Books

BOOK REVIEW: A Little Christmas Romance

“The Christmas Table” by Donna VanLiere
c.2020, St. Martin’s Press
$17.99
240 pages

“Christmas at the Island Hotel” by Jenny Colgan
c.2020, William Morrow
$15.99
352 pages

“In a Holidaze” by Christina Lauren
c.2020, Gallery Books
$16
336 pages

“The Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Jenny Bayliss
c.2020, G.P. Putnam & Sons
$16
368 pages

The forecast calls for snow this weekend.

And that’s perfectly fine with you — you’ve been binge-watching Christmas romances, and while it’s easy to poke fun at them, they’re like comfort food. Boy meets girl in a magically snowy place, girl hates boy, there’s a dog or maybe a kid, and a tree and a handyman, some sort of funny mix-up, and love by movies’ end. Predictable. Easily enjoyable, which is exactly what you want, so why not try these four Christmas romance books

Nothing says “holiday” more than people around a table at a big meal. In “The Christmas Table” by Donna VanLiere, a piece of furniture built 50 years ago by hand and with love lands in the home of a woman who was never mothered, but is about to become a mother herself. Once the table is in place, she finds a secret inside it, one that inspires her to think of the woman who owned that table so long ago. “The Christmas Table” isn’t a boy-meets-girl kind of tale, but it’s surely a love story all the same.

With a pandemic about, and since you planned on staying in anyhow, how about visiting a Scottish hotel in “Christmas at the Island Hotel” by Jenny Colgan? In this novel, a new hotel is set to open by the holiday, and its proprietors are working hard to ensure everything’s perfectly ready — and that includes hiring kitchen staff. One of those staff-members is a woman looking for a better life. The other, secretly, quietly, is a member of royalty.

And to think you thought travel this Christmas was out of the question…

For sure, a holiday isn’t a holiday without laughter, so consider looking for “In a Holidaze” by Christina Lauren. It’s the tale of a woman with a life she absolutely hates, the holidays aren’t what they were when she was a child, and they’re about to change even more. Driving away from the most disappointing, mistake-filled Christmas celebration she’s ever had, she silently begs the universe for help — and she gets exactly what she wishes for. “In a Holidaze” is a fun, funny romance meant to quash any kind of holiday blues.

And finally, appease your inner Christmas romantic with “The Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Jenny Bayliss. This is a girl-meets-boy, times a dozen as a woman who’s tired of looking for love reluctantly agrees to try a new dating agency. There are 23 days to go until Christmas, though, and the question remains: will she even need mistletoe this year?

If the TV commercials haven’t yet nudged you toward the holidays, and the pandemic hasn’t made you crave comfort, then you’re in luck: Christmas romances are out in abundance, and these four are perfect, as addicting as frosted Christmas cookies and Mom’s fudge. They’ll put you in the right mood for lighting the tree, grabbing hot cocoa, finding a snuggly blanket, and reading in front of a warm, crackling fire. Indeed, with these four novels, the forecast for enjoyment is good.

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