As I write Christmas books, you won’t be shocked to know that I read them, too! One of the things I like about Christmas-set novels is the variety of settings, plots and genres they inspire and the creativity of the authors. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favourites.
This is a lovely, cosy, funny and poignant book about Lottie trying to get all her family together at the large family home. It’s the first Christmas since she lost her beloved Nana Rose and probably the last at Henbourne Manor. Lottie’s mum, Angie, hasn’t been the most reliable of mothers but Lottie shows admirable patience with her and also Great Uncle Bernard. I’m not sure I’d want to spend Christmas with them or Lottie’s brother Daniel and his wife Nora, but Bella has great fun pitching them all together. And then bringing Lottie’s first love on the scene.
Dead by Midnight – Pamela Clare
This isn’t what you’d call ‘festive’, as you might guess from the title, but Pamela Clare writes awesome romantic suspense. This is one of her I-Team novels, when most of the team find themselves at Christmas functions in a hotel when terrorists burst in. Immaculately plotted, the tension in this story ramps higher and higher, with flying bullets, acts of heroism and a woman trying to quietly give birth in the midst of it. Twinkly lights and other Christmas decorations provide an interesting contrast. I love a good romantic suspense and this really fits the bill.
Moonlight Over Manhattan – Sarah Morgan
Many of Sarah Morgan’s books are truly romantic. In this case she provides an ‘opposites attract’ couple in shy Harriet and gruff Ethan. Though Harriet thinks she’s going to celebrate Christmas alone this year, Ethan’s looking for a live-in dog sitter… Cute canine clients provide smiles while the backdrop of snowy Manhattan gives us all the Christmas feels. This is one of my favourite Sarah Morgan novels and I loved watching Harriet and Ethan slowly realise that this Christmas really isn’t so bad – now they’ve found each other.
Covent Garden in the Snow – Jules Wake
This book really grabbed me. I think it was partly because heroine Tilly’s occupation is so unusual – a make-up artist with a Coven Garden opera company. The descriptions of her job stuck in my mind even more than the evolving romance between Tilly and techie Marcus. Tilly has to jettison fiancé Felix to make the plot work but Felix makes that unexpectedly easy. It has a companion book, too, Notting Hill in the Snow and that’s just as good.
Snow on the Cobbles – Maggie Sullivan
In case you’re not aware, this is one of a series of Coronation Street prequels. It’s fascinating to see the lives of various characters we’ve known and loved in ‘The Street’ and this is one of my favourites because it includes a young and bumptious Elsie Tanner. I loved the peep at Elsie’s early life, which was no picnic. The Christmas described, with young Hilda Ogden awaiting Stan’s return from the war, is a thoughtful contrast to the sparkly, commercial Christmas I know in the twenty-first century.
I hope that whichever Christmas books you read, you enjoy it. I think there’s something for every reader.