The Only Book Rec List You’ll Need This Holiday Season


Whatever the flavor of holiday you celebrate, I think we can all agree that this time of year gets more than a little hectic. There’s shopping and food prep and eating all the food you just prepped and dealing with family and rolling your eyes really, really hard at the people who are insulted about the holiday pattern of their Starbucks coffee for the third year in a row. Maybe that last one is just me? Surely it can’t be just me.

No matter which way you swing it, it’s important to take breaks in the midst of all the insanity, and there’s nothing that meets that need better than a good book. Trust me, I’m a doctor!*

*I’m not really a doctor, and I don’t play one on television, either.**

**Yes I know end notes go at the end of the piece. Just roll with it.

Because I’m here for you, I’ve put together a list of recommendations that will fit whatever mood you’re digging for those times you need to shut out the world for a few hours.

A Dash Of Romantic Comedy

When you’ve burnt the pie for the second time in a row and your in-law won’t stop critiquing your gravy, it may be time for a story that will make you laugh…so you don’t stab someone with your fork.

Really, it’s practically required reading at this point. Remember, I’m (totally not ) a doctor!

He’s Not My Boyfriend– Jackie Lau (one night stand, lots of family shenanigans, workplace romance)

Butterface– Avery Flynn (fake relationship, heroine who’s not model gorgeous, starts with a kiss-cam kiss)

Doggy Style – Alana Albertson (enemies to lovers, puppies, a blurb I dare you not to giggle reading)

A Very Historical Holiday

Having the kids arguing over who gets to play their video games, walking your grandpa through how to set up his new phone, getting into a bickering match with Alexa again… All these things can have a person wishing for a simpler time, back in the days of yore, when there was a duke on every corner searching for a commoner bride to turn his head.

I mean, I’m not a historian, but I read a lot of historical, so I’m pretty sure that’s (not even a little bit) 100% factually accurate.

How the Dukes Stole Christmas – Sarah Maclean, Sophie Jordan, Tessa Dare, Joanna Shupe (A holiday specific anthology with four stories by a dream team author line-up)

Duchess by Design– Maya Rodale (Gilded age story that turns traditional tropes on their head, awesome lady secret club, heroine who is not here for the hero’s nonsense)

Tempest– Beverly Jenkins (a man marries a mail-order bride with the intention of her taking care of his daughter, independent heroine, she totally shoots the hero)

Heating Up Your E-Reader this Holiday

Warning – these reads will totally make you blush crimson and check over your shoulder to make sure no family member is trying to snoop on your story.

The nights are long in the winter, and after you’ve wrapped what feels like the millionth present or cleaned the last dish or finally wrestled your jacked-up-on-sugar toddler into bed, it’s time for some you time. Draw a bath, if that’s your thing. Light a candle or two. You definitely deserve a glass of wine and some chocolate.

Now it’s time to settle in and get right to the good stuff!

Mouth to Mouth – Tessa Bailey(angsty sexy good times, bad boy hero, some delightful unexpected laughs)

The Kiss Quotient– Helen Hoang (genderbent Pretty Woman with autistic heroine and sexy AF hero)

Scoring the Player’s Baby – Naima Simone (accidental pregnancy, football hero who heats up the sheets, seriously sexy)

When You’re Ready to Burn Down the Patriarchy

I think we can all agree that current events are only adding to this already most-stressful time of year. It doesn’t seem like a day goes by without something truly terrifying happening, and unfortunately, the bad news just keeps rolling in hour after hour, day after day.

When you’re feeling down, discouraged, and furious, it’s time to turn off the TV, toss your phone out of reach, and open a book with badass ladies doing badass things.

Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan (teenage lesbian concubines join forces to take down their abuser and his regime)

Sawkill Girls—Claire Legrand (three badass ladies must work together to battle an ancient evil)

#MURDERTRENDING – Gretchen McNeil (wrongly convicted of murder, heroine must survive a prison where murders are televised to the general public)

Happy holidays, friends!

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