Here it is, at long last, the big, fat, shiny and better than ever Christmas reading list. Following on from last year I’ve restricted it to titles that have been published in 2021. I have found a number of titles published this year in paperback that were originally published in eBook format last year. I’ve not included these as I would have (hopefully) picked up the eBook edition last year. You can take a look at previous lists here.
Before some of you get disappointed I should say that obviously I couldn’t include everything (even if I had an easy way of tracking them down – if you know one please let me know). I’ve been a bit more generous this year as usually I use the guide as only including titles that I might read, though largely that proviso still applies. Consequently here’s what you won’t find (unless they’ve accidentally slipped through). There’s no Amish, cowboy, erotic, tycoons, horror, sci-fi or dystopian Christmases. I’ve also passed on Regency and ‘clean’ Christmases, and in the name of balance, there’s no ‘dirty’ ones either. I’ve excluded short novella’s but please check the page count on anything you opt for if in doubt. There are possibly some titles I haven’t included purely because either Amazon or the publisher (not sure who’s responsible) didn’t include the page count, so I erred on the side of caution – but trust me you’ll still have plenty to choose from.
As ever, I am always amazed at how many Christmas books are published each year. I became cover blind about a month ago, they all started to look the same and I couldn’t remember what I’d included and what I hadn’t – thankfully I’ve devised an easy way of resolving that issue at least. What I did notice this year is that many of the cowboys are now billionaires, the tycoons/bosses are increasingly Italian and there are fewer Amish titles, what this says about the state of the world I’m not quite sure! One thing I am sure of, this list will certainly give you plenty of scope to escape from whatever is proving challenging. It’s at least an antidote to the other ‘C’ word we’ve been challenged by for the past 18 months or so. Just to re-assure you, I will be adding ‘Covid Christmases’ to my banned list for next year.
Anyway, back to business. This is going to take more than one cuppa, so either make a pot/cafetiere or pace yourself. There are more categories this year as I tried split up what is a very long list. Some books could fall into several categories so forgive me if you think my final choice was the wrong one, but it’s more helpful than one, long, unordered list.
A quick reminder that I haven’t read the books, I rely on the blurb and the sample. As I largely choose these books before they are published, I only have the blurb. Due to the length of the list I’m afraid I’ve only used the Amazon direct title link, largely as it provides the Kindle option. The Bookshop.org and Hive Books link will take you to their shop front if you want to check them out. Many of the titles are 99p Kindle bargains, but as I don’t have the time to update prices I’m afraid I haven’t individually identified these. I did publish a list of Christmas titles that feature in this month’s sale here if you want to check out a bargain first. Anyway, enough from me, let the Christmas Fest commence!
(NB As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
A Coastal Christmas (11)
A Scottish Christmas (13)
A War Time Christmas (10)
A Coastal Christmas
Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett
Christmas is a time for love, laughter, families and friends, and in Mermaids Point, everyone is getting ready for the festive season.
For Nerissa and Tom, this will be their first Christmas as a couple, but making sure they have time for each other, whilst blending their families, will take some careful planning. What festive traditions will they make their own?
Laurie and Jake are flat out running Laurie’s seafront café, packaging up orders of mince pies, sausage rolls and other delectable Christmas goodies, as well as finding time for Jake’s journalism. But when Jake’s mum offers them an unexpected gift, their plans are turned upside down.
Alex can’t help but be charmed by beautiful and talented Ivy, but he’s still recovering from his ex-wife’s betrayal and has a secret life he’s not ready to share with anyone yet. But as the Christmas spirit starts weaving its magic, Alex may find himself ready for love sooner than he imagines.
For Andrew, nothing is more important than family. As friends and family gather beneath his roof it’s a time for reflection about what the future might hold.
As far as Nick is concerned, pop sensation Aurora Storm is the ‘one that got away’. After they shared a brief holiday fling, he has been thinking about her ever since. Is Christmas the perfect time to finally reach out to her, or is love at first sight just in fairy-tales?
Christmas at Lobster Bay by Annie Robertson
When Emma and Aidan decide to expand The Guesthouse at Lobster Bay, Emma feels certain it’s the project she needs to develop her beautiful retreat, and to keep her and Aidan together.
She has three months to complete the project before her guests arrive for a sumptuous Christmas break. But unforeseen problems soon turn her and her loved ones into festive humbugs.
Unexpected structural problems, the arrival of a long-term guest, and an errant puppy who is determined to chew her way through every piece of pipe and furniture, push Emma and Aidan to their limit, and it’s not long before cracks begin to show in their relationship.
Determined not to give up, Emma pushes on. But when a winter storm blows in, work grinds to a halt, pushing Emma and Aidan to the brink.
As Emma battles to keep her dream alive, will it be at the expense of her relationship? And will she eventually, with the help of her friends, finish the house and welcome her guests, with carolling and good cheer, to Christmas at Lobster Bay?
Underneath the Christmas Tree by Heidi Swain
Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.
But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.
When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?
A Cosy Christmas at Bridget’s Bicycle Bakery by Alex Brown
Bridget smiled to herself, certain she could see one of the stars twinkling extra brightly in that moment as if to acknowledge her wish and convince her that, yes, Mulberry-On-Sea was just the place they all needed to be. Surrounded by those happy memories of holidays and special times where nothing bad ever happened…
Finding yourself without a home in the weeks before Christmas would break most people, but for Bridget Carrington it’s a chance to start again. Mulberry-On-Sea has always been her happy place and she’s hoping it can work its magic this festive season and heal her family after a difficult year.
Now, as the community wraps Bridget and her children in its warm embrace, she starts to feel like herself again. With a new business, kids who are starting to smile, and the promise of a second chance at love, Bridget’s holiday season might just be a happy ever after…
A Winter Wedding at Mistletoe Gate Farm by Helen J Rolfe
It’s almost Christmas in Heritage Cove – the village tree is all lit-up, the bakery is full of festive treats, the tea rooms and waffle shack are welcoming locals inside out of the cold, and for some of the residents of the Cove, snow might not be the only thing they’re wishing for this year…
Tilly is overjoyed when an estranged relative comes to Heritage Cove wanting to make amends. But as she lets him in to her life and Tilly’s Bits ‘n’ Pieces – the shop she owns and loves – her friends aren’t so sure whether everything is quite as it seems.
Benjamin’s parents run Mistletoe Gate Farm, selling Christmas trees, wreaths and mistletoe. Benjamin has always thought his family was as firmly rooted in the ground as the rows of Norway Spruce and Fraser Firs. But when he finds a letter that rocks his world he realises he may not be able to do anything to prevent the changes coming their way.
Benjamin and Tilly have been falling for one another since the summer but will family complications put an abrupt stop to what is looking like a burgeoning romance?
With festive cheer weaving its way through the Cove as two local favourites plan their wedding, there’s more than one relationship that could receive a little Christmas magic…
Snow Days at The Old Sugar Wharf Pretty Beach by Polly Babbington
Snuggle up with Polly Babbington as she weaves her romance wand and plops us smack bang into the middle of a magical winter in Pretty Beach. Where snowflakes fall, wood burner fires crackle and Pretty Beach is cosseted in a gorgeous sparkly layer of beautiful white snow.
We observe from the sidelines as Phoebe Tillington’s journey with the Old Sugar Wharf continues and she pours her heart and soul into every little facet of her life – her business, her relationship and the lovely little community she has suddenly found herself part of.
As her business starts to gather speed, snow begins to fall, Christmas preparations begin, and her relationship goes from good to better she can’t really remember what it’s like not living in the gorgeous little town by the sea.
Everything is just rosy and she thanks her lucky stars for her new life on the coast, but just as everything seems to be plain sailing, life has a few other ideas to keep her on her toes.
A note from Polly* If you’ve read all the Pretty Beach books just a little heads up that the Sugar Wharf books are set before the other trilogies. This does not affect how it is read and can, as ever, be dipped into as a stand alone.
Christmas at Serenity Bay by Helen Bridgett
A peaceful Christmas in Serenity Bay? Think again!
Chloe Walsh’s skills as location manager for the beautiful seaside village she calls home have come up trumps again, and Serenity Bay is now the setting for cosy crime drama The Montgomery Mysteries, starring amateur sleuth Dominic Montgomery and his crime-solving dog, Agatha.
But Chloe is in a race against time. Filming has to finish before the village Midwinter Festival but schedules are tight – and a mystery saboteur is intent on slowing things down even further. Not only is Chloe facing problems with the shoot, she also has some personal conundrums to solve – a diva actor has commandeered her flat, her mum is having a late mid-life crisis, plus she has no idea what to buy for her Christmas-obsessed boyfriend!
Can Chloe sort out her life and save Christmas for an entire village?
Sequel to Summer at Serenity Bay
Christmas in Seabury by Beth Rain (novella)
This is Seabury – where everyone knows everyone, the average tourist hasn’t got a clue it even exists, and that’s just how the locals like it!
Kate Hardy’s world seems to be making some kind of sense at last. The Sardine’s finally safe from her idiotic ex, things seem to be going well with Mike (though she’s pretty sure she’s going to mess that up at any moment), and she’s looking forward to celebrating Christmas with the important people in her life. People she… loves?
As much as she’s looking forward to the big day, Kate can’t help the niggling worries that keep giving her a nudge in the ribs…
Mike’s buying her beloved lighthouse and is due to get the keys any day now. Kate just wishes she could muster the courage to ask him what his plans are for the old place – instead of changing the subject every time he brings it up.
And then there’s Bernard – who’s come all the way from Canada. He’s loitering very close to Seabury and is promising to wreak yuletide havoc. The Met office are pretty sure he’s due to make landfall on Christmas day – and according to them, this storm’s going to be a doozy.
As everyone in town starts to batten down the hatches, Kate does her best to save Christmas . . . with a little bit of help from her friends!
Christmas at Clementine Cottage by Emily Harvale
Curl up with a hot chocolate and enjoy the perfect Christmas with this fabulously festive treat.
Elodie Abbott loves Christmas, so she’s not exactly thrilled when best friend, Iris asks her to go to a village Elodie’s never heard of just as the festive season kicks off, to help Iris clear out her recently deceased, Uncle Stanley’s cottage.
At least there’s an upside. Clementine Cottage is grander than it sounds; the village is idyllic and Archer Rhodes, the owner of the village pub, The Bow and Quiver, is seriously hot. But it doesn’t take a genius to work out Uncle Stanley wasn’t popular.
When Elodie and Iris discover Stanley’s been keeping more than a close eye on all the villagers, they soon start to understand why. Everyone in Clementine Cove appears to have a secret – including Archer Rhodes. And Stanley knew them all.
Elodie and Iris begin to unwrap the village mysteries, but now Elodie’s hiding something of her own. She’s falling for the gorgeous but equally stand-offish Archer, and that could be a problem. Especially if Archer’s secret is as bad as she and Iris believe.
But as the temperature plummets, and the village is blanketed in snow, things soon warm up in Archer’s pub. And with the Christmas festivities in full swing, will Elodie and Iris uncover more than they expect beneath the twinkling lights and Christmas sparkle in Clementine Cove?
Winter at Cliff’s End Cottage by Sheila Norton
A cosy, heartwarming Christmas read about the growing friendship between a young journalist and an old woman who lives in a house teetering on the edge of the Devon cliffs, by the bestselling author of The Vets of Hope Green and The Petshop on Pennycombe Bay
Cliff’s End Cottage is a local landmark. Perched on the South Devon coast, its garden has begun slowly toppling into the sea, yet the elderly and infamously stubborn owner Stella refuses to leave her home. When Holly, a young journalist and single mum struggling to make ends meet, decides to interview Stella about her life, at first she’s given short shrift. However, helped by a slice or two of cake and a couple of friendly cats, a tentative friendship begins to develop between the two lonely women.
Stella and Holly may live different lives, but over the cold winter nights, as Stella shares her story, the two women discover more and more in common. Time is running out for the house on the edge, but perhaps, together, Stella and Holly can find a new way forward.
The Winter of Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss
Annie Sharpe has it all – an acclaimed restaurant she owns with her handsome husband Max, and two gorgeous grown-up sons. But after one indiscretion too many, she leaves behind the only life she’s ever known.
In search of a fresh start, Annie takes up a position as a caretaker of Saltwater Nook, a creaky but charming beach house on Kent’s beautiful, wild coastline. The village community is an eccentric but tightknit bunch, and Annie is swept up in a whirlwind of their traditional festive celebrations, from pumpkin carving to bonfires on the beach. It soon feels like home – she even reopens the long-dormant seafront café.
The only thorns in her side are John, the owner’s rugged but totally unreasonable nephew who has his own agenda for the house, and a persistent Max, intent on winning her back.
Saltwater Nook has been the perfect escape, but Annie can’t run from her problems forever. Will she give her first love a second chance? Or step into the promise of a new life?
A Country/Village Christmas
Winter Fires at Mill Grange by Jenny Kane
Mill Grange is putting on a show this holiday season!
When young Dylan Harris‘s former babysitter (and soon to be step-sister), Harriet, needs a last-minute venue for her acting troupe’s outdoor production of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, the staff at Mill Grange throw open its doors, keen to fill their halls with guests over the holiday season… but they may get more drama than they’d bargained for!
With pageants and plays to arrange, a much-anticipated book launch, an unexpected arrival, a heart-warming offer, and a little bit of the manor’s magic, this Christmas is one that Thea, Tina, Sam, Shaun, Helen and Tom – along with retirees Bert and Mabel Hastings – won’t soon forget…
The Best Christmas Ever by Karen King
Lexi Forde adores Christmas. She’s especially looking forward to it this year as it’s the first Christmas with her boyfriend Ben and her older brother is visiting from Canada with his family. They’ll all be spending Christmas at her parents’ house in Devon.
But when Lexi surprises Ben at work, she sees him kissing someone else and discovers he’s been having an affair. Devastated, she travels to Devon alone.
She’s determined not to let her break-up spoil her family Christmas. But when she arrives, Lexi discovers the council won’t allow the Christmas tree on the green to be decorated this year; it’s too dangerous and has to come down. Lexi is desperate to save their favourite family tradition and make this Christmas extra special.
Can she save the tree and mend her broken heart in time for Christmas?
The Merry Christmas Project by Cathy Bramley
Christmas has always meant something special to Merry – even without a family of her own. This year, her heart might be broken but her new candle business is booming. The last thing she needs is another project – but when her hometown’s annual event needs some fresh festive inspiration, Merry can’t resist.
Cole loves a project too – though it’s usually of the bricks and mortar variety. As a single dad, his Christmas wish is to see his kids again, so getting the new house finished for when they’re all together is the perfect distraction.
But this Christmas, magic is in the air for these two strangers. Will it bring them all the joy they planned for . . . and take their hearts by surprise too?
After all, anything can happen at Christmas. . .
Winter at the Stables on Muddypuddle Lane by Etti Summers (novella)
Indulge yourself in snowflakes and hot chocolate with this gorgeously festive romance…
Widowed Megan Barnes used to love horses when she was a child, but the last thing she expected was for her deceased husband’s final gift to her to be a series of riding lessons, culminating in a trek through the snow.
Nathan Windrush is perfectly content with things just the way they are. He adores his job at the stables, and if he ever feels lonely he has his dog, the horses and a donkey to talk to.
But when Megan and Nathan meet, Megan finds herself attracted to him despite her feelings of guilt and betrayal, and Nathan begins to see Megan as more than just another horsey customer.
As winter’s grip tightens on the stables on Muddypuddle Lane, will Megan’s heart remain frozen in grief, or will the growing chemistry between her and Nathan be enough to thaw it? And does Nathan feel able to compete with her husband’s memory and try to win her love?
The Country Village Winter Wedding by Cathy Lake
Clare Greene and Sam Wilson are getting married and everyone in Little Bramble is excited for the event of the year. But Clare and Sam are busy people and have left organising their wedding to the last minute.
Luckily, wedding planner Hazel Campbell has recently moved to the village. She had what she thought was a wonderful life in Edinburgh with a successful business, a loving fiance and her own wedding coming up. But when she caught her groom-to-be in bed with her best friend she fled, leaving everyone and everything behind.
Little Bramble seems like the ideal place for Hazel to start over. As she throws herself into planning the perfect country village winter wedding, she starts to find herself again. And soon she realises that a second chance at happiness might just be on the cards
My Best Friend’s Wedding by Tilly Tennant
Falling snow, sparkling champagne, and an ex that Libby would rather forget…
As chief bridesmaid, Libby knows she should be having the time of her life at her best friend’s snowy Christmas Eve wedding. But she’s at the mercy of three bossy little flower girls and she’s not looking her best in an enormous fuchsia dress. Which is a shame, as it is the first time she’s going to see her ex Rufus. The man she was supposed to marry. The man who left her alone at the altar…
As the dancing begins, and Libby does her best to avoid her ex, the snow outside falls faster and faster, making it impossible for the guests to leave. Snowed in at Lovage Hall, Libby is charmed by American Noah with his dark cropped hair and dimpled cheeks, and the two of them share their dreams and a very passionate kiss.
But when the morning comes, and the snow melts, a shocking revelation about Noah comes to light and Rufus reveals the desperately sad reason he ended their relationship. As Rufus begs for another chance, Libby’s head tells her to trust the man she’s known for years, but her heart can’t quite let go of the spark she had with Noah. Will she make the right decision for her own happy ending?
Lost in Love by Emily Banting
A heart-warming, quintessentially English village novel, centred on the ruins of Nunswick Abbey…
Historical tour guide Anna Walker is determined to make a good impression on her new bosses, but juggling a full-time job with caring for her ailing father is putting her own health – and potentially his – at risk.
When she meets Dr Katherine Atkinson, a charming yet intimidating new arrival to the village, Anna is infuriated by the doctor’s attempts to convince her that her father needs professional, full-time care. She’s even more frustrated by her growing attraction to the classy, wealthy doctor.
Anna’s determination to prove she can cope forces Katherine to divulge a painful event from her past that still haunts her, hopeful it will make Anna see sense before it’s too late.
With Katherine’s heart lost to the past and Anna’s overwhelmed in the present, can the two women help each other overcome their anxieties and move forward? Will a curtain-twitching busy body curtail any blossoming attraction before it even has a chance to bloom?
The Perfect Christmas Gift by Katie Ginger
Can neighbours become more than just good friends this Christmas?
Bella Moore is excitedly counting down the days to Christmas. That is until she arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend leaving her for another woman. Completely heartbroken, Bella is left wondering if Christmas can still be the same this year.
Next door, Bella’s neighbour Nick is facing his first Christmas as a single dad and doubting whether he can make it the magical time his son Freddie deserves.
Determined to fix both Christmas and their broken hearts, Bella comes up with an idea: a Christmas giving tree for the whole village, where the community can unite and secretly give each other the Christmas presents they truly need.
As Bella becomes chief elf, taking donations and delivering gifts with much-needed help from Nick and Freddie, the two neighbours grow closer and start seeing each other in a whole new light.
But when Nick’s estranged wife returns just before Christmas, is their budding romance over before it’s begun? Or will love be Nick and Bella’s perfect gift this Christmas?
Christmas Flings and Wedding Rings by Beth Rain
Last Christmas, Lucy Brown turned to her best friend and found the love of her life staring back at her. One year later . . .
She’s got a wedding to organise…
An entire village to cook Christmas dinner for…
And she’s sure she’s forgotten something… oh yeah, her wedding dress!
But Lucy’s determined to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch… especially when it comes to getting hitched. That’s if she can get to the end of her to-do list before the big day!
Sue Taylor feels like she’s been floating ever since she fell for Lucy over last year’s sprout mountain. Now they’re getting married and it’s like all her dreams have come true – apart from one thing…
She lost her mum’s wedding ring…
It feels like it’s her last link to her parents…
And no matter how much she’s tried to move past it, the idea of getting married without placing that ring on Lucy’s finger just feels wrong.
But this is Little Bamton – maybe the local metal detecting club can help her find the long lost band of gold!
With the big day finally dawning, it’s set to be a Christmas to remember in Little Bamton… as long as someone can find bride number two in time to say “I Do.”
The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees
In gorgeous Hopley village snow is falling and twinkly lights are going up but Holly Hanwell feels anything but Christmassy…
It’s meant to be the most wonderful time of the year but thirty-year-old Holly Hanwell doesn’t really feel like celebrating… notafter the bombshell news her boyfriend is leaving her to have a baby with someone else. So Holly’s organised a quiet Christmas in her cosy little house and plans to avoid the traditional village festivities, and anything resembling a man, at all costs.
That is until she bumps into sexy newcomer Edward. He recently bought Christmas House, at the edge of Hopley, but the renovations on the crumbling building are more than he’d bargained for. Sheltering from the snowy weather in the warm village café, Edward makes Holly laugh over delicious mugs of hot chocolate, topped with cream and sprinkles. Despite the spark between them, Holly knows she needs to protect her already fragile heart and she’s determined NOT to fall in love this Christmas.
But holiday magic works in mysterious ways and they keep crossing paths – at the nativity show, the carols, gift shopping – and then a festive crisis at Christmas House unexpectedly brings them together. Yet just as Holly realises her feelings are growing for handsome but complicated Edward she discovers a secret from his past which makes her question everything she thought she knew about him…
The 12 Days of Christmas by Poppy Alexander
The most magical time of the year…
For the first time in ten years, Freya is back in the little village of Middlemass for Christmas. The streets might be twinkling with fairy lights, but after the recent loss of her mother, she’s never felt less festive.
Forced to sleep under the same roof as her handsome neighbour Finn, Freya realises she’s going to need a distraction – fast! So she sets herself a challenge: to cook the ’12 Days of Christmas’. Her delicious food soon brings the villagers together, and as each day passes, old friendships are renewed, memories stirred and there’s even the flickering of romance…
She was only meant to stay for the holidays, but could Middlemass – and Finn – steal her heart forever?
One More Christmas at the Castle by Trisha Ashley
This Christmas will be the most special of them all…
Elderly widow Sabine knows this will be her last Christmas in her beloved home, Mitras Castle. Determined to make it just like the ones she remembers from her childhood, she employs Dido Jones of Heavenly Houseparties to help with the big day.
Dido is enchanted by the castle as soon as she steps through the imposing front door. And as Christmas day approaches, her feeling of connection to the old house runs deeper than she first thought.
But when the snow begins to fall and Sabine’s family arrive at the house – including Dido’s teenage crush Xan – tensions rise around the castle’s future and long-buried mysteries begin to unravel…
As past secrets come to light, can this still be a magical Christmas to remember?
Christmas of New Beginnings by Kirsty Ferry
Not all festive wishes come true right away – sometimes it takes five Christmases …
Folk singer Cerys Davies left Wales for the South Downs village of Padcock at Christmas, desperate for a new beginning. And she ends up having plenty of those: opening a new craft shop-tea room, helping set up the village’s first festive craft fair, and, of course, falling desperately in love with Lovely Sam, the owner of the local pub. It’s just too bad he’s firmly in the clutches of Awful Belinda …
Perhaps Cerys has to learn that some new beginnings take a while to … well, begin! But with a bit of patience, some mild espionage, a generous sprinkling of festive magic and a flock of pub-crashing sheep, could her fifth Christmas in Padcock lead to her best new beginning yet?
Christmas at Honeyford by Tanya Jean Russell
Do Tess and Sam have a second chance at love this Christmas…?
Since being widowed, Tess Adamson has steadfastly avoided romance. And with a young son and a village bakery to run, she has little time for herself.
As the Christmas period approaches, Tess unexpectedly gains a temporary neighbour — celebrity artist Sam Harrison. Having suffered a public heartbreak, he has retreated to the village to hide from the press and lick his wounds.
Despite Sam’s wish for total seclusion, Tess is determined to make him feel welcome. Moved by her kindness, Sam soon steps in to make her busy life a little easier.
With their past pain and disappointments, both Tess and Sam are wary of pursuing relationships. But as they grow closer and the festive season starts to work its magic, the lonely pair begin to wonder whether they are ready to move forward…
Can Tess and Sam help each other heal? Can they leave the shadows of the past behind?
And will they learn to open their hearts this Christmas…?
A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds by Lucy Coleman
Imogen Tolliman and Gray Adams can’t wait to get married after getting engaged the previous year, when they were stranded by snow in a blizzard. Now they are busy planning their wedding, but when the date slips six months because Gray is working on a huge film project, it seems like fate that after their snowy start, they will end up getting married at Christmas.
The couple are living in Immi’s grandfather’s picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage at the Aysbury marina in the Cotswolds, which they are renovating to become their forever family home. As well as building work, full-time jobs and wedding planning, Immi is in charge of raising money to build a children’s playground, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Santa Ahoy Cruises – her grandfather Tollie’s life work.
With Gray working abroad, Immi is left to cope with everything alone. When a terrible betrayal is uncovered, the whole community of Aysbury is left reeling and Immi is left wondering if there will be a wedding after all…
Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft
Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…
When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.
Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.
However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…
Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?
A Very Special Christmas by Anna Jacobs
Abigail Beadle has given two decades of her life to caring for her late father and preserving the family home, Ashgrove House in Wiltshire. When her loathed stepmother, Edwina, dies, Abigail is glad to be released from her bullying. She will also be able to look after the house properly, perhaps have a real Christmas at home, without Edwina’s stranglehold on the finances.
But her stepmother left behind a will that casts doubt on Abigail’s inheritance and raises the possibility that she will have to leave the home she loves so much. It is not until Lucas Chadwick, the man she loved when she was young, returns to the village that Abigail begins to believe her life might be able to start at last …
A Christmas Wish on a Carousel by Lottie Cardew
Snuggle up under your favourite blanket and escape to the beautiful village of Pebblestow this winter, for one of the most heartwarming stories of the season…
When Cara Mia Shaw makes a desperate wish one night, while riding on a carousel at a Christmas market, little does she know her small, but safe world is about to spin off its axis.
Befriending a fascinating returnee to the village, an elderly woman called Perdita with a jaunty pink beret and the wisdom of a life well lived, might set Cara on a different, albeit harder, course, if she’s brave enough to listen. Art was always her passion, after all, even if fate seemed to have other ideas.
And then there’s the new man in her life, who her friends think is perfect for her because they set her up with decent, reliable Greg in the first place. Cara’s been hurt enough times to know the difference between a good man and a feckless one. Until Wilfred comes along – moody, sarcastic, and scattered – just to complicate matters and meddle with Cara’s resolve, to the horror of almost everyone around her. But is either man ultimately meant for her, anyway? And will she self-sabotage as usual, or gamble everything this time, including her heart?
It might take the highs and lows of friendship, the risk of a forbidden romance, and a Pomeranian called Loki – not to mention some much-needed festive magic – before Cara finally realises the wish she made that night on the carousel might just be about to come true.
A Casterglass Christmas by Kate Hewitt
To save Casterglass, all the Penryn children will need to return home, rebuild their lives among the ruins, and find love that has proved elusive…
The Penryn family have always been eccentric—living in a dilapidated castle in the wilds of Cumbria with an orchid-mad father and a classicist mother who likes to re-enact Greek myths, who wouldn’t be? Penniless and proud, patriarch Walter Penryn resists selling his birthright and family legacy until taxes, bills, and the need for a new roof force him to reconsider.
Well-heeled Londoner Althea Penryn doesn’t expect a divorce and job hunt over the Christmas holidays, but her husband claims he’s done and the prenup is solid. She packs up her reluctant teenage children and heads home to Casterglass Castle to confront the ghosts of her past—including the real one her mother claims lives in the old guard tower. And then there’s her unexpected romance with local sheep farmer, John Braithwaite, who is everything her adulterous, solicitor ex-husband isn’t.
This Christmas, amid the renovation and potential heartbreak of losing her family home, can Althea find a new purpose and the happiness that has so long eluded her?
Make Do and Mend in Applewell (Applewell Village Book 2)
Can their marriage be mended in time for Christmas?
Lottie has always been thrifty. As a mother of three, it’s even more important that she stretches the household budget as far as possible. Luckily, Lottie’s penchant for taking broken items and upcycling them has worked wonders for living on a shoestring.
Henry can’t face telling Lottie he’s been made redundant. Instead, he pretends to go to work as usual while frantically job hunting. The race is on to find another role before Lottie discovers he’s another useless item for her collection – one that is beyond repair.
Christmas is a time for giving, but will Lottie give Henry another chance if she learns about his lies? And can Henry give Lottie and their kids the life he so desperately wants them to have?
Christmas at the Village Sewing Shop by Helen J Rolfe
Can three sisters stitch their family back together?
Loretta loves running the little village sewing shop in Butterbury. Some of her most precious memories are sitting with her three daughters Daisy, Ginny and Fern, stitching together pieces of material – and their hopes and dreams.
But this Christmas the family is coming apart at the seams: Fern feels like she’s failing at motherhood and marriage, Ginny’s passion for her job as a midwife is fading, Daisy is desperate to prove she ‘ s changed since her wild younger years – and most of all, Loretta seems to be hiding something…
As they come together to create a new festive quilt, the bond between the sisters begins to heal. But when Loretta reveals the real reason she’s brought them all home, can the sisters mend the quilt, and their family, in time for Christmas?
Summer’s Christmas by Ella Cook
Bringing the spirit of Christmas to a summer’s day …
Summer by name and summer by nature– that’s how people describe Evelyn’s happy, outgoing daughter. Even if her favourite time of year is actually Christmas!
But Summer has gone through more than any eight-year-old ever should, and that’s part of the reason Evelyn is leaving everything behind to return to her childhood home in the village of Broclington; just her, Summer and Summer’s best friend – a Shiba Inu dog called Tilly. Unsurprisingly, Evelyn is hesitant to let anyone else in, although local vet Jake Macpearson seems intent on winning her trust.
When Evelyn receives the news that every mother dreads, it’s Jake who comes to the rescue. With the help of the Broclington community, could he be the man to bring festive magic to August, and make all of Evelyn and Summer’s Christmases come at once?
Fairytale of the Other New York by Joseph Kiel
London film critic Hazel Nightingale has lost her job and is desperately trying to get her ex out of her system. But as she returns to her childhood home in the Lincolnshire fens to take care of her ailing grandparent, she had not expected a new romance to be written in her stars.
In nearby Woodhall Spa, Hollywood is in town shooting a war film, and with time on her hands, Hazel signs up to be a background extra. Heading the cast is a movie star heartthrob, a native of the more well-known New York, and serendipity sees these two New Yorkers drawn together again and again. Somehow, it seems he’s taken a shine to her. Could this be the start of a fairytale romance going on here? They don’t happen in this New York, do they?
Snow Falls over Sunnybrook (Little Duck Pond Cafe 18) by Rosie Green
The chance to spend a night ghost-hunting alone with Hudson Holmes at Brambleberry Manor seems like a dream come true for Ruby Watkiss. Maybe, she thinks, this is their chance to get closer. But when mysterious goings-on start happening which have nothing to do with the spirit world, the pair are catapulted off on another sleuthing adventure. And as the snow starts to fall and emotions are rising at the Little Duck Pond Cafe, Ruby is faced with a double challenge. Can she be braver than she’s ever been, in order to rescue something very close to her heart? And can she convince a distinctly ‘bah-humbug’ Hudson that Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year?
A Cornish Christmas
Walnut Mince Pies at the Frost Fete (Return to Cornwall 5) by Laura Briggs
Christmastime brings a flurry of exciting events for Julianne in the fifth installment of the UK romance series.
Between organizing an elegant Nutcracker ballet-inspired wedding and running a booth at the village’s upcoming Christmas market and fete, Julianne’s festive season has never been busier. Things at home are equally chaotic, with foster child Joel struggling to open up to them, and daughter Sylvia acting out at school. Cue a parent-teacher meeting with charming new instructor Ben, the latest addition to the village school’s faculty. Maybe his advice will shed some light on Sylvia’s behavior…or maybe he’ll think Julianne and Matt have taken on more than they can handle. Even Julianne thinks it might be true this time, as she juggles work, family time, and another baby on the way—all with Christmas right around the corner!
But Julianne isn’t the only one feeling the time crunch this Christmas. Lady Amanda has her hands full coordinating the Frost Fair fete, and with too few volunteers, the job of creating the children’s village falls into the cold but capable hands of … Mrs. Norris? Adding to the list of questionable seasonal recipes, chef Michael is rumored to be seeing a pretty sous chef—only Julianne can’t help wondering if he’s not quite over his feelings for a certain comedienne named Kimmie.
Will Julianne and Matt finally strike the right balance when it comes to family life? Will the strict housekeeper surprise everyone with her design, or is the beloved children’s tradition doomed? More importantly, will Julianne survive all this chaos without losing her Christmas spirit?
With plenty of seasonal cheer, sweet spices, and a sense of excitement filling the air, Ceffylgwyn welcomes another idyllic celebration for Julianne’s friends and family in this heartwarming new installment.
No Room at the Little Cornish Inn by Nancy Barone
There’s magic in the Cornish air this Christmas…
When Rosie Anderson‘s boss suddenly assigns her to go incognito and save a tiny inn in Cornwall from being shut down, her dreams of a Christmas holiday with her son are shattered. And, for the life of her, Rosie has no idea why she’s got to go.
It’s chaos from the start – after hours in the car, Rosie arrives at the inn to find that there are no rooms left. She isn’t there for more than a minute before she’s butting heads with the manager, Irishman Mitchell Fitzpatrick. He seems to dislike her on sight, so it’s confusing that he seems to get on so well with Danny… But if he’s as terrible as his reputation, Rosie will have to be the one to fire him.
Mistletoe at Moonstone Lake by Holly Martin
Escape to Jewel Island where the snow sparkles in the moonlight, the fairy lights twinkle from the trees and true love is in the air. This gorgeous new love story by million selling author Holly Martin is the perfect treat to warm your heart this Christmas.
Artist Zoey Flynn hadn’t planned to spend her favourite holiday on the shores of Jewel Island, but when her fiancé breaks off their engagement before their Christmas Eve wedding, this Cornish paradise is just the distraction she needs.
With a cosy cottage to call home for a month and a stall at the island’s famous Christmas market to sell her paintings, Zoey quickly puts her heartbreak behind her. Love is the last thing on her mind. That is until the handsome Kit Lewis crosses her path…
Their connection is instant, but Zoey has a secret. And the deeper she and Kit fall for one another, the harder it is to hide. Kit knows Zoey is holding something back and if she won’t tell him the truth she could lose him forever.
Is keeping a promise from the past worth sacrificing a future with the man she loves? Or might Kit be the one person she can trust?
A Winter’s Wish for the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett
A secret love…
As winter descends on the coastal town of Port Agnes, midwife Toni Samuels’ mood is as dark as the winter clouds that roll in. Toni loves her job as a midwife, but her private life is falling apart. Because Toni is keeping a secret– a relationship with fellow male midwife Bobby that no one can ever know about.
A damaged hope…
Kind and gorgeous, Bobby is a huge hit at the midwifery centre, but he’s tired of keeping his feelings for Toni a secret – of always coming second best. He knows that Toni’s past is painful, but unless she can be open with her feelings for him, he’s prepared to walk away from their love.
Can love find a way?
Toni loves Bobby and wishes things could be different between them. But torn between her past and a future with him, everything seems hopeless. Until fate hands Toni one last chance…
Now Toni’s secret wish is in her hands…if only she can be brave enough to take a chance and make her dreams come true.
Mistletoe at the Manor by Teresa F Morgan
Can Beth learn to open her heart this Christmas…?
Between setting up her boutique and raising her six-year-old son, single mum Beth Sterling has little time for romance.
Keen to expand her clientele, Beth moves her business into a cosy converted stable on the scenic Trenouth Estate.
However, her focus soon wavers when she meets Tristan Trenouth, the handsome but aloof owner of the estate. Each wilful and outspoken, Beth and Tristan are soon clashing whenever they cross paths.
With the estate’s charity ball and Christmas fayre on the horizon, the two grudgingly put their differences aside and agree to work together. And as they spend more and more time in each other’s company, their uneasy truce blossoms into a strong mutual attraction.
But with a young son, a fledgling business and a painful past to contend with, Beth needs someone she can rely on. And Tristan has demons of his own to face…
Can Beth get her boutique up and running in time for Christmas? Will she and Tristan find happiness together?
Or will the shadows of the past drive them apart…?
A Special Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley
For Bo Grayson, Christmas has always been the most wonderful time of the year. Well, until she had her heart broken last December…
When Bo Grayson and her friends meet a mysterious fortune teller, she gives each woman the same prediction: You will meet the love of your life by Christmas Day.
But Bo quickly dismisses this as nonsense. And with the festive season in full swing, she has plenty to keep her busy: creating the seasonal menu for her Boatyard Café, getting her rock and roll dance group ready for their Christmas show – and avoiding thinking about last December, when her fortune took a turn for the worse…
Besides, she definitely isn’t ready to open her heart again. But will fate – and perhaps a sprinkle of Christmas magic – change her mind?
Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea by Cressida McLaughlin
Can she spread Christmas cheer in Cornwall this year?
All Meredith Verren has ever wanted is to escape the holiday season without having to wear a Christmas jumper. Her new job at the cosy gift shop in a picturesque Cornish tourist spot is making it impossible for her to maintain her scrooge-like manner.
With their seasonal hampers on everyone’s wish list, Meredith must paste on a smile and fake some holiday cheer. Then she meets handsome new arrival, Finn, who wishes it could be Christmas every day and wants her to feel the same way too.
Can she embrace the holly and the ivy before the decorations are packed away for another year?
A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm by Angela Britnell
Pairing up at Pear Tree Farm in time for Christmas …
Pear Tree Farm in Cornwall, owned by the kind-hearted Nessa Vivian, is known for taking in lost souls, and ex-soldier Crispin Davies is certainly one of those. But the once sleepy caravan park is now a thriving business, and far from the peace and quiet Crispin was craving, he soon finds himself roped into helping out with a short-notice Christmas festival, organised by Nessa’s force-of-nature sister, Lowena.
But despite Crispin’s initial reluctance, his involvement in the festival serves to throw him together with Ashley Spencer, an American woman and fellow lost soul, who works at the nearby Tregereth House. Could Lowena’s ambitious scheme result in a more hopeful Christmas and New Year for them both – with a few surprises along the way?
Sequel to A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm
A Yorkshire Christmas
A Country Village Christmas by Suzanne Snow
Can the magic of Christmas and the community of Thorndale bring two lost souls together in love?
Olivia doesn’t have time for Christmas or for romance – she’s got a demanding career and has been burned before when it comes to love. This year, she’s spending the festive season in her dad’s old house, packing it up now that he’s moved out. Her dad failed to mention she wouldn’t be spending her time there alone…
The last thing Olivia expects is for her surprise guest to be the very man who literally ran from her after an evening of mutual flirtation. But Tom has nowhere else to go and Olivia is determined to forget the disappointment she felt at his abandonment and instead help him find his way again.
As heavy snow keeps them inside the cottage, will their enforced confinement spark romance once again – or will it push them further apart?
Christmas Wishes at Pudding Hall by Kate Forster
Christa Playfoot is looking for a fresh start after her divorce. Having lost her Michelin-starred restaurant, she hadn’t expected to be job hunting and single just before Christmas.
When her best friend says she’s recommended Christa for a gig as a private chef over the Christmas period, Christa can’t think of a reason to say no.
Christa has no idea what to expect but it’s certainly not grumpy billionaire divorcee Marc Ferrier and his rambunctious twin sons, or the beautiful but cheerless country estate, Pudding Hall, that they inhabit.
With her knack for pouring love into her cooking, Christa is determined to make this Christmas sparkle for the Ferrier family and maybe get her life back on track in the process…
Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop by Jessica Redland (Christmas on Castle Street Book 1)
Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…
When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.
Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!
With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time. With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.
But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…
Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.
Snowflakes Over the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland
Welcome to The Starfish Café – where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.
Two broken hearts.
Since she inherited The Starfish Café, Hollie has poured her heart into the business, striving to keep her mother’s traditions and warm-hearted spirit alive. But behind closed doors Hollie is searching for true happiness as she grieves the tragic loss of her family who were once the beating heart of the café…
An unexpected meeting.
Jake lives by two rules: don’t let anyone get close and don’t talk about what happened. Little does he know that a chance meeting at The Starfish Café, facilitated by a fluffy lost dog, is about to turn his world upside down…
The chance to love again.
Can Hollie and Jake break down the barriers that have been holding them back from finding love and happiness, before Christmas comes around? After all, with courage, nothing is impossible…
The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures Part 4: Christmas Wishes (novella)
When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her only connection to London broken, she moves home to York to be near her family and to begin to build a new life.
Taking a job at the antique shop she has always admired, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of his parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men who represent two different happy endings.
But can she trust herself to choose the right man? And will that bring her everything she really needs?
A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton
A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.
But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.
When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.
Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…
Christmas at Fox Farm by Helen Pollard
Daisy is preparing to spend her first Christmas in the only place she’s ever really felt at home: beautiful Fox Farm. But when tragedy strikes, she will need all her festive cheer, and all the mulled wine, to keep Christmas from being cancelled…
Living atFox Farm, with its cosy café and charming pottery workshop, is a dream come true for thirty-one-year-old Daisy. The kindly owner, Jean, and the close-knit village feel like the family Daisy has never had. She’s been looking forward to finally having people to buy gifts for and to share cookies with in front of the fire after too much Christmas dinner.
When Jean suddenly falls ill, Daisy is the first to lend a hand in organising the holiday celebrations. She ropes in Alex – Jean’s handsome Scrooge of a nephew – to help her. From the get-go Daisy and Alex cannot agree on anything, butting heads through decorating disasters and tripping over each other at the holiday barn dance. Alex hates Christmas, and Daisy is feeling so festive she might as well be the fairy on top of the ten-foot tree. Can Daisy melt Alex’s icy exterior and prove to him just how magical Christmas can be?
But then Alex discovers Fox Farm is almost bankrupt, and suddenly its whole future is in jeopardy. They need a plan, and quickly, if Jean is to have a place to come back to this Christmas. Will Daisy be able to save the only real home she’s ever had? And might this Christmas be the beginning of something special?
A Not So Quiet Christmas by Suzie Tullett
A solo getaway at an English country cottage is a pleasant way to spend the holiday—but it takes two to really make things merry . . .
Antonia prefers a quiet Christmas. She’s happy to spend it on her own, watching Hallmark holiday movies in her pyjamas, eating what she wants, when she wants.
Antonia’s friend Jules, on the other hand, loves a big Christmas celebration and plans on travelling to the Yorkshire Dales for a festive break. But when Jules breaks her leg, she persuades Antonia to make the trip on her behalf. Arriving at the little cottage, Antonia meets the handsome property agent Oliver. But she can’t escape the weird locals—or avoid embarrassing situations like mistaking a cow for a burglar.
As Christmas approaches, the attraction between Oliver and Antonia grows. She could choose to return to the bustling city and spend it alone. Or she could choose love and have a not so quiet Christmas . . .
A Midwinter Match by Jane Lovering
Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.
A talented counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.
But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.
Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.
As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.
Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…
A Cosy Countryside Christmas by Eliza J Scott
Ella Welford’s done with love. After having her fingers burnt, she’s been resolutely single for the last year and has sworn to stay that way.
Joss Campion’s still reeling from a messy divorce and has vowed never to open his heart to love again.
Growing up in the picturesque village of Lytell Stangdale, with the North Yorkshire Moors as their playground, Joss and Ella were best friends. The pair were inseparable.
Until the day something happened to ruin their friendship and Joss moved away.
An urgent telephone call summons Joss back to the village. His father’s been rushed to hospital and he’s needed to run the farm. When he returns, with his loyal canine companion, Sid, in tow, it isn’t long before he realises things aren’t as they seem. Why is his brother, Rich, being so evasive? And why does he get the impression the farm’s in trouble?
Teaching Assistant, Ella, has just broken up for the Christmas holidays and is looking forward to spending more time on her parents’ farm, tending her variety of rescue animals and recharging her batteries.
It isn’t long before the pair run into one another and sparks of attraction begin to fly – not that either of them will admit to it. But, just before Christmas, they find themselves thrown together in an unexpected turn of events as a fierce snow blizzard rages around them.
Could this be the moment that changes everything? Or is their past too big to ignore?
One thing’s for certain, life’s never dull in this little corner of the North Yorkshire Moors.
Join Ella and Joss – and all the usual Lytell Stangdale characters – for a heartwarming festive read
A Scottish Christmas
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
An ill-fated expedition for the New World left Sophia Paterson an orphan, cared for by her uncle. On his passing, a distant relative offers what Sophia longs for most: a home. Slains Castle, on the rugged Scottish coast, is much more comfortable than she is accustomed to. But danger is right around the corner, as rebels conspire to bring the exiled James Stewart to Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Enchanted by the ruins of the castle, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn this all-but-forgotten story into her next novel. Settling in the nearby village, she creates a heroine named after one of her ancestors and starts to write.
Discovering her novel contains more than she researched, Carrie wonders if this is ancestral memory – making her the only living person to know what truly happened all those years ago. With each new chapter she uncovers the secrets of the past in a sweeping tale of love, loyalty and ultimate betrayal.
Christmas in the Scottish Highlands by Donna Ashcroft
Welcome to the gorgeous little Scottish village of Christmas, where snow is falling, presents are being wrapped and the locals are writing their festive wish lists. Will this finally be the year that Belle’s dreams come true?
Thirty-year-old Belle Albany is feeling lonely this Christmas. Another whole year has passed and her life is… exactly the same as it was last December. She longs for true love and a little bit of winter magic – but she’s almost given up on finding it in the sleepy Scottish community where she lives…
When Belle crashes into elderly Edina on her cherry red bicycle, it’s not the meet-cute she’d been hoping for. But she immediately recognises the lost look in Edina’s watery-blue eyes and resolves to organise a Christmas to remember for them both – brimming with mince pies, mulled wine and lots of sparkle. Although Belle hadn’t counted on Edina’s home being a crumbling Scottish castle and she certainly hadn’t been expecting Edina’s handsome long-lost grandson Jack Hamilton-Kirk to turn up on the doorstep in the middle of a snow storm…
Jack is arrogant, rude and bossy and Belle is convinced he’s about to ruin the seasonal cheer she has worked hard to create. He’s basically the Grinch in human form, so why does her heart race every time they’re in the same room? They disagree on almost everything, from menu choices to music, and yet she starts to glimpse a softer side hidden behind Jack’s clipped words and brooding countenance.
As they hunt down costumes for the annual nativity show and save a donkey from a snowy disaster, Belle can’t ignore their growing attraction. But will a secret from Jack’s past come between them? Or will this finally be the year Belle falls in love?
A Winter Memory by Lulu Taylor
When, years ago, Helen fell for the charming Hamish, she was also enchanted by romantic Ballintyre House, which sits elegantly on the edge of a loch in the west of Scotland and has been home to the Ballintyre family for decades. Now, seeking refuge from a scandal that has cost Hamish his job, they are living with his older brother Charlie at the house, while the boys’ troubled mother is never too far away. Struggling with her own problems, Helen is surprised to find that Charlie’s wife has vanished. No one else seems at all concerned. Where has she gone, and why?
In 1968, sixteen-year-old Tigs is madly in love with James Ballintyre, her childhood friend and hero. When he marries Josephine, her heart is broken. She knows it’s hopeless but she can’t help how she feels. She tries to find her way to a new life and a new love, but somehow everyone is called back to Ballintyre in the end, and Tigs is no exception . . .
Ballintyre has always been the setting for revelations of love, obsession and betrayal. Now, as Helen seeks the answer to Charlie’s wife’s whereabouts, she is forced to confront her own difficult truths – and the events of the past reach forward to touch the lives of those who still call Ballintyre home, and reveal their secrets . . .
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
Carmen has always worked in her local department store. So, when the gorgeous old building closes its doors for good, she is more than a little lost.
When her sister, Sofia, mentions an opportunity in Edinburgh – a cute little bookshop, the spare room in her house – Carmen is reluctant, she was never very good at accepting help. But, short on options, she soon finds herself pulling into the snowy city just a month before Christmas.
What Sofia didn’t say is that the shop is on its last legs and that if Carmen can’t help turn things around before Christmas, the owner will be forced to sell. Privately, Sofia is sure it will take more than a miracle to save the store, but maybe this Christmas, Carmen might surprise them all…
Bells at Christmas by Simon Northouse
A relaxing Christmas in a Scottish castle followed by a Hogmanay ball sounds like the idyllic yuletide holiday… right? What could possibly go wrong?
Against his protestations, Will Harding is coerced into Christmas at a Scottish castle with his family and friends. All he wanted was a quiet Christmas at home, chomping on his nuts, watching “The Great Escape” on DVD. But nothing in Will’s life is ever quiet or relaxing, especially when he’s in the company of his reckless friends, Geordie, Robbo, and Flaky who have an uncanny knack of creating chaos from the most banal situations, even without trying… it truly is a gift!
When the peculiar butler of the castle, Frazer, spins fanciful yarns about ghosts, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night, it puts everyone on edge.
An innocent visit to the local pub on Christmas Eve is the catalyst for a series of unfortunate mishaps that snowball out of control.
Can Will calm the storm, fix the unfixable, dole out justice, and ensure a happy start to the new year for his family and friends, or will it be a bleak winter’s tale with a frosty ending?
The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements
Hazel plans perfect weddings. But life is full of surprises…
Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner – she was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie’s summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, word about Hazel’s expertise soon spreads.
Turning her talent into a new career, Hazel takes on new clients who expect the very best. She’s promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. As weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say ‘I do’? And will she find her own happy ending along the way?
The Winter Cottage by Rachael Lucas
WhenRilla Clark’s long lost father dies, she leaves New England and heads to his cottage in the Scottish Highlands to sort out his affairs. Rilla’s determined that her visit will be a fleeting one. The little village of Applemore holds a lot of memories for her, but looking back might just open up her heart, which she’s kept well-guarded until now.
Lachlan Fraser is less than delighted with his inheritance. He left the grand, crumbling Applemore House as soon as he could, and he can’t see why his three sisters love it so much. Gathered together at their family estate, the battle of wills over what to do with the house is just beginning when into their life walks Rilla, who they haven’t seen for over fifteen years…
Old friendships and long-hidden emotions are rekindled as the romance of a Highland winter works its magic – will Rilla and Lachlan discover that home isn’t a place, but a feeling?
A Christmas Bluff (Scottish Island Escapes 5) by Margaret Amatt
She’s about to trespass all over his Christmas.
Artist and photographer Georgia Rose has spent two carefree years on the Isle of Mull and is looking forward to a quiet Christmas… Until she discovers her family is about to descend upon her, along with her past.
Aloof aristocrat Archie Crichton-Leith has let out his island mansion to a large party from the mainland. They’re expecting a castle for Christmas, not an outdated old pile, and he’s in trouble.
When Georgia turns up with an irresistible smile and an offer he can’t refuse, he’s wary, but he needs her help.
As Georgia weaves her festive charms around the house, they start to work on Archie too. And the spell extends both ways. But falling in love was never part of the deal. Can the magic outlast Christmas when he’s been conned before and she has a secret that could ruin everything?
This Year, Maybe by Jenny Gladwell
Sometimes you have to fall apart to become whole again…
Kate is a successful interior designer with two wonderful kids.
Kate is also a recent widow, a grieving daughter and worrying about how to pay the bills.
Her life might look perfect from the outside, but making things look better than they are is just how Kate copes. Her mother, Jean, worries about her – but she has her own problems. A mystery from the past has come back to haunt her, and she decides now is the time to put the pieces together.
When romance makes an appearance in both their lives, can mother and daughter lay the past to rest – and begin again?
From Shetland, With Love at Christmas by Erin Green
Friendship can be the greatest gift you’ll ever give…
Verity is embarking on a better-late-than-never gap year now that her sons have flown the nest, and dreams of turning a lifetime’s hobby of knitting and crocheting into a profitable new enterprise at Lerwick Manor’s gallery.
Nessie has returned to Shetland after two years spent retraining as a blacksmith on the Scottish mainland. She’s determined to do whatever it takes to reignite the traditional craft and prove that gender is no obstacle to taking on her family’s heritage.
Isla is fresh out of catering college, but she is desperate to prove she has what it takes to run Lerwick Manor’s artisan café. Focused on perfecting her grandmother’s traditional recipes, Isla has no time for anything else – especially not her pesky ex.
With the island’s Yule Day celebration fast approaching, it’s the ideal moment for their crafts to shine. But they can’t do it alone – and their friendship might turn out to be their greatest creation yet…
A Toast to the Old Stones : A Tale from Kinloch by Denzil Meyrick (novella)
It’s 1968, and the fishermen of Kinloch are preparing to celebrate the old New Year on the twelfth of January. The annual pilgrimage to the Auld Stones is a tradition that goes back beyond memory, and young Hamish, first mate on the Girl Maggie, is chuffed that he’s been invited to this exclusive gathering – usually reserved for the most senior members of Kinloch’s fishing community.
Meanwhile, it appears that the new owners of the Firdale Hotel are intent upon turning their customers teetotal, such is the exorbitant price they are charging for whisky. Wily skipper Sandy Hoynes comes up with a plan to deliver the spirit to the thirsty villagers at a price they can afford through his connections with a local still-man.
But when the Revenue are tipped off, it looks as though Hoynes and Hamish’s mercy mission might run aground. Can the power of the Auld Stones come to their rescue, and is the reappearance of a face from Hoynes’ past a sign for good or ill?
How the Other Half Lives : Part 3: At Christmas by Sharon Booth
What could be better than a traditional family Christmas? For the Fletchers and the Kingstons, just about anything…
Christmas in the Scottish Highlands. It sounds idyllic, but if not for Billie and Arlo, neither family would choose to spend the most wonderful time of the year with the other.
With the Kingstons playing host, despite serious misgivings, the scene is set for a final family get-together. But beneath the festive glitter there’s a distinct lack of Christmas spirit.
Billie’s having serious doubts about her future, while Jason’s in a race against time. Rafferty, meanwhile, is nursing a huge secret, Elizabeth is terrified hers is about to be revealed, and the only chestnuts Mona wants to see roasting on an open fire are Jason’s.
Then Oscar arrives on the doorstep, freezing cold and lost. He’s seeking refuge and, despite Mona’s dire warnings that he could be a serial killer, the families welcome him in.
Little do they know that Oscar’s arrival will be the spark that lights the touchpaper, and the lives of the Kingstons and the Fletchers are about to be changed forever.
Christmas at Log Fire Cabins by CP Ward
Christmas is coming but hardworking single mother Sophie Wilkins is tired. Teenage stropfest daughter Elizabeth and oddball, outcast son David take up so much of her energy that she has little left to cope with her second ex-husband, the irritating Jeremy, who won’t take no for an answer.
When her parents suggest a family Christmas trip to a Scottish campsite resort called Log Fire Cabins, it could be just what she needs. Peace and quiet in the middle of a secluded pine forest … but with things really turn out as she hopes? Will Jeremy really get the message this time, or will someone new appear to sweep her off her feet?
Christmas at Log Fire is another quirky, heartwarming Christmas story from CP Ward, the acclaimed author of several much loved Christmas books, including We’ll Have a Wonderful Cornish Christmas and Christmas at the Marshmallow Café.
A Nordic Christmas
Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin
’Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe…
Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?
Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.
Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?
The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans
Sasha Hansley hates Christmas. As a child, it was her favourite time of year, but ever since the tragic death of her mother, it has completely lost its magic.
But when she gets an unexpected phone call from her estranged father, she’s forced to dust off her snow boots.
He’s been running a Lapland style Christmas village in Norway and after suffering a heart attack, he is on strict doctor’s orders to slow down. Eager to reconnect with her dad, Sasha books the next flight out there. Only she’s never actually been on a plane before, let alone to the Arctic Circle.
Met at the runway by drop-dead-gorgeous Taavi Salvesen, they sleigh ride through the snow with the Northern Lights guiding their way.
When Sasha uncovers sacks of unopened Santa mail – letters that children and adults from all over the world write to Santa every year – she realises that she can send a little bit of magic out into the world by replying to some of them.
With Taavi on hand to help, will Sasha rediscover her own excitement for Christmas and find love among the letters?
A Winter in Wonderland by Isla Gordon
Will a magical winter in Lapland help Myla fall in love with festive?
Myla is the UK’s least-festive woman. Starting the year she found out the truth about Santa Claus, everything bad that’s ever happened to her occurs around Christmas. Nowadays, she wants nothing to do with this time of year, so of course she would lose the bet with her sister and be forced to put herself forward for a seasonal job in Lapland, welcoming tourists to Santa’s winter wonderland for the holidays.
Ten weeks, temperatures well below freezing, days that are mostly dark, and the need to stay brimming with Christmas spirit doesn’t fill Myla with joy as she heads off to the arctic circle for winter in Finland. But as she discovers that Lapland is more than Santa Claus’s Village, the very last person she ever thought she’d fall for turns out to be a man who plays an Elf, and who is bound to stay in character at all times.
Will a little love under the Northern Lights convince Myla that her bad luck might finally have come to an end?
Meet Me Under the Northern Lights by Emily Kerr
All it takes is one moment to change your life . . .
When a cleverly edited video of radio host Lucy Fairweather goes viral, she knows she needs an escape. And preferably somewhere far away.
Where better than Wild Zone – a destination for people who want to experience the Arctic Circle? Owned by the gorgeous but brooding Tommi, Lucy agrees to help with the guests in return for her stay. But getting to grips with her skis is proving harder than it looks.
Far from home and in a winter wonderland, will an encounter with the breathtaking Northern Lights change her luck, in both life and love?
Snug in Iceland by Victoria Walker
Rachel Richards is stuck in a rut. Her boyfriend Adam barely notices her most of the time and her life in London isn’t as exciting as it should be. When the company she works for, Snug, asks her to oversee the opening of a new store in Iceland, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery. Exploring Reykjavik with the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel discovers that life is out there waiting to be lived. As she falls in love with Iceland, she begins to see what is important to her and wonders whether the life she left behind is what she wants after all…
The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd
‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’
Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!
A Scandinavian Christmas : Festive Tales for a Nordic Noel
Ranging from Hans Christian Anderson to Karl Ove Knausgaard, have yourself a nordic noel with the very best Scandinavian Christmas tales
Have yourself a truly Scandinavian Christmas… Of visions and prophesies seen in dark, dark woods. Of toys and trees come to life. Of trolls raising chaos, and of families torn apart — only to be brought back together by festive cheer.
In this collection, classic tales from Hans Christian Andersen and Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlof blend with modern day stories from Karl Ove Knausgaard and Vigdis Hjorth. Each touch on the warm and wild spirit of Christmas, where the cosiness and contentment of the season can often give way to the unexpected, magical and sometimes mystical.
A smorgasbord of strange literary gifts, let A Scandinavian Christmas transport you to a winter wonderland in which fantasy, the fantastic and the festive combine for your reading delight.Read less
The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan
It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?
There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.
As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?
A Stateside Christmas
Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone
Can the festive magic heal her broken heart?
There is more than one surprise in store…
When Nessa Hunt arrives in Rose Bend she is looking for answers, and her absent father. Not a picture perfect town teeming with Christmas cheer, or the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison.
The heat between her and Wolf is undeniable and the festive merriment of the town is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?
The Mistletoe Pact by Jo Lovett
Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything…
On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerised by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best-friend’s brother.
But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realise too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel.
Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends.
Except moving on is easier said than done when you’ve secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? If they don’t get together this time, what happens to the pact? Are they really ready to let it go for good?
The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.
At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?
Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.
The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery
A year since she was dumped by her fiancé, the last thing Reggie Somerville wants is to come back home for Christmas. But when her parents announce their plans for a lavish Christmas wedding she has no choice. She expects to face town gossip, she does not expect to run into her first love Toby, or deal with the feelings he stirs in her…
Dena Somerville is single and pregnant-on purpose. Wanting a family her way she’s determined to do it alone. She didn’t expect the distraction of a handsome musician checking into her inn-and one snow-kissed moment-to make her question what she really wants this Christmas…
As the Christmas wedding draws closer, these two sisters may just find the most unexpected gift of all—love.
The Twelve Wishes of Christmas by Ruby Basu
She’s here for the perfect Christmas escape…
When Sharmila discovers her late friend, Thomas, has gifted her the holiday of her dreams, she can’t pack her bags fast enough. Arriving in Pineford, it’s everything she’d ever hoped for and more.
But she’s in for another surprise, because Thomas has left her with one last request: if she completes his Christmas wish list of festive activities, her chosen charity will receive a big donation. Or so Sharmila thinks.
…He’s there to reclaim his family’s legacy
Little does she know, she’s set to inherit Thomas’s estate too, much to his nephew Zach’s disbelief. Determined not to see his family’s legacy left to a stranger, he’s come to Pineford to do whatever it takes to stop Sharmila from fulfilling that list.
When Sharmila and Zach meet, neither are prepared for sparks to fly. For Sharmila’s sworn off love, and Zach doesn’t trust her. But with every passing wish they find themselves growing closer. And amongst the twinkling town lights and fallen snow, Sharmila can feel her heart opening up to Zach. But when she learns he’s been keeping a secret from her, can Sharmila forgive him and get the happy-ever-after she’s always wished for this Christmas?
A Lighthouse Christmas by Jenny Hale
When her beloved grandmother passes away, Mia Broadhurst returns to the snow-covered seaside village of Winsted Cape, where Grandma Ruth ran the lighthouse overlooking the golden beach.
This will be Mia’s first Christmas without her, and she can’t bear to part with the lighthouse that has been in their family for generations. As she steps into it, childhood memories rush back to her. She can almost hear them playing tag on the steps… But her life is back in New York, dedicated to a busy PR firm, and she has no choice but to sell.
With the snow falling, turning the grounds into a winter wonderland, Mia works with real estate agent Will Thacker. As they restore the historical building, she tries not to notice how handsome he is. After all, she’s only home for Christmas… And Will’s deep blue eyes, as stormy as the Atlantic Ocean, tells her he has his own heartbreak to contend with.
Warmed by a crackling fire, Mia packs up Grandma Ruth’s belongings with the help of her mother and sister. But waiting for them is a black-and-white photograph with a faded inscription. The mysterious message is the key to a family secret that has been hidden for decades––one that changes everything.
When Mia finds out the truth, will it save the precious lighthouse and show Mia where her heart belongs? Or will it tear her from Winsted Cape––and Will––for ever?
Winter Weddings by Debbie Macomber
When the world is covered in white, there’s nothing quite like a romance that ends with a wedding!
The Sheriff Takes a Wife
It’s love at first sight for city girl Christy Manning and small-town sheriff Cody Franklin. But despite their fast and intense connection, they both have…complicated…relationship statuses. Cody is wary of being burned again, and Christy is worried that no matter what choice she makes, someone is going to be hurt. Still, the two can’t seem to keep away from each other and will have to find the courage to follow their hearts.
First Comes Marriage
Janine Hartman loves her grandfather but balks at his plan to choose her a husband. Zach Thomas, the intended groom, has recently merged his business with the Hartman family firm, and that’s the only Hartman-Thomas merger he wants. But Grandfather has other ideas, ideas belonging to a different place, a different time. It would be a perfect match, he insists. Zach and Janine don’t agree. In fact, they agree on only one thing–that Gramps is a stubborn, meddling old man. But…what if he’s right?
The Holiday Ex-Files by Jennifer Peel
Once upon a time people called me the holiday queen. But catching my husband under the Christmas tree with another woman kind of did something to me. Like make me digitally crop him out of all our wedding photos and post them online. Who knew that post would go viral? Thanks to all the requests I received to do the same for other jilted partners, I started a new business called, the Holiday Ex-Files. And I couldn’t be happier. Well . . . at least I’m not unhappy.
Then along comes my ex-husband’s best friend, Noah Cullen. Yep, like the vampires. He’s extremely gorgeous like them too. He has a plan to help me believe in the magic of holidays again. But the more I’m around him, I begin to think he’s the magical one, and that perhaps I picked the wrong best friend to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, it will be a very merry Christmas after all.
A Cross-Country Christmas by Courtney Walsh
Lauren Richmond isn’t a fan of Christmas.
Which is why she rarely makes the trip home to the Midwest for the holidays. After all, she has plenty to keep her busy—namely, her duties as a set decorator on a TV sitcom.
But this December, Lauren‘s brother and his wife are expecting a baby, so her brother arranges a ride home for her with his good friend, Will.
Unfortunately for Lauren, she’s been trying to forget college baseball coach and childhood crush Will Sinclair for more than ten years.
Now, thanks to her fear of flying, she’s stuck in a car with him from California to Illinois.
She’s circumspect and organized. He’s flirty and spontaneous.
She’s convinced that people don’t change. He’s trying to prove to her (and himself) that he has.
On this cross-country road trip, they’ll both discover that history doesn’t exactly repeat itself. . . but like any good Christmas carol, it does have a second verse.
The Wish by Nicholas Sparks
What if the person you needed most, turned up when you least expected them?
Maggie hasn’t told this story in years. More than two decades ago, she fell in love. She was sixteen and far from home, waiting to give her baby up for adoption. Bryce showed Maggie how to take photographs and he didn’t judge her for the way her belly swelled under her jumper. They had the perfect first kiss. Theirs was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.
Now, as Maggie sits by the Christmas tree in her gallery telling her story, surrounded by the photographs that made her famous – the photographs Bryce never saw – her new gallery assistant asks her a question. If she had one wish, what would she wish for this Christmas?
Maggie always thought she knew the answer to that question. But before she can say ‘I’d go back to that winter with Bryce’, she stops herself. It is all she has ever wanted but suddenly here, on this dark night under the twinkling stars, there is something else she wants. She wants to find her baby.
The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox
When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell – both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.
With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous Physician Assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix.
Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?
The Matzah Ball by Jean Melzer
Oy! to the world
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.
But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy-Jacob Greenberg.
Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah-and Jacob-in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.
Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber
ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS HER HAPPILY EVER AFTER . . .
Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful as she returns to her childhood home for Christmas with her family. Having just had her heart broken, not even her favourite Christmas carols and cookies can put her in the festive spirit. That is, until her mother reveals a box of Lindy’s childhood letters to Santa in the hope of restoring her faith.
Reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a child sparks the inspiration Linda needs to get her life back on track. With her mother’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, filled with her hopes for the future – and little does she know, her wishes are about to unfold in the most unexpected of ways . . .
With a little Christmas magic – and a surprising connection with a handsome former classmate – will Lindy realise that there truly is no place like home for the holidays?
Christmas by the Coast by Mandy Baggot
After a terrible heartbreak, Harriet Cookson worked hard to build her life back up. Now she has a dependable boyfriend, a great job and a decent flatshare. But when her beloved grandmother passes away, Harriet drops everything to fly out to the Hamptons to comfort her grieving grandpa.
Christmas is coming and as she arrives on the sandy beaches of her childhood in Montauk, Long Island, Harriet spots someone she never expected to see again – her ‘one that got away’, ex-soldier Mack Wyatt. Now, Mack is determined to win Harriet back and show her that the life she’s been living might be the wrong happily-ever-after.
Snowstorm at Cedar Creek by JL Jarvis
Annie Pope loves Finn Burton, and he loves her too—as a friend. Even after they both begin college, they return every year to their families’ next-door summer cottages and spend all their spare time together.
But when Finn graduates and takes off backpacking through Europe with his college girlfriend—a girlfriend he’s never mentioned to Annie—she’s forced to face facts. She is merely the sister he never had, and he’s the boyfriend she’ll never have.
THAT TIME CAN’T ERASE
Two decades later, with each at a crossroads, they return to Cedar Creek and resume their old friendship. But does friendship feel like this?
BUT… CAN LOVE?
Now they’re both trying to be the good friends they once were. But does friendship feel like this?
An Emerald Cove Christmas by Lilly Mirren
Adele Flannigan has moved home to the Cove, and this will be her first Christmas since the move. She’s always had big dreams, but things in her life have become more complicated and she’s not sure where to go next. With each passing day, Adele’s relationship with a new friend deepens, forcing her to take a long, hard look at her priorities and plans.
Cindy’s hosting Christmas, but the Flannigan family has changed in recent years and she’s nervous about how things will go. There’s been a divorce, new members added, stray dogs adopted, heartbreak, romance and even a brand new bouncing baby. Christmas at Cindy’s has the potential to be a delightful family feast, or to set off fireworks that could ruin the entire holiday.
Can this blended family learn to love one another during the Christmas season or will their family be torn apart?
A Merry Christmas may be just what the doctor ordered for the residents Emerald Cove.
The Christmas Project by Christi Barth
Can they forgive the past and pull off a Christmas miracle?
Mariana Vasquez has always adored the historic waterfront Brampton Mansion, but the beloved building has succumbed to years of neglect. When Baltimore City inherits it, there’s only one chance to keep it from being demolished. Mariana plans to earn the mansion a second chance and the money to pay for its upkeep with a designer Christmas showcase.
A mix-up on Scott Ashford’s last renovation job has shaken his confidence and harmed his business. He needs a fresh project and great publicity to caulk over his disgrace. Donating his expertise to save a historic property sounds perfect…except the opportunity is dangled by an old friend. Well, ex-friend, since he abandoned her ten years ago…
Mariana has too much pride to ask Scott to return to Baltimore for her, but she’s desperate enough to ask him to come back to save the mansion. There’s barely time to finish all the restorations, so Mariana’s sure she won’t have any time to fall for Scott again. But maybe the mansion isn’t the only thing that deserves a second chance this Christmas…
Around the World at Christmas
Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas
An enchanting French chateau, a lifelong dream and a handsome town mayor – the perfect recipe for romance…
When their grandfather dies, Fliss and her sisters are astonished to inherit a French chateau! Travelling to Normandy to visit the beautiful if faded house, they excitedly make plans over delicious crepes and local cider in the town nearby.
They soon discover the chateau needs major work and a huge tax bill is due . . . Unable to sell but strapped for cash, Fliss determines to spruce up the elegant old rooms and open a B&B.
But Jacques, the handsome town mayor, is opposed to her plan. When it becomes clear that the only way to save the magnificent castle is to work together, Jacques and Fliss discover that they have more in common than they think…
Snowflakes at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James
Welcome to the Hummingbird Hotel!
When Corfu’s newest hotelier Abbie Coleman is asked to host a fun-filled creativity retreat for a group of am-dram enthusiasts rehearsing for that year’s pantomime, she pulls out all the stops. With pottery classes, painting sessions, wreath-making and flower-arranging – along with a few meditation sessions from the hotel’s resident fitness guru – she’s hoping that this time her guests’ planned production of Cinderella will not descend into a comedy of errors.
But this is the Hummingbird Hotel, and the words ‘plain-sailing’ and ‘hassle-free’ do not feature in the script. So when a lovingly painted Christmas wreath acquires a few unusually shaped floral additions, and a prized Greek vase is moulded into something a little more risqué, Abbie must once again partner-up with local winery and vineyard owner, the movie-star-handsome Nikos Angelopoulos, to unmask the culprit and ensure the story of the hotel has a happy ending.
Can she turn turmoil into tranquillity? Or will her time on Corfu be over before its begun?
Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Emily Bell
FATE PULLED THEM APART BUT NOT BEFORE THEY MADE A PROMISE.
TEN CHRISTMASES LATER, WILL THEIR WISH COME TRUE? . . .
As Norah battles through the bustling December crowds, she hears the notes of a song that transports her back to the most romantic week of her life.
After meeting on a blissful holiday, but knowing they had to part, a boy named Andrew made her a promise:
If they are both single on Christmas Eve in ten years’ time, they will meet under the clock on Grafton Street, Dublin.
Norah has no idea if he will remember, but she has nothing to lose.
So, hoping for a Christmas miracle, she heads to Dublin. To that clock. And, maybe, to Andrew.
But it wouldn’t be Christmas without a few surprises . . .
Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan
Award-winning director Clover Phillips is riding high when she encounters Kit Foley; a surfer and snowboarder as well-known for controversy as he is for winning championships.
Involved in an accident that had devastating consequences for a bitter rival, Kit has never spoken about what really happened that day. Determined to find out the truth, Clover heads to the snowy wilderness of the Austrian Alps, sharing a romantic winter wonderland with a man who can’t stand her.
But as she delves deeper, Clover finds herself both drawn to Kit, and even more convinced he’s hiding something. Is Kit Foley really as cold as he seems?
The Great Christmas Escape by Kellie Hailes
It’s time to swap mistletoe and mince pies for the adventure of a lifetime!
Sara’s life has been in a bit of a rut. Lately, her job as a photographer has just meant taking photos of happy couples and families all day before returning to her empty flat. And while she normally loves Christmas with her family, this year a part of her just wants to run away. So when her ex-husband Fin gets in touch with a wild idea – a joint work trip to New Zealand – she knows it’s crazy… but she says yes!
A celebrated travel blogger, Fin has made a career out of following his bliss. As much as he loves Sara, the steady family life she’s always wanted is not one he can give her. This trip together is his one chance to win her back. But can he convert her to his impulsive lifestyle? There’s only one way to find out.
As the two explore the stunning sights and thrills of New Zealand, they’re about to discover there’s so much more to each other than they ever realised…
A Match Made in Venice by Leonie Mack
Escape to the breath-taking beauty of Venice – The City of Love.
When pragmatic, sensible and resolutely single Deirdre York (Didi to her friends) is sent to Venice for work she is determined not to be taken in by the romantic clichés. Winter in the floating city may be breathtakingly beautiful, but she’s here with a clear purpose and will not let the magic of Venice distract her.
Piero Zanetti is the epitome of the handsome yet tortured artist. Heart-broken by the end of his love affair with a glamorous opera singer, he has lost his ability to work, and his inspiration has drained away, along with his zest for life.
But Didi needs Piero working – she has been tasked with commissioning him to do a glass centrepiece for a luxury department store Christmas display – some how Didi has to cheer Piero up or at least find him a new muse…
As Didi and Piero slowly become friends, and as Venice starts to melt Didi’s heart and gently nudge Piero out of the blues, something special begins to happen. Can Venice – the City of Love – work a Christmas miracle and help Didi and Piero to find their happiness at last…
A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli
One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.
Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.
Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.
When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life—to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.
A “Not in the Other Categories” Christmas!
Christmas at Hope Hall by Pam Rhodes
The march towards the end of the year sees Hope Hall once again buzzing with activity.The lead up to the Harvest Festival sees a stray dog causing a nuisance, and tensions rise between two old schoolmates. The drama only increases as Christmas approaches, and the panto rehearsals featuring the jocular “Can’t Sing Singers” get into full swing. But the hustle and bustle of the drama in the community stems from the deeper personal stories. Loneliness, loss, and hurt impact the lives of many of the local residents. But where there is community, there is friendship, companionship, love, and most of all, hope.
Christmas at Hope Hall is the final book in a delightful trilogy centred on a Victorian church hall, the like of which can be found at the heart of so many towns across England. This wonderful finale to the series (which includes the sound of wedding bells!) is full of friends and neighbours with stories that will have you giggling one minute, and dabbing your eyes the next.
Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson
Two people. One month to fall in love.
Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself ‘financially challenged’. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.
Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.
But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?
Coming Home by Patricia Dixon
For a mother and her three daughters, this Christmas is a time to share secrets—and find hope for the future . . .
As a young girl, Carmen Appleton loved Christmas, but a simple knock at the door was all it took to change things. Her father left home that fateful Christmas Eve and all that was left in his place were painful memories.
Now, for the first time in years, Carmen is ready to embrace Christmas again. For the sake of her family, she’s determined not to dwell on the past and to make this year one to remember.
Her daughters, Rosina, Violetta, and Leonora, are all hiding secrets of their own though, ones that they dread their mother finding out about. With time running out to resolve them, will this year be another Christmas ruined—or will the Appletons finally get their happy ever after?
Laughing all the Way on Jingle Bells by Berni Stevens (novella)
If you received a mysterious invitation for a fun-filled festive train ride the week before Christmas, would you go?
When teacher Dee Nicholls receives her invitation, she isn’t sure what to make of it. Surely it’s some kind of joke to get her out of bed early on a weekend? Perhaps a clever festive marketing ploy?
But as the Christmas countdown begins, it becomes clear that Dee isn’t the only “Jingle Bells Express” invitee. There are other people out there who have received the same invitation: Tom the intern, Rachel the aspiring writer, Dylan the musician and his dog Muttley – and they’re not the only ones!
Could the unusual festive journey they eventually take together show them all the true meaning of Christmas, and also that happiness is sometimes right in front of you – if you just take the time to look?
A Winter’s Wish by Tracy Corbett
Can they put aside their differences to work together?
Sam Tipping always shunned the wealth into which she was born. Instead, she’s worked hard to set up The Crash Pad, a shelter for homeless young Londoners – but she’ll need a Christmas miracle to keep it running.
Having grown up in foster care, Jamie Lawson has no time for heiresses. Until his job as a journalist requires him to befriend Sam in order to expose her city banker brother for financial irregularities.
As he spends more time with Sam, Jamie realises she’s not the spoiled brat he assumed she’d be – in fact, she’s starting to melt the ice around his heart. But he’ll need to betray Sam’s trust if he’s ever to get his big career break…
Twelve Days to Save Christmas by Elizabeth Neep
On the first day of Christmas, my true love… dumped me.
Poppy loves Christmas and always goes all out to make this magical time of the year extra special for her boyfriend George. But George is strangely not in the Yuletide spirit this year. As Poppy wrestles him into her Christmas jumper built for two for a holiday snapshot, she finds out why.
He’s leaving her. With only twelve days to spend together until Christmas.
Poppy is heartbroken. George is the love of her life, and what would Christmas be without kisses under the mistletoe, his mum’s delicious homemade gingerbread or their super-competitive games of Pictionary?
She’s determined to win George back. So, anxious to prove to him she can be spontaneous, she signs up as a Christmas volunteer at the local community centre. What she doesn’t know is that there’s a festive surprise coming her way…
As Poppy throws herself into her new role – mulling vats of hot cider and hanging fairy lights off everything within reach – she discovers an inner strength she never knew she had. And there’s also Theo. Her new boss. Grumpy and opinionated, he’s everything she doesn’t want.
But as the snow starts to fall, she begins to notice other things about him – like his twinkling green eyes, how he makes her laugh, and how much he cares about the people he’s trying to help.
As the twelfth day approaches, Poppy might be about to discover that the most perfect Christmas might be the one that she didn’t plan at all…
Gifts by Laura Barnett (short stories)
One Christmas to remember
Maddyruns the bookshop on Market Square. She’s struggling to choose a gift (a watch? a wine subscription? a weekend bag? all too much?) for her old school friend Peter, who’s just moved back from London following a messy divorce.
Peterdoesn’t have a clue what to get for his teenage daughter Chloe – furious with her mother, she’s decided to up sticks and move to Kent with him, but he worries that he really doesn’t know her at all.
Chloewants to buy something special for her grandmother Irene, who lives alone on the other side of town.
Irenedoesn’t get out much these days, but she’d really like to find the right gift for Alina, who’s so much more than a carer, really – always stops to chat for a bit, have a cup of tea, even if it makes her late.
And Alina, meanwhile, has her eye on something for…
More than Mistletoe : Twelve Christmas Stories (CollectedAuthors)
More than Mistletoe, the debut anthology from The Christmas Collective, is an eclectic and inclusive mix of stories, with swoon-worthy characters, second chances and happy endings.
Between the pages, you will discover classic romance, festive thrillers, LGBTQ+ love stories, hilarious romcoms and historical settings, these stories really do span the whole spectrum of festive fiction.
Featuring twelve up and coming new authors, this refreshing, diverse and romantic read, is a must-have for Christmas 2021 that will leave you reaching for your Christmas jumper, gingerbread cookies and a mug of hot chocolate!
- Lumikinos by Lucy Alexander
- The Ghost of Christmas Past by Michelle Harris
- Christmas for Two by Marianne Calver
- August in December by Joe Burkett
- Under the Christmas Tree by Cici Maxwell
- Killing Christmas Eve by Jake Godfrey
- Christmas and Cocktails by Jenny Bromham
- Christmas at The Little Blu Bookshop by Sarah Shard
- Not Today, Santa by Martha May Little
- Sealed with a Christmas Kiss by Bláithín O’Reilly Murphy
- Love Forever by Donna Gowland
- The Last Christmas by S.L.Robinson
Christmas in Times Past
The Halfpenny Girls at Christmas by Maggie Mason
Will their prayers be answered at the most wonderful time of the year?
As Christmas approaches, Alice, Edith and Marg continue to face hardships growing up on one of the poorest streets in Blackpool. Penniless, their friendship has helped them survive this far, but it’ll take more than that to see them through the dark days that lie ahead . . .
Newly married Alice receives shocking news about her pregnancy that threatens the future she’s always dreamed of, Marg is struggling to care for her ailing mother and ensure her little sister receives the education she deserves, and Edith is grieving the loss of her family while preparing to marry her sweetheart.
The Halfpenny Girls once again are faced with a struggle, but with the festive season upon them will family, friendship and Christmas spirit see them through?
White Christmas by Katie Flynn
Rozalin Sachs has grown up in the vibrant city of Frankfurt. But with the Nazi Revolution gaining power, her family is forced to flee Germany. When a tragic accident separates Roz from her parents, she finds herself aboard the Kindertransport bound for Holland.
Here Roz meets a young lad called Felix and they vow to stick together as their journey takes them to England. Eventually they find themselves in Liverpool with the promise of a new life, until a devastating incident takes Felix away. And, in a desperate attempt to escape the terrible situation she has found herself in, Roz decides to join the Women’s Land Army.
On the sprawling farm at Hollybank Roz meets Bernie, a dashing farmer’s son, who has more than just friendship on his mind. Roz is flattered by his affections, but will he win her heart, or will her love for Felix remain as strong as ever?
A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane by Lindsey Hutchinson
Dolly Perkins and Jack Larkin have grown up in the notorious gin palaces of Birmingham.
It’s a world of happiness and friendship, but also violence and poverty. Now that Dolly runs the Daydream Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane she can finally control her own destiny, but sometimes fate still plays its hand.
Keen to expand her empire, Dolly and Jack take on a new pub, but they are in for a shock when a foul smell in one of the bedrooms turns out to come from a body hidden in the wall.
As the police hunt for their suspect, rumours abound, spread by the local urchins – happy to be used as runners for a little bit of food and a coin or two.
But rumours can be dangerous, and as one of the worst winters on record covers everything in snow, Dolly and Jack have to fight for the lives they have made for themselves, and for the urchins that they have come to think of as family. Will the arrival of a new baby on Gin Barrel Lane bring the promise of new hope, or will the long-awaited thaw uncover new secrets and new tragedies…
Christmas with the Surplus Girls by Polly Heron
After the sorrows of war, can Christmas wishes come true?
Manchester, 1922: Nancy Pike is out of her depth at Miss Hesketh’s school for surplus girls, blundering through her lessons and her job placements. Her only joy is getting to know the children at St Anthony’s orphanage. And working for Mr Zachary Milner twice a week.
Alone in the world since the death of his brother, Nancy’s presence has brought a little sunshine back into Zachary’s life. But when she makes a terrible mistake that puts his livelihood in jeopardy, he has no choice but to let her go.
As she battles the prejudices around her, and her own fear, Nancy is determined to bring some Christmas cheer to the orphanage – and maybe even to Zachary Milner…
The Winter Rose by Rita Bradshaw
It’s December 1902 and Rose O’Leary is looking forward to her baby girl’s first Christmas. But then tragedy strikes: her husband dies at the shipyard where he works and within days his friend, Nathaniel, makes it plain he’s determined to have her.
Rose flees with her child, but soon finds the world is a cruel place for a beautiful woman with no protection. More tragedy ensues and yet, although she’s bruised and broken, Rose is a fighter.
Then, when she least expects it, love enters her life again, but she cannot escape her past and now it threatens not only her happiness but her very life. Will she ever find a safe haven?
Midnight in Everwood by MA Kuzniar
In the darkness of night, magic awaits…
Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.
After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…
The Orphan of Farthing Street by Beryl Matthews
Discover the heartwarming and uplifting story of a young orphan’s survival in wartime London
Growing up in poverty on Farthing Street, fourteen-year-old Amy Carter is no stranger to hardship.
But when her father is hanged for murder and her mother dies suddenly soon after, orphaned Amy is in danger of being left homeless and unloved.
Until one day, Amy’s luck changes and she is taken in by Ben, an artist, and his kindly landlady, Mrs Dalton.
Welcomed into the hearts of the residents of Mrs Dalton’s home, Amy flourishes under their care and devotion. So when, five years later, she catches the eye of handsome doctor John Sterling, she almost believes she has left her past – and its troubles – behind her.
Yet a gathering storm is threatening England. The prospect of war can shatter even the most charmed life. And for Amy, the bombs are still to fall . . .
**Previously published as One Step at a Time**
The East End Nurse by Sheila Newberry
Previously published as The Poplar Penny Whistlers.
A warm-hearted and nostalgic family saga from the author of The Nursemaid’s Secret and A Winter Hope. Perfect for readers of Katie Flynn and for fans of Call the Midwife.
London’s East End, 1890
Growing up in poverty, Hester Stainsby toils day and night in the laundry room of Poplar Hospital to help support her family; her father Fred, her younger twin siblings, Harry and Polly, and cantankerous Granny Garter. When Fred is badly injured in an accident at the docks, the family’s fortunes take a turn for the worse.
Determined to make a better life for herself and her loved ones, Hester trains to be a nurse, throwing herself into hospital life. Nursing in London’s busy East End is never easy and Hester must be willing to make sacrifices. But when a heroic and mysterious patient lands in her care, she feels something she never has before.
Will love jeopardise everything she’s worked so hard for? And can she find the happiness she and her family are so desperately searching for?
The Slum Angel Christmas by Anne Marie Brear (novella)
A novella accompaniment to the Amazon UK bestselling novel, The Slum Angel.
York, England 1881.
Ten years ago, Victoria Ashton, along with her husband Dr Joseph Ashton, built the Ashton Home for Women and Children. Destitute women seeking refuge from poverty, abuse, neglect and abandonment still arrive at the gates, searching for relief. They come bringing their sick and malnourished children. They come to hide from a harsh world, and lick their wounds and with Victoria, and her helpers’ support, the women can begin again.
Georgiana Carter, penniless and recently widowed, is desperate for a place to stay, a roof over her children’s heads, and a warm meal. Her youthful plans to run away with a boatman ended in disaster. Will her wealthy father ever take her back into his heart?
Ruthie Benson must escape. In trouble and constantly suffering from the onslaught of her brother’s fists, she needs help before her secret becomes known. Where can she run to?
These are some of the vulnerable women Victoria cares for and gives sanctuary to as she works in the slums of York. However, sometimes the price can be too high. Is she forgetting her own family’s needs?
Will Victoria save Georgiana and Ruthie, or has her help come too late as the Christmas bells ring out over the city?
Winter Wedding by Dilly Court
As the first Christmas snowflakes fall, Rosalind finds herself pregnant and alone…
Christmas is coming to the village of Rockwood. But the happiest time of the year is marred by the news that Rosalind Blanchard’s husband, Piers, is close to death after a shipwreck at sea. The fate of her beloved family home, the crumbling Rockwood Castle, is once more in her hands. She must find the strength to keep her family together.
Pregnant, Rosalind comes face to face with the only man who ever made her heart truly sing: her husband’s brother, Alex. As the Christmas bells ring, news of Piers arrives that changes everything. And another chance of happiness might be the gift Rosalind has been waiting for…
A War Time Christmas
The Bobby Girl’s War by Johanna Bell
1916. Poppy is being transferred to an enormous new munitions complex in Gretna, on the Scottish border. Even though it means moving far away from her best friends Maggie and Annie, she is excited for the challenge.
As a member of the Women’s Police Service, it’s her job to maintain law and order so that the factory workers can safely carry out their vital war work. She soon makes friends, and even starts to open herself up to the possibility of love.
But then she sees something in the dead of night, and suddenly the dangers of the war are no longer far away on distant shores. With the enemy hot on her heels and no idea who to trust, can Poppy save herself – and avert disaster for her country?
A Post Office Christmas by Poppy Cooper
Can they deliver hope and friendship this Christmas?
1915. After the recent dramatic events at the Post Office’s Home Depot, Milly Woods is looking forward to spending as much time as possible with her best friends Liza and Nora. With Christmas fast approaching, their job of getting millions of letters and parcels to the troops on the front line is more important than ever.
But when Milly is moved to a different department, she and the girls struggle to find time to spend together. Feeling more and more lonely, Milly finds company and common ground at her local suffragette group – as well as catching the eye of a wounded ex-soldier at the Home Depot.
But soon, Milly discovers that her new friends might not be what they seem. As she is drawn into a deadly plan that could affect the outcome of the war, can her Post Office girls help her get back on track, and scupper the plan in time for Christmas?
The Patchwork Girls by Elaine Everest
1939. After the sudden and tragic loss of her husband, Helen is returning home to her mother’s house in Biggin Hill, Kent – the one place she vowed she’d never go back to again.
Alone and not knowing where to turn, Helen finds herself joining the local women’s sewing circle despite being hopeless with a needle and thread. These resourceful women can not only make do and mend clothes, quilts and woolly hats, but their friendship mends something deeper in Helen too. Lizzie is a natural leader, always ready to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Effie has uprooted her life from London to keep her two little girls away from the bombing raids, and the sewing circle is a welcome distraction from worries about how to keep a roof over their heads and about her husband too, now serving in active duty overseas.
When the reason for Helen’s husband’s death comes to light, her world is turned upside down yet again. The investigating officer on the case, Richard, will leave no stone unturned, but it’s not long before his interest in Helen goes beyond the professional. As she pieces together old fabrics into a beautiful quilt, will Helen patch up the rifts in her own life?
Shipyard Girls Under the Mistletoe by Nancy Revell
As the promise of victory draws closer, this Christmas will surely be one to remember.
It should be a magical time for Dorothy, who has just been proposed to by her sweetheart Toby. But with each day that passes, Dorothy’s feelings for someone else are growing stronger. Now she has an impossible choice to make.
Gloria is thrilled that her sweetheart Jack is finally home after more than two years away. But his past is continuing to catch up with them both – creating untold heartache for Gloria and everyone she holds dear.
Meanwhile Helen must contend with the fall-out of a shocking family secret that has repercussions for all the Shipyard Girls, while holding out hope for her own happy ending…
Can a little festive magic help them win the day?
Christmas with the Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas
Christmas is the season for family and friends, and this year the railway girls will need each other more than ever.
Cordelia appears to have the perfect life. When her daughter Emily arrives home unexpectedly, she can’t wait to introduce her to her friends. But when things don’t go to plan, Cordelia must decide where her loyalty lies.
Things aren’t going too smoothly for Alison either. Her beloved boyfriend has yet to propose, but there’s a charity fundraiser dance and she’s dressed up specially. Surely, tonight must be the night.
Colette‘s friends are envious of her devoted husband; he meets her after every shift on the railway, and accompanies her around town. But Colette has a secret, one that will change her life – if only she knew who to confide in.
With the festive season fast approaching, the railway girls are hoping for some Christmas magic…
A Ration Book Christmas Broadcast by Jean Fullerton (novella)
Tune in to love…
December, 1944: Grace Meredith, the BBC Outside Broadcasting unit’s assistant, is in trouble. She needs to find a family to interview for what could be the last ‘Just Ordinary Folk’ Christmas programme before the end of the war, pronto. So when she remembers her old friend Francesca Brogan has married into a large and unconventional East End family, her sense of relief is palpable.
Thrust into the warm and bustling world of the Brogans – from Ida and Jeremiah, still sweethearts after 30 years of marriage, to their seven children, some married, one still in nappies, and to Queenie, Jeremiah’s tealeaf-reading, black-market afficionado mother – Grace feels she’s finally going to make her mark at work.
Then things take an unexpected twist when she meets Francesca’s brother, Giovanni Fabrino of the Royal Engineers. With the Christmas Eve deadline rapidly approaching, now would not be the best time to fall in love. But Gio keeps appearing, and their mutual attraction keeps growing. Can Grace and Gio’s Christmas wishes come true – both of them?
Christmas with the Cornish Girls by Betty Walker
1941. The bombs still fall, but in St. Ives Christmas is finally approaching for the Cornish Girls…
With the war ongoing, Lily is feeling anything but festive. That is, until Eva asks if she’ll join her in working at an officers’ convalescent home, lifting her spirits no end.
Eva came to St. Ives to be near the man who almost gave his life to protect hers. But will the wounded pilot ever help to heal himself by opening his heart to love?
Rose suspects the local orphanage is mistreating its charges – and it’s her job to uncover the truth before it’s too late…
Can the Cornish Girls help one another through the darkest days in order to give everyone in St. Ives the sparkling Christmas they so deserve?
The second in the uplifting wart
Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls by Michelle Rawlins
As December draws nearer and with her family facing their first Christmas without Bert, Nancy is desperately trying to keep up her children’s spirits and her own.
Young Patty should be excited to be spending her first festive season with sweetheart Archie, but why does she worry he’s keeping something from her?
Betty is missing her beloved William as he continues his RAF training but she’s determined not to sit around wallowing. In the midst of the coldest winter on record and with the introduction of rationing, times are tougher than ever but Betty has an idea to make sure nobody goes without this winter.
And with our Steel Girls rallying around each other, can there still be hope this Christmas?
The Air Raid Girls at Christmas by Jenny Holmes
Christmas is coming… and despite the blackout, shortages and a constant threat of air raids, the inhabitants of Kelthorpe on the Yorkshire coast are determined that war won’t stop them celebrating.
The run-up to Christmas sees sisters Connie and Lizzie, and their good friend Pamela, busier than ever. Between their jobs, carol-singing rehearsals with the church choir and night shifts doing their bit as Air Raid Wardens and ambulance drivers, it’s all go.
But when Connie and Lizzie’s dear dad falls ill, their sweethearts Tom and Bill are called up by the Royal Navy for dangerous mine-sweeping duties, and Pamela’s sweetheart Fred is targeted by vicious locals, the girls have to believe in miracles to keep soldiering on.
Can their dearest wishes come true this Christmas?
The District Nurses Make a Wish by Annie Groves
For the district nurses of Victory Walk, there’s been little time to bask in the triumph of D-day as London is facing a new threat – the buzz bombs. Everyone is terrified, never knowing where the next one will strike. Into this tense atmosphere, new nurse, Iris, must make her mark. She’s had more experience of nursing than many, but since arriving in East London from the countryside, she has struggled to fit in with the other staff.
Meanwhile Alice is facing an agonising wait to hear if her boyfriend Joe has survived D-day – she can barely sleep for wondering if he ever received her letter in which she promised to wait for him? Others too are in limbo, not knowing if their loved ones have made it through. With the end almost in sight, the district nurses must dig deep if they are to keep London going…
Murder and Mystery at Christmas
A Cornish Christmas Murder by Fiona Leitch
A PINCH OF PARANOIA
It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.
A DASH OF DECEPTION
Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…
A MURDER UNDER THE MISTLETOE
Secrets mull in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?
A Body at the Altar by Dee MacDonald
Jilted grooms, sudden deaths, broken hearts and threatening letters. All in a day’s work for super sleuth Kate Palmer!
Nurse Kate Palmer thought the pretty Cornish village of Tinworthy would be the perfect place for a peaceful retirement. She couldn’t have been more wrong! But even she is shocked when she attends a beautiful wedding at St. Pirin’s Church and the handsome groom drops dead in front of her very eyes.
While the rest of the wedding party panics, Kate notices the strange behaviour of the not-so-blushing bride and the posh mother-in-law – and vows to find out the truth behind the poor young man’s sudden demise. Especially when the new detective Charlotte Martin makes it known that she doesn’t want Kate involved – and also shows an interest in Woody Forrest, Kate’s partner in crime-solving.
Undeterred, Kate discovers this isn’t the only wedding to have been sabotaged. A series of peculiar letters contain the clues Kate needs to get to the heart of the matter. But is the mystery letter writer behind the unusual deaths? Or is more than one person responsible for the strange goings on in the seaside village…
As Kate digs deeper, she adds more suspects to her growing list: the world-weary vicar, the unlucky-in-love cleaner and the bride’s former flame. But, as a pair of boots bring Kate closer to the killer, it becomes clear their investigation has placed Woody in danger.
Can Kate solve the murder and save the man she loves at the same time?
A Shetland Winter Mystery by Marsali Taylor
It’s the dark nights in the run up to Christmas, and sailing sleuth Cass Lynch’s first night on dry land is disturbed by strange noises outside her isolated cottage. Tiny footprints in the moonlit snow trail from her front door before mysteriously disappearing. Soon Cass learns others were visited by the same tiny feet in the night.
It looks like ingenious local teenagers playing tricks – but what happens when festive games turn deadly?
Cass soon finds out as a schoolboy disappears, leaving only a trail of footprints into the middle of a snowy field. She’s determined to investigate, but uncovering the truth will also put her in danger . . .
The Dark Side of Christmas : An Anthology of Twisted Winter Tales by The Hobeck Team
A selection of twisted and moving Christmas tales from the Hobeck Books family of authors and directors.
From ghostly skatings on thin ice, echoes of peppermint creams and the joys of being a secret Santa, to rebellious turkeys, deserted offices, spiteful colleagues and yuletide loneliness – these stories touch on the news strength of spirit, with the odd splash of blood and gore.
All royalties from the sale of this book go to Streetreads, a charitable initiative that encourages reading and creativity amongst the homeless in Scotland.
A Cold Christmas and the Darkest of Winters : An Anthology by Rasta Musick
A Cinnabar Moth Publishing anthology, A Cold Christmas and the Darkest of Winters is a collection of short stories with themes that range from sad to dark to horrifying. Each story is set during Christmas or in Winter. Many talented authors worked to create these short stories, and we are proud to present them to you in this anthology.
The Crusader’s Cross by Scott Mariani
THEY THOUGHT HE WAS AN EASY TARGET.
THEY THOUGHT WRONG.
It’s a snowy, peaceful Christmas at Le Val, the rural haven that is home to ex-SAS soldier Ben Hope and his associates. With most of the team away for the festive holiday, Ben, recovering from an accident, is one of the skeleton crew guarding the compound. That’s when a ruthless Corsican crime gang, knowing that Ben is injured and out of action, target the location for a violent raid.
With help from his faithful canine companion, Storm, Ben thwarts the attack – but not before the raiders claim several victims among his best friends. Now he must embark on a personal revenge mission to catch the sole remaining killer, the psychopathic Petru Navarro.
Ben’s quest takes him across France into the lawless gangland of Corsica, his only real lead a priceless historic gold cross that is now in Navarro’s hands. If Ben can find it, he’ll find his enemy. But taking down this murderous psycho is another matter . . .
Hide by Nell Pattison
Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…
It’s Boxing Day and your friendship group has planned a hike.
You know tensions are running high.
You’ve heard the rumours flying around.
But this trip is a chance for you to reconnect.
As you head into the reserve, everyone is quiet.
It almost feels like you’ve imagined the rift.
But as the sun sets, you hear a gun shot.
One of your group is dead.
And someone you know killed them…
The Red, Red Snow by Caro Ramsay
Eric Callaghan is stabbed to death at a crowded Christmas Ice Show in front of his wife and daughter. He dies within minutes.
Murdered in plain sight. No clues, no witnesses, no known motive.
A week later, two bodies are discovered at a holiday cottage in a remote Highland glen. One in the kitchen, the other sprawled outside in the snow.
The only footprints found belong to the local police officer’s son who discovered the bodies.
The murdered couple swapped cottages with the family next door at the last minute. Who were the real targets?
Now Detectives Anderson and Costello must hunt down a killer who leaves no trace.
A Fatal Night by Faith Martin
New Year’s Eve, 1962
As a snowstorm rages outside, Oxford high society gathers to ring in the new year at the city’s most exclusive party. This is a soiree no one will forget… not least because a guest is found dead in his car the next morning.
It seems the young man tragically froze to death overnight after crashing into a snowdrift – but when WPC Trudy Loveday and coroner Clement Ryder are called in to investigate, they discover a tangled web of secrets that plainly points to murder.
With everyone telling different stories about that fateful night, only one thing is clear: several people had reason to want the victim dead.
And if Trudy and Clement don’t find the cracks in each lie, the killer will get away with the perfect crime…
Red Vendetta : An Assassination on Christmas Eve by Stewart Clyde
A high ranking British Army General is assassinated in London. A top-secret piece of intelligence disappears. One man knows the truth and he on the run for his life.
A secret that could change the balance of power across the world is stolen. It’s a race against the clock to find the perpetrators and avert disaster.
Stirling Hunt is a a deniable MI6 black-ops operative who takes his orders from handlers in a special operations division of the Secret Intelligence Service. Hunt’s third mission evolves from ‘protect the asset’, to ‘find the killer’.
In a race against the clock to prove his innocence, and with the whole British intelligence establishment on his tail, can Hunt find the real killers before it’s too late?
Join Hunt on this pulse-pounding, espionage thriller that takes him from Washington to Moscow as he tries to save his own life.
Murder at Rochester Park : A 1920’s cosy mystery by Catherine Coles
Tommy and Evelyn Christie are looking forward to a quiet Christmas holiday at the home of Hugh Norton-Cavendish, the 9th Earl of Clifford, who recently married Tommy’s cousin, Elise.
However the suspicious death of Albert Lewis, a businessman hoping to buy land from Hugh, means the Christmas festivities are quickly over. Tommy is distracted by his sister’s new relationship with a man he distrusts. Evelyn is busy with her pack of dogs, brought for the traditional Boxing Day shoot.
Can Tommy & Evelyn prioritise solving Albert’s death before another guest is killed?
Theft of the Magi by Miranda Atchley
This holiday season, the halls are decked with thievery.
It’s Christmas, 1922, and Fiona Clery has visions of festive celebrations filled with family and friends dancing through her head. Yet when a string of thefts occurs within her apartment building, the chill of winter replaces puts a damper on her celebrations. One by one, various items go missing from her neighbors’ flats. With the help of her friend Max Gillespie and her roommate Rose Ellington, Fiona investigates the thefts. Soon she believes she has the mystery figured out, yet when things take a turn, all her ideas are called into question.
And as Christmas day approaches, Fiona and Max struggle to find gifts for one another. Money is tight and both wish they could find just the right present. Under Rose’s guidance, each believes they’ve found the perfect gift, though it will come at a price.
Christmas on the Island by Stewart Giles
The silly season.
Or, the suicide season?
A string of suicides on the island arouses Detective Liam O’Reilly’s suspicions. He understands that the suicide rate tends to increase during the festive season, but the ways in which these people have chosen to end their lives doesn’t feel right.
As O’Reilly and his team dig deeper they soon learn there is much more to these apparent suicides than they initially thought and O’Reilly realises there is a seriously damaged mind on the loose.
Dubbed the suicide killer by the press, this madman will stop at nothing to get his depraved message across and O’Reilly is the only one who can put an end to his killing spree.
This festive season is one the Irish detective will never forget.
Sherlock Holmes & The Three Winter Terrors by James Lovegrove
A beautifully presented sinister seasonal mystery from the acclaimed author of Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon.
1889. The First Terror.
At a boys prep school in the Kent marshes, a pupil is found drowned in a pond. Could this be the fulfilment of a witch’s curse from two hundred years earlier?
1890. The Second Terror.
A wealthy man dies of a heart attack at his London townhouse. Was he really frightened to death by ghosts?1894. The Third Terror.
A body is discovered at a Surrey country manor, hideously ravaged. Is the culprit a cannibal, as the evidence suggests?
The Cold Killer by Ross Greenwood
It’s hard to live when you think you deserve to die…
When a tired old inmate is found dead in his cell, the prison is obligated to investigate and so DI Barton attends. The men he interviews have been convicted of some of the worst things a human being can do, but it appears likely that the death was due to natural causes.
When the house of the dead man is burgled and that crime is followed by a suspicious fire, Barton desperately needs to speak to his widow, but she’s nowhere to be found.
In the space of twenty-four hours, everyone he wants to talk to has vanished. Then he receives some post which makes him believe he could be the next to disappear.
Barton’s investigation goes full circle, through a series of brutal murders, back to the prison, and all signs are pointing to the fact that he’s made a terrible mistake.
There’s a violent killer on the loose, who wants everyone to learn that some people deserve to die.
A Christmas Legacy by Anne Perry (novella)
Gracie Tellman is preparing for Christmas with her husband and three young children when Millie Foster calls upon her. As a maid at Harcourt House, Millie is terrified that sinister goings-on, including the disappearance of food from the kitchens, will lead to her unfair dismissal, and she begs Gracie to investigate the situation.
With the promise that she will be back in time for Christmas, Gracie takes Millie’s place in the Harcourt household, never imagining the discovery she then makes. For the servants have been keeping a secret and their efforts are about to be rewarded in the most extraordinary way…
Last Christmas by Maria Frankland
How would you spend Christmas if it could be your last?
Neil’s life is in freefall. He and wife, Sacha can’t conceive, and he’s losing the fight against drinking and depression.
His December days feel dark enough but the reality of spending Christmas with the in-laws from hell, including his terminally ill father in law, threaten to send him right over the edge.
Christy, Sacha’s sister ultimately has to pick up the pieces of their fractured family. Will she ever be able to put them back together? Or has more conspired within them, and against them than could ever meet the eye?
The Killer in the Snow by Alex Pine
The first fall of snow can be fatal…
A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season.
But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter.
Without a neighbour for miles, there are no witnesses and little evidence. And the crime scene has strange echoes of another terrible murder committed at the farmhouse, twenty years earlier…
The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict
Twelve days of Christmas.
But who will survive until Twelfth Night?
Lily Armitage never intended to return to Endgame House – the grand family home where her mother died twenty-one Christmases ago. Until she receives a letter from her aunt, asking her to return to take part in an annual tradition: the Christmas Game. The challenge? Solve twelve clues, to find twelve keys. The prize? The deeds to the manor house.
Lily has no desire to win the house. But her aunt makes one more promise: The clues will also reveal who really killed Lily’s mother all those years ago.
So, for the twelve days of Christmas, Lily must stay at Endgame House with her estranged cousins and unravel the riddles that hold the key not just to the family home, but to its darkest secrets. However, it soon becomes clear that her cousins all have their own reasons for wanting to win the house – and not all of them are playing fair.
As a snowstorm cuts them off from the village, the game turns deadly. Soon Lily realises that she is no longer fighting for an inheritance, but for her life.
This Christmas is to die for . . . Let the game begin
Murder on a Winter’s Night : Ten Classic Crime Stories by Cecily Gayford
In the bleak midwinter … murder awaits.
The halls might be decked, and the mistletoe hung, but in these ten classic crime stories you’re more likely to come across a corpse under the Christmas tree than a present. From a Santa Claus with a secret to a violent theft that snowballs into something quite unexpected, pull up a chair, throw another log on the fire … and let history’s greatest crime writers surprise, delight and chill you to the bone.
Featuring stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle, Cyril Hare, Margery Allingham, Mark Billingham and more…
Frozen Souls by Rita Herron
She looked like an angel. She lay perfectly still, silky blonde hair falling to her pale shoulders. Icicles clung to her eyelashes as snowflakes fluttered to the frozen ground, burying her body.
As a snowstorm wreaks havoc in the mountain town of Crooked Creek, a woman is found buried in ice. Detective Ellie Reeves is first on the scene. Examining the body, she finds frozen blonde hair, pink nail polish and a silver heart necklace engraved with Mine Forever.
Ellie has first-hand experience of the monsters that lurk in the mountains––her childhood is testament to that. She vows to catch this one, but she’s up against the brutal weather, with snow covering footprints and making forensics impossible.
Frantically trawling through missing-person’s reports, Ellie identifies the victim. Nadine Houser disappeared eleven years ago. Where has she been all this time? Why was she only murdered now?
As storm clouds roll in, another girl is reported missing. Ellie retraces the steps of Ginger Weston who was renting a cabin in the mountains. She discovers a gold chain in the snow, spotted with blood. The killer is accelerating, and it’s just a matter of time before more innocent lives are robbed.
With the town blaming Ellie for the missing girl on her watch, and everyone fearing for their safety of their daughters, it’s down to Ellie to solve the toughest case of her career. But when the killer comes after her, will she live to save Crooked Creek from its ruthless monster?
Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor
Murder rearranges the Yuletide carols into unexpected eulogies…
The O’Sullivans are spending Christmas in West Cork with brother James’s fiancée Elise’s family, including her grandfather, the famous orchestral conductor Enda Elliot. When they learn everyone will choose a name from a hat to buy a music-related Christmas gift for someone else at the gathering, it seems like their greatest concern–until the cantankerous conductor is discovered crushed under a ninety-pound harp in a local concert hall.
With the extended family–including Enda’s much-younger new wife Leah, a virtuoso violinist–suspected in his murder, it’s up to Siobhán to ensure the guilty party faces the music. But as a snowstorm strands both families in a lavish farmhouse on a cliff, Siobhán had better pick up the tempo–before the killer orchestrates another untimely demise…
Murder at the Seaview Hotel by Glenda Young
In the charming Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, a murder is nothing to sing about . . .
After the death of her husband Tom, Helen Dexter is contemplating her future as the now-sole proprietor of the Seaview Hotel.
There’s an offer from a hotel chain developer to consider, but also a booking from a group of twelve Elvis impersonators, a singing troupe called Twelvis. Tom loved Elvis and for Helen this is a sign that she should stay.
But the series of mysterious events which follow, suggests that the developer is not going to give up easily. Then, shortly after Twelvis arrive, one of the group disappears. His body is found floating in a lake, with his blue suede shoes missing. Could the two be connected?
With the reputation of the Seaview on the line, Helen isn’t going to wait for the murderer to strike again. With her trusty greyhound Suki by her side, she decides to find out more about her guests and who wanted to make sure this Elvis never sang again.
A Ghostly Christmas
The Twelve Even Stranger Days of Christmas by Syd Moore
From the twice CWA Dagger shortlisted author of The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas come thirteen twelve stories to transport you to the macabre world of inexplicable phenomena.
As the dark winter nights get longer, prepare to lose yourself in the world of the strange. With a tale for each day of Christmas and a rather unlucky 13th, Christmas is not the only spirit in these pages. ‘Tis the season for sacrificial feasts, cultish communities and a train with a rather final destination. So wrap up warm and let yourself get lost in the world of the strange, the scary and the supernatural…
The Haunting Season : Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights by Bridget Collins
Long before Charles Dickens and Henry James popularized the tradition, the shadowy nights of winter have been a time for people to gather together by the flicker of candlelight and experience the intoxicating thrill of a ghost story.
Now eight bestselling, award-winning authors – all of them master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre – bring the tradition to vivid life in a spellbinding new collection of original spine-tingling tales.
Taking you from the frosty Fens to the wild Yorkshire moors, to the snow-covered grounds of a haunted estate, to a bustling London Christmas market, these mesmerizing stories will capture your imagination and serve as your indispensable companion to the cold, dark nights.
So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the spell of winters past . . .
The Damned Season by Shani Struthers
On a strange island, amongst strangers, a strange tale unfolds…
Beth Williams leads a lonely existence, going to work, then returning to her flat to watch TV, eat and sleep – the same routine on repeat, day after day. It’s a loneliness she nurtures, finds comfort in even, except at Christmas, a time of dread.
Then comes an invite, an offer from an old friend, to join him for ‘The Damned Season’ at his house on an island off the coast of Anglesey, for Christmas with a difference. Intrigued as well as desperate, Beth accepts, arriving there a few days before Christmas Eve.
She’s not the only one invited, however, there are four others, all strangers to each other, all crossing murky, choppy waters to meet their host, a much changed man that seems not only surprised to see them, but dismayed, and weary too. Who is nothing but a husk.
With the boatman gone and the mists closing in, Beth finds herself in a solitary house of ever-changing rooms and never-ending corridors, of people disappearing and then reappearing, of feasts and famine. And then there are the doors, constantly multiplying, and locked…aren’t they?
The Damned Season. It’s coming.
Well done you’ve made it to the end! Hope you found something to add a bit of love, light and sparkle to your life.
Happy Christmas Reading!!