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Here’s a list of 11 new holiday books to check out in 2022!
It’s that time of year for holiday reads! It seems every year that are more and more new holiday books publishing, which is so fun. So each year, I put together two lists. One that features a combination of new and older titles well suited for book clubs and this list—11 new holiday titles for your to consider.
It took some time to narrow it down to 11! But I think each of these promise plenty of holiday cheer. From holiday romcoms to some with a more serious tone, there’s something for everyone on this list. Let’s get to it!
All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox
I really enjoyed last year’s The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox. So I’m especially looking forward to their latest, All I Want For Christmas. This time the writing duo, Karma Brown and Marissa Stapley, feature an enemies-to-lovers romance set in the country music world. A holiday romcom sounds so enjoyable right now! Here’s the synopsis:
When Sadie and Max are selected as contestants on the famed reality singing show Starmaker, each thinks they’ve finally gotten their big Nashville break. But then they’re paired up for duet week and stun the world with their romantic onstage chemistry. With fans going wild for #Saxie the network demands that they remain a duo on and offstage, or exit the competition. Faking a relationship until their final performance in the Starmaker holiday special shouldn’t be too hard, except for one small problem—Sadie and Max can’t stand each other.
But with their dreams just within reach, they agree to the ruse. Will their fake relationship be exposed before they can win? Or might their phony connection turn real by the Christmas finale?
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss features a great setting—the English countryside. And the premise is intriguing and sounds unique, which let’s be honest, some holiday stories are fairly similar.
This one is about a city bookstore owner who reunites with her classmates for a wedding around the holidays. But she is quite torn between her working class upbringing but also trying to fit in with her posh classmates. Here’s the synopsis:
Elinor Noel—Nory for short—is quite content running her secondhand bookshop in London. Forever torn between her working-class upbringing and her classmates’ extravagant lifestyles at the posh private school she attended on scholarship, Nory has finally figured out how to keep both at equal distance. So when two of her oldest friends invite their whole gang to spend the time leading up to their wedding together at the castle near their old school, Nory must prepare herself for an emotionally complicated few days.
The reunion brings back fond memories, but also requires Nory to dodge an ill-advised former fling. When she falls quite literally into the arms of Isaac, the castle’s head gardener, who has nothing but contempt for the “snobby prep school kids,” the attraction between them is undeniable. And as Nory spends more time with Isaac during the wedding festivities, she finds herself falling hard for the boy she used to consider an enemy. Nory and Isaac explore their common ground, but pressures mount on all sides, and Nory must decide what kind of life she wants to live and what sort of love is worth the risk . . .
Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh
I’ve seen so much praise for Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh! It sounds lovely and just overall a feel good story. It follows two platonic friends who are trying to get back to Ireland for the holidays. But of course, romance is in the air. Here’s the synopsis:
Molly and Andrew are just trying to get home to Ireland for the holidays, when a freak snowstorm grounds their flight.
Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: they’re friends and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.
Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.
The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly-specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.
What she doesn’t know is that, as the snow falls over the city and over the heads of two friends who are sure they’re not meant to be together, the universe might just have a plan of its own…
The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish
If you like the movie The Holiday, and I’m pretty sure most people do, definitely check out The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish. It’s a LGBTQIA+ romcom about two people who swap homes for the holiday and also find love along the way in their respective journeys. Here’s the synopsis:
Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family and tiny Maine hometown, but they can’t seem to understand what it’s like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. When an act of familial meddling goes way too far, she realizes just how desperately she needs space to figure out who she is.
Truman Belvedere’s heart is crushed when he learns that his boyfriend has a secret life including a husband and daughter. Reeling, all he wants is a place to lick his wounds far, far away from Louisiana.
Enter a mutual friend with a life-altering idea: swap homes for the holidays. For one perfect month, Greta and Truman will have a chance to experience a whole new world…and maybe fall in love with the partner of their dreams. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually these two transplants will have to decide whether the love (and found family) they each discovered so far from home is worth fighting for.
Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan
Sarah Morgan is one of the best romance novelists out there and I love her stories set during the holiday season. My favorite of hers is The Christmas Sisters! To be honest, I find the title kind of corny but the story actually features plenty of depth, along with romance and holiday cheer.
Her latest, Snowed in for Christmas, features an uninvited guest, being snowed in and some romance too. Here’s the synopsis:
A family gathering
This Christmas the Miller siblings have one goal—to avoid their well-meaning family’s endless stream of prying questions. Ross, Alice and Clemmie have secrets that they don’t intend to share, and they are relying on each other to deflect attention.
An uninvited guest
Lucy Clarke is facing a Christmas alone and the prospect of losing her job. Unless she can win a major piece of business from Ross Miller, the season promises to be anything but festive. She’ll just deliver her proposal to his family home and then leave. After all, she wouldn’t want to intrude on the Miller family’s perfect Christmas.
A Christmas to remember
When Lucy appears on the Miller family’s snow-covered Highland doorstep, she’s mistaken for Ross’s girlfriend. By the time the confusion is cleared up, they’re snowed in—she can’t leave, even if she wants to! But does she want to? As secrets spill out like presents from an overstuffed stocking and the chemistry between her and Ross ignites, this is going to be either Lucy’s worst Christmas ever or the best mistake of her life.
Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman
Wade Rouse writes fiction under his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his writing. He’s back with a new holiday novel, Wish for Winter. This one includes missed connections and the magic of Christmas. Looking forward to it! Here’s the synopsis:
Despite losing her parents in a tragic accident just before her fourteenth Christmas, Susan Norcross has had it better than most, with loving grandparents to raise her and a gang of quirky, devoted friends to support her. Now a successful bookstore owner in a tight-knit Michigan lakeside community, Susan is facing down forty—the same age as her mother when she died—and she can’t help but see everything she hasn’t achieved, including finding a love match of her own. To add to the pressure, everyone in her small town believes it’s Susan’s destiny to meet and marry a man dressed as Santa, just like her mother and grandmother before her. So it seems cosmically unfair that the man she makes an instant connection with at an annual Santa Run is lost in the crowd before she can get his name.
What follows is Susan and her friends’ hilarious and heartwarming search for the mystery Santa—covering twelve months of social media snafus, authors behaving badly and dating fails—as well as a poignant look at family, friendship and what defines a well-lived and well-loved life.
Love Always, Christmas by Karen Schaler
Karen Schaler is a three-time Emmy Award-winning storyteller, screenwriter, author, journalist, and national TV host. Karen has written original Christmas movies for Netflix, Hallmark, and Lifetime. Last year, I interviewed Karen about her writing process and writing holiday novels.
She’s back with another Christmas story, Love Always, Christmas. This novel promises plenty of humor, heart and hope. Here’s the synopsis:
Libby Larson’s Christmas wish is to get the holidays over as fast as possible. After losing her mom, her only family, she’s bah humbugging Christmas, while desperately trying to save her childhood Seattle home.
But when Libby finds a twenty-year-old unopened Christmas card addressed to her mom, what she discovers inside takes her to the snowy mountain town of Holly Peak.
As family secrets start to unravel, Libby must rely on Holly Peak’s handsome town manager, Adam Thompson, to help her find answers while reluctantly participating in the town’s quirky Christmas traditions.
In the midst of merrymaking and mistletoe, Libby’s life is forever changed when this Christmas brings her the gift of a family and true love.
The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis
The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis is one of those stories to seek if you’re looking for a more serious tone. The story follows a widower who receives mysterious messages of love. Here’s the synopsis:
Sparkly and charming Natalie Fincher has it all—a handsome new husband, a fixer-upper cottage of her dreams, and the opportunity to tour with the musical she’s spent years writing. But when her husband suddenly dies, all her hopes and dreams instantly disappear.
Two and a half years later, Natalie is still lost. She works, sleeps (well, as much as the sexually frustrated village foxes will allow), and sees friends just often enough to allay their worries, but her life is empty. And she can only bring herself to play music at a London train station’s public piano where she can be anonymous. She’s lost motivation, faith in love, in happiness…in everything.
But when someone begins to mysteriously leave the sheet music for her husband’s favorite songs at the station’s piano, Natalie begins to feel a sense of hope and excitement for the first time. As she investigates just who could be doing this, Natalie finds herself on an unexpected journey toward newfound love for herself, for life, and maybe, for a special someone.
The Christmas Checklist by Lisa Hepner
The Christmas Checklist by Lisa Hepner sounds like such an inspirational story. She wrote the novel when her mother passed away in 2019 and was struggling with how to get through that first Christmas without her.
The TV series that she also wrote, The Christmas Checklist, will air on CBC Canada this Christmas and in the US in 2023. Here’s the synopsis:
A grieving daughter. A red envelope that reads “Open December 1st.”
Inside is a checklist of twelve activities she must complete before Christmas.
Emily Richmond doesn’t think she can even perform one of them because she just lost her mom—her best friend, her world—and she can barely leave the house. She takes a baby step by doing the first item on the checklist “donate jackets/clothes to a shelter.”
At the coat drive, she literally bumps into charming freelance writer, Noah Cole. He’s looking for an inspirational Christmas story in order to secure a full-time position at the local paper. Noah offers to help Emily complete the items on the checklist. She’s hesitant, but “get to know a stranger” is on the list and she’s dealing with uncertainty in her current long-distance relationship.
As the two start to check items off the list, Emily starts to trust Noah and even develops feelings for him. Noah has found a great holiday story—and romantic feelings of his own but he’s afraid to give his heart to someone who might be leaving town. When Noah’s article about the checklist is inadvertently published without Emily’s approval, she feels betrayed, but she also sees how her mother’s love-filled list is inspiring others around the country. Having worked through the checklist together, as Christmas Day approaches, will they be able to complete the last item on the list: find love? And will Emily be able to find peace and joy this holiday despite facing loss?
Holidays in Virgin River by Robyn Carr
For fans of Virgin River, this special edition containing two fan-favorite stories from the Virgin River series. Here’s the synopsis:
Under the Christmas Tree
With snow falling over the redwood forests, secluded Virgin River is the ideal place to spend the holidays. Each year, the close-knit community gathers in the town square to decorate and light a massive tree. Carols are sung, hot chocolate is shared—and this year, a surprise is about to bring two special people together. When the townsfolk discover a box of adorable puppies under the town’s Christmas tree, they call on local vet Nathaniel Jensen for help. But it’s his budding romance with Annie McCarty that really has tongues—and tails—wagging!
In Virgin River, holiday kisses don’t end with Christmas—there’s still the New Year’s Eve party at Jack’s Bar to attend. Locals and newcomers alike find themselves eager for that special countdown…and that midnight kiss.
As the townspeople gather, two lonely revelers decide the best balm for their broken hearts might just be each other.
A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary
Cat and romance lovers will no doubt enjoy A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary. And how cute is this cover? Here’s the synopsis:
Veterinarian and animal lover Kara Ingalls needs a Christmas miracle. Opening the Meow and Furrever Cat Café to find loving homes for adorable, adoptable cats was a dream come true—but with more cats than customers, it’s quickly turning into a nightmare. If Kara can’t figure out some way to get the café out of the red, it won’t last past the holidays.
Marketing guru Ben Reese may be annoyingly smart and frustratingly bossy, but when he hatches a plan to put the café in the “green” by Christmas, Kara realizes that she’d be a fool to turn down his help. And so what if he turns out to be an excellent problem solver and nerdy-hot—he can’t even handle fostering one little kitten. She needs to keep their relationship professional and focus on saving the cafe.
But if Ben and Kara can set aside their differences—and find homes for all the cats by Christmas—they might discover that, by risking their hearts, they’ll have their own purr-fect holiday . . . together.