Cowboys and Christmas and mistletoe, oh my. Men who ride the range or roam the mountains are in high demand among holiday romances this year. But if you also have a hankering for dukes, Navy SEALs, Christmas tree farm owners, private investigators, or shape shifters, there's something among these eleven love stories that will make you want to hang up your stocking several weeks (okay, months) early. All but a handful are available now.
Cowboy SEAL Christmas by Nicole Helm
The third in the Navy SEAL Cowboys series—featuring tough guys recovering from the horrors of war through ranch work and the love of good women—focuses on Gabe, who cannot help getting prickly and defensive around resident therapist, Monica. When Monica forces herself to put aside her cool, professional demeanor and try to be a real friend instead, friendship quickly spins into something far more dangerous. A well-timed blizzard and some soul-baring talk send Gabe and Monica headed in the right direction, but can their fling last past their self-imposed Christmas cut-off? This one plumbs the shadows of the soul while delivering a mature (meaning people talk instead of only hitting the sheets) romantic story.
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
Although Josie Avery enjoyed her summer as the head chef at an Alaskan adventure lodge, especially her hikes with local guy Palmer Saxon, she has a job at a high-end restaurant and a life waiting for her back in Seattle. Even an awkward end-of-summer marriage proposal from Palmer doesn't change Josie's mind. But when she misses the last boat of the summer and is forced to rely on Palmer to get her home, Josie's eyes are opened to more beyond fancy city living. This charming Macomber story might be a little thinner on substance and character than most of her works but should still satisfy her fans. (Available Oct 2)
A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates
In Gold Valley, rancher Grant Dodge is better known at the local hot widower. But when newcomer McKenna Tate meets him, she doesn't know his backstory and, for the moment, doesn't care. Yates specializes in wounded but strong people taking the next step toward a happy life: a perfect match for a holiday-themed romance.
Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne
Readers love Thayne's Haven Point, a small Colorado town where everyone knows each other's business but everyone also has enough of their own secrets to be discreet. Dani Capelli—city girl and mother of two—hopes she's found a new start in Haven Point with a job with the local veterinarian, but the mysterious death of her former husband makes her leery of forming real relationships. Unfortunately, the local whom she's most drawn to is neighbor Deputy Sheriff Ruben Morales. Ruben helps Dani create a better Christmas for her anxious kids, and in return Dani begins to trust again. Heartwarming and endearing.
Lone Star Christmas by Delores Fossen
Western romance master Delores Fossen launches a new series set in Coldwater, Texas, with a rancher who reluctantly returns home to deal with a family secret, only to find himself falling (again) for Shelby McCall. But secrets have a way of springing free at the worst times, giving the Christmas spirit a chance to work some healing magic.
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How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Shupe
A historical romance anthology from four of my favorite writers? I'm definitely getting myself this pre-Christmas gift. Ranging from London to the Highlands to America, these four novellas pit high-and-mighty men against smart women who will gleefully topple them and their hearts. (Available Oct 15)
The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March
Sweet and full of hope, this newest addition to March's long-running series spotlights what makes small-town contemporary romances so appealing to readers. After Jenna tries to hide herself and her son in charming Eternity Springs, she doesn't realize that Reilly has phoned Santa to ask for help. And when help arrives in the form of handsome Devin Murphy, a very important Christmas wish could finally come true.
The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill
When a Navy SEAL comes home after a long tour, she considers starting up her own business in Carolina coastal town Bell Sound. But another local business owner, Ethan Rutledge, still holds a piece of her heart. Considered the town's Grinch, despite owning the nearby Christmas tree farm, Ethan has good reason for his twelve-year-long spell of grumpiness, and she's just returned home. This second-chance romance starts off a new series from Hill, who is beloved for her funny and charmingly zany contemporary romances.
Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
An office romance gets a Christmas spin in Shalvis's newest hot Heartbreaker Bay novel. Molly Malone, the office manager of Hunt Investigations, is taking on her first case, but things might get awkward since she's being shadowed on the job by the one guy she really, really wants. Lucas wants Molly too, but a bad Santa, guns, an off-limits romance, and a few secrets might get in the way of this curmudgeon figuring out that Molly is what he needs to break out of his emotional prison.
Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas by Katie Ruggle
Ruggle pens hot, sensitive guys and strong, quirky women, so moving her focus from first responders to cowboys is a natural move. Fan-favorite and former firefighter Steve Springfield moves his family to a Colorado Christmas tree farm to avoid the danger that has recently dogged his heels, but danger has a way of picking up his trail. And that danger puts his kids as well as local folk artist Camille Brandt in its crosshairs. Brimming with tension, Ruggle's latest is a strong start to a new series.
A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas by Terry Spear
For readers who are tired of cowboys, Spear's paranormal shifter romance is the perfect antidote. Two wolf shifters from opposing packs shouldn't have a lot in common, but Dr. Aidan Denali and Dr. Holly Gray are both working on ways to solve the crash in werewolf lifespans. And when they finally meet, there's undeniable chemistry. But not even Christmas might be able to patch up the differences between the warring packs before Aidan and Holly can track down the solution and save their people.
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