Happy New Year, my darlings! I'm not entirely sure where the end of 2021 went, but that's beside the point because we're now in 2022, a new year with hopefully lots of good things for us all and lots of good books to read. I did a 2021 wrap-up post last week in which I talked about some of my favorite reads from last year (you can find that here), and today, it's time for my monthly reading report. I read mostly holiday stories last month, as I often do in December—there's something about holiday romances that give me an extra fuzzy feeling on top of the usual one that comes with a HEA. I had a little trouble getting into some of them this year; I think because I've been having trouble reading contemporaries during the pandemic—I really want the extra escapism of fantasy/paranormal/historical reads. That all said, here are some books I enjoyed in December:
Strawberry Moon by Sam Burns and WM Fawkes: The only thing I read (other than an audio reread I finished) that wasn't a holiday book! I believe this is the last book in the Wolf Moon Rising series, and though I liked some books in the series more than others, I enjoyed this shifter series. Probably best read in order, since, though there is a new couple in each book, there is an overarching plot.
Only One Bed by Keira Andrews: A tropey (only one bed! friends to lovers!) Christmas novella with sweet, likable characters. This novella isn't my favorite holiday story by Keira Andrews, but it was enjoyable and it set up another story between two supporting characters that I'll be waiting for.
Hold Me Closer, Tony Danzig by Laura Henry: I listened to this short audiobook through Audible Plus (it's an Audible Original) on a whim. It's a cute f/f romance that includes the one night stand turns out to be a colleague trope, if you enjoy that one. There is a very big toxic ex-girlfriend plot in this one and some conflict between sisters that felt unnecessary to me, but it was a cute, short holiday listen.
The Geek Who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert: Probably my favorite new Christmas read of the month. An opposites attract romance between two neighbors, one grumpy and the other sunshiney, as they fall for each other while decorating the grumpy guy's house for his brother's unexpected holiday visit. Full of so much sweet, fluffy Christmasy romance.
The Best Gift by Eli Easton: A quiet, lovely, emotional Christmas romance between two men dealing with loss and grief and finding each other maybe through fate. It's also set on a Christmas tree farm in snowy New England for extra Christmas vibes.
Checking It Twice by Lucy Bexley: I've never read anything by Lucy Bexley, but I saw this on twitter and decided to give it a try. It turned out to be so cute! An opposites attract romance between the hyper-organized wedding planner and the something-of-a-disaster maid of honor set at a Christmas Eve wedding that was funny and sweet.
Mr. Jingle Bells by Leta Blake: This is the third book in the Home for the Holidays series, but I think can be read on its own. I loved the characters in this book and loved them together, but I almost put it aside to read later because I was in the mood for fluffy Christmas stories and this one has much more angst than I was looking for at the time (I could see the big fall out coming and was dreading it!). Mr. Jingle Bells was good, just maybe not the right book for me at that time.
On a Midnight Clear by Lily Morton: Such a lovely, magical Christmas story! Literally magical, as it involves a statue brought to life by the Holly King as one of our main characters. A wonderful romance full of Christmas cheer and fanciful magic based in English folklore and a really perfect happily ever after. Loved it.
What have you read and loved lately?