Among all the enjoyable things that come along with the holiday season, one of our favorites is the haul of new holiday-themed rom-com books that hit the scene.
Yes, much like many of the holiday TV movies, a lot of these novels can come with a heavy dose of cheese, but there are plenty of high quality page-turners in the mix as well. We combed through the 2021 reads to find seven worth adding to your holiday break TBR list.
So, prep your cup of cocoa and a Christmas cookie and get ready to swoon.
7 best new holiday romance novels of 2021
- The Holiday Swap
- A Season for Second Chances
- One More Christmas at the Castle
- The Secret of Snow
- Christmas in Rose Bend
- Meet Me in London
- The Matzah Ball
If you like “Gilmore Girls,” “The Parent Trap,” and “The Great British Bake Off,” there’s a good chance you’re going to love this cozy holiday rom-com.
Told in a 12-days-‘till-Christmas style with one chapter for each day, it follows twins Charlie and Cass who are eager to escape their own lives and pull a classic twin switcheroo. Just when they think not much can go wrong, things get even more interesting when Jake and Miguel enter the scene.
In 2020, Jenny Bayliss captured our holiday hearts with her debut The Twelve Dates of Christmas. One year later, she’s crafted another adorable rom-com that takes place in a small seaside town.
After her marriage ends, ex-restauranteur Annie takes the opportunity for a fresh start as a house-sitter at the charming Willow Bay. Everyone’s thrilled by her arrival, except for the handsome nephew of the homeowner.
If you love cozy ambiance and slow-to-build romance with a dash of humor, this is it.
Trisha Ashley is a master-storyteller when it comes to cozy, warm-hearted, lightly humorous, romantic comedies. And in this one she spins her tale with threads of holiday magic.
This story takes readers to Mitras Castle in the remote uplands of Northumberland. We were charmed by the cast of characters and the atmospheric setting. And some reviewers are raving that despite it being 500 pages, they flew through it in a day or 2.
Like wrapping up in your favorite winter blanket, Viola Shipman crafts a tale that envelopes readers in a story of second chances, healing, humor, and lots of snow, obvi. This is the author’s first Christmas novel, and many reviewers are raving — one saying this Hallmark-like story is the author’s best work yet.
It follows 50-year-old Sonny, a SoCal meteorologist whose job has just been replaced by virtual technology. She reluctantly heads home to northern Michigan, a place that holds memories she’d rather outrun, and attempts to rebuild her career by covering every small-town winter event possible.
This is a fast-paced Harlequin romance novel with a Christmas twist, well-drawn characters, and plenty of ultra-steamy scenes.
The story follows Nessa, an ER nurse who heads to Rose Bend — a quintessential Christmassy New England town — for the holidays with her younger half-sister. They’re both grieving the loss of their parents, and while Nessa would rather not be in a place that looks like Santa’s workshop, it was their late father’s wish they spend the holiday together. When a rugged and handsome stranger walks into the inn carrying a stack of wreaths, the temperature seems to rise.
Set in a charming London backdrop, this novel has everything we love about rom-coms, plus that Netflix-holiday-movie-feel (we’ll be looking for this one next year, Netflix!).
It follows Victoria and Oliver, who pretend to be in a relationship. He wants to fool his family. She wants to showcase her clothing designs at the grand opening of the new department store opening down the road — her competition and his family empire. But soon their fake relationship escalates into something else.
Rachel is Jewish… and secretly loves Christmas. She’s hidden more than 200 porcelain Santa figurines and her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family for a decade.
While seeking inspo for her next project, she’s surprised to find it not in the sparkle of Christmas, but the magic of the Matzah Ball. This laugh-out-loud, witty, and thoughtful read features a main character with chronic illness navigating the holidays, life, and love.
Naomi Farr is the books editor and a copy editor at Greatist. She loves focusing on all things books, beauty, wellness, and mental health. She’s also a YA fantasy writer and bookstagrammer. You can find her (and her cat) @avioletlife.