Holiday romance novels are the perfect way to pass the time in December. When it’s cold outside and Christmas is near, there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch and reading a good book. These heartwarming tales help keep things sweet — and sometimes a little spicy — and remind us what this time of year is all about. And 2022 has plenty of great new works coming up that you just can’t miss. Here are some upcoming book releases the Elf Squad is looking forward to the most.
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss
Sometimes when you find each other decades later, you’ll be amazed at how much things have changed. You may even find what you were looking for in the last place you’d expect. That’s exactly what happens in Jenny Bayliss’ new holiday novel ‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.’
“Elinor Noel—Nory for short—is quite content running her secondhand bookshop in London. Forever torn between her working-class upbringing and her classmates’ extravagant lifestyles at the posh private school she attended on scholarship, Nory has finally figured out how to keep both at equal distance. So when two of her oldest friends invite their whole gang to spend the time leading up to their wedding together at the castle near their old school, Nory must prepare herself for an emotionally complicated few days.
The reunion brings back fond memories, but also requires Nory to dodge an ill-advised former fling. When she falls quite literally into the arms of Isaac, the castle’s head gardener, who has nothing but contempt for the "snobby prep school kids," the attraction between them is undeniable. And as Nory spends more time with Isaac during the wedding festivities, she finds herself falling hard for the boy she used to consider an enemy. Nory and Isaac explore their common ground, but pressures mount on all sides, and Nory must decide what kind of life she wants to live and what sort of love is worth the risk . . .
Release Date: September 27th
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So This Is Christmas by Jenny Holiday
Opposites attract stories that can either be cute or cringe, depending on how they're written. Fortunately, Jenny Holiday knows how to keep this age-old cliche adorable and funny while writing it for modern times. ‘So This Is Christmas’ is also the last in her Royal Christmas series, so if you’ve been reading them be sure to grab your copy ASAP.
“Matteo Benz has spent his life serving at the pleasure of the Eldovian crown. His work is his life and his life, well...he doesn’t have much of one. When he is tasked to aid a management consultant who has been flown in to help straighten out the king’s affairs, he is instantly disturbed by her brash American manner—as well by an inconvenient attraction to the brainy beauty.
Cara Delaney is in Eldovia to help clean up the king’s financial affairs, but soon finds herself at odds with the very proper Mr. Benz. As intrigued by his good looks as she is annoyed by his dedication to tradition for its own sake, she slowly begins to see the real man behind the royal throne.
As they work together to return Eldovia to its former glory during the country’s magical Christmas season, Matteo discovers he is falling hopelessly in love with the unconventional American. But a man who has devoted his life to tradition doesn’t change easily. Can he become the man Cara needs, or will their love be another sacrifice to the crown?”
Release Date: October 4th
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All I Want For Christmas by Maggie Knox
Their debut novel “The Holiday Swap” became an international bestseller in 2021. Now Maggie Knox — a.k.a. Karma Brown and Marissa Stapley — follow up with a brand-new Christmas story. This time, it’s an enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy that’s tailor-made for modern country fans.
“When Sadie and Max are selected as contestants on the famed reality singing show Starmaker, each thinks they’ve finally gotten their big Nashville break. But then they’re paired up for duet week and stun the world with their romantic onstage chemistry. With fans going wild for #Saxie the network demands that they remain a duo on and offstage, or exit the competition. Faking a relationship until their final performance in the Starmaker holiday special shouldn't be too hard, except for one small problem—Sadie and Max can’t stand each other.
But with their dreams just within reach, they agree to the ruse. Will their fake relationship be exposed before they can win? Or might their phony connection turn real by the Christmas finale?”
Release Date: October 4th
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One Last Gift: A Novel by Emily Stone
With her last Christmas novel, ‘Always, in December’ Emily Stone gave us a story that was equal parts heart-warming and heart-tugging. And her next one is sure to be just as bittersweet with sibling bonds, lost love, and the best final Christmas present anyone could ask for. Remember to keep the tissues and plenty of chocolate on hand while you’re reading.
“Cassie and Tom lost their parents at a young age and relied on each other—as well as a community of friends—to cope. They were especially close with Tom’s best friend, Sam, who always made sure that Tom and Cassie were surrounded with love. But, twenty years later, Cassie has lost Tom as well. And in a way, she’s also lost Sam; over the years they’d drifted apart, and now the man she always had a crush on is someone she doesn’t even recognize anymore.
Then Cassie finds an envelope with her name on it, written in Tom’s terrible handwriting, and she knows immediately what it is. It’s the first clue in the Christmas scavenger hunt that Tom made for her every year; he’d promised her for months that this year’s would be the grandest one yet. At first, she’s too scared to open the envelope—what if she can’t figure out the clues without his help? Or what if she does figure them all out and her last connection to Tom is gone?
Tom’s present sets Cassie on a heart-wrenching and beautiful journey that will change her life—if she lets it. And as she travels from London to the Welsh mountains to the French countryside, she reconnects with old friends, rekindles a lost love, and, most important, rediscovers herself. But once she’s solved the final clue, will she be brave enough to accept the gift her brother has given her—and the love it’s led her to?"
Release Date: October 11th
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