6 (or 7) Low Sugar Holiday Romance Novels - Mo Fanning Author
Ghosted by Mo Fanning - a holiday or Christmas romance

6 (or 7) Low Sugar Holiday Romance Novels

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Romance writers love this time of year. Chestnuts may well be roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost may be nipping at your nose. But how many high-ranking (female) corporate banking CEOs actually find themselves stranded in their hometown and falling for a grumpy lumberjack? In the world of Hallmark Movies and the general publishing industry, way too many.

Are you looking for a holiday romance that feels fresh? I’ve done the reading, so you don’t have to. Here are half a dozen books that put creative twists on the genre.

A dark romance

Just like ‘Ghosted‘ – my very own book that Publishers’ Weekly just gave a five-star review, noting how it has at its heart friendships and family bonds. Along with an international drug smuggling operation, snoring drag queens, and a shady priest!

But you’ll already have a copy of that or be about to buy one (2.99 in ebook at many retailers throughout the next month), so time to point your reading heads in other directions …

The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese – This reverse-grinch plot features a heroine determined to sabotage holiday traditions after a bad breakup, only to fall for a Christmas fanatic.

Under the Mistletoe by Jodi Ann Fahey – A romance blooms between a widow and widower brought together while training service dogs for veterans. Heartwarming and original.

Isle of Muck

Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan – A woman takes a job as an events organiser at a hotel on the scenic Isle of Muck to recover from heartbreak. Charming setting. I was given this a year back as a Christmas gift by a friend. I read it in the middle of summer. It still worked!

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer – A Jewish woman and Catholic man find love and laughs clashing over their holidays. Culturally diverse representation.

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – Woman relives the same holiday break-up in a Groundhog Day-esque twist. Clever magical realism concept.

25 Days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander – Upbeat story of a blog writer tasked with posting daily holiday content, featuring lots of festive creativity.

Holiday romance trope

For me, these are books that capture the Christmas spirit without laying on the sugar until your teeth begin to itch. The tropes and tired cliches are in low supply, making them so much more entertaining. Wrap yourself in the cozy magic of these unconventional tales this season!

By Mo Fanning

Mo Fanning is a British author of dark romantic comedies including the Book of the Year nominated bestseller 'The Armchair Bride', 'Rebuilding Alexandra Small' and 2022's hit holiday romcom 'Ghosted'.

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