I am not in favor of feeling ashamed for what you like. That said, if I felt guilty about any of my pleasures, it would probably be Hallmark Christmas movies and cheesy romance novels… but like I told you, no regrets, just doubling down.
In that sense, these book recommendations intersect perfectly with what I wish Hallmark Christmas movies were like. Granted, the channel is getting a bit more diverse, but yet. (And he would still prefer the books available to be more diverse as well…)
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Keep in mind that these books are not necessarily “family friendly” like the Hallmark movies are. Like books, they have more F-bombs and rolling on the sheets. Like rare books, they have a lot more panic attacks. And, just like their TV counterparts, many of them are also *slightly* troublesome.
For all they are though, they are super fun to snuggle up with this holiday season!
kiss me in kwanzaa
kiss me in kwanzaa by LL Bucknor is a fluffy short story that takes place on the first night of Kwanzaa. Two co-workers, Adan and Ish, have been falling in love for a while. weather. Do sparks fly when Adan invites Ish to her family’s various holiday celebration? duh.
Content Warnings: Minor flirting with an adult (rejected).
fake ho ho
by Nathan Burgoine fake ho ho it’s “were roommates” meets “fake dates” meets a shitty homophobic family. Dino volunteers to be the fake boyfriend of his roommate Silas to act as a buffer at the latter’s sister’s Christmas wedding. But how fake is it really?
If you love smol and tol video game nerds, this one is for you.
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kiss her once for me
kiss her once for me by Alison Cochrun It’s a weird second chance version of love at first sight. Things are not going very well for Ellie. So when her super-hot millionaire business owner offers her thousands of dollars to pretend to be her fiancée, she accepts the proposal.
When they go to her family’s chalet for Christmas, Ellie realizes that her fiancé’s sister is her ONS of latest Christmas. Oh!
mangoes and mistletoe
Adriana Herrera mangoes and mistletoe is a sapphic romance set in a “holiday” version of The Great British Baking in Scotland. Kiskeya and Sully are both Dominican, so naturally the show, for all its lack of creativity, pairs them up.
Y naturallythe two women have nothing in common beyond being Dominican and queer…or do they?
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You are bad, Matthew Prince
by Timothy Janovsky You are bad, Matthew Prince It has a funny title, yes, but that’s not all! This book reminds us that the rich have problems too. And, it’s a twist on the trope: there’s only one bedroom.
The important question is, however, does Matthew Prince’s heart grow three sizes? (Not in a medical sense…he has other problems there).
I do not know why
in hannah johnson I do not know why, Howie decides to get a job at a craft store to find a girlfriend. Instead, he meets Arthur. If you like to read about men in their 20s who are emotionally stunted due to trauma and then find out, surprise! They are gay! This is for you.
Also, while this is probably the funniest book on the list, it’s still all warm and cozy Christmas/New Years fun.
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the christmas trap
the christmas trap by Roan Parrish is The holidays but make it weird and much steamier. Greta’s family gets up to some homophobic shenanigans, so she wants to run away before Hanukkah. Meanwhile, Truman discovers that she is actually the side piece of her boyfriend just before Christmas. They share a mutual friend who suggests they move house. So Greta heads to NoLa and Truman heads to Maine. Will they find a new love?
If you like plants—flower arrangements, carnivorous houseplants, or community gardens—you’ll love this book.
Ben’s Bakery and the Hanukkah Miracle
The Penelope Peters Plot Ben’s Bakery and the Hanukkah Miracle It’s definitely Hallmark fodder. A Quebec kids hockey coach meets a kosher-style baker and the hockey kids bring them together? What is the third act breakup about? (Even the importance emphasized on Hanukkah feels so distinctive!)
Content Warning: A character is very careful about Judaism.
So there you have it, eight queer romances for fans of Hallmark Christmas movies. Did I miss your favourites? Which one(s) are you adding to your TBR? 📚❄️
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