There’s a shop near my house called The Christmas Loft. It’s built in an old barn, and stepping inside is like walking into a winter wonderland: sparkly cotton snow lines the floors, holiday music twinkles in the background, and Santa rides over your head in a giant sleigh, his plastic reindeer leading the way across the ceiling. I love visiting the shop during December, but there’s something even more fun about going in the height of summer. As soon as you step inside, the sweltering heat of July disappears and you’re lost in a world of ornaments and presents, of trees and twinkling white lights. Christmas in July might be my new favorite thing.
Which is why I’ve been a little obsessed with Christmas-themed books lately. While my friends lounge around by the pool, I find myself holed up inside, devouring stories about snowball fights and kisses under the mistletoe. Christmas books might not scream ‘beach reads,’ but they will still always have a place in summer (and in our hearts). So here are four Christmas I’m currently obsessed with in July:
The Christmas Café, Amanda Prowse (Head of Zeus, August 1, 2016)
Bea Greenstock is in her early 50’s and running a successful Sydney café when her beloved husband of 30 years dies. After pouring herself into the business, in part to assuage her grief, she starts exchanging emails with another café owner in Scotland. As Christmas looms, Bea decides to ditch the sun and sand of Australia in order to meet up with her new friend in Edinburgh. She brings along her teenage granddaughter, and the two explore the snowy streets of a city halfway across the world. Of course there’s an old love in the mix as well –- it wouldn’t be a Christmas book without a little romance. Part of Prowse’s No Greater Love series, The Christmas Café is bound to win over any fan of romance and a little holiday celebration.
Hale’s Christmas romance came out almost a year ago, but I’m still obsessed with the sweet tale of true love. Single mom Abbey Fuller is trying to balance her son, Max, and her dreams of becoming an interior designer. When millionaire Nick needs his house decorated in time for the holidays, Abbey jumps at the chance. Only Nick is a little more brooding (and hotter!) than she was expecting, and she suspects she might be in over her head. Sparks and mistletoe fly in this adorable Christmas-themed romance.
Kiss Me In Christmas, Debbie Mason (Forever Publishing, February, 2016)
Mason is the author of the Christmas, Colorado series, about a small town named after our favorite holiday. Kiss Me in Christmas is book six, and it tells the story of Chloe O’Connor, a successful actress who has a hard time leaving her past in the town of Christmas behind. Once seen as the awkward girl, now Chloe is all diva and attitude — something her high school crush, Easton, has a hard time accepting. Can he bring out the sweet girl he remembers without crushing the sparks that still burn between them? Pick up this Christmas romance to find out.
This story of loss, love and friendship is about a close-knit book club of women who have come to rely on each other over the years. When their leader, Abby, unexpectedly dies, the other four are left to pick up the pieces of their friendship. But Abby has left each of them with an angel ornament to remember her by, which inspires them all to go out into the world to help someone in need. If you’re looking for a heartwarming Christmas tale (not that you need any more ‘warming’ this summer!) then try out Carlson’s latest as soon as it hits shelves.