Diverse Holiday Romances
"It's the most romantic time of the year!"
Ok, that's not actually how the song goes but, for many people, there's something inherently romantic about this time of year. The sparkling lights, the coziness of a roaring fire, the sense of anticipation in the air. It all adds up to a certain kind of warm fuzzy feeling. It certainly does for me. I love this time of year.
I am also a sucker for Hallmark-style Christmas romance movies. However, if you've ever watched these movies, you may have noticed something: the people all look the same! But the people who celebrate Christmas and Hanukah and Kwanzaa aren't all the same. So here are some heartwarming, holiday happily ever afters for the people who don't see themselves in the movies.
The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish
Greta finds it hard to be a lesbian in small town Maine. Truman's Louisiana life is uprooted when his boyfriend breaks his heart. They both desperately need to get away for a while so a mutual friend suggests they swap homes for the holidays. The swap gives them a chance to start fresh, but will the love they find be worth the risk of building a new home? For another great holiday romance filled with found family and queer love, check out Roan Parrish's The Lights on Knockbridge Lane.
The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt has two secrets: she makes her living writing Christmas romance novels and she has chronic fatigue syndrome. This year, her publisher wants her to write a Hanukah romance but Rachel is having trouble getting in the spirit. When her childhood crush returns to the city, Rachel agrees to help him plan a big Hanukah party called the Matzah Ball. Amidst all the holiday chaos, Rachel finds herself charmed by both the spirit of Hanukah and the man who once broke her heart.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
When her daughter is invited to style a member of the British royal family, Vivian jumps at the chance to visit England. However, her trip quickly takes a turn for the unexpected when she meets Malcolm, the Queen's Private Secretary. Suddenly, holiday sightseeing becomes a holiday romance. But will the pair be able to say goodbye when Vivian's trip comes to an end?
A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone
Bee Hobbes has just been cast in a Christmas movie for the Hope Channel. Her costar is Nolan Shaw, a former boy band member whose image needs cleaning up. The problem is that Bee's usual job is as a plus-sized adult film star, where she performs under the name Bianca Von Honey. In order to keep her wholesome new role, she must keep her alter ego a secret but that proves difficult when things heat up between her and Nolan off screen.
A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas by Jackie Lau
Tasha Edwards and Greg Wong were once high school sweethearts. Now, Greg's mother has "volunteered" him to drive Tasha back to their hometown for Christmas, and Greg is not happy about it. But it's only because she will disrupt the peace and quiet. He definitely does not still have feelings for her. Check out the rest of the Holidays with the Wongs series, when other members of the Wong family find love on Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day.
Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday
Dani Martinez does not want a relationship. Maximillian von Hansburg, an actual Baron, needs to marry in order to become the Duke of Aquilla. He does not want the wife or the title. When Max comes to New York City, the pair strike up a friendship, confident that things will remain platonic. They do not, in fact, remain platonic. But Max's family doesn't approve of Dani and Dani's not even sure how she would fit in that world. Will the new couple find a way to bridge the divide?
Season of Love by Helena Greer
Miriam Blum has just inherited half of Carrigan's Christmas Tree Farmland, the only Jewish-owned Christmas tree farm in the country. Claiming her inheritance means returning to a family she left behind. Apparently, it also involves interacting with the farm's very attractive, plus-sized manager, Noelle Northwood. The people at Carrigan's have been good to Noelle and she's not happy to see the woman who abandoned them. As the pair works together to save the farm, they might just find happily ever after along the way.
The Kwanzaa Brunch, a Holiday Novella by DL White
Sienna Charles feels stuck in her life. Everything is the same. When Booker Lasalle takes a job at the same company, Sienna thinks she has finally found something new. But Booker took the job, to start fresh and put his bad habits behind him. And that includes resisting the smart, beautiful woman right in front of him. Will his resolve hold out or will the pair start something new together?
You're a Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky
Matthew Prince is your typical rich kid: he has everything he could ever want, except his parents' affection. A public disaster certainly gets their attention though, and Matthew finds himself shipped off to his grandparents' small town for the holidays. Determined to win back his parents' favour and go home early, Matthew volunteers to organize the town's charity gala. What he doesn't expect is that the locals, particularly the attractive but unimpressed Hector Martinez, will melt his grouchy heart.
Have you got a favourite holiday romance story? Tell us about it in the comments below.