The holiday season is a time for gathering with loved ones, especially family and friends. We share in holiday cheer, gratitude, and plenty of food. But, when we think about it, it’s also an incredibly romantic time of year. The cold temps make the notion of cuddling up by a warm fire with a cozy blanket and a significant other sound slightly less cliché. And, hey, they don’t call it “cuffing season” for nothing.
The romantic holiday vibes are what draws so many of us to the cheesy, know-exactly-what-will-happen-next Hallmark movies. In the same way, holiday romance books have a heartwarming effect. They have the power to throw us into a world of quaint small towns, whacky misunderstandings, and characters we wish we knew in real life. And, many of them get steamy along the way—just what we need to beat the coldest season of the year. Perhaps the best part? They’re often a great reminder to slow down and enjoy this dreamy time of year.
As an avid reader myself, most of the year, I find myself reaching for a page-turning thriller novel. But even I, who appreciates captivating detective work and a cold case closed, find myself wanting to feel the warm and fuzzies around the holidays. So, in the interest of taking in all of the sweet, romantic—and sometimes spicy—feelings this holiday season, we rounded up 15 of our favorite holiday romance books to curl up with. Plus, all of these are winter book club-approved!
The Best Holiday Romance Books
This Reese’s Book Club pick revolves around a hectic love triangle we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. When Laurie spots Jack through a bus window one day, she instantly knows he’s the one. Before she can speak to him, her bus drives away. After a year of unsuccessfully trying to find him again, she meets him in an unlikely place—a holiday party where he’s hand in hand with her best friend, Sarah. Read along as the trio navigate their situation over the span of 10 years in this touching tale you can’t help but get lost in.
An enemy-to-lovers trope set in a snowy Colorado mountain town? We’re sold already. Bella is a Los Angeles-based real estate developer tasked with acquiring a failing Christmas shop in the small town of Maple Falls. The only thing standing in her way is the owner’s grandson who refuses to budge. In an unlikely bet, the two find themselves participating in the annual Maple Falls Holiday Games, where the winner determines the selling price. The competition inevitably heats up in more ways than one leaving readers with the question: Who will win the wager?
Warm up a bit with a steamy enemy-to-lovers tale in small-town Connecticut. When a hurricane leaves Merry, Connecticut in shambles, hostile town manager, Noah Yates, wants anyone’s help besides reality TV star Catalina King. The two get under each other’s skin—and then some—but must find a way to work together to save the town’s annual Christmas festival.
From New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey comes your new favorite holiday read. Melody Gallard has spent her life avoiding the limelight cast by her rockstar mother. But when she’s offered a significant amount of money to reunite her mother’s band, she hesitantly agrees. The only problem is seeing Beat Dawkins, the lead singer’s son, again, who she hasn’t seen since a legendary feud broke up the band. As the two rekindle and the reunion approaches, will a decade old scandal ruin everything?
Sorority mom Becca is prepared to take on a quick snowstorm alone when everyone is home for the holidays. She’s got food, books, and instant replay of a kiss that just so happened to be with the next door neighbor. But when the storm takes an unexpected left turn, she loses power and finds herself not only dreaming of the hunky, albeit grouchy, neighbor, but bunking with him as well. He’s not the dating kind, so she figures whatever happens during the snowstorm stays with the snowstorm.
Molly and Andrew have always been just friends. More specifically, they always find themselves on the last flight from Chicago to Dublin before Christmas each year. Going home for the holidays doesn’t mean as much to Molly as it does to Andrew. But when a snowstorm threatens to keep them stateside, she can’t help feeling bad for how distraught Andrew becomes. She devises a plan. What she doesn’t realize is that even with a perfectly logical plan, sometimes the universe has other ideas.
Ellie’s life was looking good. She had a great job and the meet cute of a lifetime that left her instantly in love. But that all quickly changed when she lost her job and was betrayed by her new love. Now, just trying to get by working at a local coffee shop, she agrees to accept a shocking offer. The landlord of the coffee shop offers a marriage of convenience that would lead to his inheritance and shared funds for Ellie. When the faux marriage leads to a weekend in a cabin with his family, she quickly realizes his sister is the mysterious woman she fell for last Christmas Eve.
From the author of The Unhoneymooners comes the hilarious rom-com of our holiday dreams. Maelyn Jones loves her family’s tradition of getting together at their Utah cabin over the holidays, and is devastated to find out this will be their last. Without the beloved cabin and with a dead-end job and a recent romantic blunder, she’s less than optimistic. When she pleads to the universe for guidance, she finds herself in a car crash. When she wakes up, she realizes she’s in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over. She’s on her own to get back to real life and find her true love.
Quinn has all but lost her Christmas spirit as she returns home for the holidays to Strawberry Fields. When she runs into her childhood crush turned off-limits doctor, he takes it upon himself to change her mind. The two find themselves in a bet. He bets that within seven days he can get her to love Christmas as much as he does. Little do they know, there’s more on the line than a silly wager.
When four friends realize they have nowhere to go home to during the holidays, Finn, Hannah, Priya, and Theo vow to always spend them together. That is, until Finn unexpectedly moves to Los Angeles. While Hannah deals with losing her chosen family, Finn struggles with all he’s going to leave behind—especially his unspoken feelings for Theo. This heartwarming tale about love and friendship is exactly what we all need this time of year.
Eight years ago, Evie and Dan made a pact: If neither were married by the time they were 30, they would marry each other. Neither of them took the pact seriously—until they woke up in a honeymoon suite in Vegas on Christmas Eve a day before Evie’s birthday. They’re sure they can get a quick divorce if they move fast. The only problem is, they’re secretly in love with one another.
At 30 years old, Belle’s life isn’t going as planned. She finds herself in the same place she was last Christmas—still without love and feeling alone in her sleepy Scottish town. When she runs into an elderly woman named Edina, it’s not quite the meet cute she’s hoping for, but she recognizes a familiar loneliness in her new companion. Belle plans a holiday get-together with her and Edina, not realizing that her new friend not only lives in a castle, but also has an unexpected visitor. Her good-looking grandson turns up at her door during a winter snowstorm and Belle can’t deny her attraction, even though he rudely disagrees with everything she says. Will the two make an unlikely pair, or will his Grinch-like spirit and a secret from his past keep them apart?
After losing her department store job, Carmen has few options for getting by. And the thought of spending the holidays with her perfect sister, Sofia, is almost more than she can take. When Sofia poses a job offer to Carmen of working in a bookstore for one of Sofia’s clients, Carmen reluctantly agrees. She soon finds herself intrigued not only by the dusty books, but by a famous author who takes a liking for the bookshop and her.
Chef Charlie Goodwin’s career as a reality baking show judge is in jeopardy when a head injury causes her to lose her sight and smell. Meanwhile, her identical twin sister, Cass, struggles with her own career and personal life in their small mountain-surrounded hometown. Days before Christmas and desperate to keep her job, Charlie asks Cass to switch places with her. What sounds like a great idea becomes more complicated when two unexpected love interests come into the picture. Was their plan a recipe for disaster or exactly what they needed?
Book four of six in the Wedding Date series is a holiday dream. For the second time in her life, Vivian Forest is leaving the country to join her daughter on a work trip to England dressing a royal family member. While enjoying the sights, she’s surprised to catch the eye of a private secretary—one who catches hers right back. The undeniable attraction leads to a fling, but they both agree to end it as soon as New Year’s rolls around—which is much easier said than done.