From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
Happy Friday, dear readers! ‘Tis the season to read Christmas-inspired stories, and this year there is an amazing line-up of new historical romance novels, novellas, and short stories to deck your halls or fill up your eReader.
Interestingly, the prevailing theme this year appears to be kissing brought on by standing under the
mistletoe! I wonder what ambitious mother thought up that tradition to get her daughter married?
I always look forward to the research involved in curating my annual Christmas/Holiday “best of” list. I hope you give more than a few a try. You won’t be disappointed.
A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll
The holiday season is the perfect setting to reunite Austen’s famous couple, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, for a second chance at love. In this Pride and Prejudice variation, from one of my favorite Austenesque authors, Heather Moll crafts an enchanting and heartwarming story set at Rosings Park, the grand estate of Mr. Darcy’s formidable aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, which includes a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball that changes everything for the couple.
His Perfect Gift, by L.L. Diamond
In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Mr. Darcy flees Hertfordshire for London to escape the fine eyes and pert opinions of Elizabeth Bennet only to unexpectedly find her there staying with her aunt and uncle in Gracechurch Street. Will the memories of their first objections to each other continue, or will new circumstances change their first impressions? Diamond is a gifted writer. I always appreciate her creativity.
A Christmas Kiss: Regency Christmas (An Easton Family Christmas Book 2), by Jen Geigle Johnson
From the author of A Sleigh Ride Kiss, Snow and Mistletoe, and Wishing on a Christmas Star, and more, Johnson has quite a cottage industry of holiday books to choose from. Her latest, A Christmas Kiss, is the second book in the Easton Family Christmas series in which two people who have no desire to marry become friends and attend a house party of a distant relative. This sweet regency romance is full of charm and lovely holiday traditions.
Infamous: A Witty Historical Regency Romance Book (Rebels of the Ton 3), by Minerva Spencer
Bridgerton fans won’t want to miss this sparkling holiday love story from the acclaimed author of Outrageous. I was intrigued by a “mean girl reformed” heroine being reunited with the boy (now a man) who she tormented in childhood who is now gorgeous, wealthy, famous, and ready to upend her world. Who doesn’t want to see a “Caroline Bingley-like” character transformed?
Silver Bells and Secrets: A Regency Christmas Romance (Twelfth Night Novella Book 1), by Laura Rollins
Bestselling Regency romance author Laura Rollins should be crowned the official Christmas Fairy Godmother of Historical Romance! She has five Christmas books on this list and several additional holiday books on her back list. This new novella is the first in a new series. Her heroine, Grace, plans to marry the host of their Christmas house party. Ezra has only until it ends to convince her otherwise. I enjoy stories with a ticking timeclock. It really makes you turn the pages to find out the happily-ever-after.
A Christmas Match Collection
Here are five reasons to celebrate the holiday reading season! Five bestselling Regency romance authors have joined forces for this collection of novellas set during the Christmas season:
A Sleigh Ride Kiss, by Jen Geigle Johnson
A man she disdains and a man she loves. What happens when she finds out they’re the same person?
A Yorkshire Carol, by Jennie Goutet
The heart is deceitful above all things. Who can understand it?
A Wish for Father Christmas, by Laura Rollins
Get swept up in this Christmas book full of witty characters, charming antics, and holiday mischief.
A Mistletoe Mismatch, by Sally Britton
If Jessica and Ellis can put the past behind them to work together, it will be a Christmas miracle.
A Tangled Wreath, by Laura Beers
Is it possible for love to triumph after all?
His Lady of Mistletoe: Ladies of the Lamp (Book 3), by Charlotte Jardine
Crimean War nurse Beth Maybury is in London taking charge of the care of the elderly uncle of Nate Hillier, a rags-to-riches businessman too busy for love. A Christmas party brings them together and disagreements and sparks fly. A heart-warming ‘opposites attract’ Christmas story.
A Dickens of a Christmas: A Sweet Regency Romance Box Set, by Laura Rollins
A series based on the themes and ideas presented by the three spirits who visited Scrooge one fateful night. I was inspired by the creativity of this collection of three Christmas themed novels: The Hope of Christmas Past, The Joy of Christmas Present, and The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come. This is a set that you will cherish and re-read each holiday season in the tradition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carrol.
The Mistletoe Countess, by Pepper D. Basham
Here is another Dickens themed romance for you from the bestselling author of Hope Between the Pages, and The Red Ribbon. Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’ Christmas can save them?
A Yuletide Kiss, by Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, and Mary Jo Putney
The reigning legendary queens of Regency Romance, bestselling authors Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, and Mary Jo Putney, deck the halls with this delightful Christmas collection of three sparkling holiday interconnected romances, as stranded travelers find merriment, mistletoe, and holiday romance awaiting at a quaint country inn. Interconnecting the stories was the hook for me, and anything by Sabrina Jeffries!
Meet Me Under the Kissing Bough, by Josi S. Kilpack, Anneka R. Walker, and Sarah L. McConkie
Three Christmas novellas by three bestselling historical romance novelists is a gift too tempting for me to pass up. This special anthology features three heartwarming, romantic stories set in Regency England proving that no matter the obstacles, ’tis the season for love.
Which books have caught your eye? Which one will you read first? I am dying to know, so please share.
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!
Happy reading, Laurel Ann
Images courtesy of the respective publishers; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, Austenprose.com