The holidays are a magical time—there is cheer around every corner if you make a habit of looking for it and keep an open mind. I love the spirit that comes along with this time of the year and the romance stories–both books and movies. This post features 25-holiday romance books to read this season if you’re looking to get lost in a holiday love story.

This list features two ethical and environmental booksellers to consider purchasing from:

Bookshop.org

An online bookseller connecting readers with independent booksellers all over the world. Consider giving a gift card this holiday season.

Libro.fm

The platform makes it possible to buy audiobooks through your local bookstore, giving you the power to keep money within your local economy, create jobs, and make a difference in your community. Consider giving the gift of an audiobook subscription this holiday season.

25 Holiday Romance Books To Read This Season

Some of the books on this list were adapted into movies. I’ve added a link in those sections. If you’re interested in a list of holiday movies to watch after you read, check out this post, here.

1. The 12 Dates of Christmas, Written By: Jenny Bayliss

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When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right? 

Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along. . . .

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2. Kiss Her Once For Me, Written By: Alison Cochrun

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One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money.

Finding work at a local coffee shop, she’s just getting through the days—until Andrew, the shop’s landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s Jack—the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.

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3. The Holiday Trap, Written By: Roan Parrish

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Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family and tiny Maine hometown, but they can’t seem to understand what it’s like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. When an act of familial meddling goes way too far, she realizes just how desperately she needs space to figure out who she is.

Truman Belvedere’s heart is crushed when he learns that his boyfriend has a secret life including a husband and daughter. Reeling, all he wants is a place to lick his wounds far, far away from Louisiana.

Enter a mutual friend with a life-altering idea: swap homes for the holidays. For one perfect month, Greta and Truman will have a chance to experience a whole new world…and maybe fall in love with the partner of their dreams. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually, these two transplants will have to decide whether the love (and found family) they each discovered so far from home is worth fighting for.

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4. Once Upon A December, Written By: Amy E. Reichert

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With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn’t just a seasonal specialty—it’s a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra’s yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She’s ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.
 
For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He’s never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he’s been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.
 
After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they’re feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa.

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5. The Matzah Ball, Written By: Jean Meltzer

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Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: She loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a best seller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy – Jacob Greenberg.

Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah – and Jacob – in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.

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6. Christmas, Criminals, & Campers, Written By: Tonya Kappes

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Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where NOTHING is normal. Librarian Abby Fawn is star-struck when her favorite romance author, Nadine White, rented a cozy camper at the Happy Trails Campground for the winter months. Abby is devastated to find out that Nadine White is nothing like the person she portrays in interviews or on social media. In fact, Nadine White is not nice at all and Abby lets her feelings know that she thinks Nadine is a fraud. . .after she finds out Nadine has a ghostwriter. When Nadine White is found dead in the Normal Library, Abby Fawn is Detective Hank Sharp’s number one suspect. It’s time for Mae West to put up her camping gear for the winter months and put on her sleuthing gear to figure out who is framing Abby Fawn before Abby is the ending in Nadine White’s final chapter.

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7. A Cat Café Christmas, Written By: Codi Gary

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Veterinarian and animal lover Kara Ingalls needs a Christmas miracle. Opening the Meow and Furrever Cat Café to find loving homes for adorable, adoptable cats was a dream come true—but with more cats than customers, it’s quickly turning into a nightmare. If Kara can’t figure out some way to get the café out of the red, it won’t last past the holidays.

Marketing guru Ben Reese may be annoyingly smart and frustratingly bossy, but when he hatches a plan to put the café in the “green” by Christmas, Kara realizes that she’d be a fool to turn down his help. And so what if he turns out to be an excellent problem solver and nerdy-hot—he can’t even handle fostering one little kitten. She needs to keep their relationship professional and focus on saving the cafe.

But if Ben and Kara can set aside their differences—and find homes for all the cats by Christmas—they might discover that, by risking their hearts, they’ll have their own purr-fect holiday . . . together.

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8. A Merry Little Meet Cute, Written By: Julie Murphy

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Bee Hobbes (aka Bianca Von Honey) has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. With a huge following and two supportive moms, Bee couldn’t ask for more. But when Bee’s favorite producer casts her to star in a Christmas movie he’s making for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee’s career is about to take a more family-friendly direction.

Forced to keep her work as Bianca under wraps, Bee quickly learns this is a task a lot easier said than done. Though it all becomes worthwhile when she discovers her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab.

But things heat up quickly in Christmas Notch, Vermont, when Nolan recognizes his new co-star from her ClosedDoors account (oh yeah, he’s a member). Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set, keeping their new relationship a secret from the Hope Channel’s execs. Things only get trickier when the reporter who torpedoed Nolan’s singing career comes snooping around—and takes an instant interest in mysterious newcomer Bee.

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9. The Holiday Switch, Written By: Tif Marcelo

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Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school. The snow in her small town of Holly, New York, is plentiful, the mood is as cozy as a fuzzy Christmas sweater, and she’s earning extra cash working at the local inn—AKA the setting of the greatest film of all time, Holiday by the Lake—while moonlighting as an anonymous book blogger.

But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker. Lila is type A; Teddy is type “Anything but Lila’s Way,” and the two of them can’t stop butting heads over tangled icicle lights and messy gift shop merch. But when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they’ve both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets—and an unexpected snowstorm—bring these rivals together?

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10. Pride, Prejudice, & Mistletoe, Written By: Melissa De La Cruz

Buy From: Amazon, Kindle. Also a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Available to buy on DVD or stream on Amazon Prime.

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?

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11. The Christmas Town, Written By: Donna VanLiere

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Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty years old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas, it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day.

When Lauren ends her shift one night, she finds herself driving aimlessly in order to avoid returning to her lonely apartment. And when she witnesses a car accident she is suddenly pulled into the small town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place, a center for single mothers and families who need assistance. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?

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Also a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Available to stream on Amazon Prime

12. The Christmas Secret, Written By: Donna VanLiere

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When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love. 

When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for. 

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Also a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

13. The Christmas Note, Written By: Donna VanLiere

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Gretchen Daniels has recently moved into a condo with her two children to be closer to her mother, Miriam. As they build a life together in their new community, they notice a mysterious young woman, Melissa McCreary, who lives next door. She has few possessions, little personality, and keeps to herself.

One day a local landlord who is looking for Melissa knocks on Gretchen’s door for assistance. Melissa’s mother has died and in the coming weeks the landlord needs Melissa to empty her mother’s apartment. Gretchen reaches out and offers to help Melissa, but the apartment is a gut-wrenching shamble of a home. There is little worth saving except for a few photos and a note that is discovered on the crate beside the bed. It is unfinished, but in the two scribbled lines, Melissa discovers secrets about her family that she never could have imagined. Can two very different women embark on a journey that explores a long-buried need for forgiveness, hope, and redemption?

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14. A Shoe Addict’s Christmas, Written By: Beth Harbison

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Noelle is not a fan of the holidays and to make matters worse, she is at a crossroads in her life when it seems that love and adventure are no longer possible. When she stays late at her job in a department store on a snowy Christmas Eve she accidentally gets locked in after closing. She isn’t too concerned about the prospect of spending the night in the store…until a woman appears out of nowhere and tells Noelle that she’s her guardian angel. Soon Noelle finds herself camped out in the shoe department facing several “ghosts” of Christmases past, present, and future…Will visiting the holidays of yesterday and tomorrow help Noelle see the true spirit of Christmas? And will the love she has longed for all her life be the best surprise gift of all?

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Also a Hallmark Channel Original movie. Available to buy on DVD or stream on Amazon Prime.

15. Meet Me In London, Written By: Georgia Toffolo

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Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well-meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her over the holidays—a girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion…something to keep his mother from meddling while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed, will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…?

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16. Christmas Camp, Written By: Karen Schaler

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Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss, Larry, thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment, so he ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.

Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark, but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

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Also a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

17. One Day In December, Written By: Josie Silver

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Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love, at first sight, doesn’t exist anywhere but in the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming, and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

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18. The Holiday Swap, Written By: Maggie Knox

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When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over. 

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

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19. Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, Written By: Donna Ashcroft

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Thirty-year-old Belle Albany is feeling lonely this Christmas. Another whole year has passed and her life is… exactly the same as it was last December. She longs for true love and a little bit of winter magic – but she’s almost given up on finding it in the sleepy Scottish community where she lives…

When Belle crashes into elderly Edina on her cherry red bicycle, it’s not the meet-cute she’d been hoping for. But she immediately recognizes the lost look in Edina’s watery-blue eyes and resolves to organize a Christmas to remember for them both – brimming with mince pies, mulled wine, and lots of sparkles. Although Belle hadn’t counted on Edina’s home being a crumbling Scottish castle and she certainly hadn’t been expecting Edina’s handsome long-lost grandson Jack Hamilton-Kirk to turn up on the doorstep in the middle of a snow storm…

As they hunt down costumes for the annual nativity show and save a donkey from a snowy disaster, Belle can’t ignore their growing attraction. But will a secret from Jack’s past come between them? Or will this finally be the year Belle falls in love?

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20. We Met in December, Written By: Rosie Curtis

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Two people. One house. A year that changes everything. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.

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21. The Mistletoe Pact, Written By: Jo Lovett

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Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything…

On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerized by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best friend’s brother.

But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realize too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel.

Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends.

Except moving on is easier said than done when you’ve secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? 

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22. Every Day in December, Written By: Kitty Wilson

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Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself “financially challenged”. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.

Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.

But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?

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23. So, This Is Christmas, Written By: Tracy Andreen

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When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn’t changed much in her sixteen years.

But instead, she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother’s inn. And she certainly didn’t expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother’s doorstep. It’s up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley’s Christmas. It’s about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way, she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.

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24. Fool Me Twice at Christmas, Written By Camilla Isley

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There are two types of relationships: fake and real.

Chuck and Kate’s used to be real, oh-so-real. But after she broke his heart four months ago, leaving him, it became all just pretense for the sake of their entwined families.

With parents who are best friends and business partners, it’s not easy for Chuck and Kate to announce they’ve split up. But with the holidays looming over them, they can no longer keep pretending.

Chuck and Kate head home for Christmas, determined to tell the truth—and end up accidentally engaged instead. The more they try to pull apart, the more the Universe seems to push them back together, shortening the road to the altar. And when just-for-show kisses stir up forgotten feelings, things get even more complicated.

Now, with the midnight hour approaching, will Chuck and Kate’s relationship turn out to be real or fake?

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25. Whiteout, Written By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

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Atlanta is blanketed with snow just before Christmas, but the warmth of young love just might melt the ice in this novel of interwoven narratives, Black joy, and cozy, sparkling romance—by the same unbeatable team of authors who wrote the New York Times bestseller Blackout!

As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm? 

No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.

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