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7 Festive Holiday Romances That Will Make Great Gifts

The air is crisp and smells like fall, the leaves have nearly all fallen to coat the ground, and snow is on the horizon. That means it’s officially acceptable to talk about holiday romances!! While I may have promised the hubby that I’ll wait to put the Christmas tree up until the day after Thanksgiving, I make no such promise when it comes to books and movies. Here are a few mini reviews of festive holiday romances, from books I’ve read over the past couple years, that are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit (or stuff a loved one’s stocking)!

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A Very Braden Christmas

A Very Braden Christmas Melissa Foster Bradens at Weston Colorado

Melissa Foster
✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Read: July 2021
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

I love the Bradens so much already, after visiting them in Peaceful Harbor, but I’ve recently become acquainted with Hal Braden and his huge family. I’ve fallen in love all over again and not sure why I’m surprised that Melissa Foster can captivate in less than 75 pages.

This tiny novella gives a glimpse into each of the main Braden siblings, as well as patriarch Hal. The entire family is together for Christmas and the way they celebrate had me in tears. I loved the sleepover and the insane chaos of the large family! So many kids!!

What stuck out about this novella was how easily you could see and feel each Braden’s love for their spouse. It seems like each time you turn around, one of them is sneaking off for some “alone time”. It’s a true Melissa Foster book … sexy heroes and strong women, all falling in intense, crazy love with each other.

This is a must-read holiday story that any Braden family fan should read. It’s also a great introduction to the Bradens at Weston … though be careful because your head will spin with all the people!!

Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage

Christmas at Lock Keeper's Cottage Lucy Coleman holiday mini reviews

Lucy Coleman
✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
Read: September 2020
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

Uplifting is right!

I loved Immi, Gray, and Tollie! This isn’t the beginning of a love story … it’s one that’s already in progress. Gray and Immi are clearly meant for each other, but because of his mom’s illness, they haven’t been able to be together more than just on the weekends. But that’s all about to change!

The Santa Ahoy cruises were such a lovely touch to this story. And I really liked how the entire community wrapped around it, everyone participating in some way. It’s definitely a tight-knit community and those are my favorites!

Each new character that was introduced wound their way into my heart as I read this book. I loved Fisher and his mornings after two cups of coffee. And Tollie was a real favorite of mine. What a wonderful granddad! Then you have quiet Mrs. Price/Valerie … I’ll say her revelation at the end definitely surprised me.

The only thing that kept this from being 5 stars was the fact that the ending did seem a bit rushed. I would have liked to see a bit more on a certain subject and the last chapter flips to Gray’s perspective when the entire book has been about Immi. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book!

The Holiday Swap

The Holiday Swap Maggie Knox mini holiday reviews

Maggie Knox
✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Read: November 2021
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

I am a huge sucker for anything that has to do with twins. Add in anything food and this book was bound to be an instant win for me!

The romance aspect of THE HOLIDAY SWAP was perfect! While pretending to be each other, both twins fall in love. I loved the Hallmark Channel vibe I got from this book, and from each romance. If I wasn’t falling for Cass and Miguel, I was swooning over Charlie and hunky Jake.

Cass gets a taste of her sister’s life in big city LA, while Charlie remembers all the things she loved (and some new things) about small-town living. Charlie is tasked with convincing her twin’s long-time boyfriend that things are finally over between them, and Cass has to make sure that Charlie’s career doesn’t flop.

The side characters in this book were expertly written. I loved Priya (Charlie’s friend and co-worker), as well as Jake’s grandma, Faye. What a spunky old lady that one is! And don’t forget loveable, dorky dog Bonnie. I can’t say my golden girl would pass up bakery-made lemon squares, either!

If you’re a sucker for holiday romances and Hallmark movies, this is a must-read for your holiday TBR!

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The SEAL’s Pregnant Christmas Lover

The SEAL's Pregnant Christmas Lover Katie Knight Leslie North Presents

Katie Knight
✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Read: November 2020
Amazon | Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received a complementary copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

I snagged this book because I absolutely love Leslie North and because I was looking for something with a holiday vibe. While it isn’t super-loaded with Christmas cheer, it’s a wonderful romance.

I absolutely loved Max and Amelia! From the one night stand on Halloween to all the crazy stuff that happens … it was so sweet watching them fall for each other. I have quite a bit of respect for Amelia, deciding she’s going to go it alone when she finds out she’s pregnant. But the way she and Max connected almost instantly, I was hoping for a happy ending for both of them.

THE SEAL’S PREGNANT CHRISTMAS LOVER was not only romance but a mystery. Shortly after Max and Amelia start spending time together, bad things begin happening. An exploding microwave, an oven that tries to crush her, and more! I spent a good portion of the book trying to figure out who was attacking her and narrowing down my own list of suspects. Let me tell you … I’m not very good at it 😉

Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire

Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire Julia Kent holiday mini reviews

Julia Kent
✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
Read: November 2021
Amazon | Goodreads

A very funny – if not semi-smutty – Christmas novella. I should have started at the beginning of this series because – although I enjoyed the quirky holiday book – I would like to see where it all begins with Shannon and Declan.

Most of this book centers around Shannon and Declan posing as Santa and a very slutty elf as … mystery shoppers? I’m pretty sure Shannon is a mystery shopper but, as this is not the beginning of the series, that part is still a bit unclear.

I enjoyed the multiple wardrobe malfunctions Shannon has to endure throughout this book. They provide nearly constant comedic moments. And Mommy Masochist … what a woman! I really wanted to reach into my audiobook and smack her.

While I enjoyed this one and was okay reading it out of order, it does feel like a prelude to a pretty monumental next book so I am quickly hitting the breaks to return to the beginning of this series. If you’re looking for a fun holiday novella, this is it!

Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Christmas at Fireside Cabins Jenny Hale

Jenny Hale
✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Read: November 2021
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

I already knew I loved Jenny Hale’s books but add in a sweet holiday romance and oh my gosh, I was hooked on Christmas at Fireside Cabins!!

Things I loved about this book: the four best friends, Theo, Eleanor – what a sweet grandma vibe! – and little Rex! This book has so many different layers and I fell down the rabbit hole quickly. It’s set in a quiet small town, at a run-down cabin/resort. Lila, the main character, makes it her mission (after her friends all have to return to their lives and cut the girls’ week short) to see the Fireside Cabins come back to their former glory.

I really enjoyed the almost enemies-to-lovers vibe with this one. I wouldn’t exactly call Lila and Theo enemies at the beginning, but he definitely is cold and frustrated toward her. It turns into such a sweet romance, though!

This small town is one I could easily find myself in. I love the way neighbors help each other and the little coffee shop sounds absolutely divine! CHRISTMAS AT FIRESIDE CABINS is another holiday romance that has serious Hallmark movie vibes to it.

The Naughty or Nice Clause

The Naughty or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan

Kate Callaghan
✮✮✮ (3/5 stars)
Read: September 2022
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received a complementary copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

I adore enemies-to-lovers romances but I wonder if this really should be labelled as a romance. Yes, there’s a little bit but most of it is the main character pretending to be his fiancée because he needs her to. There weren’t many sparks and the actual romance in the book was very minimal.

I adored the Santa Clause myth and how it was worked into this story. I’m a sucker for a good Clause romance. Kate Callaghan puts a very original spin on Santa and I thought she did a great job! I loved the secret village and the twists on Santa. My heart broke a little for the Klaus family as they mourned the loss of Santa himself.

I think I would have liked a little bit of background at the beginning … I was pretty far into the book before I even figured out they were in Ireland. And the toy company is such a big deal to Lyla but I didn’t really feel like I knew anything about it or what happened before the Christmas party.

This is a cute holiday story, though you won’t find a gushy romance inside. But if you’re looking for a new twist on the North Pole, this is it!

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And a few final thoughts …

If you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer (or looking for a last-minute gift!), check out these 7 Festive Holiday Romances. If you have any you’d like to recommend, feel free to drop them in the comments below. Happy Holidays, xo!

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  1. Your curated list of 7 Festive Holiday Romances is delightful! Each recommendation captures the spirit of the season, making them perfect gifts. The diverse selection ensures there’s something for everyone. Well-written and thoughtful, this list brings joy to readers seeking heartwarming holiday tales.

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