The week of Halloween I read a book that had been languishing on my Kindle for a while. It’s set in a small town as it prepares for its annual Halloween festival. I loved how the sweater weather and changing leaves mirrored real life—I felt like I was a part of the story. Then I realized that the book came out in July. Reading it then might have been a completely different experience.
That got me thinking about other books I might have read at the wrong time of year (not that there’s anything actually wrong with Christmas in July) that might deserve a reread this season. Here’s my top ten:
10. Home For the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost
An obvious choice perhaps, but re-reading Halfway to the Grave has got me in the mood to return to the Night Huntress world. This novella also has a big reveal about Bones’s history that some readers might have missed. And Cat teaming up with Ian is so much fun. Perfect for getting ready for Ian’s upcoming series as well as into a holiday mood. (VBC HQ tip: This book is just $1.99 for Kindle as of this posting.)
9. Written in Red by Anne Bishop
When I think about where The Others began, I think of Meg stumbling, half frozen in to the Courtyard. I’m sure that makes it a winter book. This complex, fascinating world is perfect to lose yourself in on a cold winter day. (VBC HQ tip: This one is on sale, too! $2.99 for Kindle as of this posting.)
8. How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
Set in Alaska, this snowy small town romance has some wintery vibes, plus Harper’s trademark humor will always brighten my mood.
7 and 6. Unraveled by Jennifer Estep
I had flashbacks to the classic holiday film Home Alone while reading about Gin Blanco battling baddies in a western-themed resort. Follow that up with Silvio’s novella Nice Guys Bite to see Gin and the gang back home getting ready for their Christmas party.
5. All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
It’s been years since I read the Love at Stake series, but you can’t really go wrong with teleporting, kilt-wearing vampires. Every series has that hero whose book we can’t wait to get. Ian was it for this series. And the story has the heroine Toni trying to rescue her friend from the mental institution where she’s been committed for claiming vampires exist—so much fun.
4. Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
Confession: I hated Biting Cold the first time I read it. (VBC HQ: Chelsea gave it a thumbs up in her review.) But I’ve had a few years to come to terms with the WTF that is Seth Tate’s origin so I think it deserves a second chance. It’s also got a road trip, which I love, and an awesome angry gnome.
3. Riveted by Meljean Brook
Set in Iceland, Riveted is a book that screams winter to me. At one point, the main couple treks across the icy terrain in a giant clockwork creation. Lots of steampunk goodness, plus politics and trolls. Though Riveted is book three in the Iron Seas series, it doesn’t really have carry-over characters so it stands alone well.
2. Frozen by Meljean Brook
There are lots of snowed-in romances out there, but this one has a unique paranormal twist. Plus I love the novella length for one-night mood reading. I also love all things Meljean (see above).
1. Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison
One of the hallmarks of a holiday story is that warm fuzzy moment at the end where everyone sits in front of a fire singing or exchanging gifts. The solstice bonfire with almost everyone who will become Rachel’s found family is one of my all-time favorite warm fuzzy endings.
Are there any great holiday or winter books you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments!