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Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Holiday Spirit

We've talked movies and baking, but another way I like to get into the holiday spirit is by reading holiday-themed stories. My mom started this tradition when I was little by having us all read Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol aloud as a family, and to this day, when December rolls around I start getting the itch for books featuring miracles, mistletoe kisses, and holiday cheer.

I've seen several people asking for recommendations of favorite holiday-themed romances lately, so I thought I'd share a few of mine! Weirdly, they're all historical--but that's purely a coincidence. I'm sure there are some great Christmas contemporaries, and if you know of one, I'd love to hear about it!

The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
Strictly speaking, not a holiday-themed romance, but a large, important stretch of the book takes place at a Christmas house party. There are surprisingly intoxicating brandied cherries, a game of Victorian-era Secret Santa that goes horribly wrong--or right?, and basically it's one of the best books ever. It was the first big historical romance I read, and it hooked me on romance for life. I even made brandied cherries last year! If you haven't read this yet, you're missing out. It's a classic for a reason.

An Affair Before Christmas
by Eloisa James
This was one of James's Desperate Duchesses novels, and I enjoyed it immensely. It gave a real sense of the time period, down to some of the less pleasant details most historicals gloss right over, and in fact, those details were pivotal to the characters and the plot. Highly unique and very satisfying.

This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
A novella in the Heart of Christmas anthology, this is Courtney Milan's debut. Her first full length novel, Proof by Seduction, will be out January 1st, and based on this novella? I'm pre-ordering that sucker. Milan is good! This not your standard bored society lady/ravishing rake/Almack's-and-Hyde-Park historicals. The lack of wealthy dukes is enough to make this book stand out, but what really affected me was the amount of sensual detail. The prose appeals to every single one of the reader's senses, and it's enough to make you feel like you're right there. I loved it.

What are some of your favorite holiday romances?


Just read Home for the Holidays last week and truly enjoyed it. OK I've been a fan of Sarah Mayberry's for a while now (Blaze) but this is only her second SuperRomance and while it is quite different in style, it is just as good !

I really, really need to read The Shadow and The Star.

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