Aargh, how can it be December already? I only know it is because I usually have Radio 2 on in the background, and after an unusual day indoors I’m getting Chris Rea fatigue already (I rather wish he’d just drive home a little faster and stop singing about it…!). By now, I’d usually be well stuck-in to the Christmassy books – I might have read my first way back in August, but my performance since then really has been patchy at best.
I do have three Christmassy reviews scheduled – Poppy’s Christmas Wishes by Annette Hannah on the 3rd, Sarah Bennett’s Christmas Surprises at Mermaid’s Point on the 8th, and Suzie Tullett’s A Not So Quiet Christmas on the 10th – but, other than that, there’s a distinct and unusual lack of tinsel and sparkly lights. I have fourteen Christmassy books I’d chosen for my own December reading list, all bought and on my kindle, but I think it’s time to accept that I’m only going to manage to read half a dozen at best before the big day – I’d happily carry on reading them into January, but I’ve firmly promised myself a month’s blogging break just to get my breath back and recharge my batteries.
So – with apologies to anyone I’ve left out, and especially to those whose books I’ve bought but won’t manage to read – I thought it might be a nice idea to share the ones that made it onto my personal Christmas reading list for this year (and I will be trying ever so hard to read and review as many as I can!). If you’d like to see a considerably more comprehensive list, I’d highly recommend you take a look at the excellent Fabulous Festive Reads post by Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe – I know just how long such posts take to pull together, and really take my hat off to her (you know – my red one with the furry trim…!).
But here’s mine… if you click on the title it’ll take you to the Amazon page for the kindle version, and you’ll find that a large number of these books are reduced to 99p or free through Kindle Unlimited…
A Cornish Christmas Murder by Fiona Leitch
A PINCH OF PARANOIA
It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.
A DASH OF DECEPTION
Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…
A MURDER UNDER THE MISTLETOE
Secrets mull in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?
A Cornish Christmas Murder is a must-read mystery full of heart and humour – perfect for fans of Richard Osman and The Appeal.
Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson
Two people. One month to fall in love.
‘The perfect Christmas story, full of heart and hope’ Sandy Barker
Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself ‘financially challenged’. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.
Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.
But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Poppy Alexander
The most magical time of the year…
For the first time in ten years, Freya is back in the little village of Middlemass for Christmas. The streets might be twinkling with fairy lights, but after the recent loss of her mother, she’s never felt less festive.
Forced to sleep under the same roof as her handsome neighbour Finn, Freya realises she’s going to need a distraction – fast! So she sets herself a challenge: to cook the ’12 Days of Christmas’. Her delicious food soon brings the villagers together, and as each day passes, old friendships are renewed, memories stirred and there’s even the flickering of romance…
She was only meant to stay for the holidays, but could Middlemass – and Finn – steal her heart forever?
The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans
Sasha Hansley hates Christmas. As a child, it was her favourite time of year, but ever since the tragic death of her mother, it has completely lost its magic.
But when she gets an unexpected phone call from her estranged father, she’s forced to dust off her snow boots.
He’s been running a Lapland style Christmas village in Norway and after suffering a heart attack, he is on strict doctor’s orders to slow down. Eager to reconnect with her dad, Sasha books the next flight out there. Only she’s never actually been on a plane before, let alone to the Arctic Circle.
Met at the runway by drop-dead-gorgeous Taavi Salvesen, they sleigh ride through the snow with the Northern Lights guiding their way.
When Sasha uncovers sacks of unopened Santa mail – letters that children and adults from all over the world write to Santa every year – she realises that she can send a little bit of magic out into the world by replying to some of them.
With Taavi on hand to help, will Sasha rediscover her own excitement for Christmas and find love among the letters?
The Post Box at the North Pole is like one big romantic mug of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and a splash of Christmas magic!
A Country Village Christmas by Suzanne Snow
Can the magic of Christmas and the community of Thorndale bring two lost souls together in love?
Olivia doesn’t have time for Christmas or for romance – she’s got a demanding career and has been burned before when it comes to love. This year, she’s spending the festive season in her dad’s old house, packing it up now that he’s moved out. Her dad failed to mention she wouldn’t be spending her time there alone…
The last thing Olivia expects is for her surprise guest to be the very man who literally ran from her after an evening of mutual flirtation. But Tom has nowhere else to go and Olivia is determined to forget the disappointment she felt at his abandonment and instead help him find his way again.
As heavy snow keeps them inside the cottage, will their enforced confinement spark romance once again – or will it push them further apart?
The perfect festive romance to curl up with, for fans of Victoria Walters and Trisha Ashley.
The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees
In gorgeous Hopley village snow is falling and twinkly lights are going up but Holly Hanwell feels anything but Christmassy…
It’s meant to be the most wonderful time of the year but thirty-year-old Holly Hanwell doesn’t really feel like celebrating… notafter the bombshell news her boyfriend is leaving her to have a baby with someone else. So Holly’s organised a quiet Christmas in her cosy little house and plans to avoid the traditional village festivities, and anything resembling a man, at all costs.
That is until she bumps into sexy newcomer Edward. He recently bought Christmas House, at the edge of Hopley, but the renovations on the crumbling building are more than he’d bargained for. Sheltering from the snowy weather in the warm village café, Edward makes Holly laugh over delicious mugs of hot chocolate, topped with cream and sprinkles. Despite the spark between them, Holly knows she needs to protect her already fragile heart and she’s determined NOT to fall in love this Christmas.
But holiday magic works in mysterious ways and they keep crossing paths – at the nativity show, the carols, gift shopping – and then a festive crisis at Christmas House unexpectedly brings them together. Yet just as Holly realises her feelings are growing for handsome but complicated Edward she discovers a secret from his past which makes her question everything she thought she knew about him…
Will Holly and Edward’s December romance be over before it’s begun? Or will this be a Christmas to remember?
The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd
‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’
Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!
Always, in December by Emily Stone
Heartbreaking. Life-affirming. Truly unforgettable. Always, in December is the timeless, stay-up-all-night love story we all need right now.
If you loved One Day in December, Me Before You and the hit movie Last Christmas, this is the perfect book for you.
Every December, Josie posts a letter to the parents she lost one Christmas night, many years ago. She always writes the same three words: Missing you, always.
When Josie accidentally collides with a stranger at the postbox, she is unaware that Max has his own reasons for trying to avoid the season…or that their chance encounter is set to alter both their lives – and their hearts – in the most unexpected and beautiful of ways…
Set in London, New York and the gorgeous English countryside, Always, in December is the love story everyone will be talking about this year.
The Perfect Christmas Gift by Katie Ginger
Can neighbours become more than just good friends this Christmas?
Bella Moore is excitedly counting down the days to Christmas. That is until she arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend leaving her for another woman. Completely heartbroken, Bella is left wondering if Christmas can still be the same this year.
Next door, Bella’s neighbour Nick is facing his first Christmas as a single dad and doubting whether he can make it the magical time his son Freddie deserves.
Determined to fix both Christmas and their broken hearts, Bella comes up with an idea: a Christmas giving tree for the whole village, where the community can unite and secretly give each other the Christmas presents they truly need.
As Bella becomes chief elf, taking donations and delivering gifts with much-needed help from Nick and Freddie, the two neighbours grow closer and start seeing each other in a whole new light.
But when Nick’s estranged wife returns just before Christmas, is their budding romance over before it’s begun? Or will love be Nick and Bella’s perfect gift this Christmas?
The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan
It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?
There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.
As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?
A Special Cornish Christmas by Philippa Ashley
For Bo Grayson, Christmas has always been the most wonderful time of the year. Well, until she had her heart broken last December…
When Bo Grayson and her friends meet a mysterious fortune teller, she gives each woman the same prediction: You will meet the love of your life by Christmas Day.
But Bo quickly dismisses this as nonsense. And with the festive season in full swing, she has plenty to keep her busy: creating the seasonal menu for her Boatyard Café, getting her rock and roll dance group ready for their Christmas show – and avoiding thinking about last December, when her fortune took a turn for the worse…
Besides, she definitely isn’t ready to open her heart again. But will fate – and perhaps a sprinkle of Christmas magic – change her mind?
Pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate and settle down in front of the fire with this perfect, uplifting Christmas read!
Underneath the Christmas Tree by Heidi Swain
Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.
But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.
When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?
Underneath the Christmas Tree is the perfect festive read, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance.
One More Christmas at the Castle by Trisha Ashley
This Christmas will be the most special of them all…
Elderly widow Sabine knows this will be her last Christmas in her beloved home, Mitras Castle. Determined to make it just like the ones she remembers from her childhood, she employs Dido Jones of Heavenly Houseparties to help with the big day.
Dido is enchanted by the castle as soon as she steps through the imposing front door. And as Christmas day approaches, her feeling of connection to the old house runs deeper than she first thought.
But when the snow begins to fall and Sabine’s family arrive at the house – including Dido’s teenage crush Xan – tensions rise around the castle’s future and long-buried mysteries begin to unravel…
As past secrets come to light, can this still be a magical Christmas to remember?
One Family Christmas by Bella Osborne (I couldn’t get to this one last year – I do hope I can this year!)
A big family. A whole lot of secrets. A Christmas to remember…
This year, Lottie is hosting one last big family Christmas at the home she grew up in – just like her Nana would have wanted.
But when her relatives descend on the old manor house, Lottie gets more than she bargained for. Every family has its secrets, but in this family, everybody has one!
So, between cooking a Christmas dinner, keeping tensions at bay and a stray dog out of mischief, she has plenty on her plate (and not just misshapen sausage rolls and a frozen turkey). And then her first love shows up – nine years after he walked out of her life.
Can Lottie make their last family Christmas one to remember… for the right reasons?
A festive treat to curl up with this Christmas…
There – doesn’t everything look a bit more festive with all those lovely covers? Right, I’m off – Christmas is coming, and I have books to read…!