If you're looking for a variety of holiday romances to curl up with this month, check out these titles from Harlequin! There are stories that will make you laugh, make you cry, make you sigh, and fill your heart with joy.
Coming Home for Christmas
by RaeAnne Thayne
Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…
Elizabeth was trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents and she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life.
And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger, or the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.
But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined.
As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?
This book has all the feels! RaeAnne Thayne engaged just about every emotion I have with this story, ripping my heart apart then putting it back together stronger than before. I've read almost her entire back list and I think this is some of her strongest writing ever. What this family has endured is heartbreaking, leaving all of them dealing with strong emotions when they're finally reunited after seven years. I found all of their reactions to be realistic and understandable. Thayne doesn't give them any quick fixes, instead flawlessly guiding them through the peaks and valleys of grief, anger, fear, and forgiveness as they all begin to deal with their new realities. I couldn't stop reading. I cried for what they'd been through and I cried with joy for what they'd found. This one is a keeper.
An Alaskan Christmas
by Jennifer Snow
If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.
Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…
Sometimes, you really can go home. I so enjoyed this journey to love between two strong-willed people: a workaholic, city surgeon and a small-town, search and rescue leader. Talk about opposites attracting! Snow packs this first book in her Wild River series with lots of sizzle, heart, action, adventure, and complicated family dynamics. Her characters are complex and multi-layered. I became invested in them quickly and fully engaged in the issues surrounding them and standing in the way of a potential HEA. Snow's descriptions of Wild River bring the small town to life as well as the people who live there. I'm already looking forward to many more stories set there and hoping Cassie's will be next.
A Wedding in December
by Sarah Morgan
In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.
Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…
Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget!
A lovely blend of women's fiction and romance, Sarah Morgan's A Wedding in December will have you laughing, sniffling, and sighing with delight. There's such a wonderfully real, and complex, family dynamic going on here that's fully explored along with each of the three romantic relationships. Bride and groom to be, Rosie and Dan are young, in love, and I couldn't help but be in their corner. While both of them seem to be easy going and uncomplicated at first, I liked the bite Morgan puts in each of these characters and enjoyed their evolution through the book, especially Rosie's. Katie, the over-protective older sister has perhaps the greatest amount of growth throughout the story. My heart ached for her and, though I didn't care much for her at the start, she ended up being one of my favorite characters by the end of the book. But it's the parents who stole the show, at least for me. Their hilarious, complex, and poignant second chance romance, set in motion because they lied and told everyone they were on their second honeymoon, was the highlight of the book for me. I enthusiastically recommend adding A Wedding in December to your holiday reading.
Cowboy Christmas Redemption
by Maisey Yates
Cowboy Caleb Dalton has loved single mom Ellie Bell, and her little daughter, Amelia, for years. But since Ellie is his best friend’s widow, Caleb’s head knows Ellie will always be strictly off-limits. If only his heart got the memo. So when Caleb discovers that Ellie has a Christmas wish list—and hopes for a kiss under the mistletoe—he’s throwing his cowboy hat into the ring. If anyone’s going to be kissing Ellie and sharing this magical time with her and her daughter, it’s him.
Ellie has dreaded the holidays since losing her husband. But this year, she’s finally ready to make some changes. She never expects the biggest change to be the heart-stopping kiss she shares with Caleb. For almost five years, Caleb has been her best friend, her rock, her salvation. This Christmas, can Caleb prove he’s also the missing puzzle piece of Ellie’s and Amelia’s hearts?
Friends to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes and this newest addition to Maisy Yates' Gold Valley series brings all the feels. Though Caleb and Ellie have been best friends for years, the mass of intermingled emotional baggage they both carry has kept them from moving beyond friendship. Until Ellie finally decides to move forward with her life...and Caleb isn't about to let her move on with anyone but him. It makes for a complex, emotional journey that made me laugh, cry, and tingle in all the best ways.
Yates does a great job of bringing her characters to life and immersing me in their journey. I could feel all the doubts, desire, and guilt that Caleb and Ellie have to wade through. My heart ached for the pain caused by the secrets Caleb has kept from his family, and Ellie, and rejoiced in the forgiveness and acceptance that follow when he finally shares them.
Ellie and Caleb have been tested by the flames of emotional fire, from which they emerged stronger and wiser, with a solid foundation of friendship and love. I turned the final page of their story confident in the strength of their bond and their future happiness as a family.
I can't wait to return to Gold Valley for more Dalton family stories!
Christmas From the Heart
by Sheila Roberts
Olivia Berg’s charity, Christmas from the Heart, has helped generations of families in need in Pine River, Washington, but this year might be the end of the road. Hightower Enterprises, one of their biggest donors since way back when Olivia’s grandmother ran the charity, has been taken over by Ebenezer Scrooge the Second, aka CFO Guy Hightower, and he’s declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart.
Guy is simply being practical. Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt, and when you don’t have money to spare, you don’t have money to share. You’d think even the pushy Olivia Berg could understand that.
With charitable donations dwindling, Olivia’s Christmas budget depends on Hightower’s contribution. She’s focused her whole life on helping this small town, even putting her love life on hold to support her mission.
When Guy’s Maserati breaks down at the edge of the Cascade foothills, he’s relieved to be rescued by a pretty young woman who drives him to the nearby town of Pine River. Until he realizes his rescuer is none other than Olivia Berg. What’s a Scrooge to do? Plug his nose and eat fruitcake and hope she doesn’t learn his true identity before he can get out of town. What could go wrong?
I can always count on Sheila Roberts for humorous, heartwarming, holiday romance. This year, she's bringing readers a new, feel-good story that gives a nod to the classic tale, A Christmas Carol. Once again, I found myself delightfully immersed in the lives and loves of the citizens of a small, Washington town.
I love Sheila Roberts' characters. They're so delightfully real, with all the flaws and quirks we find in ourselves and those around us. I like that even though they may have good intentions, they don't always make the best decisions. I enjoy how they evolve, often taking two steps back for each step forward as they move toward their happily ever after, wherever, and with whomever, that may be. I love the spirit of kindness, love, sharing, and forgiveness that she weaves throughout this story. I also turned the final page with a smile on my face, joy in my heart, and the conviction that, once again, two deserving characters have found the person they're meant to share life with.
Have you read any of these titles yet? I have Brenda Novak's Christmas in Silver Springs on my Kindle so watch for my review of that soon.
One person who comments before 11:00 PM, December 17, will receive one Kindle copy of their choice from the six titles shown in the header.