The novella is the perfect format for this busy time of year! Fit in a quick read between Christmas preparations or while relaxing in the glow of the Christmas tree. I’ve selected five of my favorites followed by a few other recommendations for Christmas short stories (which can easily be read in one sitting) and novels as well as a few items on my Christmas reading pile!
- Most but not all below are Christian stories. All are clean romances.
- Technically, I think A Cliché Christmas and A Sugar Creek Christmas are (short?) novels. In the true spirit of Christmas overwhelm, I’m lumping them with the others because it’s my blog, and I can.
And as a bonus, a Christmas snippet from my novel Rightfully Ours, which I hope to be sharing some exciting news about soon!
A Cliché Christmas by Nicole Deese
Georgia Cole—known in Hollywood as the “Holiday Goddess”—has made a name for herself writing heartwarming screenplays chock-full of Christmas clichés, but she has yet to experience the true magic of the season. So, when her eccentric grandmother volunteers her to direct a pageant at Georgia’s hometown community theater, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, she’ll be working alongside Weston James, her childhood crush and the one man she has tried desperately to forget.
Now, facing memories of a lonely childhood and the humiliation of her last onstage performance, seven years earlier, Georgia is on the verge of a complete mistletoe meltdown. As Weston attempts to thaw the frozen walls around her heart, Georgia endeavors to let go of her fears and give love a second chance. If she does, will she finally believe that Christmas can be more than a cliché?
A Christmas Hope by Leslie Lynch
Sam Bledsoe prefers his reclusive existence. A one-man landscape business keeps a roof over his head and food on the table—and keeps his badly scarred face away from curious eyes. But when a woman faints on her way from neighbor Maggie Ross’s house, he doesn’t hesitate. He rushes to help while grappling with memories of the incident that burned him so badly.
Free spirit Becca Sweet is pregnant—and down on her luck. The father of her unborn baby showed his true colors when he showed her the door. The apartment she has lined up isn’t available until the first of the year, and with Christmas and a storm on the way, living in her car is no longer an option. Becca appeals to her no-nonsense sister for help, but Maggie, unaware of Becca’s pregnancy, chooses that moment to dish out some tough love.
When Sam comes to Becca’s rescue, their battered hearts collide. In a moment of holiday magic, they discover that Christmas hope applies to all, even to them. And will hope lead to love, the most precious Christmas gift of all?
Faith House by Robin Patchen
When Hurricane Sandy destroys Sadie’s home, she’s determined to restore it. She promised her dying grandmother she’d never abandon the house that is the only link to Sadie’s schizophrenic father—a man who disappeared twenty years ago.
Max has loved Sadie since grade school, but their mutual friend died when they were teens. A decade has passed, and he’s finally found her. This time, he won’t lose her—not to a flooded house hundreds of miles from home, or to her false hope as she awaits her father’s unlikely return.
When Sadie discovers her house is underinsured, she faces an impossible decision. Can she trust God enough to let go of her only connection to her dad? Can she trust Max enough to let go of her heart?
A Sugar Creek Christmas by Jenny B. Jones
Morning television show darling Emma Sutton has just been fired. The only way to get her job back is to find a holiday story to warm the coldest heart. So when her hometown of Sugar Creek, Arkansas, needs a Christmas event planner, Emma moves back, sure her story lies in the town’s desire to become a tourist’s holiday wonderland. The plan is perfect—until Emma meets her new boss.
Charming, handsome Noah Kincaid isn’t just Sugar Creek’s newest mayor. He’s also Emma’s ex-fiancé. Ten years ago Emma left Noah her ring and a goodbye note, but it’s haunted her ever since. The last thing Noah wants to do is work with the woman who broke his heart, but Emma’s desperate to prove to him that her bah-humbug ways won’t interfere with her work.
Emma finds it’s more than the mistletoe drawing her back to Noah. Whatever they had is clearly not over, but Noah’s kisses can’t protect Emma from a past that won’t leave her alone. As the snow falls and the trees glisten, love will come to Sugar Creek. But will it come in time to make all of Emma’s Christmas dreams come true?
One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg
Last December, mystery author Maren Grant had the most perfect night of her life. On a glimmering winter evening, she got to watch the photo shoot for her very first book and ended up on a magical date with the cover model himself—Colin Renwycke.
Fast forward one year. This December, with a looming deadline, restless spirit and her creative spark long since gone, Maren is desperate to get unstuck. And she can’t get Colin out of her head…or his year-old open invitation to spend a couple weeks writing at his family’s farm.
Drew Renwycke never planned to come home and take over the Renwycke family farm. But he’s spent too many years watching his siblings unravel, including his brother, Colin, after one terrible family mistake. If moving to Maple Valley, Iowa, renovating an old farmhouse and switching careers is what it takes to put the Renwycke family back together, he’ll do it.
But his simple plan upends when a scrappy author lands on his doorstep. And she just might be the key to coaxing his brother home. But what if he wants her all to himself? Drew will have to choose between his Christmas wish and the enchantment of a holiday romance that just might be the happy ending they all long for.
The Proposal by Becky Wade
First Position by Quenby Olson
A Sandy’s Seashell Shop Christmas by Lisa Wingate
Can I get to them all? Doubtful, but, On the Reading List:
Home for Christmas, Historical Christian Romance Collection (various authors)
Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection (various authors)
Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh
Snowflake Kisses by Marianne Evans
A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Her Holiday Family by Ruth Logan Herne
SNEAK PEEK from Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk
Rachel lifted the candy cane to her mouth and twirled it between her lips. The cool peppermint lingered in her mouth as she slid the sweet stick over her tongue. No color remained on the straight end of the stick, which she had skillfully licked into a point as sharp and delicate as the icicles that hung from the gutters.
The minty freshness tantalized her nose, but only for a second. The dominant fragrance in the room remained the sweet and savory aroma of the ham Mom had served for Christmas dinner. When the heat kicked on, a gust of fresh pine momentarily wafted beyond the Christmas trees limbs, causing Rachel to inhale deeply and savor its woodsy scent.
Paul sat next to her, his hand interlocked with hers, and if he shifted in his seat or leaned in to whisper something to her, his cologne would join the panoply of fragrances that from now on would be uniquely “Christmas” to her.
The mini multi-colored lights from the Christmas tree cast a soft glow on the otherwise dark room. Here and there a red or yellow bulb lit a hidden alcove in the tree where an ornament hung. An eclectic mishmash or ornaments bedecked the large, fine-needled evergreen Dad and Paul had hand-cut for their celebration. Garish ornaments fashioned by little hands hung next to antique balls, ceramic snowflakes, vacation mementos and pop culture touchstones. As Paul had joked while he fastened hooks to the ornaments, “Nothing says ‘let’s celebrate the Savior’s birth’ like an eerie, talking Death Star.”
For more Five Favorites, visit The Big White Farmhouse.
Do you enjoy reading shorter stories during the holiday season? Do you have a Christmas romance favorite?
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