Christmas tree farm in the country. Facing the family Miriam abandoned terrifies her. But facing the farm's unbelievably sexy zaftig manager is another complication entirely... Noelle Northwood is horrified that the first woman she's been attracted to in years is the same careless virago whose absence devastated the people Noelle considers family. She hates, even more, the thought of working alongside Miriam to save Carrigan's Christmas Tree Farmland. Only Miriam decides to give working at the farm a trial run, and Noelle must find a way to keep the peace-and their undeniable chemistry at bay. At least until the end of the holiday season. But when the ghosts of the past endanger the farmland, both Miriam and Noelle will need to put aside their misconceptions... and discover if what they've been looking for has been right in front of them all along"--

You're a mean one, Matthew Prince

Janovsky, Timothy, author.

FICTION Janovsky Timothy

"Young, rich, and thoroughly spoiled, Matthew has no intention of being shipped off to some small town in New England to stay with his grandmother for Christmas...or to play nice with the attractive young man he meets there. Find a little "Joy to the World"? Not today, Santa. But when the two are forced to work together to make a charity gala go off without a hitch, Matthew may find the home he's been missing all along"--

Christmas clash

Park, Suzanne, author.


"Chloe Kwon can't stand Peter Li. It's always been that way. Their families don't get along either: their parents operate rival restaurants in the Riverwood Mall food court--Korean food for the Kwons and Chinese food for the Lis. Now it's the holiday season and Chloe's the photographer at the mall's Santa Land, and Peter works at the virtual reality North Pole experience right across the atrium. It's all Chloe can do to avoid Peter's smug, incredibly photogenic face. But it turns out the mall is about to be sold to a developer and demolished for condos. Eviction notices are being handed out right before Christmas. Their parents don't know what to do, and soon Chloe and Peter realize that the two of them need to join efforts to try to save the mall. Just when it seems like they can put aside their differences and work closely (very closely) together, they discover that the Kwon and Li feud goes far deeper than either of them realize"--Provided by publisher.

Another YA novel from an author I adore! Though I haven't picked this one up yet, I have great expectations given my enjoyment of Suzanne Park's other, more summery, works.
- Bailey

In the event of love

Kae, Courtney, author.

FICTION Kae, Courtney

"With her career as a Los Angeles event planner imploding after a tabloid blowup, Morgan Ross isn't headed home for the holidays so much as in strategic retreat. Breathtaking mountain vistas, quirky townsfolk, and charming small businesses aside, her hometown of Fern Falls is built of one heartbreak on top of another... Take her one-time best friend turned crush, Rachel Reed. The memory of their perfect, doomed first kiss is still fresh as new-fallen snow. Way fresher than the freezing mud Morgan ends up sprawled in on her very first day back, only to be hauled out via Rachel's sexy new lumberjane muscles acquired from running her family tree farm. When Morgan discovers that the Reeds' struggling tree farm is the only thing standing between Fern Falls and corporate greed destroying the whole town's livelihood, she decides she can put heartbreak aside to save the farm by planning her best fundraiser yet. She has all the inspiration for a spectacular event: delicious vanilla lattes, acoustic guitars under majestic pines, a cozy barn surrounded by brilliant stars. But she and Rachel will ABSOLUTELY NOT have a heartwarming holiday happy ending. That would be as unprofessional as it is unlikely. Right?"--Page 4 of cover.

The Christmas swap

Samuels, Talia, author.

FICTION Samuels Talia

Margot Murray is a newly single, successful businesswoman with no interest in a cutesy seasonal romance after her breakup with her long-term girlfriend. Ben Gibson is an unlucky-in-love sweetheart in need of a woman to bring home for the holidays. Together, they make a pact: Margot gets two blissful weeks away from London in a picture-perfect manor, and Ben gets a fake girlfriend for his holiday at home with his family. Upon arriving to the manor, Margot meets Ben's sister, Ellie, who is suspicious of the supposed relationship right from the start. Ellie intends to get to the bottom of their relationship, not being able to see how the two of them work as a couple. As Ellie and Margot grow closer, will Ben and Margot be able to keep the charade up, or will Margot and Ellie risk the chance at something real?

Kiss her once for me : a novel

Cochrun, Alison, author.

FICTION Cochrun, Alison

"The author of the "swoon-worthy debut" (Harper's Bazaar) The Charm Offensive returns with a festive romantic comedy about a woman who fakes an engagement with her landlord...only to fall for his sister. One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money. Finding work at a local coffee shop, she's just getting through the days-until Andrew, the shop's landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie's financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it's Jack-the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real. Perfect for fans of Written in the Stars and One Day in December, Kiss Her Once for Me is the queer holiday rom-com that you'll want to cozy up with next to the fire"--

If I had a nickel for every holiday rom-com about a girl fake-dating a man and falling for his sister...I would have two nickels. This book was a delight--funny and romantic, with a hard-hitting message about confronting failure and allowing yourself to be seen. If you didn't pick this up last year, don't miss out this season!
- Bailey

Second Chances in New Port Stephen : A Novel.

Alexander, T. J.


A trans man returns to his Florida hometown for Christmas after his career goes up in flames, only to cross paths with his high school ex in this charming rom-com about family and second chances from the author of the “delectable”

Whether you're here for the queer romance or the not-so-white-Christmas vibes, this book looks to add something fresh to the holiday romance space.
- Bailey

Whiteout : a novel

Clayton, Dhonielle, author.


In Atlanta, just before Christmas, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life during the storm of the century, which results in a magical moment that changes everything.

This collaboration of some of the best YA authors right now did not disappoint! The urgency of a snowstorm is a plot device that never gets old, and I really enjoyed its use here as these teens work together in the name of true love during a snowstorm in Atlanta.
- Bailey