Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
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This week’s topic is a freebie, and I thought for this post I’d do:
Recent Holiday Romance Reads
I’ve read several charming romances lately, many of which take place during the holidays. I love this time of year, and the festive atmosphere in these books is fantastic!!
The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: Oct. 16, 2020
Publisher: One More Chapter
Synopsis: Chloe, Jules, and Lucy meet at a Maui resort kids’ club, aged 11, forging a lifelong friendship spanning two decades and three continents.
Twenty-two years later, they decide to swap Christmases, none of them expecting the hilarity and romantic escapades that will ensue.
Chloe from Melbourne spends her Christmas with Lucy’s mum and dad in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England, stunned to the core when she discovers who grew up across the road from Lucy.
Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.
And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend a balmy ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away from her mundane life is just what she needed.
Join these three lovable women as they each get a Christmas to surpass their wildest dreams.
Twelfth Knight’s Bride by E. Elizabeth Watson
Page Length: 150
Publication Date: Nov. 16. 2020
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Synopsis: Lady Aileana Grant just wants to help her starving clan at Christmastide. So she pilfers some vegetables from the bastard Laird James MacDonald–the Devil, they call him. When the Devil shows up and demands marriage as recompense for the thievery, Aileana can’t believe it when her brother agrees. Even if she’s able to negotiate a severance on Twelfth Night, that’s still two weeks to put up with the laird in enemy territory. She’s counting down the days, even if James isn’t quite the disgusting cretin she’d imagined.
James needs to marry an enemy bride in order to inherit his fortune. Cursed restrictions. He’d been unable to look away from Aileana’s untamed beauty ever since she squared off with him. He might as well handfast with the infernal lass. He’d get his money and perhaps some peace among the clans. He has a fortnight to win the heart of the lady with the voice of an angel despite her sharp tongue.
Twelfth Night is merry and bright as Aileana and James realize a true connection between them. But when Aileana discovers the reason the Devil forced her into marriage, how can she ever believe he truly wants her?
Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger
Series: Swallowtail Bay – Book 3
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Oct. 7, 2020
Publisher: HQ Digital
Synopsis: Grab your cosiest jumper and escape to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!
Christmas and romance are in the air and Nell is obsessed! She can’t stop watching her favourite Christmas romcoms and dreaming of the day when she meets her own romantic hero, especially as she is hosting the first ever wedding at her small hotel, Holly Lodge.
Nell’s best friend, Tom, has been in love with her ever since they met. But Nell has never seen him that way, and he’s always kept his feelings a secret in case it ruins their friendship.
After the opening of the glamorous Langdon Mansion Hotel in the bay, Nell’s hotel is struggling for survival and she must fight, with Tom’s help, to keep Holly Lodge open. Can the magic of Christmas help two old friends save Holly Lodge and open Nell’s eyes to a love that was always there the whole time?
The Mistletoe Trap by Cindi Madsen
Series: Heart in the Game (Book 2)
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: Nov. 16, 2020
Synopsis: From the moment Julie sees her best friend, Gavin, in the airport, it’s like no time at all has gone by instead of months and months. No matter how long they’ve been apart, their relationship has always been steady, comfortable, and decidedly just friends. Even though their meddling parents have hung what seems like unlimited amounts of mistletoe everywhere she goes this holiday season, Julie knows some things will never change.
Gavin is well-aware his family’s wanted him and Julie to get together since forever, even though he’s been friend-zoned since they could talk—and he’s been happy to play that role. After all, as the new starting quarterback for the San Antonio Mustangs, he’s got enough on his plate without adding romance to the mix.
But between playing elves in the holiday bazaar to nights spent one-on-one watching rom-coms or soaking in their town’s hot springs, suddenly the “reverse parent trap” they’ve fallen into is actually starting to work. But this could be one scheme where letting themselves get trapped might be way too dangerous.
Christmas Island by Natalie Normann
Title: Christmas Island
Author: Natalie Normann
Publication Date: Nov. 30, 2020
Publisher: One More Chapter
Synopsis: Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!
In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable
After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.
Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.
Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.
Christmas Ever After by Karen Schaler
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2020
Publisher: HawkTale Publishing
Synopsis: While promoting her next novel, a Christmas love story, author Riley Reynolds is caught off guard when she’s asked during a live national television interview how she can write about romance when she still hasn’t found “the one” herself. Scrambling for an answer, she quickly answers that she has had great love in her past and that love inspired her novels.
Little does she know that this one offhanded remark will turn her world upside down. Three of her ex-boyfriends see the interview, and each, believing she’s talking about him, shows up for her Christmas Camp book event at the Christmas Lake Lodge, determined to rewrite his happily-ever-after with her!
Over the festive weekend, Riley’s old boyfriends compete to win her heart, pulling out all the stops while planning the most romantic Christmas dates on the planet. Despite herself, Riley starts falling for each guy— again—but for different reasons. As Riley revisits each relationship and discovers more about herself, she embraces the magic of Christmas and finally finds true love and her own Christmas ever after…
Proxy Bride by Katy Paige
Series: The Lindstroms – Book 1
Page Length: 300
Publication Date: Dec. 9, 2019
Publisher: Katharine Gilliam Regnery
Synopsis: The Proxy Bride is the first book in Katy Paige’s The Lindstroms series. A sweet contemporary romance, this is the perfect light read.
When Jenny Lindstrom agrees to serve as a proxy bride for her best friend, she never imagined bumping into (literally) a man like Sam Kelley. Sam agreed to stand in as a proxy groom for his cousin. When Jenny and Sam miss their appointment with the judge, they end up spending a long weekend getting to know each other.
They do not have much in common. Jenny is a country girl, and Sam is a city boy. They are from different cities and live very different lives. Yet, they can’t deny the attraction they feel. Sam is drawn to Jenny’s wholesome honesty. Jenny likes Sam’s lighthearted personality.
Can Sam and Jenny put their misgivings aside and follow their hearts?
A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River
Page Length: 285
Publication Date: Oct. 28, 2008
Synopsis: Last Christmas Marcie Sullivan said a final goodbye to her husband, Bobby. This Christmas she’s come to Virgin River to find the man who saved his life and gave her three more years to love him. Fellow marine Ian Buchanan dragged Bobby’s shattered body onto a medical transport in Fallujah four years ago, then disappeared as soon as their unit arrived stateside. Since then, Marcie’s letters to Ian have gone unanswered.
Marcie tracks Ian to the tiny mountain town of Virgin River and finds a man as wounded emotionally as Bobby was physically. But she is not easily scared off. As Marcie pushes her way into his rugged and reclusive life, she discovers a sweet but damaged soul beneath a rough exterior.
Ian doesn’t know what to make of the determined young widow who forces him to look into the painful past and, what’s worse, the uncertain future. But it is, after all, a season of miracles and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to banish the ghosts and open his heart.
Paws for Christmas by Mariah Lynne
Publication Date: Nov. 3, 2020
Synopsis: It’s the Holidays and Jessica Munroe seems destined for misery. Nonetheless she is trying to make the best of it. Her fiancé Jake, an emergency room doctor, dumped her for his nurse and just two weeks prior, she had to put her dog, her best friend, Mazy to sleep.
The pain of losing both the man she loved and her best friend has taken her to a new low. Jessica, determined not to stay down, is now hard at work trying to push through the holiday season by doubling up on Christmas lights and decorations she’s putting up outside her residence.
As Jessica works, a big brown scruffy dog appears in her yard and refuses to leave when she tries to shoo him away. He’s filthy, looks hungry, and seems like he needs help. A dog lover, Jessica takes him to her vet who discovers a metal bone shaped tag buried in his matted fur. The tag reveals his name, Sam, and a phone number to call if he is lost or injured.
Sam’s owner Trey Musgrove is in the hospital the victim of a head-on collision. Now Jessica’s life is about to change forever thanks to Sam, this big brown scruffy lovable dog.
Side effects of reading PAWS FOR CHRISTMAS are a happy heart, an uplifted spirit, new confidence in the future, and a smile on your face!
Harmony’s Embrace by Amber Daulton
Series: Deerbourne Inn
Publication Date: Nov. 16, 2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Synopsis: Divorced dad Birley Haynes is too busy raising his children and running his family’s music academy to start a relationship. Then Harmony Holdich, his high school sweetheart, returns home to Willow Springs, Vermont for Christmas and falls into his bed. She brings light and fun back into his life, but he can’t brush aside the threatening incidents around his workplace.
Harmony hadn’t expected a complication like Birley, especially so soon after the death of her unfaithful husband. With her life a mess, she plans to move across the country and start over. All she can offer him is a fling, but her heart yearns for more.
When the threats rise, how will Birley keep his children safe and convince Harmony to give love another chance?
Have you read any of these charming holiday reads? Are there others you would recommend? Comment below!