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Romance: Ringing in the holidays with love
There’s no better time for romance than the holidays. These five romance novels are the perfect fit for a chilly night, a cozy fire and a mug of warm cider. Wrap yourself up in a blanket and enjoy these tales of Christmas love, celebrations and cheer!
OLD TRADITIONS INSPIRE NEW LOVE
The past touches the present in A Knights Bridge Christmas, part of the Swift River Valley series by Carla Neggers. Librarian, widow and single mother Clare Morgan has just moved to the small New England town of Knights Bridge when she meets big-city ER doctor Logan Farrell in the town’s assisted living facility. He strikes her as arrogant and impatient, but she sees another side of him when he visits with his grandmother. The elderly woman insists her grandson decorate her empty home near the town center for Christmas one final time. The handsome doctor enlists Clare’s help, and soon the pair—and Clare’s adorable 6-year-old—are transforming the home into a holiday showcase. While decorating the house, the memories of the love his grandparents shared opens Logan’s eyes to a new kind of life, but he must convince cautious Clare to stay by his side. The season works in his favor, and soon the bright holiday lights and the old stories of his grandparents’ marriage foster a vision of a shared future for the couple. Recipes spice up this tender, kisses-only story of love remembered and love beginning to grow.
UNDER THE MISTLETOE
The holidays heat up with Jessica Lemmon’s latest installment in her Second Chance series, A Bad Boy for Christmas. Event planner Faith Garrett is still reeling from a cheating ex and a broken engagement as the Christmas season approaches in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. She’s now determined to live her life as a single, independent woman—her mother even says the females in their family are cursed to never marry—but that doesn’t mean she can’t ogle sexy former soldier and current landscaper Connor McClain. However, when Faith thinks someone is trying to break into her apartment, he’s there to help. When she’s faced with spending Thanksgiving alone, he’s there, too. Soon, he’s also in her bed, and though they tell themselves that they’re simply living in the moment, a future together looks so very appealing. But Connor has baggage of his own, and Faith still isn’t sure she can offer her heart to another man. Will a snowbound Christmas snuggled in bed convince them that they belong together? This story is as spicy and sweet as peppermint candy.
AN UNEXPECTED GIFT
A desperate woman and her young son find a safe haven in Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter, the first in her Summer Harbor series. Eden Martelli runs out of luck in rural Maine when her car breaks down in beautiful Summer Harbor and her cash is stolen. She’s at the end of her rope by the time she scores a job as the housekeeper for the Callahan family. The three Callahan brothers are busy running their Christmas tree farm, and their prickly aunt needs Eden’s help after an injury. Eden and her son slip seamlessly into life in Summer Harbor—the seasonal festivities delight them both, as does Beau Callahan. But Eden can’t trust men—or her own judgment when it comes to men—and while the attraction feels real, she knows it can’t dissolve a lurking danger in her life. Beau believes he’s found his forever love, but there are obstacles standing in the way. Faith is woven subtly through this sweet romance novel that addresses serious issues and provides a deep, satisfying seasonal read.
Lily Everett spins a tale of holiday magic in Home for Christmas, part of her Sanctuary Island series. National hero and wounded Army Ranger Owen Shepard travels to Sanctuary Island to connect with Caitlin, the young daughter he’s never met. Food magazine columnist Libby Leeds is there too, and a publicity stunt brings them together so famed home cook Libby can create the perfect Christmas meal for the pair at her family home. There are only a couple of problems: Libby doesn’t know how to cook, and she’s been estranged from most of her relatives since childhood. The heartwarming world she’s created in her columns is just wishful thinking. But she’s determined to save her job and her reputation by making this holiday season one to remember. Obstacles are everywhere, including a fake marriage, an inconvenient attraction and a wary child, but between gingerbread houses and snow angels, Owen and Caitlin find their way to each other. Everett’s latest is a charming, feel-good tale that’s perfect for enjoying with a plate of Christmas goodies.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Susan Mallery returns to the charming small town of Fool’s Gold for the holidays in Marry Me at Christmas. Bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug is persuaded to take on the planning of a small wedding for the sister of action movie star Jonny Blaze. Though she’s willing to help the town’s newest celebrity resident plan the wedding, she’s determined to at least pretend she’s not starstruck. But as she gets to know Jonny better, she realizes that he’s more of a regular guy than a Hollywood hotshot—which doesn’t take away one iota of his attractiveness. She’s convinced that the infatuation is one-sided, but then Jonny reveals that he’s equally smitten. However, he thinks his life in the spotlight is something he should save Madeline from, and he vows to resist her charms—until a winter storm strands them together. But can there be a future for them beyond these snowbound hours? The holiday season proves all things are possible in this engaging story that keeps the steam behind closed doors but the emotion up-close and personal. Mallery has delivered another winner!