Give me all the Christmas songs this time of year, and what goes better with a holiday tune than a cozy romance? Check out our recommendations of what to read based on your favorite carol. And yes, there are two Taylor Swift songs on the list — let me live! It’s Christmas!
In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, Stella enters a contest for a $100,000 cash prize — but she lied on her application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only…there is no boyfriend. Enter best friend Luka Peters. Fake dating his best friend might end up being the best Christmas present he’s ever received.
One year ago, Ellie had her dream job and a Christmas Eve meet cute. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money. She’s just getting through the days until Andrew, her sort of boss, proposes a shocking plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s the mysterious woman she fell for the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.
Vivian Forest is tagging along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, but she doesn’t expect to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality. Malcolm Hudson 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. They are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day…or are they?
It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, with a car. She was supposed to be focusing on her monthlong paleoichthyology internship, not thinking about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break. But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils are pushed to the side — along with the breakup. They’re then snowed in together on Christmas Eve. Is Shani ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?
Bee Hobbes has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. But when Bee’s favorite producer casts her for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee’s career is about to take a more family-friendly direction. And her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab. Things heat up quickly when Nolan recognizes his new co-star. Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set. And if Bee and Nolan can’t keep their off-camera romance behind the scenes, then this merry little meet cute might end up on the cutting room floor
Miriam Blum’s beloved great-aunt Cass has passed and left her part-owner of Carrigan’s, her (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm that is at risk of going under. To have any chance at turning things around, she’ll need to work with the farm’s grumpy manager — as long as the attraction sparking between them doesn’t set all their trees on fire first. But saving Carrigan’s requires trust, love, and risking it all.
Whiteout by Nicola Yoon, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone
As the city grinds to a halt, 12 teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm? No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.
Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to spend the season with her family. Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one-night stand. But can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?
Maelyn Jones is living with her parents, hates her job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions. But worst of all, this is the last Christmas she will be at-the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Show me what will make me happy. The next thing she knows, everything goes black. But when Mae wakes up…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. Mae must figure out how to break free of the time loop — and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.
Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family, but they can’t seem to understand what it’s like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. Truman Belvedere’s heart is crushed when he learns that his boyfriend has a secret life that includes a husband and daughter. Enter a mutual friend with a life-altering idea: Swap homes for the holidays. Greta and Truman will have a chance to experience a whole new world…and maybe fall in love. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually these two transplants will have to decide whether the love (and found family) they each discovered so far from home is worth fighting for.
Song: You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft: (I know, this is like cheating, but it’s a perfect fit, obviously!)
Matthew Prince is young, rich, and thoroughly spoiled, but one major PR misstep later, and Matthew is cut off and shipped away to spend the holidays in his grandparents’ charming small town hellscape. He has to share space with Hector Martinez, an obnoxiously attractive local who’s unimpressed with anything and everything Matthew does. Even a Grinch can’t resist the unexpected joy of found family, and in the end, the forced proximity and infectious holiday cheer might be enough to make a lonely Prince’s heart grow three sizes.
Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school, but her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker. The two of them can’t stop butting heads, but when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they’ve both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets — and an unexpected snowstorm — bring these rivals together?
Ellen Whitfield is senior publicist at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers.