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Book Notes: Cozy Holiday Reading

When we’re tired out from trying to find the perfect gift or calculating just how long we can procrastinate on sending packages without actually missing Christmas, it’s nice to escape into the pages of a cozy holiday-centered read. Here are a few that I’ve finished this holiday season that are helping me get in the spirit.

While Lovelight Farms by B. K. Borison begins in the fall, it takes place at a Christmas tree farm and runs all the way through the festive season. A very fun friends-to-lovers steamy romance with some fake dating thrown in, I quickly devoured it and then read the other two in the series, In the Weeds and Mixed Signals (fair warning, these two are not set during the holidays). Adorable and cozy with small town quirkiness and recurring characters, but also definite heat in the romance department and thoughtful emotional depth.

Beth O'Leary's The Wake-Up Call is the ultimate in cozy Christmas. Izzy and Lucas agree on two things, they love their jobs and work family at Forest Manor Hotel. And they can't stand each other. But with Forest Manor Hotel on the brink of collapse, they'll have to work together (or compete, same difference) to save their jobs. Full of romantic tension!

Love, Holly, by Emily Stone, is a December to December year in the life of Holly, who is estranged from her family and finding connection with others in a similar situation by writing "Dear Stranger" letters at Christmas. Except this year, Holly's Dear Stranger letter takes her back to the place where her life changed forever, giving her the chance to take unexpected steps towards reconciliation. And fate also keeps throwing a handsome man in her way. 

Love in Winter Wonderland by Abiola Bello, was a delightful read (and the featured book on the holiday gift guide)! Trey’s family has owned Wonderland, the bookstore in Stoke Newington, for several generations, but this might be the year that ends. Wonderland is in trouble, and Trey will have to lean on his friends—old and new—to come up with ways to save his family bookstore. Meanwhile, sparks start flying between Trey and the bookstore’s newest employee, Ariel. Short chapters kept the pages turning. I loved the hopeful energy of Trey and his friends and their creativity in trying to keep Wonderland afloat.

Laurie reported she read A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss and said “it’s a slow burn but I really enjoyed it, especially the funny complicated relationships between the three sisters.” She added that there’s a male character who is a knitter, which definitely piqued my interest!

So I’ll have to add it to my still to-be-read pile, along with Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan (the follow-up to The Christmas Bookshop) and Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien, a new edition of a 1920 classic. Plus I’ll squeeze in my annual re-read of Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. 

Come check out our selection of holiday books, from classics and romances to mysteries and cookbooks, to find something to cozy up with this month!

— Lori