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Leila's "Naughty or Nice" Holiday Romance Book Shelf


The holiday season is upon us and if it's not too soon for "Countdown to Christmas" movies, then it's definitely not too soon to grow our "to be read" pile with festive romance stories.


These are just a few of my picks from my own book shelf. If any of them tickle your fancy, grab a copy and then let's trade reviews. I'll update this list periodically throughout the holiday season, adding more books with cocktail and confections pairings. Hope you find something you like! 'Tis always the season for romance.


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Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie's work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can't refuse. She's excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn't expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary and his charming accent and unyielding formality.


Malcolm Hudson has been the Queen's private secretary for years and has never given a personal, private tour...until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy fling come New Year's Day...or are they?


Not convinced? Check out NPR's review for a little more insight.


Pairs well with Spiced Eggnog Scones or Poinsettia Cocktail



 

Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz


The Christmas retelling of Pride and Prejudice by #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz. Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe from New York Times bestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz, is a sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy.


Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family.


Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?



 

Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

A jock, a journalist and a second chance . . .


MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer.


They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck’s first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they’ve climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn’t changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . . except them.


That was then. But what about now?


 

Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.


But then they kiss. And it feels...so right.


If Noel can turn Nick's Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they'll be Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree as a couple—as long as Nick's ex doesn't go standing under any mistletoe.



 

A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Robey

Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away in this drama filled book from New York Times bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby.


Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.


However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a family of her own. Alexis's fiance, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He's kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis's career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.


As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?




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