Can you recite nearly every line of “The Holiday”? Already watched the full lineup of Christmas movies on Netflix — like, last month — and booked yourself a holidate? Consider this list of cozy holiday novels your next round of cheer.
All these recent releases have excellent ratings on Goodreads (4 stars or above), and we’ve personally made sure these titles have that special something — the extra dash of cinnamon, the super fluffy blanket, the plate with the extra pancake… you get the idea.
Don your softest socks and settle into one of these fireside rom-coms.
The premise: 12 different dates, 1 per day, leading up to Christmas. Sounds straightforward, right? But for Kate, it’s not so simple. She finds it so tempting to just curl up with some cookies and a Jane Austen movie instead of putting herself out there (#relatable), but things are about to get shaken up in her sleepy little English town.
Cue the twinkle lights, the lattes, and the 12 mystery men. The story is also full of delicious baking scenes that had us flipping to the recipes in the back. So it comes as no surprise that this author is also a professional cake baker.
If you loved the Netflix hit “A Christmas Prince” and Hallmark’s “Christmas Camp,” you’re gonna need this one, because Emmy Award winner Karen Schaler wrote those films. And we totally felt like we were watching a movie as we read this book.
“Mamma Mia” meets “The Bachelorette” in this book — and it’s about a novelist, Riley, who writes holiday romance novels… but she doesn’t seem to have found “the one” yet herself.
In a strange turn of events, Riley has three ex-boyfriends trying to win her back during a festive weekend at Christmas Lake Lodge. This one includes Christmas recipes and fun holiday craft activities sprinkled throughout the pages. #Winning.
Meg is NOT in the mood for Christmas, but when she’s invited to leave the bleakness of London and get away to the crisp, wintry countryside, she jumps on it — especially since, having been raised in a commune, she’s never celebrated a traditional Christmas. In a warm, cozy village on a hill of the Lancashire Moors, just as she’s starting to envision the perfect holiday, she spots someone from her past.
It’s a humorous and heartwarming tale with recipes. It was a slow burn, like a many-layered present, but one that we didn’t want to put down once the unwrapping started.
What could be better than gingerbread at a German Christmas market? Finding love at one, of course. We were sold at first look of the (literally) glittering cover.
Connie, a residential-home caterer, has had too many online-dating disasters, so she’s hesitant when one of her residents sets her up on a date. She heads to the market square, potential-partner checklist in hand. But she starts to wonder if making a list and checking it twice is the best way to approach love.
The comical cast of characters truly uplifted our spirits and got us in the mood for a sparkling holiday.
This author is known for her heartfelt novels set in Scotland. In this one, she returns to the atmospheric setting of her beloved novels Christmas on the Island and Endless Beach for a holiday tale on the remote isle of Mure. This is technically fourth in a series, but you don’t *need* to read the first three books to enjoy this one. Although… the more the merrier, right?
The premise: There’s a new hotel opening on the island, and two unlikely friends are brought together to get it ready in time for Christmas. But one of them is hiding something…
One reviewer writes, “This book feels timeless, like you can enjoy it now and for many years to come.” There’s a line in the book that describes the little village looking like “a tiny pinprick of comfort in a world gone dark,” and that is exactly what this book felt like to us.
There has to be at least one on this list about someone falling in love with royalty on the other side of the world, right? This one is described as a “Hallmark-style” story (BTW, there are 40 [!] Hallmark Christmas movies this year) but much steamier. And, well, this author’s last name is Holiday.
This one reverses the typical Hallmark gender norms of commoner-woman-meets-royalty-man. It’s a modern-day fairy tale complete with a New Yorker meeting an actual damsel in distress — the princess of a small Alpine country, of course.
If you’re in the mood for a book with holiday rom-com vibes but are short on time, this novella might do the trick. Readers are calling it hilarious, exciting, and slightly unexpected.
Kayla goes to her company’s New Year’s Eve party with the all-important “midnight kiss” on her mind, but she’s there without a date. After the party she ends up in an elevator with her co-worker Ben. There are fireworks… but then they have to decide what to do come Monday.
It’s a cute New Year’s office romance that builds quickly and tops off at 119 pages — but it’s available only on Kindle.
Naomi 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.