Last-Minute Christmas Romance Recs

It’s Christmas Week! Get out your last-minute Christmas books because it’s candy-cane-crunch time!

And if you don’t know what to pick up because there are so many Christmas books and so little time to decide?

I got you covered.

Based on my most recent reads this month – as well as the Christmas books highest on my TBR – I’ve put together a short (but sweet!) list of recommendations that YOU should read this week.

Keep in mind that I am not typically a holiday-themed book reader. I keep my Hallmark movie watching to a minimum and the light, cozy reads are not usually my style.

But thanks to the book blogger community and my book club’s choice for this month (you’ll see which one in a moment), you can consider me a changed woman. So, get excited for the fluffy, Hallmark-style romance and cutesy reads, y’all!

*All synopses come from Goodreads. The Goodreads page for each book is linked in the novel’s title.

**The books with star ratings are the ones I have read, and the ratings for these are my own. If I have not read and rated a book yet, I have marked it as “on my TBR” (to-be-read list) and provided the Goodreads rating.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis: “Two weeks before Christmas and all through Manhattan, shop windows are decorated in red and green satin. I’m standing alone in front of the famous Vivant department store, when a charming man named Aiden asks my opinion of the décor. It’s a tragedy in tinsel, I say, unable to lie. He asks for a better idea with a twinkle in his eye. Did I know he owned the place? No. He put me on the spot. Now I’m working for that man, trying to ignore that he’s hot. But as a down on her luck girl with a difficult past, I know an opportunity when I see one—and I have to make it last. I’ll put my heart and soul into dressing his holiday windows. I’ll work without stopping. And when we lose the battle with temptation, I’ll try and remember I’m just window shopping.”

My Thoughts: This is the book my local book club chose this month, and this one is what has changed my opinion on Christmas romance books. Tessa Bailey’s Window Shopping has perfect, NYC-in-winter vibes, and the romance is HOT HOT HOT! (Warning: do NOT let little ones read/listen to this one!) Although the romantic interest is pretty much automatic, the romance between opposite people will keep you on your toes.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis: “When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it. At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold? Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.”

My Thoughts: This one is certainly a fluffy read with only VERY brief references to steam (this one is great for those of us less comfortable with hot-and-heavy romances!). It’s adorable, has small town vibes, and connects with the innocence that the story of Santa Claus holds for Christmas lovers. If Hallmark movies were a single book, The Santa Suit would be it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis: “Thirty-year-old Belle Albany is feeling lonely this Christmas. Another whole year has passed and her life is… exactly the same as it was last December. She longs for true love and a little bit of winter magic… When Belle crashes into elderly Edina on her cherry red bicycle, it’s not the meet-cute she’d been hoping for. But she immediately recognises the lost look in Edina’s watery-blue eyes and resolves to organise a Christmas to remember for them both… Although Belle hadn’t counted on Edina’s home being a crumbling Scottish castle and she certainly hadn’t been expecting Edina’s handsome long-lost grandson Jack Hamilton-Kirk to turn up on the doorstep in the middle of a snow storm… He’s basically the Grinch in human form, so why does her heart race every time they’re in the same room?… Belle can’t ignore their growing attraction. But will a secret from Jack’s past come between them? Or will this finally be the year Belle falls in love?”

My Thoughts: This book holds every ounce of the Christmas spirit – wintery scenes, love, strong community, and selflessness, to name a few things. The Scottish setting and dialect is strong in this one, which makes this extra cozy! (I bet this would be even better on audiobook!) As a teacher, I did feel like this book pushed the toxic expectation that teachers must be underpaid servants part of the education-as-martyrdom stereotype, but aside from that, the grumpy romance and heart for elderly community members had me swooning!

**Still on my TBR; Goodreads rating: 4.02 / 5

Synopsis: “Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites. From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful. With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.”

My Thoughts: This title had me at chocolate. Do I really need to say more? But really – This highly-rated series is already on my Kindle waiting to be devoured. If you are a fan of the truly fluffy and sweet story to warm your heart and coat it with powdered sugar, then this book is a promising one!

**Still on my TBR; Goodreads rating: 4.24 / 5

Synopsis: “Lauren Richmond isn’t a fan of Christmas. Which is why she rarely makes the trip home to the Midwest for the holidays. After all, she has plenty to keep her busy—namely, her duties as a set decorator on a TV sitcom. But this December, Lauren’s brother and his wife are expecting a baby, so her brother arranges a ride home for her with his good friend, Will. Unfortunately for Lauren, she’s been trying to forget college baseball coach and childhood crush Will Sinclair for more than ten years. Now, thanks to her fear of flying, she’s stuck in a car with him from California to Illinois. She’s circumspect and organized. He’s flirty and spontaneous. She’s convinced that people don’t change. He’s trying to prove to her (and himself) that he has. On this cross-country road trip, they’ll both discover that history doesn’t exactly repeat itself. . . but like any good Christmas carol, it does have a second verse.”

My Thoughts: You know I’m totally sneaking this one in to my week of last-minute-Christmas-reading! I am a Midwestern gal, so I am game for a Midwestern romance between opposites within a single car. Also, what says the holidays more than a classic road trip? Count me in.

Put on your onesies, grab a cup of hot chocolate, cozy up with a furry friend or significant other, and enjoy one of these fantastic books!

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