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I think I release my Holiday Reading Guide earlier every year — but I’m totally fine with that!
A few years ago, I made an effort to be intentional about what types of books I read during specific times of the year. I realized that I’d be missing out on holiday books unless I did that!
Then, the Holiday Reading Guide was born. There are only so many days in the holiday season, so planning ahead is vital here.
I’ve got six new picks this year, but have 30+ picks from years prior. Happy holiday reading!
‘Kiss Her Once for Me’ by Alison Cochrun
The main character Ellie Oliver finds herself in a tough situation — she’s heartbroken and really needs a job to get by. When she finds work at a local coffee shop, things are looking up! Even better, the shop’s landlord proposes they get married so he can get his inheritance (and share it with Ellie).
To do this, they head to the family cabin to show everyone how “in love” they are. But who is his sister? Oh, just the woman Ellie fell in love with LAST year! Will Ellie keep up the game to get the money, or choose to go back to the woman she loved last Christmas?
I thought this sounded so cute and entertaining — plus, I love supporting LGBTQ characters 🙂
‘A Merry Little Meet Cute’ by Julie Murphy & Sierra Simone
Successful plus-size adult-film star Bee Hobbes is cast in a Christmas movie on a conservative TV channel. Switching her persona is one challenge, but she also discovers her new co-star is her childhood crush!
Her crush, Nolan, is on a mission to rehab his career and bring in some cash to care for his mom and sister. But he wants a piece of Bee after recognizing her from her subscription-only content. The two are trying their best to keep it all a secret due to the network’s squeaky-clean reputation, but… there’s a reporter snooping around who’s determined to get the scoop.
Will the merry little meet cute actually make it to the TV screens? I love everything Julie Murphy writes, so I can’t wait to read this one!
‘Tis The Season for Revenge’ by Morgan Elizabeth
Abbie Keller thought that Richard Bartholemew Benson the Third would be her forever. In their four years of dating, she never doubted that she wouldn’t end up with his grandmother’s engagement ring on her finger. Sure, she had to change a few things about herself to fit that mold, like dying her hair, dressing more conservatively, and finding golf enjoyable (honestly, the most difficult of the changes), but she was sure that at the end of it all, it would be worth it.
That is, until he leaves her crying outside her apartment wearing a Halloween costume, having broken it off with her because she’s just not serious enough. She was just fun, he tells her – and now that Richard has becoming a partner at his law firm in his sights, he needs to focus on work.
Abbie starts dating the founding partner of Richard’s law firm, Damien Martinez, with one thing in mind: convincing him to invite her to the huge annual Christmas party as his date.But when the relationship starts to become something more than casual dating and Abbie sees that the tough New York lawyer has a soft side, will she be able to follow through with her plan of deceit?
Very Elle Woods, right?
‘So, This is Christmas’ by Tracy Andreen
When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn’t changed much in her sixteen years. But instead, she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother’s inn.
And she certainly didn’t expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother’s doorstep.
It’s up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley’s Christmas. It’s about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way, she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.
‘All I Want for Christmas’ by Maggie Knox
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?
‘All is Bright’ by Reanne Thayne
Sage McKnight is an ambitious young architect working at her father’s firm who takes on her most challenging client in Mason Tucker. The former pro baseball player is still healing from the physical and emotional scars after a plane crash left him a wheelchair-using single dad, and he’s determined not to let anyone breach his emotional defenses.
Sage knows her work on Mason’s new home in Hope’s Crossing is her best work yet, and she won’t let her grumpy client prevent her from showcasing her work personally.
With Sage’s gift for taking broken things and making them better, the matchmaking talent of the quirky locals and a generous sprinkling of Christmas cheer, Mason doesn’t stand a chance against the power of this magical holiday season.
HOLIDAY PICKS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
- “Meet Me in London” by Georgia Toffolo
- “The Holiday Switch” by Tif Marcelo
- “The Christmas Bookshop” by Jenny Colgan
- “A Season for Second Chances” by Jenny Bayliss
- “The Christmas Project” by Maxine Morrey
- “Five Total Strangers” by Natalie D. Richards
- “One Day in December” by Josie Silver
- “The Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Jenny Bayliss
- “Royal Holiday” BY Jasmine Guillory
- “We Met in December” by Rosie Curtis
- “In A Holidaze” by Christina Lauren
- “Mistletoe & Mr. Right” by Sarah Morgenthaler
- “Christmas Shopaholic” by Sophie Kinsella | Festive, whimsical
- “The Perfect Christmas” by Debbie Macomber | Holiday romance
- “Christmas Camp” by Karen Schaler | Holiday romance
- “Snowed In” by Rachel Hawthorne | Young Adult
- “The Holiday Swap” by Zara Stoneley | Holiday getaway
- “Winter Street” Series by Elin Hilderbrand | Family dysfunction
- “Christmas Letters” by Debbie Macomber | Holiday romance
- “Let it Snow” by John Green, Lauren Myracle, & Maureen Johnson | Young Adult
- “Christmas Jars” by Jason F. Wright | Holiday inspiration
- “The Christmas Train” by David Baldacci | Holiday inspiration
- “Dashing Through the Snow” by Mary & Carol Higgins Clark | Holiday mystery
- “The Christmas Town” by Donna VanLiere | Holiday inspiration
- “The Mistletoe Inn” by Richard Paul Evans | Holiday romance
- “The 13th Gift” by Joanne Hulst Smith | Holiday inspiration
- “Christmas at Little Beach Bakery Street” by Jenny Colgen | Festive, whimsical
- “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva | Holiday classic with a twist
For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop.