Romantic Wednesdays: A Second Slice of Holiday Fruitcake

One post just wasn’t enough to contain all the romantic goodness. There are some people who read holiday romances all year long. (And then there are some who believe that listening to “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” even once is one time too many!) Your own personal holiday mileage may vary.

But for those who need more Holiday spirit, or holiday spirits, here are a few more romances to liven up the season.

wolfsbane and mistletoe by harris and kelleherFor the very non-traditionally inclined, you can’t get much further out than Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelleher. Werewolves just don’t get enough love during the holiday season, so a collection of urban fantasy masters decided to get together and give them some. While some of the stories in this collection are definitely romantic, the better ones are those that stretch the definition of the holiday traditional myths, particularly the one with the Vampire Santa protecting Rudolf from werewolves, or the one where a werewolf makes the mistake of actually eating poor Rudolf and gets forced to lead Santa’s sleigh. (I’m trying not to think where Rudolf’s red nose ends up in this scenario).

merry ex mas by sheila robertsOn a slightly more traditional note, there’s Sheila Roberts’ Merry Ex-Mas, set in her fictional Washington town of Icicle Falls. This is a Christmas story, but the three women in her tale are calling it “Ex-Mas” because all of their ex-husbands are back in town for the holidays, with varying results. The story is about how the three women, all best friends, support each other through the crises going on in their intertwined lives. About those exes, well, this is a love story, sort of, so one woman gets a happy ending. One gets a crash landing, and one gets closure. Watching the stories unfold, well, that’s part of the magic of the season.

what happens at christmas by victoria alexanderWhat Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander is a Regency romance that occurs during a country house party at Christmas. The heroine is planning to be rescued by a staid aristocrat from her unconventional relatives, but the problem is that she has to arrange said rescue without the aristocrat discovering that she even has those pesky unconventional relatives, because he is not going to approve. Or propose. And of course, he is not the love of her life, because if he were, he wouldn’t mind. About the love of her life…that man has just come back to sweep her off her feet, but she’s not willing to be swept. Again. (Been there, done that, got the pinafore) If you’re looking for Christmas romance as Christmas romp, try this one.

kissing under the mistletoe by bella andreIf you love contemporary romance, and can’t resist a holiday love story, it’s hard to go wrong with Kissing Under the Mistletoe, the holiday romance that finally tells the love story of Jack and Mary Sullivan, the parents of the Sullivan brothers and sisters featured in Bella Andre’s marvelous series. This is one of those series where each individual romance has been excellent, and the overarching family dynamic has been a pleasure to watch build as you read the series. If you like family sagas, the Sullivans are a treat. Start with The Look of Love.

Come to think of it, don’t most great romances start that way?

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