Christmastime is one of the most romantic times of the year. With very little effort, you can find hundreds of movies and books about newfound love and happily-ever-afters wrapped up in holiday glee. However, what happens after the yes’s, I do’s, and first I love you’s?
While embarking on my own literary search for relatable holiday reading, I’ve taken on the task of compiling a reading list of novels about the bumps in the road towards happily ever after (with a sprinkle of Christmas magic).
by Debbie Macomber (Romance)
“The people of Cedar Cove know how to celebrate Christmas. Like Grace and Olivia and everyone else, Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. Her small Christmas tree farm is prospering, her daughters and her dogs are happy and well, and her new relationship with local vet Ted Reynolds is showing plenty of romantic promise.
But someone recently left a basket filled with puppies on her doorstep, puppies she’s determined to place in good homes. That’s complication number one. And number two is that her daughters, Bailey and Sophie, have invited their dad, Beth’s long-divorced husband, Kent, to Cedar Cove for Christmas. The girls have visions of a mom-and-dad reunion dancing in their heads.”
by Eloisa James (Historical Romance)
“Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride’s delectable affections . . . and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.”
by Sherryl Woods (Romance)
“After years apart, Mick and Megan O’Brien are finally ready to make it official…again. Most of their grown children couldn’t be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother’s abandonment of their family, Connor’s not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance.”
by Sarah Morgan (Romance)
“It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas getaway—a 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. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s little daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for?”
by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Christian Fiction)
“Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do–in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they’ve drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.
Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for–news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn’t likely to become a reality.
Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home–and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?”
by Rainbow Rowell (Fiction)
“TV writer Georgie McCool can’t actually visit the past; all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up. And hope he picks up — because once Georgie realizes she has a magic phone that calls into the past, all she wants is make things right with her husband, Neal.”
by Heather Graham (Romance)
“Jon and Julie Radcliff are facing the last Christmas of a marriage in trouble. The love they once shared has been tattered by time and torn apart by divergent goals. Their teenagers, Christie and Jordan, are rebellious, and their youngest child, six-year-old Ashley, is showing the hurt and confusion of her family’s turmoil.”
by Chris Fabry, Gary Chapman (Christian Fiction)
“Jake and Marlee experience a Christmas gift that will radically change their thinking and cause them to look at marriage not for what they can get out of it, but for what God can do in and through their marriage.”
by Thomas Kinkade, Katherine Spencer (Christian Fiction)
“In Cape Light a troubled marriage is healed by a runaway teenager and a divorced woman finds happiness with a struggling magazine writer who dresses up as Santa Claus.”
by Brenda Jackson (Romance)
“After escaping a disastrous marriage, Sierra Crane opens up a soup café in Catalina Cove and has no time for a relationship until she meets Vaughn Miller, who has returned home to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.”
by Maureen Child (Romance)
“A luxurious Christmas cruise should be paradise. Instead, Mia Harper has a confession to make to her billionaire ex: they’re still married! Now she’s trapped with sexy-as-sin Sam Buchanan—and their searing desire. But Sam’s serving up a little holiday blackmail. He’ll grant Mia a divorce…if she gives Sam what he really wants for Christmas: a no-strings fling with her.”
by Sarah Morgan (Romance)
“In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.”
What books would you add to this list?