CHRISTMAS :: Favourites

Last week I made the big statement that I might have already found my favourite Christmas novel of the year – Sandy Barker’s The Christmas Swap – so this week I thought I’d share some of my favourites from the past few years.

The Christmas Cookie Club has been my favourite Christmas book for adults since I borrowed it from the library in 2016. It’s a beautiful story about female friendship and the way women support eachother. It does deal with some heavy issues, so isn’t exactly a light, fun, Christmas romance like I often read, but I was really touched by it. I have been wanting to reread it since that first time – perhaps this will finally be the year?

Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that’s a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.

On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight.

It’s no secret that I enjoy Jenny Hale’s cosy Christmas romances, and I think this one – We’ll Always Have Christmas – is still my favourite. Probably because there is a bakery and baking & family businesses are two of my favourite tropes. I do think this is a good place to start if you’re after sweet Christmas romance,

Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…
The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.

Speaking of sweet Christmas romance, I thought Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow was quite delightful when I read it last year. I also watched the movie adaptation and talked about them both here. I really enjoyed reading the book then watching the movie, and would love to do the same for at least one book/movie combo this year.

Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.

At first they drive in silence, but forced into close quarters Ashley and Dash can’t help but open up. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there’s even a spark of romance in the air. Their feelings catch them off guard—never before has either been so excited about a first meeting. But the two are in for more twists and turns along the way as they rescue a lost puppy, run into petty thieves, and even get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Though Ashley and Dash may never reach Seattle in time for Christmas, the season is still full of surprises—and their greatest wishes may yet come true.

So, those are a few recommendations of some of my favourite back list Christmas books. I’d love to know whether you have read these, or have any others you would recommend that I check out!

xo Bron

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