Merry Christmas! I hope you’re spending this joyous day with family and friends, participating in the traditions you love most. But in case you’ve got some down time after the gifts are opened and the dinner dishes have been cleared away, I thought I’d recommend some holiday books I’ve enjoyed reading this year.
The Trouble with Cowboys, a novel by Melissa Cutler
Amy Sorentino’s number one rule? Stay away from cowboys. She’s got a long history of getting burned when reality doesn’t live up to her fantasies. But when she moves back home to help her sisters save her family’s ranch, it’s not long before she comes toe to leather boot with Kellan Reed. Kellan isn’t looking for a relationship, and he certainly doesn’t need Amy’s drama in his life. But when a lawsuit draws them together, their hormones override their heads in this hot. 5 stars.
Snow Kissed, a novella by Laura Florand
Broken by grief, Kai Winters fled her marriage to hibernate in her mother-in-law’s woodland cabin. When her not-yet-ex-husband Kurt shows up on a business errand for his mother, he gets snowed in, and the two are forced to confront their wounds. Delicate as mouth-blown glass, this story will weave inside you and capture your heart. Poignant and ultimately uplifting, this contemporary romance will also appeal toreaders. 5 stars.
Christmas at Copper Mountain, a novella by Jane Porter
Harley Diekerhoff can’t bear the thought of being surrounded by children at Christmas, not after everything she lost in a horrific plane crash three years earlier. So she takes a temp job as a housekeeper at a Montana ranch, where she doesn’t have to think or talk, but can just work with her hands all day. She’s content there until her boss’s eleven-year-old twins run away from boarding school and show up unexpectedly on their father’s doorstep. Brock Sheenan doesn’t appreciate his pretty housekeeper’s advice about raising his kids, but when they blossom under her care, he begins to wonder whether he’s been a grieving widower too long. Contemporary romance. 4 stars.
Christmas at Crescent Cove, a novella by Shelley Noble
A follow-up to Beach Colors, this story is part of the Holidays at Crescent Cove collection. Model-turned-farmer Brianna Boyce is happy with her role as single mom to two Chinese girls she’s recently adopted. When David Henderson shows up on her property, she’s not exactly welcoming. In her experience, men bring nothing but trouble. David is just passing through, planning to leave town as soon as he delivers a letter from a friend who died in Afghanistan. But Bri and her two little girls warm a heart chilled by the atrocities he’s seen in his ten years as an aid worker. He wonders whether it’s time to put down the roots he’s never had. Women’s fiction, it will also appeal to romance readers. 4 stars.
When Sparks Fly, a novella by Sabrina Jeffries
In this story from the Snowy Night with a Stranger anthology of regency romances, Elinor Bancroft has determined never to marry. She’d rather spend life as a spinster than settle for one of the fortune hunters who court her. When a carriage accident leaves her stranded, along with her young cousins and injured aunt, the party is forced to accept the hospitality of Martin Thorncliff, nicknamed the Black Baron, a self-exiled social pariah. Unintimidated by his prickly manner, she soon sees how grief and guilt have wrecked him. Her kindness wakens a deep longing in him, and he discovers that having a houseful of noisy children at Christmas brings at least as much joy as inconvenience. 4 stars. (This anthology is a free read on xoxoafterdark.com until January 20, 2014.)
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. Have a safe, happy, and healthy new year!