By Rebecca Weigler, Steph Carroll, Georgia Wells and Charlotte Horsfield
Flirting with the Scrooge by Gia Stevens
20 November 2023, Wild Clover Publishing
From romance author Gia Stevens comes a new holiday rom-com packed with all the festive feelings this year. Set in the same world as the Harbour Highlands series, this winter romance is bursting with popular and beloved tropes, from Grumpy/Sunshine to Close Proximity – and all the swoon-worthy dialogue in between.
This Christmas season, Tatum is determined to fill her December with as much cheer and tinsel as she possibly can, much to the dismay of her new neighbour and ultimate scrooge, Connor Tyler. Connor has moved into his grandmother’s house to help renovate it for sale, as well as to take a breather from his demanding work in the music industry. Initially repelled by one another and starting off on the wrong foot, Tatum and Connor are slowly drawn together by frightful weather, Christmas trees and plenty of mistletoe.
This cosy and captivating romance will be sure to leave you wanting more and is the perfect stocking filler for a bookish Christmas.
The Second Chance Year by Melissa Wiesner
5 December 2023, Headline Eternal
If you were offered one wish, what would you wish for?
Well, after a disastrous year that saw Sadie lose not only her job but also her apartment and boyfriend, she wishes for a redo of a year she’d rather never happened. Whilst Sadie doesn’t really believe that this wish granted by the fortune teller will magically change what happened, she takes a leap of faith… to no avail – or so she believes. But before the day is even out, Sadie makes one more mistake: she kisses her brother’s best friend, Jacob.
The next morning, when she wakes up, she realises that the wish did in fact come true when she finds herself with her ex-boyfriend in her old apartment and with her former boss waiting for her to come to work. But as she begins to pick up on all the red flags in her career and relationship that she didn’t see the first time around, Sadie begins to think that it may have been a mistake asking for a redo. She also absolutely cannot stop thinking about her kiss with Jacob… a kiss he doesn’t even know happened. Eventually, Sadie begins to question whether she made the right wish…
The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
5 December 2023, Doubleday Books
Maine, 1789: Martha Ballard, a midwife with a keen eye for the secrets of Hallowell, is called to investigate the death of a man found trapped in the frozen Kennebec River. Her meticulous diary unveils the town’s scandals, including an alleged rape involving respected men, one of whom is now the deceased. Despite a local physician’s ruling of the death as an accident, Martha’s determination drives her to uncover the truth of the shocking murder, risking her relationships and loyalty.
As winter progresses towards the trial, Martha persists in her pursuit, confronting mounting prejudices and whispers. Ariel Lawhon’s compelling tale, The Frozen River, reveals the unsung bravery of a woman demanding justice in an era when women were meant to remain silent. It's a story that captivates with its layers, wit and the resilience of a remarkable but forgotten heroine.
The Fairytale Life of Dorothy Gale by Virginia Kantra
5 December 2023, Penguin Random House
The perfect read or gift this festive season for those who appreciate a fresh twist on a festive tale we all know and love so dearly.
This December comes a new take on the heroine Dorothy Gale, who again finds herself searching for the place where she belongs.
Living with her sister, aunt and uncle in Kansas, Dorothy finds herself treading water when her relationship falls apart.
Dorothy, or “Dee,” applies to a writing programme in Dublin that leads her to new discoveries. It’s here she meets her new companions: charming yet seemingly brainless Sam Clery, who is more than he appears, the allegedly heartless Tim Woodman and fiercely loyal Reeti Kaur, who is longing to break free from family expectations.
In a year of opportunity and change, Dee finds herself looking for a home. The experience Dorothy has in Dublin allows her to challenge herself and think of the world with a fresh perspective. Will Dee be able to find the home where she belongs?