Holiday Romance…it isn’t just for Christmas anymore

It’s that time of year again, when the days get short and the weather turns colder. I don’t like winters in general. I’d much rather be soaking up the sun on some beach somewhere. There is, however, one thing I do like about wintertime. To me, it means more time to read. There’s nothing better on a frigid winter day than curling up in my armchair with a cup of hot tea, some tea biscuits, and a good book. Although I have a huge pile of books next to my bed, waiting to be read, and another virtual pile on my tablet, I reach for holiday romances first at this time of year. To me, it feels strange to read a Christmas romance in July.

I love Christmas romances, and it appears I’m not alone. A quick check of Goodreads returned a list of nearly eleven hundred popular Christmas romances. When I searched Barnes and Noble, and the number was over six thousand romances available for purchase, while Amazon returned a whopping forty-thousand titles. Which is great for those of us who celebrate Christmas, and love a good Christmas love story.

Curious, I did another search for “Hanukkah Romance”. I’m happy to say, there were quite a few, although these were mostly in e-book format. However, there were nowhere near as many as there were for Christmas…only eighteen hundred titles. This is still enough to provide the average reader with Hanukkah romances to last a lifetime, though, so who am I to complain?

A search on Kwanzaa romances yielded more distressing results. Exactly two books came up in this search. I can’t help but wonder why. I have to believe that African-Americans read romance as much as any other ethnic group. I suppose the discrepancy could be chalked up to the fact that Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday, only officially celebrated since 1966. Yet if we were using that reasoning, there should be more Hanukkah romances than Christmas ones, since Judaism has been around longer. If you say that Kwanzaa is actually a cultural holiday, rather than a religious one, I’m not sure that matters. Religion is a part of culture, isn’t it? Kwanzaa, at least in the northeast, is part of the conversation now.

Is it that the majority of editors and publishers are white Christians? Well, I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I do know one thing. Romance publishers aren’t vampires, shape-shifters, Highland warriors or sheikhs, but they’re publishing tons of books about them. So why aren’t there more Hanukkah and Kwanzaa romances out there? I say, if you’re looking for a new angle, these would be good stories to write and pitch.  There, you have your new idea, and I promise I won’t take any credit for it.

I’m getting ready to re-read a favorite Christmas romance, What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander. It’s a Victorian historical, and I particularly like it because it plays to the thespian in me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

What Happens at Christmas

Do you have a favorite holiday romance? Why do you think there are so many Christmas romances, and so few Kwanzaa ones? I’d love to hear your theories on that, so please, sound off!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanzaa!

Hugs,

Jaye

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15 Comments

  1. JB Schroeder

     /  December 16, 2014

    Jaye, leave it to you to think more deeply about holiday romances that I ever have—love this! : ) And you’ve inspired me. The minute I finish this month’s book club read I’m going to start a Christmas romance. I have a couple just waiting—bought one over the summer via book bub, and a printed one during holiday season last year but never got to it. Perfect timing now! Will be much more uplifting than the dark RS I finished last week….thanks!

    Reply
  2. Jaye Marie Rome

     /  December 16, 2014

    I’m in the middle of a dark RS as well, JB! It’s just…well, with all the stress of getting things ready, Christmas romances remind me to enjoy the season. I’m glad I could give you a little nudge! Mwah!

    Reply
  3. Great post Jaye and got me thinking! I have read a lot of Christmas romances over the years and don’t have a favorite. I liked them all. I have Victoria Alexander’s book and will start it soon!

    Reply
    • Jaye Marie Rome

       /  December 16, 2014

      Let me know how you like it, Tina! I thought it was a really fun book!

      Reply
  4. Diana Quincy

     /  December 16, 2014

    I really enjoyed “A Christmas Promise” by Mary Balogh. It starts with a loveless, arranged marriage: she’s rich and he’s got a title but no money. But as the holiday season unfolds, they fall in love. It’s a sweet romance with lots of holiday atmosphere.

    Reply
  5. My first published book “Lights of Love” is a Hanukkah romance. It is available in both hardcover and as an ebook. I wrote it partially because I wanted to see more Hanukkah romances! I love holiday stories. “Winter Fire” by Jo Beverly is one of my favorites.

    Reply
    • Jaye Marie Rome

       /  December 17, 2014

      Hi, Roni! Little did you know, you’re the reason I started thinking about this. When I saw your facebook post about Lights of Love, I began to wonder how many Hanukkah romances were out there. See, you’re an inspiration!

      Have a happy Hanukkah, and a fabulous new year! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  6. Oh and I enjoyed your post!

    Reply
  7. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  December 17, 2014

    I love holiday romances! Sadly, I find this time of year is so crazy I never have enough time to read them! I actually have several on my TBR pile from last year. Thanks for the reminder. Time to dust them off and treat myself to a Holiday Romance! The Victoria Alexander sounds great. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Reply
    • Jaye Marie Rome

       /  December 20, 2014

      You’ll especially like it, RoseAnn…since you too are a former thespian! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Hi Jaye. It’s funny you mentioned Victoria’s book because I’m reading it, too. I also like reading holiday romances. I like novellas because I can read them quickly. This year I read: Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter, Mistletoe Magic by Melissa McClone, Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis, and Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery.

    Happy Holidays!!

    Reply
    • Jaye Marie Rome

       /  December 27, 2014

      I just read Christmas at Copper Mountain, too, Maria! You’ve done a lot of holiday reading. I wish I had the time! I don’t know how you do it all.

      Reply

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