A recent social media post asked me, “When do you read Christmas themed novels?” My response? Whenever the mood strikes! However, I must admit that the closer we draw to that very special day, the more often the mood strikes. So, to satisfy this seasonal craving of mine, I’ve created a list of seven Christmas-themed clean/Christian novels I’d like to read. Now, I was careful to only pick books that I thought would suit my taste (and yours) but I need to warn you there are some new-to-me authors on this list (I am deliberately trying to branch out and give more new authors a try these days) and I have not yet read any of these titles. So, I chose the books in this list based on three factors:

  1. They were listed as either Christian/Clean and had the word Christmas in the title.
  2. The back cover description made the novel/novellas sound like a fun read.
  3. The first page or two that I read in the preview both caught my attention and demonstrated a certain level of writing craft.

With that said, here (in no particular order) are the seven Christmas-themed clean/Christian books I want to read this year:

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection

Okay, so I picked this one because I love Carolyn Miller and Erica Vetsch’s writing (I haven’t yet read anything full length by Barratt). Plus, the heroine for Barratt’s novella in this collection reminded me of my own heroine in Sing in the Sunlight. So how could I not add this to the list?

Here’s the description:

Inspirational Regency romance with a Christmas twist from three best-selling authors

In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.

“Heaven and Nature Sing” by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome both their obligations and their fears to find their way back into each other’s arms?

“Far as the Curse Is Found” by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

“Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he’d fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Christmas Swap

I almost passed on this one because the description claims you can’t find snow in Arizona (which I know to be patently false–it just depends on where you are in Arizona), but the rest of the premise intrigued me enough to look past this and read the preview. What sold me on this book was the writing craftsmanship and the interestingly complicated relationship between the main character and her friend. I have relationships like that, so I could relate to the situation and that drew me in.

Here’s the description:

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can’t find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there’s someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet–or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house’s caretaker. But when Emma’s friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings.

Amazon | Goodreads

Old West Christmas Brides: 6 Historical Romances Celebrate Christmas on the Frontier

With a title like this, you knew I would be intrigued. The opening scene in the preview only sealed the deal. (The bloomer-wearing heroine is deserted by her guide in the middle of the woods with a wagon of goods and then she stumbles across a hanging about to happen.) I had to force myself to stop reading and get back to this post. I must have missed this one when it released a couple years back, but I’m looking forward to reading it soon.

Here’s the description:

Christmas Romances Filled with the Spirit of the Old West

It is hard for a woman to make a decent living in the Wild West of the late 1800s, and as the Christmas season approaches, prospects for a happy celebration seem dim.

A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley
Stranded alone in Nebraska Territory in 1882 with a broken wagon and two stubborn mules, Ellie-Mae Myers has no way to continue searching for her twin brother along the deserted Pony Express route or of returning home to Kentucky. Could a man on the verge of being hanged be the answer to her prayers?

A Wife in Name Only by Rosey Dow
Katherine Priestly seeks a job to help support her mother and brother. A local ranch seeks a cook, but by 1884 standards, the owner, Brett Masten, will only hire a married woman to work among his men. Desperate, Catherine claims she is a married woman at the tender age of eighteen. Will her charade become a barrier to true love and send her home without enough money to buy Christmas presents?

Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter by Darlene Franklin
Lucy Ames’ dreams come true when her sharp shooting makes her the star act of Major Paulson’s Wild West Show in 1891. Gordon Paulson is traveling with his parents for one last season before accepting a teaching position at West Texas Christian College. As Lucy’s and Gordon’s love for each other grows, will God weave their gifts and dreams into a single calling?

A Badlands Christmas by Marcia Gruver
Noela Nancarrow and her pampered sister have been dragged into the Badlands by their adventurous father to live penniless in a sod house in 1885. When a local rancher invites Noela to a lavish Christmas party, will her holiday spirit return or will she learn a lesson far greater from the experience?

Unexpected Blessings by Vickie McDonough
Anna Campbell sets out to deliver two small orphans to their uncle in Texas during December of 1880. Erik Olson knows it’s impossible for those cute little pests to be his brother’s and refuses to accept them—regardless of Anna’s persistence. Little do they know that behind the scenes, Erik’s Uncle Lars and his buddies are doing a little matchmaking, hoping to give the children a father and a mother.

A Grand County Christmas by Debra Ullrick
In 1883, Awnya O’Crean is on the brink of starvation and homeless in the Colorado Mountains. When she goes hunting for food, God places her in the path of Amadeus Josef. Will Christmas with the Josef family teach Awnya how God works in mysterious ways?

Amazon | Goodreads

Snowed In at the Castle

I’ve read several of Lucy McConnell’s clean romance novels in the past and really enjoyed them. They’re a fun break from my typical historical read and usually involve at least one wealthy main character. Plus the opening scene of this one introduced some interesting characters and painted a picture that made me want to keep reading.

Here’s the description:

(Book 1 in the Snowed in for Christmas clean romance series)

What if you were snowed in far away from home with a prince…

But you thought he was just a normal guy?

A normal guy who spoke beautiful words and snuck you into the ballroom in the middle of the night just so he could hold you close?

Avery Rossi’s had a rough year. She took a dream European vacation to push a restart button on her life, only to end up stranded in the airport. Her tour group is directed to temporary lodging in the castle–every girl’s dream come true. When she meets a royal advisor with brooding eyes and broad shoulders, she’s tempted to tear up her return ticket.

Prince Matteo de Luca must announce his engagement at the Christmas Eve ball. There are several problems.

1. The women his parents want him to marry is a troll.
2. He doesn’t want to get married at all.
3. He’s met an adorable American who makes him believe in things like love at first argument and the joy of Christmas.
4. She doesn’t know he’s a prince.

Pulled apart by centuries of tradition and loyalty to God and king, it’s going to take more than a royal rebellion for these two to be together.

Find out if Christmas truly is a season for miracles in this new holiday romance today!

Amazon | Goodreads

A Match Made at Christmas

I recently read Walsh’s Hometown Girl and absolutely loved it, so when I saw she had a Christmas novel, I was immediately intrigued. The premise pretty much sealed the deal, but then I read the first line and… could. not. stop. reading! So I just have to share the opening with you here:

It wasn’t a real kiss.

That’s what Prudence Sutton told herself as her best friend, Hayes McGuire, pulled away and studied her.

It wasn’t a real kiss.

It was a hello after months of not seeing each other kiss. Never mind that it landed dangerously close to her lips. Or that the smell of his aftershave lingered in the air. Or that she’d considered turning toward him at the last moment just for the chance to taste the lips of this beautiful man.

Pull it together, Pru. 

Hooked yet? Here’s the description:

Hayes McGuire never believed the stories about a famous Nantucket matchmaker until she ropes him into taking over her duties in while she’s off the island for Christmas.

So he enlists the help of the one person he can trust with this crazy scheme—his best friend, Prudence. Armed with a series of rules, a book of success stories and the promise of Christmas magic, the pair of old friends sets out to make a Christmas match.

Little do they know that magic doesn’t discriminate, and the pair soon finds their years of friendship deepening into something more. Will Pru and Hayes ignore the electricity in the air between them or will there be more than one match made at Christmas?

A Match Made at Christmas is a stand-alone holiday novella.

Amazon | Goodreads

Christmas Ever After

I liked the title of this one and the premise was interesting so I read the preview…and laughed and giggled and wanted to keep reading.

Here’s the description:

While promoting her next novel, a Christmas love story, author Riley Reynolds is caught off guard when she’s asked during a live national television interview how she can write about romance when she still hasn’t found “the one” herself. Scrambling for an answer, she quickly answers that she has had great love in her past and that love inspired her novels.

Little does she know that this one offhanded remark will turn her world upside down. Three of her ex-boyfriends see the interview, and each, believing she’s talking about him, shows up for her Christmas Camp book event at the Christmas Lake Lodge, determined to rewrite his happily-ever-after with her!

Over the festive weekend, Riley’s old boyfriends compete to win her heart, pulling out all the stops while planning the most romantic Christmas dates on the planet. Despite herself, Riley starts falling for each guy— again—but for different reasons. As Riley revisits each relationship and discovers more about herself, she embraces the magic of Christmas and finally finds true love and her own Christmas ever after…

Bonus Content: Christmas Ever After includes delicious original Christmas recipes and fun holiday crafts and activities

Amazon | Goodreads

An Ivy Hill Christmas

I admit to having some mixed experience with Klassen’s novels. Most of them I’ve enjoyed (a few I adored), but there were a couple that were a tad on the slower, more somber side than I typically prefer. Nevertheless, she is an extremely talented author who’s stories have a strong air of authenticity which I enjoy. So I read the preview and found the hero to be someone I wanted to read more about.

Here’s the description:

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

Amazon | Goodreads

What do you think of my Christmas reading list? Are there any titles you’ll be adding to your own list? Any titles you think I should add to mine? Let me know in the comments below because good friends don’t let each other miss out on great reads!


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