Recommended Christmas Romance

I LOVE the holiday season. When you pair it with a great romance, it’s even better. So if you’re wondering what books to curl up by the fire with this year, may I offer a few of my favorites?

Once upon a plaid200First up, I’d be thrilled if you give Once Upon a Plaid a try. It’s a bit different from most romances. My hero and heroine have already been married (to each other!) for four years. But they are sufficiently estranged that William decides it’s time to woo Katherine afresh. He’ll dare anything to romance her back into his life and his bed.

I know writers aren’t supposed to have favorite books, any more than parents should admit to having a favorite child, but this story comes close. Have a tissue handy. It’s a deeply emotional read.

“Marlowe’s second Spirit of the Highlands 16th-century romance glows with warm and powerful emotions.” – Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

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Season for Desire  by Theresa Romain

PROPERLY WICKED

SeasonforDesireLike her four sisters, Lady Audrina Bradleigh is expected to marry a duke, lead fashion, and behave with propriety. Consequently, Audrina pursues mischief with gusto, attending scandalous parties and indulging in illicit affairs. But when an erstwhile lover threatens to ruin her reputation, Audrina has no choice but to find a respectable husband at once.

Who would guess that her search would lead her to Giles Rutherford, a blunt-spoken American on a treasure hunt of his own? When a Christmas snowstorm strands the pair at a country inn, more secrets are traded than gifts—along with kisses that require no mistletoe—and Audrina discovers even proper gentlemen have their wicked side…

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Be sure to look for Theresa’s other great Christmas novels: SEASON FOR SCANDAL (2013) SEASON FOR SURRENDER (2012) & SEASON FOR TEMPTATION (2011)

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And now for a recommendation with a little more heat…

A Blue Stocking Christmas by Monica Burns

Bluestocking ChristmasSinful words, wicked pleasures and a ghost all add up to A Bluestocking Christmas with a Dickens of a twist. As a young man, Simon, Viscount Wycombe learned the painful truth that a tradesman’s daughter is suitable only for liaisons and nothing more. But Ivy Beecham is a far cry from his preconceived notions, and he’s determined to have her. But her rejection only increases his determination to seduce her into a world of sin and pleasure.

Ivy Beecham knows first-hand that handsome aristocrats like Simon can’t be trusted. But the intellectual scoundrel is hell-bent on making her his mistress using every seductive means at his disposal. When she refuses to give away her heart on Christmas Eve, a ghostly specter shows her in one night why her surrender can be the greatest gift of all.

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Read the first two chapters of A Bluestocking Christmas here!

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Now a bit of whimsy from USA Bestselling author Paige Tyler–Santa’s Wayward Elf

Being one of Santa’s elves isn’t all sugar plums and candy canes. Santa's wayward elfAt least not for Sosie. Taller than the other elves, she’s always had a problem fitting in at the North Pole, so when the transport sled she’s on breaks down in New York City on Christmas Eve, she can’t resist slipping away to explore the world of the “big people.” While she’s having fun, the transport sled takes off, leaving the naïve elf stranded. 

Fortunately, handsome police detective Derek Clayton comes to her rescue, offering to let her stay at his apartment. Having heard horror stories about the big people, Sosie is both surprised and relieved to meet such a kind, sweet man. Not to mention one so gorgeous and well-built. 

Even though Sosie expects the North Pole to send out a search party any day, she finds herself falling for Derek. She desperately wants to tell him she’s an elf, but knows he’ll never believe her. When the lies and omissions start to pile up, Derek can draw only one conclusion—Sosie is working for the mob boss he’s been after for years. 

Just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, the chief of elfin security shows up to drag Sosie back to the North Pole. How is a runaway elf supposed to overcome a determined security elf, dangerous mobsters and a suspicious boyfriend all while keeping her pointed ears a secret?

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I haven’t forgotten paranormal readers! A Highland Wolf Christmas (Book 15) by Terry Spear
 
It’s going to take a lot of mistletoe…
 
Guthrie MacNeill, financial advisor for his clan and werewolf pack, is at his wit’s end when the pack leader’s mate hires a gorgeous party planner to bring holiday cheer to the castle. Guthrie’s wildly attracted to Calla, except he can’t reconcile the fact that his job is to save the clan’s money, and hers seems to be to spend it.
 
To warm this Highlander’s heart
 
Calla Stewart has never had a more difficult client. The laird and lady of the castle are delightful, but the handsome Highlander holding the purse strings is quite impossible. Since she specializes in holiday magic, Calla hopes she can make the scrooge-like wolf lighten up. Then Guthrie takes on the role of Highland warrior to protect her from an unexpected threat, and the holidays take a turn for the passionate.
 

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Vanessa Kelly is one of my personal favorite authors. You’ll love His Mistletoe Bride
 

Blame It On The Mistletoe. . .

HisMistletoeBride-186x300When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules–and surprising him in and out of bed. . . 

Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly. . .

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest my RITA finalist title–Plaid Tidings! This award winning story is chock full of misdirection and surprises and a wedding that must take place before Christmas Day in snowy Bonniebroch Castle. I think it’s great fun, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the reviewers say:

Plaid Tidings“A charming, whimsical tale featuring an age-old curse, a haunted castle and a young man coming to terms with his past and finally finding his place in the grand scheme of things.” AllAboutRomance

“Marlowe has penned a wonderful tale, rich in romance and wit. Replete with memorable characters and a touch of Scottish legend, this well-written romance is both poignant and highly entertaining. Not to be missed by fans of Scottish Regency.” ~  Kathe Robin/RTBOOKReviews, 4 1/2 STARS!

 
Marlowe delivers the majesty of Scotland – her customs, her people, and her landscape can’t help but serve up a romantic backdrop for two unexpected lovers across different borders. The pageantry of the Regency Era … Scottish Style!” ~ Kim Adams/SOSAloha, One of the best books of 2013!

 

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What’s better than a chocolate-box of an anthology of Regency novellas by Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen, Carolyn Jewel and Miranda Neville?

These yuletide tales are set in rural Nottinghamshire and feature couples who dream of holidays filled with true love, however unlikely that might be. A highwayman, a cozy country inn, a Christmas assembly and copious bundles of mistletoe contribute to merry, romantic holiday happily ever afters.

ChristmasinthedukesarmsA Knight Before Christmas by Grace Burrowes
Sir Leviticus Sparrow is a man of business who means business when it comes to offering Penelope Carrington marriage under the mistletoe.

In The Duke’s Arms by Carolyn Jewel
What’s a Duke to do when he’s made an awful impression on the love of his life?

Licensed to Wed by Miranda Neville
If Lord Carbury could learn to take no for an answer, his marriage proposal might earn him a yes.

The Spy Beneath the Mistletoe by Shana Galen
Fledgling spies Q and Moneypence pursue love and a highwayman in The Duke’s Arms.

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And now for the bargain hunters! My Lady Below Stairs is a Christmas novella that will fit snugly into anyone’s stocking. At only 99¢ it makes a great gift for all the romance readers on your list. 

My Lady Below StairsReviewers say:

“My Lady Below Stairs is the story of a bastard servant girl called in to impersonate her missing aristocratic half-sister with results worthy of Shakespeare!” ~ Library Journal

Mia Marlowe invites you “…to the Hartwell House holiday ball, where just about anything can happen — and does! — to the delight of readers who enjoy short, light, delicious love stories that encourage them to feel the pleasure of the season.” ~ RTBOOKReviews, Kathe Robin

“Written with all of the wit and humor that is characteristic of this author. This story has all the things I love about her longer historicals…it’s beautifully written, has lusty love scenes, wonderful humor, and a very satisfying ending.” ~ Penelope’s Romance Reviews

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Wishing you a season of love!