Wow. Can you believe Christmas is nearly here?
I haven’t had the chance to read many Christmas books this year (sad sigh) but my favorite so far was Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes.
I find this author completely charming, and since I love Christmas, and I adore anything related to Paris, this was practically a must-read for me. (It got a nice Kirkus review too.)
Hughes’ books usually have a fairy tale quality to them; they’re usually based in chic city settings (Paris, Rome, etc.) and have characters who love fashion and expensive shoes. But they have their struggles and, despite their privileged lives, are generally down-to-earth and kind-hearted.
And at the heart of every story is a woman trying to find herself—often after some personal disaster, either romantic or professional—and the perfect partner she discovers when she does.
Christmas in Paris is fun, with a hint of magic (there’s a fortune teller who throws a stone in Isabel’s perfect plan); a fun meet-cute, when Isabel locks herself out on the balcony of the iconic Paris hotel she’s staying at and two unsure romantics who begin to think they should be together, even when there seem to be lots of reasons why they aren’t.
Definitely a fun, romantic Paris holiday escape—even if it is through the pages of a book.
For some readers, it just isn’t Christmas without Debbie Macomber, and this year’s title, The Twelve Days of Christmas, was especially cute, with a friendly blogger who tries to win over a young, handsome but curmudgeonly neighbor with kindness, then catalogs the journey on social media in order to win a coveted marketing job. Typical Macomber, sweet and heartwarming. (Read the Kirkus review here.) Though as much as I enjoy Macomber’s yearly seasonal release, for me, none of them (so far) beat her trouble-making angel trio, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy.
Of course tons of great authors had Christmas romances this year, from perennial holiday favorites like Lori Wilde—A Wedding for Christmas—don’t you just love her Twilight, Texas Christmas treats? And then there’s RaeAnne Thayne, who had two winter-themed books this year, Snowfall on Haven Point and The Holiday Gift. I don’t get the chance to read a lot of category romance these days, but Tiffany Reisz’s Blaze holiday-themed titles, the Men at Work trilogy, have received enormous praise, and I saw that one of my favorite Presents authors, beloved Lynne Graham, has a Christmas release, The Greek’s Christmas Bride.
Fan favorite Jill Shalvis has two titles, too—One Snowy Night and The Trouble with Mistletoe. And have you read Toni Blake’s Destiny series? I’ve heard good things about this one, and she released Christmas in Destiny this year.
An early 2017 title I’m really looking forward to is K.M. Jackson’s Insert Groom Here (a mixed review from Kirkus, but friends have highly recommended it) and the Christmas anthology she released with Farrah Rochon and Donna Hill, Holiday Temptation, was praised as “sweet, sexy, and satisfying.”
Dreamspinner Press (who has holiday titles on sale right now, according to its website) released a fascinating book yesterday—Disarming Donner, with a magical spin and a M/M romance between a “Rein Dear”/Christmas elf who cautiously plays by the rules and a Dockalfar, or dark elf, who’s “wicked, untrustworthy, and armed with lethal magic. At least that’s what everyone thinks.” What a fun concept. Talk about opposites attract and high stakes!
Finally, Bold Strokes Books, the preeminent lesbian romance publisher, has a winter holiday-themed romance anthology out this year, Breathless: Tales of Celebration.
Clearly something for everyone this year!
(And a lot of these titles plus many others are part of my December Holiday Extravaganza daily giveaways at the Read-A-Romance Facebook page. Hope to see you there!)
I hope, especially if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, the next week (plus) is filled with light and love, and that you find the time to sit down for a cozy read of a good holiday romance. Merry everything!
#LoveRomance #HappyReading #HappyHolidays