Happy Holidays everyone!! The festive season is almost upon us and I have been reading a lot of holiday romances, especially short ones and I thought I’ll recommend some of the ones I loved. I hope you find something new and interesting. Here are 15 of my favourites in no particular order:
Satan Claus is Coming to Town by Catherine Lievens
What if the letter meant for Santa ends up with Satan due to a spelling error? Interesting, right? And who knew Satan was such a softie?!
Dear Satan Claus…
That’s how the letter Satan received starts. The little girl who wrote it asking for her father to be happy again meant it for someone else, and while that’s obvious, Satan doesn’t care. Santa will never find out, as long as Satan’s nosy assistant, Jasper, doesn’t tell him. Satan isn’t sure why he decides to watch Zoe and her dad, except that he’s bored and lonely. He surprises himself when he moves into the house next to theirs and introduces himself as Sam—because he couldn’t exactly give Riley his real name, could he?
Riley has been divorced for years, and he doesn’t have time for a relationship. He has trust issues and no will to get over them, not when his daughter is the center of his life. Then a new neighbor moves in, and he’s adorably awkward and sexy. Riley tries to keep Sam at arm’s length, but he can’t help but fall in love with him, and he’s pretty sure Sam is falling for him, too.
Then Sam confesses his real name is Satan, and that he’s the king of Hell.
Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara
Want an enemies to lovers romance novella which is sexy and heartwarming?
Jonah hasn’t seen his family in twelve years. They don’t know he’s gay. Now he’s trapped with them in the storm of a century. A family heirloom has been stolen. And now, his childhood rival, Ethan, has arrived to steal his heart.
Holiday: New Year’s Eve
An F/F romance where they were friends online for long time before finally meeting each other! Highly recommend if you’re looking for a sexy and fun holiday romance!
Amanda Ellis knows three things: she’s tired of doing what’s expected of her, she hates her job at her family’s business, and the last thing she wants to do is attend her parents’ boring New Year’s Eve ball with a date her mother picked. A few days of fun with her online best friend is exactly what she needs to ring in the New Year on her own terms.
Wren Rebello is impulsive and always ready for fun. A last-minute girls’ getaway sounds like the perfect way to spend New Year’s. But even Wren isn’t prepared for the spark of attraction she feels when she meets Amanda in person for the first time. Good thing Wren loves popping Amanda’s cork.
After days spent sharing end-of-year resolutions and the one bed in their cottage, the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops on their time together. As Amanda and Wren go their separate ways, they leave new resolutions unfulfilled. Is there enough New Year’s magic left to turn their online friendship into real-life love?
Who doesn’t love villains? Not me! This is light hearted and fun story with superheroes and villains. And humour of course!
Despite growing up in a family of villains, I’d rather curl up and read than commit crimes. When I get coerced by my brother into helping him rob a bank, I run into August, my childhood crush—also known as Chrono, the city’s greatest superhero. He’s sexy, sweet, and suddenly he’s asking me to Thanksgiving with his parents. It’s probably because he doesn’t realize that I’m Leviathan, a villain with the power of telekinesis. And I can’t tell him because he’d never forgive me and would stop doing things like cooking for me—wait, maybe that would be a good thing, since he’s a terrible cook. It doesn’t help that my parents think they’re the ultimate villains and won’t stop getting in my way, although they can’t even steal toilet paper without getting caught.
But when real supervillains (not the wannabe kind that I grew up with) start targeting August, I might be forced to show everyone who I truly am: a slightly warped and snarky man who’d really rather read a book than save anything… besides August. I’ll tear this world apart just to get another glimpse of him in those glasses and spandex suit. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him safe, even though it means exposing my true identity. Luckily, August still cares about me, proving that even a villain and a hero can fall in love. Hopefully, we’ll be able to save the world in time for Christmas.
This ridiculous and snarky holiday novel is 92,000 words and contains a villain turned unlikely hero (even if he’s a manager’s worst nightmare), a superhero with a fondness for suckers who absolutely does NOT use his powers to cheat on board games, a hairless cat with an unfortunate name, bumbling family members that try to be evil but are mostly just embarrassing, a snow globe with mysterious powers, betrayal, true love, a risqué Santa suit, and the saltiest chicken ever.
Although this book is part of A Snow Globe Christmas series, it is a complete standalone, and it isn’t a requirement that you read the previous books to follow along. We wish everyone a happy holiday season.
Stuck With You by Jay Northcote
Getting snowed-in is a classic and this time it’s enemies to lovers!
Two clashing colleagues stuck together for Christmas–will opposites eventually attract?
Patrick has been single since he broke up with his cheating ex almost a year ago. With Christmas looming, he’s resigned to spending it alone with only memories of happier times for company. When a business trip with a co-worker leaves them stranded in the Lake District due to heavy snow, it seems Patrick will have company for Christmas after all. It’s a shame his companion is Kyle, who’s undeniably attractive, but annoying as hell.
Aware of Patrick’s reluctant admiration, Kyle basks in the attention even though Patrick isn’t the type of man he normally goes for. Averse to relationships after being hurt in the past, Kyle enjoys the occasional hook up, but has given up on seeking anything more meaningful.
Stuck together, their antagonism escalates along with a heavy dose of sexual tension until it finally ignites. What starts as a Christmas fling soon feels like something special; but will their tentative connection melt away as the snow thaws? If they’re going to take a chance on finding happiness together, they’ll have to put their differences aside and learn to trust one another.
Contains: enemies-to-lovers, snowball fights, bickering, spanking, a cute dog, a wise old lady, mistletoe, and a happy ending (of course).
Our Dining Table by Mita Ori
Holiday: Christmas and New Year
This is a super adorable one-volume manga with some gorgeous art. It is beautiful, heartwarming and relatable.
Eating around other people is a struggle for salaryman Yutaka, despite his talent for cooking. All that changes when he meets Minoru and Tane—two brothers, many years apart in age—who ask him to teach them how to make his delicious food! It’s not long before Yutaka finds himself falling hard for the meals they share together—and falling in love!
Eight Nights in December by Keira Andrews
Set around the eight nights of Hanukkah, this novella has forced proximity, first times and delicious fried food!
An innocent orphan and experienced stranger are stuck together.
Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother. Quiet photographer Nate isn’t at all what Lucas expects.
In fact, he’s incredibly sexy—especially when he invites Lucas into his darkroom…
They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can’t keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate’s only looking for a bit of holiday diversion, and introducing inexperienced Lucas to all the fun they can have definitely fits the bill. No feelings. No romance. No promises.
Yet they’re falling for each other…
Eight Nights in December is a gay holiday romance from Keira Andrews features secret trysts, forced proximity, first times, spinning the dreidel, and of course a happy ending.
The Twelfth Date by Stella Starling
Up until now, all my recs have been on the shorter side but this one is a full length novel. It’s true love and Christmas magic and all the holiday cheer!
Friends with benefits? Best Christmas present ever.
Nicky Masters is a hot mess and he knows it. After all, every boyfriend he’s ever had has told him so, and—since they usually follow it up with some version of, “too much work, not worth the effort”—avoiding boyfriends altogether sounds just about perfect. The only problem? The part about Nicky secretly yearning for things like true love and a happily ever after… something that scoring a job at bLoved, the gay dating app that promises to help find exactly that, seems perfectly suited for.
So far, even with his in at bLoved, Nicky still hasn’t managed to find what he’s looking for, but what he has found is almost better: Felix Ramirez, the hot AF new hire with the sexy smile who—for some reason Nicky still can’t figure out—actually said yes when Nicky volunteered
as tribute to be Felix’s new friend (with benefits!).
Perfect, right? Just as long as Nicky doesn’t go and do something stupid, like fall for him…
If there’s one thing Felix “the Ram” Ramirez knows, it’s how to be thankful for what he’s got. Pushing for more is a bad idea—something he learned the hard way when doing exactly that caused him a career-ending injury that cut his Major League Baseball career short. Ever since then, he’s decided it’s best to just roll with whatever life hands him, and when it hands him Nicky Masters, life starts to look pretty damn good again.
Well… except for the part about Nicky not being interested in anything more than a friends-with-benefits arrangement. Still, if that’s all that’s on the table, Felix will take it, because the last thing he wants to do is scare Nicky away by pushing for more. At least, until Christmas rolls around and—thanks to bLoved’s Twelve Dates of Christmas promotion—Felix realizes that with a little holiday magic, he just might have a chance at getting everything he wants this year…
The Twelfth Date is a gay romance novel of approximately 79,000 words that contains a boner from New Orleans, an alien viral plague** which brings out Someone’s Inner Drama Queen (spoiler: S.I.D.Q. wasn’t actually doing that good a job of hiding), an overworked Bedazzler, approximately 5,367,542 air miles, lots of prayers to the God of C*ck, parentheticals (soooooo many parentheticals… see previous spoiler re: Someone’s Inner Drama Queen), and the kind of love that makes it feel like Christmas all year long.
Every Stella Starling romance takes place in the same interconnected, contemporary world. The Twelfth Date is a standalone book with cameos from other Stella Starling stories and it (mostly) takes place during the Christmas season of the same year as another #boyfriendsbybLoved book, The Boyfriend Game.
**Please note that no actual aliens were harmed in the writing of this book. While they may exist Somewhere Out There, aliens do not, in fact, exist in the universe of Stella Starling. The Twelfth Date is a contemporary romance set in the real-ish world. If you’re looking for something with little green men—or with less hyperbole and exaggeration—then this may not be the book for you.
(Psst! Reading with Text-to-Speech? Please be sure to check the formatting note before the prologue!)
Holiday: Thanksgiving and Christmas
What is holiday romance without some fake dating?? An this novella will give you the same feelings as when you curl up on your couch with a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows.
He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?
When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.
For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.
And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.
Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!
Mangoes and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera
An F/F novella set around a baking reality show like The Great British Bake Off. It was simultaneously sweet and smutty. And I really need some cake now!!
Kiskeya Burgos left the tropical beaches of the Dominican Republic with a lot to prove. As a pastry chef on the come up, when she arrives in Scotland, she has one goal in mind: win the Holiday Baking Challenge. Winning is her opportunity to prove to her family, her former boss, and most importantly herself, she can make it in the culinary world. Kiskeya will stop at nothing to win , that is, if she can keep her eyes on the prize and off her infuriating teammate’s perfect lips.
Sully Morales, home cooking hustler, and self-proclaimed baking brujita lands in Scotland on a quest to find her purpose after spending years as her family’s caregiver. But now, with her home life back on track, it’s time for Sully to get reacquainted with her greatest love, baking. Winning the Holiday Baking Challenge is a no brainer if she can convince her grumpy AF baking partner that they make a great team both in and out of the kitchen before an unexpected betrayal ends their chance to attain culinary competition glory.
The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn
How about a paranormal novella?
Nathaniel O’Donnelly likes his life quiet, his guests happy, and his ghosts well-behaved.
Although a boyfriend wouldn’t go amiss. Someone to share his beautiful B&B with, even if it is in the middle of nowhere and he’s long past the wrong side of thirty. Problem is, Nathaniel’s living with a ghost who thinks he’s cupid, and whose arrows fly a little too straight.
Gabriel Wickfield had the unfortunate luck of dying before his time, and now he’s stuck trying to make romance happen to earn his right to move along. Not that he’s bored in the meantime—Nathaniel is just too easy to tease. And also a little bit scrumptious…
With the curse reaching its expiration date, Gabriel needs to make a final match this Christmas. Without it, nothing but darkness awaits.
Love can conquer all, but can it beat death?
Blame It On The Mistletoe by Eli Easton
Super cute romance with best friends to lovers and oppsosites attract! (geek/jock)
When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.
It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.
Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Andi James and Lila Wilde
This was hilarious!!! I love oblivious MCs and Aiden is the king of obliviousness! And Chelsea is the best friend everyone deserves.
One lonely lawyer. Twelve blind dates. Finding his special someone will take a Christmas miracle.
Aiden would rather eat an entire fruitcake than face his ex and his ex’s new boyfriend at their company holiday party — especially by himself. So when his best friend suggests he find some arm candy, Aiden reluctantly agrees to a few blind dates.
Aiden doesn’t expect a dozen perfect matches, but one disastrous night after another is killing his Christmas spirit, and time is running out. There has to be a special guy out there Aiden can kiss under the mistletoe. Right?
The Twelve Dates of Christmas is a 31,000-word MM romance featuring five horny singles, four garlic cheese fries, three IPAs, two naked trees, and a jingle bell head injury. This feel-good story is filled with humor, heart, and a happy ever after perfect for the holidays.
A Match Made at Christmas by Ellen Jane
This is a super short retelling of The Little Match Girl.
Lee has been secretly in love with her best friend’s older sister, Jo, for eight years when a fortune-teller proclaims Jo is ready to return Lee’s feelings.
At first, Lee doesn’t believe her, but when she finds a mysterious book of matches that bring good luck when they’re lit, it seems Christmas miracles could be real. But just as fate favours her, her luck fails. The magic goes awry, and every time she strikes a match, disaster occurs.
The fortune-teller warns Lee that something is interfering with her destiny, and she needs to look inward to find the solution. Can Lee figure out what is ruining her luck before she hurts someone, or should she give up on her Christmas dreams altogether?
A Christmas short story of approximately 16k words (~40 pages). Full of mutual pining, cosy romance, and Christmas cheer.
Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
Another Annabeth Albert book because I couldn’t resist adding a book with a grumpy, broody Santa and an elf with heart of gold.
One hard-nosed military police officer.
One overly enthusiastic elf.
One poorly timed snowstorm.
Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?
Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.
Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.
The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.
These are a couple of books on my TBR that I really looking forward to read!
Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night by Katherine Fabian and Iona Datt Sharma
Holiday: Winter Solstice
The world you know is underneath the substance of another, with cracks in the firmament that let the light of its magic in…
Layla and Nat have nothing in common but their boyfriend – enigmatic, brilliant Meraud – and their deep mutual dislike. But when Meraud disappears after an ambitious magical experiment goes wrong, they may be the only ones who can follow the trail of cryptic clues that will bring him safely home.
To return Meraud to this world, the two of them will confront every obstacle: the magic of the wild unknowable, a friendly vicar who’s only concerned for their spiritual wellbeing, and even the Thames Water helpline. All of which would be doable, if only they didn’t have to do it together.
But the winter solstice is fast approaching – and once the year turns, Meraud will be lost forever. In this joyously queer novella, Nat and Layla must find a way to overcome their differences before it’s too late.
To Touch the Light by E.M. Lindsey
“I see them…In you, I see them.”
Estranged from his family and locked in a demanding job which monopolizes all of his time, Head Chef, Mario Garcia, doesn’t exactly have holiday spirit. He spends all season creating magic for others, and for himself, he’s resigned to another lonely winter. There’s a reason he’s known as the Devil in Fairfield Resort’s high-end kitchen, and he has no plans to change that. What most people don’t realize, however, is that Chef Garcia has a soft spot for one man—a half-blind, Russian dishwasher who is the first person in years to make Mario feel.
Viktor Popov’s life is full of secrets and lies. He showed up in Fairfield with a handful of suspicious papers, no past, and secured a job in the bowels of a resort kitchen. He spends his waking hours washing dishes and trying his best to manage his failing eyesight without anyone taking notice. Once upon a time, he was a man of wealth and reputation, and now he’s living day-to-day, hoping no one will ever take notice.
It’s been forever since Vitya believed in anything, and these long years of loneliness only proved to him that miracles didn’t exist. At least, until the night when warm hands pulled him out of the cold, and a soft voice whispered in his ear that he mattered.
Life isn’t easy, and both men have never expected any different. But maybe, by the soft light of the menorah, both men will finally be able to see that for each other, they’re exactly what they need.
To Touch the Light is a 43,000 word holiday novel set in the Irons and Works Universe. This book contains no cheating and an HEA.
Eight Kinky Nights by Xan West
Sometimes the perfect Chanukah gift can change everything.
Newly divorced stone butch Jordan moves into her friend Leah’s spare room, ready, at 49, to take on a new job and finally explore kink and polyamory. But moving to NYC during the holidays sends grief crashing through her, and Jordan realizes that when she isn’t solely focused on caring for others, her own feelings are unavoidable. Including her feelings for Leah.
51 year old queer femme Leah, an experienced submissive kink educator who owns a sex shop, has recently come to terms with being gray ace and is trying to rework her life and relationships to honor that.
Leah has a brainstorm to help them both: she offers Jordan eight kink lessons, one for each night of Chanukah, to help Jordan find her feet as a novice dominant, and to create a structured space where Leah can work on more deeply honoring her own consent, now that she knows she’s gray ace.
She’d planned to keep it casual, but instead the experience opens cracks in the armor Leah’s been using to keep people at a distance and keep herself safe. Now she needs to grapple with the trauma that’s been impacting her life for years.
Can these two autistic queers find ways to cope with the changes they are making in their lives and support each other, as they build something new they hadn’t thought was possible?
This kinky polyamorous Chanukah f/f romance includes a friends to lovers, roommates to lovers, kink lessons, seasoned romance and getting your groove back tropes, and polyamorous, gray ace, pansexual, Jewish, fat, autistic, disabled, arthritis, PTSD and depression representation
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!
After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.
Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.
When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.
But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?
So did I mention any of your favourites? Did you find something new to read? And do you have any recommendations for me?
Also check out my recs for Halloween if you’re interested!