A reader’s perspective on the holidays
The year I was coerced (whoops sorry Erin, I meant to say I had the honour of being invited) to be a regular reader’s perspective blog contributor I was admittedly pleasantly surprised to find out I didn’t need to write a December blog. Mainly because, well, I’m not a huge Christmas fan so what am I going to share? And let’s face it certainly nothing can compare to Tucker’s annual antics. I’m hoping that he is enjoying his well-deserved break and to see him back next year.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy Christmas in a low-key kind of way but I can take it or leave it. Probably a lot of reasons for this but suffice it to say that the current pandemic restrictions feed quite nicely into my preferences for the Christmas season. Not surprisingly I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music nor the seasonal romantic movies including the “Hallmark” movies that seem to take over the airwaves from late November for the rest of the year – cringe-worthy or what? Some would say perhaps this is because we don’t have a lot of LGBTQ representation but I’m still not sure I want to take a chance on the recently released Happiest Season either. Which when I think about it actually seems kind of surprising given how much I like my romance fix in WLW fiction. But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this. I don’t mind reading horror/suspense novels but you won’t catch me watching them on the large or small screen. Maybe I just like the visuals or emotions the words evoke when I read them rather than someone else’s vision or graphic depictions.
Over the years I have noticed a steady increase in Christmas themed WLW romances and despite my aversion to the season I have indulged, and a few favourites do come to mind. I am sure that Jae’s Under A Fallen Star is at the top of the list for many readers. It is hard to believe that this was released back in 2014. A charming workplace romance written in typical Jae style so what’s not to love. We even get to catch up with the couple in her recent release Wrong Number, Right Woman as an added bonus.
Clare Lydon = Christmas magic. Both All I Want for Christmas (I Want Series Book 1) and her recent Christmas in Mistletoe are feel good reads for the holiday season. One of my favourite indie writers – as usual these are well written with that UK attitude and humour I love – reading these are time well spent.
A perennial reread is Lyn Gardner’s Mistletoe. A short story (for her) I found this a fun based premise with Santa feeling obligated to correct a mistake made many years prior. I like both main characters and it’s a little cheesy but what else would you expect/want in a holiday indulgence?
An honourable mention would be Bryce Oakley’s novella All Aglow – a 2020 release. Here as a result of family traditions we have Cass and Stevie who have spent their life of Christmas’s together coming to realize that they want more. Not without some angst, there are a number of fun supporting characters in this one. And, to be truthful I loved Gretchen and had to laugh out loud about the growling in bed. My mini dachshund has started to do the same if we dare touch her in bed at night.
This year there seems like there has been an explosion of holiday titles that are sure to keep any and all Christmas buffs content. Here are a few others that I’ve also read and enjoyed. Life in Bits: A Christmas Romance by Harper Bliss and T.B. Markinson, ‘Tis the Season by Luci Dreamer, Her Christmas Escape by Frankie Duncan, Holly and Ivyby T.B. Markinson and Miranda MacLeod, Kismet by T.B. Markinson, Amanda Radley’s The Road Ahead, and Natasha West’s Christmas Kisses.
As usual, if you want to weigh in on any of the above, or have some favourites not listed here, please feel free to share with us all in the comments area.
Happy Holidays. Please, stay masked and safe.