Holiday-Themed Romances

Cold weather means a burst of new winter holiday-themed romance titles have hit our shelves! These books are full of punny titles, bright and cheerful covers, and romance galore. As I was looking up titles for this list, I couldn’t help smiling at the covers and how cheery they all looked! All the books in this list are either stand-alone titles or the first in the series, so no worries about starting in the middle of a series.

Below is a list of eleven winter holiday-themed romances that were published in 2023 and that are owned by the Davenport Public Library. This is not a complete list. All descriptions have been provided by the publishers. Want more? You can also check out Michelle’s New and Upcoming Romances blog from September 2023.

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Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey

Melody Gallard may be the daughter of music royalty, but her world is far from glamorous. She spends her days restoring old books and avoiding the limelight (one awkward tabloid photo was enough, thanks). But when a producer offers her a lot of money to reunite her mother’s band on live tv, Mel begins to wonder if it’s time to rattle the cage, shake up her quiet life… and see him again. The only other person who could wrangle the rock and roll divas.

Beat Dawkins, the lead singer’s son, is Melody’s opposite—the camera loves him, he could charm the pants off anyone, and his mom is not a potential cult leader. Still, they might have been best friends if not for the legendary feud that broke up the band. When they met as teenagers, Mel felt an instant spark, but it’s nothing compared to the wild, intense attraction that builds as they embark on a madcap mission to convince their mothers to perform one last show.

While dealing with rock star shenanigans, a 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas, and mobs of adoring fans, Mel starts to step out of her comfort zone. With Beat by her side, cheering her on, she’s never felt so understood. But Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and a decades-old scandal is poised to wreck everything—the Steel Birds reunion, their relationships with their mothers, and their newfound love. – HarperCollins

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The Ex-Mas Holidays by Zoe Allison

It’s hard to escape your ex when you’re working together over Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, but being stuck together might be the best possible present in this sparkling new contemporary romance.

Maya Bashir is dreading her drive home for Christmas and having to explain that she’s just left her high-paying job and a long-term relationship, so a brief detour to her friend’s festive party doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Until Maya walks in to find the last person she wants to see. Sam, the boy who broke her heart eight years ago. And he’s serving drinks. Naked.

Sam Holland is working an extra job on the sly to help his friend get by. But little did he expect Maya Bashir to come barrelling back into his life, learning about his secret side-hustle and taking back her old job alongside him at his daytime role as a ski instructor on the slopes of the Scottish Highlands.

As both Sam and Maya realize that their reason for heartbreak so many years ago wasn’t entirely as it seemed, they must learn to stand up for what they want the most…or else miss their second chance at love. – Penguin Random House

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A Winter in New York by Josie Silver

When Iris decides to move to New York to restart her life, she realizes she underestimated how big the Big Apple really is—all the nostalgic movies set in New York she’d watched with her mom while eating their special secret-recipe gelato didn’t quite do it justice.

But Bobby, Iris’s best friend, isn’t about to let her hide away. He drags her to a famous autumn street fair in Little Italy, and as they walk through the food stalls, a little family-run gelateria catches her eye—could it be the same shop that’s in an old photo of her mother’s?

Curious, Iris returns the next day and meets the handsome Gio, who tells her that the shop is in danger of closing. His uncle, sole keeper of their family’s gelato recipe, is in a coma, so they can’t make more. When Iris samples the last remaining batch, she realizes that their gelato and her gelato are one and the same. But how can she tell them she knows their secret recipe when she’s not sure why Gio’s uncle gave it to her mother in the first place?

Iris offers her services as a chef to help them re-create the flavor and finds herself falling for Gio and his family. But when Gio’s uncle finally wakes up, all of the secrets Iris has been keeping threaten to ruin the new life—and new love—she’s been building all winter long. – Penguin Random House

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Second Chances in New Port Stephen by TJ Alexander

A trans man returns to his Florida hometown for Christmas after his career goes up in flames, only to cross paths with his high school ex in this charming rom-com about family and second chances from the author of the “delectable” (Time) Chef’s Kiss.

Eli Ward hasn’t been back to his suffocating hometown of New Port Stephen, Florida, in ages. Post-transition and sober, he’s a completely different person from the one who left years ago. But when a scandal threatens his career as a TV writer and comedian, he has no choice but to return home for the holidays. He can only hope he’ll survive his boisterous, loving, but often misguided family and hide the fact that his dream of comedy success has become a nightmare.

Just when he thinks this trip couldn’t get any worse, Eli bumps into his high school ex, Nick Wu, who’s somehow hotter than ever. Divorced and in his forties, Nick’s world revolves around his father, his daughter, and his job. But even a busy life can’t keep him from being intrigued by the reappearance of Eli.

Against the backdrop of one weird Floridian Christmas, the two must decide whether to leave the past in the past…or move on together. – Simon & Schuster

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Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley

Three times the holiday magic. Three times the chaos.

As strangers and seatmates Maryam Aziz and Anna Gibson fly to Toronto over the holidays—Maryam to her sister’s impromptu wedding, and Anna to meet her boyfriend’s wealthy family for the first time—neither expect that severe turbulence will scare them into confessing their deepest hopes and fears to one another. At least they’ll never see each other again. And the love of Maryam’s life, Saif, wasn’t sitting two rows behind them hearing it all. Oops.

An emergency landing finds Anna, Saif, Maryam, and her sister’s entire bridal party snowbound at the quirky Snow Falls Inn in a picture-perfect town, where fate has Anna’s actor-crush filming a holiday romance. As Maryam finds the courage to open her heart to Saif, and Anna feels the magic of being snowbound with an unexpected new love—both women soon realize there’s no place they’d rather be for the holidays. – Penguin Random House

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Time to Shine by Rachel Reid

For Landon Stackhouse, being called up from the Calgary farm team is exciting and terrifying, even if, as the backup goalie, he rarely leaves the bench. A quiet loner by nature, Landon knows he gives off strong “don’t talk to me” vibes. The only player who doesn’t seem to notice is Calgary’s superstar young winger, Casey Hicks.

Casey treats Landon like an old friend, even though they’ve only interacted briefly in the past. He’s endlessly charming and completely laid-back in a way that Landon absolutely can’t relate to. They couldn’t have less in common, but Landon needs a place to live that’s not a hotel room and Casey has just bought a massive house—and hates being alone.

As roommates, Casey refuses to be defeated by Landon’s one-word answers. As friends, Landon comes to notice a few things about Casey, like his wide, easy smile and sparkling green-blue eyes. Spending the holidays together only intensifies their bromance-turned-romance. But as the new year approaches, the countdown to the end of Landon’s time in Calgary is on. – HarperCollins

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Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

When fall rolls around, it’s time for Kerry Tolliver to leave her family’s Christmas tree farm in the mountains of North Carolina for the wilds of New York City to help her gruff older brother & his dog, Queenie, sell the trees at the family stand on a corner in Greenwich Village. Sharing a tiny vintage camper and experiencing Manhattan for the first time, Kerry’s ready to try to carve out a new corner for herself.

In the weeks leading into Christmas, Kerry quickly becomes close with the charming neighbors who live near their stand. When an elderly neighbor goes missing, Kerry will need to combine her country know-how with her newly acquired New York knowledge to protect the new friends she’s come to think of as family,

And complicating everything is Patrick, a single dad raising his adorable, dragon-loving son Austin on this quirky block. Kerry and Patrick’s chemistry is undeniable, but what chance does this holiday romance really have?

Filled with family ties, both rekindled and new, and sparkling with Christmas magic, BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CHRISTMAS delivers everything Mary Kay Andrews fans adore, all tied up in a hilarious, romantic gem of a novel. – MacMillan Publishers

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One Christmas Morning by Rachel Greenlaw

Eva has spent the past three years burying herself in her work, trying to forget the heartbreaking events of the Christmas that ripped her world apart. This year, the last thing she wants is to attend her friend’s weekend-long Christmas party. But at her husband James’ insistence, here they are.

When Eva—overwhelmed by bittersweet memories—tries to sneak back to London in the middle of the night, she is visited by the ghost of her beloved grandmother. Gran tells Eva that if she doesn’t face her fears head-on and stop shutting out her loved ones, she risks losing them all forever.

When Eva wakes on Christmas morning, she finds herself living not her own life, but that of her hardworking assistant, Diana, whose overflowing inbox isn’t the only secret she’s been keeping. The next day, she wakes on Christmas morning again, this time in the body of her best friend’s little sister. As Eva lives the same day again and again through the perspectives of her friends, she is offered a glimpse into the lives of those she has been pushing away. With each Christmas Day comes a new lesson—and an insight into the secrets and struggles her loved ones have been hiding. To move forward, Eva must let go of the past. But is it too late to fix her future? – HarperCollins

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The Christmas Swap by Talia Samuels

Perfect for fans of Alison Cochrun and Helena Greer, Talia Samuels’ debut sapphic romcom is about one woman who fake dates her friend…only to fall for his sister.

Margot Murray is a newly single, successful businesswoman with no interest in a cutesy seasonal romance after her breakup with her long-term girlfriend. Ben Gibson is an unlucky-in-love sweetheart in need of a woman to bring home for the holidays. Together, they make a pact: Margot gets two blissful weeks away from London in a picture-perfect manor, and Ben gets a fake girlfriend for his holiday at home with his family.

Upon arriving to the manor, Margot meets Ben’s sister, Ellie, who is suspicious of the supposed relationship right from the start. Ellie intends to get to the bottom of their relationship, not being able to see how the two of them work as a couple. As Ellie and Margot grow closer, will Ben and Margot be able to keep the charade up, or will Margot and Ellie risk the chance at something real? – Penguin Random House

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Christmas at Corgi Cove by Annie England Noblin

Rosie Reynolds had come to lakeside Corgi Cove as a lost, lonely girl abandoned by her own mother, but there she discovered a true place to call home. She loves her Corgis, Bonnie and Clyde; loves the lakeside life; and loves her aunt and uncle most of all. But when she discovers their struggling inn is about to be bought out by some big city chain, she hatches a plan: to win a contest naming theirs the best Christmas-themed inn in the USA. It’s a long shot, but she knows if the whole town pulls together that they can do it.

But she didn’t count on Everett St Claire, who emerged from his gleaming, black BMW, straightening his tie and asking himself how did a big-city guy like him find himself in a speck on the map like Corgi Cove? And how fast could he get back to the city? After all, it couldn’t be that difficult to convince one elderly couple to take the money to retire.

He didn’t count on getting sucked into life on the lake. Sure, the people might be…eccentric, and Rosie might seem like a pain in the backside, but there is something alluring about the place. And with the holidays nearing, and the deadline looming, Rosie and Everett are about to discover the magic of a Christmas at Corgi Cove. – HarperCollins

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A Wish for Christmas by Courtney Cole

Two weeks ’til Christmas…

Noel Blake is not in a great place. After several years of marriage, she and her husband Jonah are quietly drifting apart. The only time they really talk at all anymore is when they walk their dog, Elliott. And even then it usually ends in bickering.

When, one snowy day, Elliott manages to slip his leash, they find him blocks away in the care of a mysterious old man who asks them to make a wish on an old snow globe. Eager to get their dog safely home, they agree to his strange request. Neither one realizes that the wish they’re about to make will change the course of their lives… possibly forever.

When Noel and Jonah wake up the next morning, they’re in separate beds, separate apartments, separate lives. But are they any happier? As they live the existences they’d always wished for, both feel that something very important is missing. And when a chance encounter brings the pair back together, they find they have a spark of something very special.

Will they be able to find their way back to each other before it’s too late, or does the Christmas Magic have another fate in store? – HarperCollins

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If you would like more recommendations or have a favorite holiday-themed romance, comment below. Happy reading!

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