It’s my favorite time of the year! The decorations, the yummy food, family bonding and the pep in everyone’s step is what I really love about the holidays. Another thing I can’t get enough of each December? Christmas books. There’s just something about reading a sweet holiday story by the fireplace with a mug of cocoa in my hand that stirs warm feelings of contentment. Thanks to that Christmas spirit, I’ve rounded up my top five new Christmas-themed books for this week’s Heat Index that will surely put a smile on your face and warmth in your heart.
Christmas in Vermont: A Very White Christmas, Bryan Mooney (Lake Union Publishing, October, 2015)
Heat Index: Ex-marine Jack Reynolds’ brother is missing in action and, Hope, who helped him survive in Iraq, is now in Woodstock, Vermont trying to track him down. When Jack and Hope’s paths cross, old feelings ignite, but there’s one problem: Jack is engaged. When they discover a bag of Christmas cards that have long been lost, they decide to make good on the delivery and give the residents of Woodstock their letters. While old and new feelings stir, Jack must decide between two women. Sweet and exciting, Mooney’s novel hits all the right notes for a beautiful Christmas novel.
The Christmas Joy Ride, Melody Carlson (Revell, September, 2015)
Heat Index: Joy is on a mission, to drive from Chicago to her new retirement community in Phoenix in an RV for Christmas. She asks the only person she knows who could possibly accompany her, her young neighbor Miranda. Miranda has no job and is in the process of losing her house, so when her 85-year-old neighbor suggests an adventure-filled road trip, she jumps on board. Is there more to this joy ride than meets the eye? Miranda is about to find out! Enchanting, lovely and full of friendship, The Christmas Joy Ride is a must-read this holiday season.
Winter Stroll: A Novel, Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown & Co., October, 2015)
Heat Index: It’s Christmas in Nantucket and it’s time once again for Kelley Quinn, owner of Winter Street Inn, to write his annual holiday letter. This year Kelley is facing Christmas as a single man and excited about the baptism of the newest addition to the Quinn clan, his granddaughter Genevieve. Problems arise when Kelley’s estranged second wife strolls into town. But she’s not the only face from the past to show up this Christmas and the Quinn family must find a way to get through another holiday season unscathed. An absolutely lovely sequel from Hilderbrand, filled with Christmas cheer and holiday romance.
Dashing Through the Snow: A Christmas Novel, Debbie Macomber (Ballantine Books, October, 2015)
“This Christmas romance from [Debbie] Macomber is both sweet and sincere.” —Library Journal
Heat Index: Debbie Macomber does it again with Dashing Through the Snow, her latest New York Times bestseller. Graduate student Ashley Davison vows to spend this Christmas with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland must get to Seattle before December 23 for a job interview. But when Ashley and Dashiell each arrive at San Francisco airport to book a flight, they learn that all flights are booked. With only one rental car left, they decide to suck it up and drive together to Seattle. What happens when two strangers set out on road trip together for different reasons? And can they ignore the feelings that slowly stir as the days pass? Adventure, surprises and of course, love fill this Macomber novel. A must-read before the Hallmark Movie adaptation airs on December 13.
Christmas For One, Amanda Prowse (IPG Books, October, 2015)
“Christmas for One is a light, sugary confection, perfectly suited for the holiday season… a snapshot of a romance that, though unplanned and a bit magical, will elicit a sigh and a smile.” —NY Journal of Books
Heat Index: Meg is determined to give her son Lucas the picture-perfect Christmas this year, even if it means doing it alone. But after an encounter with a handsome stranger on the streets of New York, Meg begins to hold out hope for a Christmas not only filled with holiday cheer, but all-encompassing love as well. Is she setting herself up for a world of hurt or the most amazing Christmas she and Lucas could have ever imagined? A beautiful addition to Amanda Prowse’s No Greater Love series and everything you’d expect from a perfect Christmas novel.