The dark months of winter may seem kind of bleak, but for bookworms, it’s the best time of year. It’s dark, it’s cold, and no one wants to go outside and do anything. There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from having the ultimate cozy setup with lots of candles, fuzzy socks, a hot cup of tea, and a delectable winter romance novel. What more could you want? As a book-loving introvert who adores this time of year, I love it when I have an open weekend to simply do nothing but curl up on the couch with my Kindle and get lost in swoon-worthy romance books. And this winter, I have my eyes on a particular set of books that I can’t wait to 1) share with you, dear reader, and 2) cozy up with myself.
Whether you’re looking for holiday romance books or winter wonderland stories right now, these winter romances are at the top of my TBR pile this season. Grab your favorite fluffy blanket and turn your phone on silent, because you’re not going to want anyone bothering you until you make your way through this feel-good romance list.
Who can resist another holiday fake dating romance, especially when everyone is snowed in for Christmas? Snowed In by Catherine Walsh follows the story of Megan and Christian who decide to fake date so they can avoid their families opinions of their singleness. After a contract is signed (on a wine-stained napkin), the two pretend to be in love, but things start to get really messy when being in a snowed-in cabin causes new feelings to spark between them.
From the romance novelist queen herself, Tessa Bailey released a novella Same Time Next Year where a whirlwind wedding on New Year’s Eve leads two characters together in a surprise fake marriage that (gasp!) may just turn into something more. When hockey player (!!) Sumner Mayfield finds out his work visa is about to expire before making his big break into the NHL, Britta decides to marry him so he can get a green card. What happens next is just as you’d expect—a complicated relationship and unexpected feelings.
In a heart-wrenchingly beautiful tale about love and loss, Always, in December starts off with the heroine Josie who, every year on Christmas night, leaves a letter to her parents (who she lost nine years earlier) in the postbox of her childhood home. But this year during her drop-off, she collides with a handsome stranger. Josie feels hopeful about their connection after they spend the entire holiday together, but then Max completely disappears without saying a word. Max and Josie continue to run into each other during the year that follows, but can Josie hope that it’s still fate after what happened?
A trip to Dubai for Diwali sounds dreamy for teenage photographer Nikki, but the boy next door whom she particularly hates, Yash, will also be joining in for the adventure. With encouragement from Nikki’s matchmaking family, she spends her 12-hour flight with Yash getting to know him while they travel from one continent to another. It’s clear from the start that these two teens may be in for a lot more than a shared trip during the Festival of Lights.
How could you resist a delectable holiday fake dating scenario? B.K. Borison’s Lovelight Farms presents the perfect holiday setting: a Christmas tree farm. Stella Bloom’s farm needs some serious financial rescuing, so she enters a social media contest for a $100,000 cash prize. The only problem? She said she runs it with her boyfriend…you know, the one that doesn’t exist. So when she asks her best friend Luka Peters to step in, the lines become blurred between what is fake and what is real.
Second-chance romance, brother’s best friend, and a hockey player? You’re welcome. A Little Magic follows the story of Ellie Klein during her long-awaited return back to Vermont for the holidays. It’s been nine years since she’s been home and seven years since that painful night with Theo Fox, and Ellie is finally returning home to the place she tried to leave behind. But what will happen when she gets caught in a blizzard and has to seek refuge from the one and only guy she tried to forget?
If your idea of a holiday romance involves a little (or a lot) of spice, Wreck My Plans is about to be your favorite new Christmas treat. Meadows’ recent release follows the story of Lena who is reunited with her brother’s best friend during her week home for the holidays. But even in their best effort to try and stay just friends this holiday season, Lena and Gavin can’t help but watch as their best-made plans seem to get, well, wrecked.
This adorable YA Hanukkah romance book follows two teens who are trying to save a Jewish deli in a small Texas town. The only problem? They couldn’t be more different. Hannah Levin is stuck in Rosenberg with her grandmother (and all the family drama that comes with it) after a freak snowstorm. When she meets Noah at the local Jewish deli—one of the only Jewish remnants in the entire town—the two pair up to try and save the deli from closing. Despite her best efforts to ignore it, the joy and magic of Hanukkah may be exactly what Hannah needs.
The northern lights are hovering in the skies, and mysteriously, the characters of Almost, Maine are all falling in and out of love. This winter romance follows the story of a town on the northern United States border where the winter nights are long and cold, but the stories are heartwarming and sweet. Converted from his successful play, Cariani’s young-adult romance follows the story of 10 couples and their out-of-body experience underneath the northern lights.
If you’re on the hunt for a sweet love story that is a quick read, this adorable novelette by Jessica Joyce will be right up your alley. A Risk Worth Taking follows the story of Claire Ashford who has been offered a job in San Francisco and plans on leaving her bartending job and her unfulfilling ex-lover behind. Since she is about to jet off to her new life, there is nothing stopping her from having a hot one-night stand with Connor Stella after a holiday party she’s bartending, but then a snowstorm alters her plans. One night stuck turns into three, and soon, Claire has to decide if her new adventure is truly in San Francisco or if it’s been right here all along.
Spending winter in New York is magical enough, but unearthing a family secret recipe and falling in love? Now that’s the kind of cozy winter romance we need. From the brilliant author who wrote One Day in December, Josie Silver’s A Winter In New York follows the story of chef Iris who moves to New York to start her new life and finds herself coming across a family-run gelateria that could be connected to her mother. Iris realizes that this gelateria’s famous gelato recipe is also her own, so she connects with the handsome Gio to unearth secrets from the past that they never expected.
Jenny Colgan is the queen of the cozy read. Her books are set in tiny bookshops, bakeries, and cafes, and they always have a charming romance to draw the reader in. The Christmas Bookshop is set in Edinburgh where the female main character Carmen hopes to mend a fractured relationship with her sister Sofia by taking a job at a bookshop nearby. But will Carmen be able to keep things afloat at the shop or will a sticky love triangle get in her way of mending her relationship with her sister?
A cozy twist on It’s a Wonderful Life, this book follows the story of Bailey George after she runs into her high school crush, Maria Hatcher, and realizes that their kiss under the mistletoe many years earlier still lingers between them. In their best efforts to work together for the town’s Winter Wonderfest—and all of the disasters that come with it along the way—a visit from a fabulous drag queen Clara Angel may convince Bailey that being in her small Christmas-obsessed town (and being around Maria) may actually be the place where she always needed to be.
What would you do if your hot boss asked you to be his fake girlfriend for the holidays? After meeting his crazy ex-girlfriend, Ellie decides to accept the offer and play the role for the duration of the holidays, all so her boss Brady won’t panic about having to be so close to his ex while planning a Christmas gala. But when the ruse is still going on around family and friends, it seems these two may just go from being co-workers to something much, much more.
If you’re the kind of person who counts down the days until you can flick on The Holiday and swoon at Jude Law’s sultry stares, you absolutely need to pick up a copy of The Holiday Trap. Why? Because our two main characters decide to swap houses for the holidays and find their worlds turned upside down. This heartwarming LGBTQIA+ romantic comedy is the cozy New England holiday story that you are absolutely going to love.
A second chance romance set in the dreamy holiday town of… New Port Stephen, Florida? It may sound quirky, but this holiday romance still brings all those swoony holiday feels as you follow trans man Eli Ward and his high school ex, Nick Wu. After going through quite a bit post-transition and getting sober, Eli is threatened by a scandal that could majorly affect his career as a TV writer and comedian, so he escapes home for the holidays. When he runs into his ex (who seems even hotter than ever), Eli’s trip seems like it couldn’t get any worse… or maybe it just got a whole lot better.
If your idea of a holiday well spent involves watching through the holiday episodes of Friends, The Christmas Orphans Club is going to be your new favorite winter romance read. This story follows best friends Hannah and Finn who have spent every Christmas together in New York City since college. Adding in two more friends to the mix, Priya and Theo, the four have created a special family that they can always rely on—until Finn announces he’s moving, and this Christmas quickly becomes their last one together. With so much about to change, Hannah is terrified of losing the family she has built while also struggling to take the next step with her boyfriend, and Finn is deciding if it’s time to finally tell Theo how he really feels.
The Christmas Swap has the makings for a classic holiday rom com. Margot decides to pose as Ben’s girlfriend for the holidays while the two escape from London to a picture-perfect manor for two weeks. It seems like what all fake-dating rom com dreams are made of until Margot falls in love with Ben’s sister, Ellie.