Hot on the heels of the new Christmas books post, here’s my annual look at some older Christmas books that I’ve read recently and liked. I don’t mind reading a Christmas book out of season – I’d rather stick to the reading order of a series than avoid a Christmas book – so some of them are things that I’ve read in mid summer… And you never know, they might be available at a discount this festive season.
A Very Merry Princess by Susan Mallery
Don’t be put off by the word princess in the title. Bethany’s step-dad is a Middle Eastern prince who has am extensive stable. When one of the horses is sold to a rancher in California, Bethany accompanies him to his new home, but using an assumed name. While there she falls for the rancher, but will their fledgling relationship survive when he finds out who she really is? This is a novella in the Happily Inc series which apparently ties in to an even earlier category romance that Mallery wrote nearly twenty years ago. Cade, the hero is the brother of one of the heroines from earlier in the series, and they all feature in subsequent novels. It’s Christmassy and Thanksgiving-y and quite a lot of fun – and a California Christmas makes a change from all the snowed-in for the holidays novellas!
A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
Jonas Grantham is in love with Lydia Chingford. The problem is she can’t stand him – because the new doctor is one of the few people who could expose a secret from her past which would cause a huge scandal for her. He’s sarcastic and funny – but he hides the truth in his barbs. She’s guarded and anxious and doesn’t trust anyone anymore. This is Christmassy but also so romantic that various parts of the resolution made me teary-eyed. Of course it may have just been that I was overtired, but I don’t think it was because a hero who tells a heroine he loves her, all of her, is just wonderful in any circumstances. Swoonworthily wonderful in fact.
Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths
This is the second in the Stephens and Mephisto series featuring a magician and a police detective in the early 1950s. Max and Edgar worked together during the war and this story sees them trying to solve a child disappearance during panto season in Brighton. This has gloom of a seaside resort in winter and the glamour of end-of-the-pier theatre. It’s not all Christmas trees and mince pies – after all rationing is still in effect – but it’s definitely a Christmas novel for all that. I was a bit mixed on the first in this series when I read it a few years back, but I liked this a lot more. I’ve got book three (not a Christmas novel!) on my library hold list at the moment.
Once again, I’m sorry it’s a bit late – but I started writing this post in October but it’s taken a while to come to fruition. All of the recommendations were either bought or came from the library (although a couple of the also read list came from NetGalley) – you should be able to get them from all the usual sources. If you still want mores festive-themed reading there are posts from 2018, 2017 new and old, 2016, 2015 and 2014. Blimey I’ve been doing this a while….
Also read (you can find reviews of all of these over on my Goodreads profile should you be so inclined): Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan, A Christmas to Remember by Joanna Shupe et al, All I Want For Christmas by Jennifer Gracen, 25 Days til Christmas by Poppy Alexander