Looking for YA and Adult Christmas books to read this holiday season? Look no further! We’ve got 40 of the most festive holiday novels for you to enjoy.
There are royal Christmas romances, young adult holiday novels, Christmas books about books, heartwarming Christmas novels to read with your book club, and merry Christmas tales to read fireside on a snowy day.
PSST: Want some cute Christmas books for kids? Check out this post!
Looking for more Christmas Books for kids and adults? Check out our Christmas Books Hub for book club guides, book lists, book-related present ideas, and more!
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Young Adult Christmas Books
Francie’s whole family works at the Hollydale Holiday Shop that her grandpa opened, but recently she’s been frustrated by all the changes her Aunt Carole has been making around the store. She’s recently become “Santa’s Intern” and her workload is piling up.
Add to that, the boys are her high school have been teasing her about the rumor that she’s a bad kisser. Soon, she’s plotting to save her family store from Aunt Carole, rehabilitate her reputation with her peers, and try to decipher her feelings for the classmate who works that Christmas tree lot across the street.
The story was sweet and heartwarming – a perfect holiday romance for any teens in your life!
This YA story is about 2 enemies-turned-friends trying to save their respective parent’s restaurants from being evicted from the local mall during the holiday season.
As the duo team up to save their parents and the other mall residents, sparks fly and they begin to fall in love. But can their budding relationship survive their parent’s feud and the impending closures?
This is such a cute YA Christmas book. It’s a teenage version of The Holiday. In this story Holly and Noelle swap homes for a week around Christmas.
Holly wants to escape her ex-boyfriend, who is also her neighbor, and Noelle is out to win a social media challenge and prove herself as a teen influencer.
But as they get to know each other’s friends and family, their connection to each other grows too. And they learn a few Christmas lessons in the process.
What a cute story. Taking place at a dated luxury hotel at Christmas time, there is an abundance of antics afoot. Jewel thieves, ghosts, kid-nappers, back-door dealings, and teenage drama fill this tome.
This Young Adult Christmas book is an adorable read for the holiday season.
A cute YA Christmas romance about Finley, who is home from boarding school and her classmate, Arthur, who shows up at her grandmother’s inn for Winter break.
Why is there? Because Finley told everyone all about the quaint town of Christmas, Oklahoma where she is from… but she exaggerated and now Arthur wants her create a Christmas he and his aunt will remember.
Christmas Romance Books
I can’t with this charming Christmas romance book about musicians by Maggie Knox. It’s like reading a Hallmark Christmas movie but with a lot of steamy bits put in!
Sadie and Max are competing in a Country music reality TV show (think American Idol or The Voice.) Their chemistry is off the charts on stage, so the execs ask them to team up for their performance.
As they learn to get along off-stage as well as they do on it, a passionate romance ignites. Until the machinations of the music industry drive a wedge between them. Can they reconcile before Christmas?
This is one Christmas romance that is unlike any other. The premise alone is hysterical – a female adult film star is accidentally cast in a cheesy Christmas movie. As Bee tries to keep her identity under wraps, she falls hard for reformed boyband member, Nolan.
The kinky things these two get into while working on the film made me blush. Add in a film crew that is half regular industry and half secretly adult film industry and you have a book that is absolutely hysterical.
Do NOT read this one if you are faint of heart. It’s definitely not a romance for your grandma…or maybe it is for the right grandmom. 😉
Morgan is headed back to her hometown to lick her wounds and restart her career. She’s agreed to help throw a Christmas festival to save the town – unwittingly signing up to work with her ex-best friend and former crush, Rachel.
While Morgan works to save the town and Rachel’s tree farm, sparks fly. I enjoyed watching Morgan gain self-awareness and learn to communicate with her old friends and family.
Technically this story is the 5th in the Bromance Book Club series, but it can be read as a standalone (which I know because I’ve never read any of the others!)
Jackie loved the first book in this series, so I knew I would probably want to dive into the Christmas tale. It’s all about Colton, a country star and total sweetheart, who is head-over-heels for Gretchen, a grumpy immigration attorney.
It was steamy and swoony and I loved every minute of this Christmas story that fulfills the grumpy sunshine trope with Christmas joy!!
When Charlie Goodwin gets a concussion, and cannot smell or taste, she doesnt know what to do. Her job as a chef and the promotion she has been working toward is on the line.
She begs her twin sister Cass to switch places like they did when they were kids. She will take over the bakery and Cass will pretend to be her.
This adorable holiday romance is just the book to brighten your day and put a smile on your face.
When handsome, billionaire Archie is told he needs to go to his Godfather’s for Christmas, he hires Holly to be his personal Christmas shopper.
Holly is happy to accept the extra money as she’s been strapped for cash since her sister and brother-in-law died, leaving her to raise her 5 year-old-niece, Faith.
When Archie finds out his godfather is planning to announce the new head of the company, and he wants to name a family man the new heir, Archie begs Holly to be his fake girlfriend.
This charming love story gave me One Day in December vibes because of its friends-to-lovers Christmas plotline. Set over the course of a year, Jess falls in love with her roommate, Alex.
I could see this book being made into a Hallmark movie- it’s got all the right ingredients and the perfect dose of romance and finding yourself.
For more books like these, check out our list of Christmas Romance Books
Royal Christmas Books for Adults
This was a fun and quick murder mystery set at Christmas time. It is based on the premise that a different lineage has been atop the British throne.
When the king drops dead from poisoning at Balmoral castle on Christmas day, the only people in the house are The King’s immediate family, the head of security, and the King’s personal chef. This who-dun-it and a quick and fun read that is perfect for the Christmas season.
The sequel to A Princess for Christmas, is the love story of Leo and Marie’s man of honor (Max) and best woman (Dani). Dani is going through a divorce and Max begins to help her get over her ex in a strictly platonic way.
But as their friendship grows, their feelings for each other deepen. The beginning and end of the story feature lots of Christmas scenes in NYC and Eldovia. Plus we get to see Leo and Marie’s wedding!
I also loved the bi-racial relationship portrayed. It was fun to learn about Christmas traditions from Mexico.
Looking for a last-minute Christmas Read or the perfect getaway read? Royal Holiday was the perfect first read for winter break.
When Maddie gets Kirsten’s dream gig (styling a Royal or let’s face it, hanging out with a Royal), she brings her mom, Vivian, with her to England. Vivian meets a very handsome gentleman who happens to be the Queen’s private secretary.
Sparks fly but will this be more than just a holiday romance? This adorable read is a perfect holiday/vacation read especially for those who love anything Royal.
I loved this book from Jenny Holiday. It was one of the few holiday royal romance novels I’ve read. The charming setting of Eldovia in the snow with its various festivities made for a wonderful Christmas read. The male lead from NYC and his charming younger sister made for a good balance to the sheltered princess. I wasn’t expecting such a steamy book based on the description. This one is definitely not for children.
Christmas Books about Books
Looking for more books about books? Our Ultimate list of books about books has tons of novels set in libraries and bookshops, about writers and librarians, and even about books themselves. We have a kids version here too.
Jenny Colgan is back with a stand-alone Christmas story about a failing bookshop and the woman that saves it. Carmen is stuck with no boyfriend, no job, and living at home, while her sister Sophie seems to have it all – beautiful house, great husband, a killer job, and 3 kids with one-more on the way.
When she realizes her client is going to lose his bookshop and home, she overs Carmen up for the job of turning the shop around, offering her a room at her house to boot.
But the long standing rivalry between the sisters is out in full force, Carmen seems to sabotage her own happiness in the romance department, and her bookstore boss might be hiding some family secrets that need uncovering.
A charming Christmas tale in true Jenny Colgan fashion, this heartwarming story also has some appearances from beloved characters from previous books.
Be Sure to Check out our list of Jenny Colgan Books Ranked
This is kinda like Love Actually in a bookshop. Nora and Simon’s bookshop is failing, but that doesn’t stop them from anonymously sending out 6 Christmas books to locals who need cheering up.
We see how their gifted books inspire changes in the lives of the recipients, how much their bookshop means to the community, and how all the of their lives intertwine.
I cried a few times while reading this heartwarming tale, but it deals with some pretty heavy subjects like death of a child and suicidal thoughts/depression. It’s really a wonderful book for the holiday season. Any true book lover will adore this Christmas tale.
Click HERE to check out our Ultimate List of Feel Good Reads
A Chanukah romance? Yes please!!! I mean, I would have been happy read this book based only on that but the fact Rachel is a Rabbi’s daughter who is secretly a best selling author of Christmas romances hooked me.
Add in a splash of romance with Jacob, Rachel’s first kiss from summer camp/ arch nemesis and this book was the perfect light romance. I loved the humor and sweetness of this book. And I would not turn down food from Jacob’s Bubbie.
Christmas Books for Book Club
For more Christmas Books for book club, and tips on how to host as holiday book club, head over to this post. It has food and activity suggestions, books that thought-provoking, and a playlist perfect for the season.
Emily Stone’s last book was my favorite Christmas book of 2021, so I knew I would love her newest book. This story is heartbreaking as well, but not in the same way.
Cassie has relied on her brother, Tom, since they were orphaned when she was 5. Each year, Tom creates a Christmas scavenger hunt for her, but after a sudden accident kills Tom, Cassie is left bereaved and celebrating Christmas without him.
Until she finds his final scavenger hunt. As she begins to solve the clues, her heart begins to heal, and love forms as well. This book is like the Christmas version of P.S. I Love You in the best possible way. I adored this novel about grief.
Nory, a used bookstore owner, is back in her hometown staying in a castle for her posh friend’s wedding. Reunited after years apart, this group of high school friends have lots of secrets and shared memories.
But during the week-long festivities, Nory is drawn to her former childhood nemesis, Isaac, who now runs the castle grounds and gardens.
I thought this would just be a charming Christmas romance, but it deals with the fallout from one of the friends in their group who had committed suicide a few years prior. Mental health, adultery, and classism are just a few of the heavier topics discussed in this book.
This one is the perfect Christmas book club pick for 2022.
I was blow away by this tear-jerking story. It was a romance story for the first 30% of the book, but then it becomes something much more deep.
Josie mails a letter to her deceased parents every Christmas, but this Christmas she accidentally hits a stranger named Max with her bike on the way to the post box.
As she explored the holiday season with Max her feelings start to grow, but when he leaves unexpectedly, she’s left to deal with the aftermath of the impact he had on her heart. But fate isn’t done their story yet as they bump into each other through-out the year.
Probably my favorite Christmas book of 2021, this one is tear-jerker for sure. I sobbed for the entire last 10% of the book. This book is a testament to the healing power of love and the kind of impact each of us can make on each other.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you are looking for adult Christmas books that end with a bow and smile, you may want to look elsewhere.
I had tears rolling down my face numerous times while reading this story. Harriet has flown into the Hamptons for Christmas to help arrange her beloved grandma’s funeral.
There, she bumps into Mack, a veteran amputee who used to correspond with Harriet during his time in Afganistan. As they begin to reconnect over various Christmas festivities, they deal with the heaviness of grief and ptsd.
This heartwarming Christmas story deals with a few heavy topics, including childhood abuse and abandonment. Charlotte comes to her grandmother Ruby’s B&B with her sister and her mother for the Holiday Season.
She is shocked to see her old friend, Wyatt, has moved in next door with his daughter. But as her romance with Wyatt begins to bloom, dark feelings and sad memories stir for both of them.
This is not so much a Christmas romance, as a story about forgiveness and overcoming childhood trauma.
I read 25 Days ‘til Christmas because I wanted a lovely little romantic Christmas story. The story is about a single mother who decides to do an advent calendar of activities in the hopes of bringing life back to her home.
A cute guy befriends them and I thought I was getting the romance I was looking for. In actuality, the book takes a dark turn and deals with loneliness, depression, childhood disabilities, and grieving.
It was so much deeper than I thought when looking at the peppy cover. I loved it. Truly. I wanted to personally walk into the pages of the book and lift her up when life knocked her down.
I got the happy Christmas ending I wanted, but in a more meaningful way than I initially expected.
Historical Fiction Christmas Books for Adults
A Christmas book about the man who is the king of adult christmas books? YAAS! Charles Dickens’s latest book is a flop and he needs money. Christmas is around the corner and he’s become someone of a grump when thinking of all the expenses coming his way.
He decides to take his publishers up on their offer to finance and Christmas novel but he can’t seem to get inspired. A chance meeting with a young woman helps give him the inspiration he requires to write his classic tale.
Written entirely in letter form between two friends during WWI, you will fall in love with the characters as they fall for each other.
Evie is struggling to find a way to help out during WWI, while Thomas, her brother’s best friend, is struggling with the realities of battle. This is one historical fiction christmas book worth reading again and again.
Did you know there is a whole mystery series featuring Jane Austen as an amateur crime-solver? I had no idea until I stumbled upon this book which takes place over…you guessed it… Christmas.
There are a series of suspicious-looking deaths surrounding the home Jane is visiting for the winter holiday. As she strives to solve the mystery before more dead bodies show up, we are treated to a look at the Christmas traditions of Regency-era England.
For more books like these, check out our list of Books like Harry Potter for kids.
Fantasy Christmas Books
If you only read one Christmas book this holiday season, let it be Just Like Magic. I adored this funny paranormal romance book and it is defintely one of the best holiday books ever! The premise is amazing. Down-on-her-luck Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the magical Holiday Spirit, who can’t leave her until he raises her spirit level.
So going by the name of Hal, he poses as her boyfriend for her week-long family Christmas vacation. His use of magic throughout the week is hysterical. It also helps that the chemistry between Hal and Bettie crackles. It’s unlike any other Christmas story I’ve read in the best way possible! If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this should be on the top of your list.
I adored this Christmas romance with a magical premise. It’s all about a Christmas market and its residents who travel from town to town each Christmas. The baker, Jack loves to visit Milwaukee the most because he’s drawn to Astra, an average girl.
I loved hearing about each Christmas Jack and Astra met and how their loved formed. I also loved the magical elements of the market and how it played a crucial role in their story. This holiday book would be a great Christmas book for book clubs to discuss.
Do you love Christmas movies? Are you obsessed with Romance books? Do you need to swoon? If you answered yes to any of those questions, stop everything and order In a Holidaze. This one of my favorite adult Christmas books of all time.
I adored Mae and Andrew’s love story. It’s set up like Groundhog’s Day with Mae repeating the same Christmas vacation until she gets it right. And man… does she get it right. Peppermint Kisses, Sexy Sledding, Snowball Fights, Christmas Tree trimming… this book is oozing with cheer-filled holiday goodness with a few scenes that are steamier than a cup of cocoa.
This short novel bridges the gap between the #ACOTAR trilogy and the next three books set in the same universe. It saw us catching up with all of our favorite characters during the Winter Solstice.
Cute and fun with no real plot – just some stage setting for the next book. Think of it as an extended epilogue to A Court of Wings and Ruins.
Looking for more books like A Court of Thorns and Roses? Head HERE.
This young adult christmas book was quite clever as a modern retelling of Dicken’s classic. 17-year-old Holly was visited by the ghosts of Christmas because she was a total scrooge.
But she woke up unaffected by the visit and died shortly thereafter. Now she has to work for Operation Scrooge as she tries to help other poor scrooges like herself.
She’s been the ghost of Christmas past for 5 years now but this year is different…this year something changes…and it might just be her!
Contemporary Adult Christmas Books
I was not expecting to like this book nearly as much as I ended up liking it! The Adults centers around a divorced couple, the people they are dating, and their daughter all going away for the Christmas season to resort in the mountains.
The antics these adults get up to are really something. I laughed at them numerous times and would definitely recommend it to those looking for a fun Christmas story.
This is a hilarious look at what happens when a family is quarantined together over the holidays. The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking to myself that it should be a movie.
Hornak takes series topics and makes them funny. This book is about crazy coincidences and epic drama in one completely dysfunctional British family.
What starts out as a family spending a quarantine quietly in the family country home, turns into something from a soap opera. Every member of the family has their secrets and lies exposed.
I read the first book in the series a million years ago and I never kept up with more than a few books in the series. Still, I love Christmas, so I obviously jumped at the chance to read this book.
Becky Branson, née Bloomwood, did not disappoint! I found myself gasping, laughing, and crying numerous times during this book. Were the scenarios over-the-top? Absolutely. But I loved every page.
I forgot just how enjoyable Becky’s antics are and her antics about motherhood actually clicked with me on a new level as a reader. Her heart-of-gold and Luke’s understanding of who she is, still give me all the gooey feelings though.
Another book I absolutely adored. This second chance love story takes place over 10 years and you’ll be rooting for this couple the entire time.
The perfect winter romance – this one is a bit steamy – that will have you smiling from ear-to-ear. I listened to this one from my local library, but it would be just as good in print. This is a perennial favorite for those looking for adult Christmas books.
Winter Street was my first Christmas book by Hilderbrand, but I’ll be continuing this series for sure. I fell hard for the Quinn family as they navigate their complicated family dynamic, their personal crises, and running an inn during the holiday season.
I’m shocked this hasn’t been made into a movie yet! If you are looking for a heartwarming holiday story, this is for you
Adult Christmas Short Stories and Novellas
James Patterson writes Christmas Romance novellas? Who knew?
A mother decides to announce her upcoming Christmas day wedding without telling her grown children the name of the groom! She wants to ensure they actually come to the wedding to ensure they get together for Christmas.
We dive right into the drama of the family in this contemporary tale that reminds us of the true joy of the season.
The Christmas Pact is a novella that is only available as an Audible Original. Riley Kennedy emails an advice columnist for help but the columnist sends the response to Kennedy Riley instead.
Soon the two are agreeing to be faux-dating for the holidays to appease both of their families. Utterly predictable, but charming none the less.
Charming Adult Christmas Books by Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan is one of our favorite writers ever! We have a whole list of her books ranked here. She’s well-known for her holiday books, so if you are a fan, you’ll like these books below.
The Cafe by The Sea #3
The third book in The Cafe by the Sea series left me gutted. I cried so many times at the end of this book. It was very cathartic but so heartwrenching. I honestly felt for every character impacted by the many tragic storylines. I know the fourth book in the series is coming out soon, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it now. 4 stars.
Mure Island Series #4
This was definitely a happier book in the series than the last one. We get to see Flora and Joel’s new baby, check in with Fintan, and meet a new cast of characters as the residents of Mure prepare for the new hotel opening.
There were cute love stories, wrapping up of some longstanding plot lines, but also space for more books in the series to written.
Little Beach Street Bakery #3
I read this book when the snow was coming down outside and I wanted a cozy little pick me up. Colgan’s Little Beach Street Bakery series is one of my favorites because it’s light and fluffy with characters I adore, and drama that isn’t as serious. This was no different as we see Polly trying to navigate the Christmas season and keep her darling friend’s big secret!
Looking for some fun Christmas Ornaments? Consider pairing one of the ones below with a book as a gift for a holiday loving friend!