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Author Picks: 6 Holly Jolly Reads to Brighten Your Holidays

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Lia Louis lives in the United Kingdom with her partner and three young children. She is the author of Somewhere Close to HappyDear Emmie Blue, and Eight Perfect Hours.

Everyone who knows me well enough knows that I am a huge Christmas fan—the biggest! As soon as the leaves turn brown and the air turns just that tiny bit chillier, I need absolutely no encouragement to start turning the gear into holiday mode. First come the boots and scarfs and sweater shopping, and soon after comes all things Christmas, with present shopping (in November!? my friends cry), festive movies (bad and good), baking, and most important: festive reads—the sorts of books that practically demand to be read in cozy pajamas, under numerous blankets, with a cup of something hot, and with me completely undisturbed.

So, if you, like me, need no encouragement to get the gingerbread cookie-cutters out, and love nothing more than planning lots of cheerful celebrations for the holiday season, here are some books that might help get you into the spirit: ones I’ve loved and ones I can’t wait to add this winter to my little TBR by the fire.

One Family Christmas
by Bella Osborne

If you want books with warmth that leave your heart feeling happy, ones by Bella Osborne never disappoint—and ONE FAMILY CHRISTMAS is no exception. Bella’s easy, conversational, zingy style is completely devourable, and you’ll find yourself roaring through the pages. When Lottie decides to throw one last big family Christmas at the old manor house she grew up in, she gets more than she bargained for. Not only does her first love walk in nine years after he walked out, but this family has secrets—lots of them! This is a fun, heartwarming, and relatable holiday book, and a perfect story to snuggle up with.

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One Family Christmas
Bella Osborne

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MENTIONED IN:

Author Picks: 6 Holly Jolly Reads to Brighten Your Holidays

By Lia Louis | December 9, 2021

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One Day in December
by Josie Silver

Ever since I read ONE DAY IN DECEMBER, I’ve thought of it often, which for me is always a sign of a truly brilliant book. From the unforgettable opening scene, to the *gasp* moment that follows, and those final, romantic, heart-singing chapters, Josie Silver absolutely nails the heartfelt and heartbreaking holiday novel.

When Laurie lays eyes on a man from a snowy bus window and falls in love at first sight, she can’t stop thinking about him. Then she sees him again—but he’s introduced as her best friend’s new boyfriend. The perfect romantic dilemma, right? Full of longing and heartbreak, this novel is the ultimate impossible romance. I loved it.

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One Day in December
Josie Silver

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Meet Me in London
by Georgia Toffolo

If you like total escapism and curling up with a novel that’ll take you far, far away, MEET ME IN LONDON by Georgia Toffolo is the perfect choice. Especially if you love the fake relationship trope (and London, of course!).

When Victoria’s boutique dreams are threatened by the opening of a huge department store, she agrees to be the pretend girlfriend of Oliver Russell—a member of the family responsible for opening the department store—on the promise he’ll help her showcase her own designs. But then the fake relationship starts to feel real, and just in time for secrets of Victoria’s past to start surfacing. Filled with London magic and plenty of holiday vibes, this is yet another easy-to-read page-turner by Georgia Toffolo.

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Meet Me in London
Georgia Toffolo

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MENTIONED IN:

Author Picks: 6 Holly Jolly Reads to Brighten Your Holidays

By Lia Louis | December 9, 2021

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This Time Next Year
by Sophie Cousens

I really adored this book by Sophie Cousens. It’s one of those romance novels that under the surface has so much more to it. This book not only deals with achingly romantic themes, such as fate and timing and “missing” that person you’re meant to be with, but it also touches on some serious issues, like mental health and those family ties that are sometimes so hard to shoulder, but ones we do our best to, for love. The perfect easy, cry-and-laugh-in-equal-measure read for the holiday season.

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This Time Next Year
Sophie Cousens

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Always, in December
by Emily Stone

It started with a letter. It ended with a love story.

When I saw the hook for Emily Stone’s ALWAYS IN DECEMBER, I was sold. I wanted to read it immediately, and I’m very glad to have this saved up, ready for the festive period. I love the holidays, almost as much as I love letters, especially unread letters like in this novel—and a romantic chance encounter thrown in for perfect measure, of course! I can’t wait for this one.

Josie Morgan posts a letter every single year that she knows will never be read. Until one of her letters leads her to someone by chance—handsome Max Carter. And their chance encounter is about to change their lives in the most remarkable way.

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Always, in December
Emily Stone

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Author Picks: 6 Holly Jolly Reads to Brighten Your Holidays

By Lia Louis | December 9, 2021

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In a Holidaze
by Christina Lauren

I love anything by the talented team that are Christina Lauren, and I know, without a doubt, that IN A HOLIDAZE will knock my (Christmas) socks off. This one even has the “speculative” element of a time-loop, which totally has my heart before I’ve even opened the book. I love nothing more than a Groundhog Day sort of story (and Groundhog Day itself, especially at Christmas!), and this sounds like the perfect romantic, festive version.

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In a Holidaze
Christina Lauren

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

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Eight Perfect Hours
by Lia Louis

EIGHT PERFECT HOURS is out now!

On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

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Eight Perfect Hours
Lia Louis

“I read Eight Perfect Hours in one sitting, in four perfect hours, because I couldn’t bear to put it down without knowing the ending. Lia Louis has become a must-buy author for me.” —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

In this romantic and heartwarming novel, two strangers meet in chance circumstances during a blizzard and spend one perfect evening together, thinking they’ll never see each other again. But fate seems to have different plans. From the acclaimed author of the “swoon-worthy…rom-com” (The Washington Post) Dear Emmie Blue.

On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.

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Photo credit: iStock / karandaev

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