The holiday season is upon us! We’re decking the halls, brewing mulled wine, and preparing for long nights reading by the fire. We aren’t the only ones getting in the spirit: Annabeth Albert’s latest novel, Better Not Pout, involves a grinch getting cast in the role of Santa Claus, only to find himself falling hard and fast for a charming elf named Teddy. We named Better Not Pout one of our must-read new romances, but we know that a single Christmas romance isn’t enough to satisfy our cravings for holiday love stories. Thankfully, Albert is here to help! She’s gifted us a recommendation list of ten holiday novellas that are packed with romance, snow, and happily ever after.
I need to start a support group for holiday novella addicts. I started collecting e-books back in 2011, and between two e-readers, I’ve got several hundred holiday novellas stored up and waiting for me. Yes, you read that right. Hundred. Last year alone, I added almost 40 titles in all subgenres of romance. There is nothing I like more than coming home after a hectic day during the holiday season and relaxing for an hour or two with a quick read with a guaranteed happy ending. However, it’s not easy to get the novella format right. There’s an art to it, a level of craft and characterization that transcends “quick and easy short.” But the right author makes it look effortless, and over the years, I’ve amassed dozens of keeper shelf reads, including some that I reread every single year. These are ten of my personal favorite holiday novellas.
I discovered Hibbert this summer, and I adore her confident and realistic heroines and the heroes who love them so much. I read Merry Inkmas in August, and I can’t wait to read it again under holiday lights. It tackles some tough issues with a deft hand, and the hopeful tone is exactly what a holiday romance needs. And everyone’s season needs the sort of sexy that Hibbert provides!
I had to work hard to select just one from Andrews, who has a host of m/m Christmas, holiday, and Hanukkah offerings to choose from, all of which are utterly splendid. Last year’s offering was exactly the fluffy, low-angst romance I needed at that moment in time, and I can’t wait to reread it this year!
Another classic for me that I own on multiple devices, this m/f historical features a smart heroine, a mysterious hero, and my favorite Spindle Cove setting. The mystery element along with appearances from some of my favorites in that series really set this one apart for me.
I love the whole m/m Minnesota Christmas series, but book one remains my favorite with its lumberjack hero and his hairdresser co-hero. Like with the fake-holiday-relationship trope, I will never ever get tired of snowed-in and forced proximity books, and this is one of the best.
An utter classic, this m/f contemporary romance is hot, angsty, and perfectly crafted with characters that have stayed with me for years. I reread every year, and every year I cry both sad and happy tears. The message of finding hope and joy amid sadness is one that everyone needs.
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.