Here in Canada, we have already celebrated Thanksgiving, so for me, the Christmas season starts on November 1st. There is nothing that gets me into the holiday spirit more than a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie. They are ridiculous, but I love them!
I have started to read more holiday romances over the last couple of years and there are a few that I think would make for amazing Hallmark movies. If you are also a lover of these movies, I think these books are worth reading!
Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.
Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all.
So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes.
Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving.
And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final.
In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle.
She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing.
Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries.
I often feel like these holiday romances do not have enough holiday spirit, but that is definitely not the case for Faking Under the Mistletoe. Our main character is all about the holidays and the love interest is a bit of a Grinch. Perfect for fans of the grumpy/sunshine trope!
When Holly White’s fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime–exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.
When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.
If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, I highly recommend the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series, which starts with Twelve Slays of Christmas. It is a murder mystery that takes place on a tree farm in a town called Mistletoe. There’s also a sweet slow-burn romance. The third book comes out in December, so now is the perfect time to catch up.
All they want for Christmas is a different life.
When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.
With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?
This is cheating a little bit because I am currently reading The Holiday Swap, but I can recommend it so far. It’s giving me major The Holiday vibes, which is one of my favourite Christmas movies. I also love books about sisters and it is a bonus when they are twins. Fans of The Parents Trap will probably love this one too!
On the first day of Christmas, my true love… dumped me.
Poppy loves Christmas and always goes all out to make this magical time of the year extra special for her boyfriend George. But George is strangely not in the spirit this year. As Poppy wrestles him into her Christmas jumper built for two for a holiday snapshot, she finds out why.
He’s leaving her. And she only has twelve more days until he moves out.
Poppy is heartbroken. But she’s not going to give up on their five-year relationship without a fight. George is the love of her life, and his warm and stable family are worlds away from her own chaotic upbringing. And she is sure he still loves her too – she just needs to remind him of all the reasons why. Twelve days: twelve chances to get her man back and save Christmas.
But festive surprises aren’t only found under the tree. As Poppy’s twelve days count down and she goes to ever more ambitious lengths to prove to George she’s exactly the kind of girl he wants, she starts to realise that maybe the Christmas miracle she’s working towards is not the one she really needs. And that the person she’s truly meant to spend Christmas with is closer than she thought…
Twelve Days to Save Christmas is a new release and it is a good one. It’s more of a story of the main character finding self-love than it is a romance, but there is a lot of flirting and great chemistry. I adored so many of the side characters, and while Poppy could be frustrating at times, I understood her and was cheering her on!
Last year, Rachel Bacharach met the man of her dreams at a Hanukkah party — and then her outgoing best friend Tamara swooped in and “called” Oz Caplan for herself. It’s a typical outcome for the dependable, bookish Rachel, who is never able to extinguish the spark she immediately felt for Oz. But being secretly in love with her best friend’s boyfriend all year hasn’t been easy.
As this year’s party approaches, Oz and Tamara break up. It’s a worst-case scenario when Oz asks Rachel to help him write Tamara love letters to win her back in time for their Hanukkah anniversary. Rachel’s been writing love letters to Oz in her journals for a year; she knows all the words he would need. But will Rachel be able to hide her true feelings from Oz any longer? And might this year’s party finally be Rachel’s chance to trust her heart and put everything on the line for love?
Eight Winter Nights is an audible original and is a quick listen. I don’t usually like the trope where someone is pining for their best friend’s partner (which is why you won’t see One Day in December on this list!); however, I thought it was handled well in this story. I also appreciated that it takes place around Hanukkah and it was a sweet friends-to-lovers romance!
Heat up the holidays with this sizzling new novella from New York Times best-selling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward!
Riley Kennedy’s emails keep getting crossed with her colleague, Kennedy Riley.
The infuriating man forwards them along with his annoying commentary and unsolicited advice. At least she never has to see him in person since they work in different locations…until they come face to face at the office holiday party. As luck would have it, Kennedy turns out to be gorgeous…though still a jerk. Yet somehow he’s able to charm her out on the dance floor—and convince her to participate in his crazy scheme: He’ll go home with Riley for a Christmas party and pretend to be her boyfriend if Riley agrees to be his date to a wedding.
It sounds easy enough. But little by little, the act they’re putting on starts to feel like so much more than a Christmas pact—and Riley’s about to learn there’s more to Kennedy than she ever imagined.
Fake dating trope! Enough said! Have you ever seen Holiday Engagement? It’s one of my must-watch cheesy Christmas movies and something about The Christmas Pact gave me similar vibes. Cheesiest ending ever but I was all about it! It’s another audible original.
William Reid is nothing special, except for his billion-dollar acting career and his, you know, face. (Apparently, it’s a good one.) Winning ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ was nice, but this Christmas, he has more important goals in mind… like finally winning over his best friend’s little sister, the super-smart and kinda-scary Abbie Farrell.
When a blizzard leaves Will and Abbie alone at Grandma Farrell’s house (if bunking with 27 pets counts as ‘alone’), it’s the perfect opportunity to pull off a Christmas miracle. Convincing clever, frosty Abbie to give Will a chance will take more than mistletoe, but hiding his lifelong crush on her is no longer an option.
Talia Hibbert is amazing! Wrapped Up in You was such a sweet and cozy friends-to-lovers romance. I adored the setting and the fact that there is a bit of a spin of the grumpy/sunshine trope. Abby has an edge and Will is a cinnamon roll. I have also discovered that I love the trope where one of the characters is famous while the other isn’t, which is the case in this one!
Two inns, one town, and there’s not enough room for the both of them.
Add in a reindeer-ish donkey, a Christmas competition, and a rivalry to end all rivalries and you’re bound to end up in disaster, right?
Finn Mayberry has enough on his plate trying to keep his Grandparents inn afloat. The last thing he needed was some California state of mind starlet bulldozing into his town and throwing up a five-star resort right next to his family’s inn.
But, now she’s here and he can’t get her out of his town or his head.
Freya Anderson took one look at the snowcapped mountains of Hollyridge and fell in love. She’s finally here and ready to take on the task of proving to her father that she can handle running Alpine.
She never expected to make enemies with the sinfully delicious lumberjack of a man who runs the inn next door. He’s moody, impossible and completely off limits.
There can only be one winner, but you know what they say. All is fair in love and… Jingle Wars?
Jingle Wars is a book I plan to read every single Christmas season! Such a fun enemies-to-lovers romance between owners of competing inns in a small town with a ton of holiday spirit. It’s spicy and fun and has amazing banter!
Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.
When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.
This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?
I had to throw a YA romance on this list! 10 Blind Dates is absolutely hilarious and ultimately an amazing story about family that also just happens to have a sweet romance.
Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.
Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.
Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?
I adore Jasmine Guillory and Royal Holiday is such a sweet holiday romance. It takes place in England and there are a lot of scones. The main characters are also older, which was refreshing to read! What is it about stories that center around Christmas and royalty that works?