The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisp and apples are turning red on their branches. Guys, it’s finally sweater season and I am so excited.
I love summer, don’t get me wrong. But there’s something truly magical about fall, with all that pumpkin spice in the air and the smell of suntan lotion quickly becoming a distant memory. All I want to do these days is curl up with hot tea and a giant blanket as I dive into a good book.
Luckily, there are so many good books to choose from lately, filled with romance, good food and lovable characters. In honor of sweater season, here are 8 stories that are sure to warm you up on a cold fall day:
Winter Storms, Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown and Company, October 4, 2016)
Hilderbrand is known for her heartwarming stories full of friendships, families and love. In the third book in her Winter Street trilogy, she gives us the final story of the Quinn family. It’s Christmas, and the troubled family is preparing for the marriage of Kevin and Isabelle. But it wouldn’t be a Hilderbrand novel if everything worked out perfectly, and with a big storm sweeping over Nantucket, the Quinns are in for more than a few upsets before they can celebrate the big day.
Possession, Helen Hardt (Waterhouse Press, September 22, 2016)
If you need something to warm your blood during those chilly fall nights, look no further than Hardt’s sexy Steel Brothers series. Possession is the third book in the saga of Talon Steel and his lady love, Jade Roberts. The two have gone through so much together, but Talon’s dark past still threatens to tear them apart. Jade is determined to figure out his secrets, even if that puts her own life on the line.
Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, October 25, 2016)
I love the Barefoot Contessa, and I often watch her cooking show as a way to unwind after a long day. While all her episodes are gold, the ones that feature Garten’s husband, Jeffrey, are particularly awesome. The two have been married forever and they clearly still adore each other. Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with those butter-heavy recipes we’ve come to know and love as well as stories about their decades-long relationship. If you’re looking for a book that warms both the heart AND the stomach, this is the one.
Snowfall on Haven Point, RaeAnne Thayne (HQN Books, September 27, 2016)
Thayne’s novels remind me of Thomas Kinkade paintings: heartwarming, endearing and filled with those kind of idyllic small towns that never seem to exist in real life. Her latest is all about following your heart, telling the story of widow Andie Montgomery who’s determined to give her children the best Christmas ever in their new town of Haven Point. But then she agrees to look after the wounded — and very grumpy — Sheriff Marshall Bailey. As the two find themselves becoming more and more attracted to each other, it becomes clear that this is the kind of Christmas that might just change both their lives for the better.
Do You Want to Start a Scandal, Tessa Dare (Avon, September 27, 2016)
Sometimes all I want to read is a comfortingly familiar historical romance where a dashing Lord falls for a spunky heroine. Dare is the best of the best in the genre, which is why I can’t wait to get my hands on her latest. Charlotte Highwood is trying to avoid a scandal when she lands smack dab in the middle of one, tying her to the cold and arrogant Lord Granville — who just happens to be hiding quite a few secrets of his own. The whole novel sparkles with Dare’s signature wit, turning into a Clue-style romp that is sure to please any romance fan.
The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan (William Morrow, September 20, 2016)
This book is described as a “valentine to readers,” and I can’t think of anything more cozy or sweet. It’s about Nina Redmond, a librarian who always knows what book to recommend to her patrons. So when she loses her job she feels especially lost, until she realizes that she needs to bring the books to her readers personally. After creating a traveling bookshop out of an old van, Nina is off, discovering adventures, meeting new people, and maybe even falling in love.
When in Rome…Find Yourself, Lena Mae Hill (Speak Now, September 6, 2016)
In my mind, Italy means pasta, art and unbelievable architecture — all things that instantly warm the soul. In her young adult novel, Hill introduces us to Rory Hartnett, who’s studying abroad in Rome for six months. She’s determined to focus on her classes and internship, but then she meets a cute boy (of course! And also, yay!). This lighthearted romance is the perfect thing to snuggle up with when the air outside gets a little too crisp.
Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, Mara Wilson (Penguin Books, September 13, 2016)
I grew up watching Wilson on screen, so there’s something wonderfully and warmly nostalgic about finding out what she’s up to now. The fact that she’s a brilliant writer doesn’t hurt either. In this collection of essays, Wilson dives into early fame, perpetually feeling like she doesn’t belong, and what it means to live out of the limelight. Fun reading for fans who remember Wilson as the plucky genius in Matilda, but also a deeply personal look at what it means to grow up and move on.