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November/December 2016- Top 20 Must Read (Holiday) Romance/Erotica Novels ***NO SPOILERS***

Updated on December 28, 2016

I really love getting in the mood for the holidays, so I decided to read 20 novellas, instead of my usual 5 novels. I wanted all the stories to set me in the mood for the holidays. I had a box sex I purchased a few years ago for 99 cents that I still needed to read. It's a collaboration put together by a bunch of authors who wrote paranormal romance short stories for Christmas. Paranormal romance is my favorite genre and you don't see as many Christmas themed paranormal romance stories as Halloween themed ones, so I got really excited at the time I purchased it. But I didn't get the chance to read it until now, so here's my reviews of each story.

I used the picture of the box set instead of the individual covers for each story because it will make this article difficult to load if I included every picture. You'll have to buy the stories individually and separately now unfortunately because the box set is no longer available. But most of the authors are still selling their short stories and novellas individually. I've included links to all the stories at the end of this article.

Boxset Blurb

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...except for the hot werewolf in a Santa hat come to seduce you while you read...

Treat yourself to a winter wonderland of shapeshifters and vampires, elves and fairies, ghosts and other paranormal creatures!

Twenty brand-new novellas of Christmas magic from some of the stars of paranormal romance will brighten your holiday with candy cane kisses and hot toddy loving. Spend your long winter nights with otherworldly alpha males where true love always wins the day and the spirits of the season are naughty AND nice.

Overall Thoughts

This boxset was so worth it! I got all these stories for only 99 cents, but it was worth so much more. All these stories gave me about fifty hours or more of entertainment and they were all unique and special in their own ways.

One of my favorite parts of this box set is the fact that included a lot of different kinds of paranormal creatures: vampires, shifters (of all kinds), witches, elves, dragon, ghosts, fairies, demons, and more! So there was a nice variety of things to read about.

Every author was different and had something different they wanted to write, but the boxset went together really well. It's too bad that it's not still available for sale as a whole, but the individual stories are still worth purchasing. This was a high quality boxset with some amazing authors.

1. "Caribou's Gift" By Eve Langlais

Damn it, a man had his pride and a caribou a certain majestic presence, all of which could wind up ruined if he abased himself to play a simple-minded reindeer in the town’s Christmas parade.

No way was he wearing damned tinsel in his antlers.

Like hell was he sporting a red nose and pulling a sleigh.

But he changes his mind when he meets the woman in charge of the event.

Single mom, Crystal, is doing her best to offer her daughter the best Christmas ever. It’s their first in Kodiak Point, and she’s not about to let some vain jerk ruin it for her little girl.

If playing dirty is what it takes…then bring on the Christmas games. As Crystal and Kyle butt heads—and lips—they discover more than goodwill this holiday season. They’re gifted with a second chance at love.

My Thoughts

This story is very sweet and romantic. It reminded me of a hallmark movie and is just perfect for a heartwarming holiday like Christmas.

The little girl was very cute and Kyle's interactions with her were adorable.

And the part with the rudolph underwear was hilarious and hot all at the same time. I loved it. You'll know what I mean when you read it.

I also really liked that all the different animals lived together in packs. This is the first story I've read where a caribou and a cougar were in the same pack. Most wereling stories have the different animals grouped separately. I liked that the author chose to do this differently, since I've so commonly seen it done the other way. I like when authors take creatures that have been written about so many times and make them their own.

2. "Alpha's First Christmas" By Aubrey Rose and Molly Prince

***A new novella from NYT best-seller Aubrey Rose and Molly Prince***

When Natalie discovers that the down-on-their-luck Scraptown Pack has never celebrated Christmas, she decides to do something about it. But before she can convince the pack, she needs to convince their leader, her mate, Hutch.

Her plan is simple. Lure the big, bad alpha away to a remote cabin and then use those curves that he can't resist, to get him in the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, for Nat and Hutch, things rarely go according to plan.

My Thoughts

You can tell immediately while reading this story that it takes part in a series that the author has written. I hadn't read any other books in the series, but it was easy to follow what was happening and had a satisfying conclusion that didn't require me to read any other stories to enjoy.

The story went in directions that neither I nor the characters expected, which was really neat. It's always nice to read a romance novel where you don't know what to expect will happen in the beginning, middle, or end.

I really liked how the ending of the book tied in with the beginning. It was clever, funny, and well written. It left me very satisfied.

3. "Kissed By Temptation" By Deanna Chase

This is a short holiday story set in the Coven Pointe Universe

The last place sex-witch Mati Ballintine wants to be is at a holiday sorority party. But when the high angel from the council orders her to protect a new angel recruit, she has no choice but to go and grit her teeth through the frat boys’ advances.
The night turns from bad to worse when a demon appears and is hell-bent on taking the angel to Hell. Mati and her incubus boyfriend Vaughn will need to combine forces to not only save the angel, but everyone else the demon leaves in his wake.

My Thoughts

I really loved the world-building in this book, which is a difficult thing to do in a short fantasy story. It had things like alternate dimensions, enchanted jewelry, and cursed Christmas trees (which were way cooler than they sound.) The author really thought about what it would be like to have a sorority filled with supernatural creatures and incorporated that world into all the little details.

While there was a sex scene and the romance was good, the story truly shined during its suspense. The fight scenes were well-written. So many fight scenes are boring or poorly described, but these were perfect. She kept adding elements to each scene that would up the stakes and keep me on the edge of my seat.

I really liked this story and will be reading more from this author.

4. "Hunted Holiday" By Mandy M. Roth

Dani Malloye hates the holidays, and with good reason. Though her best friend tries to force the Christmas spirit on her with giant Santas and elves that light up, she’d rather spend her time doing what she does best—enforcing paranormal law on the streets of Chicago. Nothing like a little evil bloodshed to lighten the mood. Besides, work means she can spend time with her sexy boss, Cornell Sutton. Too bad Cornell is uptight, her new neighbor, and a vampire. Everyone knows slayers and vampires just don’t mix. Or do they?

My Thoughts

This short story was focused entirely on the romance. Unlike some of the other short stories in this collection, there was no action to go with it. Dani is on a break from work after being injured and has an overprotective vampire boss who lives across the street and is watching her. The romance that blooms between them is steamy and entertaining.

It will definitely appeal to people who want to read a paranormal romance story that focuses more on romance than anything else.

5. "Everlastingly" By Michelle M. Pillow

How do you find something that you don’t know is lost?

On the run from her attackers and battered by a winter storm, Maura O'Brian battles her way through the snow, desperate and alone. She stumbles upon what she believes to be a secluded, abandoned farmhouse where strange voices are be more frightful than what awaits outside. The signs keep pointing to the same person—Jack. His very name fills her heart with such intense longing she’ll do anything to find him.


Is Jack real or simply her fevered imagination hoping for a miracle?

My Thoughts

There are no words that can do justice for describing this haunting story. It was amazing and dark. A lot of these other stories are about the magic of Christmas, but this one captures the horror of it. It reminds me of a grown up version of the little match girl because the ending traumatized me a bit.

When you read this story, you'll find yourself completely addicted to it. The main character is stuck in a strange situation that she's trying to make sense of. You can feel the paranormal elements running through it. Nothing quite makes sense. The whole scenario is obviously enchanted in some way. As she slowly puts the pieces together, you find yourself more and more immersed in what is happening. I had a million guesses in my head about what was going on and I couldn't stop wondering about it.

And then when you get to the end, there's just so many emotions. You're happy in a way and so miserable at the same time. It's good and it's tragic. I felt like this story changed me. I'm definitely reading anything this author writes. She's amazing.

6. "A Ghostly Gift" By Angie Fox

**USA Today Bestselling series!**

From New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox -- a fabulously fun short story in the new Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery series

Verity Long doesn't want to see ghosts, and she'd rather not let anyone know her little secret, either. But when a restless spirit stirs up trouble in her friend's resale shop, Verity and her very new, very dead gangster friend team up to learn what is really happening.

They discover an age-old secret, and must learn the truth behind a mysterious disappearance…before it's too late.

My Thoughts

Although this story technically had a romance story within it, it wasn't a romance story like the other stories listed on here. It was purely paranormal. It's about a woman and her entertaining ghost sidekick. The two of them deal with hauntings around town.

I enjoyed watching the mystery unravel and seeing exactly how Verity's powers work. It seems like this story is part of a larger group of stories and I hope to eventually read more.

Christmas Romance Novels Released This Year

7. "Love Singer" By Mimi Strong

A struggling musician discovers she's a witch who can cast spells with her songs. Or at least that's what her sexy professor says.

My Thoughts

This author doesn't sell her paranormal stories anymore. I think she focuses more on contemporary romance now, but I got to read this short story of hers because of the anthology that I purchased before it became unavailable.

One of the most fun parts of the story was how the author made the sparks between the two characters, which many writers use in a metaphorical sense to describe two character's passion between each other, literal. I love how whimsical most paranormal and fantasy romance novels are. This little detail in the story was definitely whimsical.

The entire story takes place in the modern day, at a college, when a young woman is just learning that she's a witch for the first time.

The characters in the story are quirky and ridiculous, which I know a lot of people like reading. So even though this story she wrote is no longer available, you may want to check out this authors other stories if you enjoy reading romance novels with quirky/silly characters in them.

8. "Lost In Winter" By Viola Rivard

When her car breaks down in the Appalachians, Caitlin finds safety and passion in the strong arms of a mountain-dwelling bear shifter.

My Thoughts

This story drew me in immediately. I was on the edge of my seat right away wondering who these characters were and what was going to happen to them. It's storytelling at its finest.

As details about their motivations and past were slowly revealed, I found myself more and more intrigued by them. The characters became real. They had both strengths and faults. The problems they were facing also tugged at my heart and made me really feel for them.

I also liked that a lot of the story took place out in the snow. I lived many years where it would snow several feet and I hated the reality of it, but there's something so nice when it comes to reading about it. Cozy fires in the cold snow, where everyone has to snuggle together to survive. Snow truly is beautiful and these kind of stories remind me of my favorite parts of it.

The romance parts in it were perfect, too. They were steamy and the relationship developed nicely.

I'm definitely reading more of this authors writing in the future.

9. "Bear Witness" By Michele Bardsley

After Gretchen Myers rescues her murdered stepsister's baby, she's nearly killed in a not-so-accidental car crash. When she wakes up in a Las Vegas hospital, she's alone ... until Rafe Pearson shows up. Not only does he have the baby, but he also manages to rescue her from yet another attempt on her life.

Rafe is approximately the size of a linebacker with the looks of a GQ model. Yet, Gretchen has never seen a man so lonely. And he's never met a woman so stubborn. But while she and the baby are in danger, there's no way the former cop will let them out of his sight.

As a bear shifter who lives in a cabin deep in the woods of Mount Charleston, he has the perfect place to protect his new charges. Then the persistent hunters track down their vulnerable prey, and Rafe discovers too late that these killers are inhuman..

My Thoughts

Before reading this anthology, I had only read paranormal novels about werewolves and large cat shapeshifters. But I really enjoyed reading about all the bear shifters. I never thought about how interesting reading about them would be or how attractive a bear shifter actually is. They seem to usually be muscular and huge loners with a darkness in their heart that they're waiting for the right woman to help heal.

I really liked this story because it had action in it that was combined with romance perfectly. It had a really good balance of both, which is something I always look for in books like these. I just like being on the edge of my seat, wondering how the characters are going to survive and also wondering what will happen next in their relationship at the same time.

I thought it was cool that the author was able to fit in some back story (without making it seem forced) in such a short story. I thought the love interest was very sweet and I loved his anmal companion. I have a weakness for dog-like characters in books since I have a loyal dog companion myself in real life.

The story had a very satisfying conclusion. It was good all around.

10. "A Heart In Winter" By V.M. Black

Sarah defied her family and married for love beneath her station. Her happiness with Baron Marston was multiplied when they welcomed four children into their family. But a wasting sickness has overcome Sarah, one that has resisted every poultice and purge of the greatest doctors in England. Soon, it would claim her life–if it were not for the promise of one last sage, whose vampire’s kiss brings her not only eternal youth but a bond that transcends all human oaths.

Can any mortal love, however strong, survive the seduction of an ageless vampire? Christmas is coming, and Sarah can only be at one hearth.

This story is set in the history of the Aethereal Bonds world.

My Thoughts

This was one of the best romance stories I've ever read. In my opinion, people get way too focused on sticking to the formula in romance novels, but if all romance authors thought the same then a story as superb as this would never exist.

This is my definition of a true romance story. Most people think romance is about the things a man can do for them: the big romantic gestures, how he is in bed, what he looks like, what he can give them. This story is about true love, which is about loving the other person how they are, no matter their circumstances, and being willing to sacrifice for each other.

I don't want to give the ending of the book away. I wasn't expecting it to go in that direction and was pleasantly surprised when it did, so it's important to me not to ruin it for anyone. But I am heavily impressed by how much the characters were willing to sacrifice for each other and do for each other.

I'm also very impressed by the author's ability to show and not tell. She never ONCE says the word "vampire" in any part of her novel, but you know the truth as a reader anyway.

The ending didn't resolve everything for the characters and left me wondering exactly what happened with them next, but it was still a perfect ending.

I'm definitely reading more by this author. She has a lot of depth to her writing.

11. "Dangerous Distractions" By Lola St. Vil

An angelic proposal goes awry in a most unexpected way.

My Thoughts

This is one of those naughty romance novels that has steamy erotic scenes in it. The main character lusts after the one man that is a taboo for her to desire, but finds herself giving in to her desires anyway. Both characters are strong attractive people. They're both surrounded by danger in their lives.

It makes for a fun, action packed, paranormal romance novella.

12. "Witches Shall Rise" By Terah Edun

Witch. Daughter. Queen. Katherine is a witch with a problem, the holidays have come up, and she knows bad blood with the fae shall rise.

My Thoughts

This book felt like it was part of a larger series. Because of reading it, I plan on reading more stories by this author. I want to find out what happens to the characters in this book.

It doesn't read like a paranormal romance like the other books in this anthology. It's just paranormal. And unlike the other books, it's not for adults, it's a young adult novel. Luckily, I enjoy young adult novels as well.

It has a lot of world-building. It has an interesting take on what would have happened in U.S. history if there had been witches and fae, instead of just normal humans populating the world.

It was one of the only young adult novels I've read where the mother was actually an inspiring and kind person. Most young adult novels, the kids are saving the world because either they're orphans or have inadequate parents that forced them to grow-up quickly. Which is all right sometimes, but it's almost become a cliche nowadays.

And I really liked the moral at the end of the story. It wasn't preachy or anything, but it definitely said something about not judging people based on appearances.

13. "Blood Deep" By Jessa Slade

They said fairy godmothers would grant all our wishes.
They said Tinker Bell would die if we didn’t believe.
They said magic was just pretend.

They lied.


Avery Hill, a reluctant "News of the Mysterious" reporter whose mother went missing one Christmas, finds herself in Las Vegas for the holiday, caught in a battle between light and dark fey armies. Only Hugo De Grava, a 700-year-old soul-wounded warrior cursed with eternal life, can save her—before his own time runs out.

But the dangerous magic that made Avery fear for her sanity and made Hugo a vampire isn’t done with them yet, and long-lost worlds are on a collision course on the deepest night of the year…

My Thoughts

There was a lot of passion in this story between the main characters. They had many intimate moments together. It was almost an erotica, but still fit in the romance category.

There was also a lot of character development and background story in it, which can be hard to fit in with such a short story.

The author definitely took creatures people know and love in other mythological stories and made them her own. She had her own version of vampires that was extremely unique, if you are tired of the same old vampires in paranormal romance and want to see a new take on them, this is the place.

14. "Home For The Howlidays" By Chloe Cole

Nicklaus Maslov left Stone Creek, Montana, in his rear–view mirror three years ago and never planned to go back. His pack’s ways are antiquated, and the girl he loves will never be his. But when his father, the pack’s alpha, sends him an urgent message, he can’t deny the protective instinct drawing him back to his hometown, or the lure of the one that got away.

Petra Stevens has had her heart stomped on once and vows it will never happen again. When her former lover and packmate returns to Stone Creek, all the rage and hurt she felt when he’d left comes bubbling to the surface…along with other feelings she can’t control. If she can just avoid him while he’s in town, things will be fine. But fate has other plans…

My Thoughts

Since Romeo and Juliet, people have been obsessed with forbidden love. This short story is about forbidden love and how painful and passionate it can be. Two lovers, who are also werewolves, see each other after years of forced separation. Their desire for each other has only increased and the story is about that.

If that's something you are interested in, you'll enjoy this short story. I really liked it myself.

15. "Shadows Beneath The Falling Snow" By Cristina Rayne

When an unprecedented visit from the Supreme Elven King, Kirion, disrupts elven princess Miriel's usual plans during the winter solstice, it's the least of her worries when a single touch by the powerful king could reveal a secret she and her family have desperately kept for over a hundred years. However, King Kirion has a few revelations of his own that could also change Miriel's life forever.

My Thoughts

I'm in love with this author now. I've already purchased several of her books and plan to read them right away. It seems she focuses more on erotica than just romance in her fantasy/paranormal books and it shows. This story was the hottest story in the entire collection. The Elven King was attractive, the chemistry between the two of them was like fireworks, and the mystery of the elven princess' past kept me intrigued and reading more.

I'm going to read this story over and over again.

16. "The Hunter's Moon" By Shawntelle Madison

Kaden will do anything to protect his pack, including saving a dying werewolf hunter. But Cynthia would rather take him down than become his mate.

My Thoughts

This is a story where two people who are supposed to be enemies fall in love. Both of the main characters are very strong and have been through a lot of pain in their life. It adds to the passion in the love scenes as they struggle with the feelings that are experiencing for each other.

17. "Lords of Misrule" By J.S. Hope

Reporter Alessandra “Alex” Donati is in Venice chasing the story of her career. While the city prepares for the Christmas festivities, Alex is hot on the trail of a group that celebrates a much older – and much darker – festival, one that offers sex and sacrifice in exchange for power and wealth.


Alex’s first move is to try and get close to billionaire tycoon and suspected cult member, Paolo Galvan. In order to do that, she’d going to have to entice him with something money can’t buy, something that’s both outside his experience and outside his control...herself.

My Thoughts

So this is the only story in the book that is not a stand alone story. It ends on a huge cliffhanger that made me have to immediately buy all the rest of the books in the series. (I hope to review all of them eventually as well.)

There is this big mystery looming through out the entire book and as you get deeper into it, it just seems to grow. I kept thinking I knew what was going to happen next and where the book was taking the reader, but as soon as I thought that, every time, a plot twist was thrown out and took the book in an entirely new direction.

There's a lot of darkness in this book, particularly at the end of it. I look forward to reading more.

18. "A Christmas to Bear" By Carina Wilder

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of going home to the family for Christmas.

And that’s exactly why Aria’s chosen to avoid hers like the plague and head to the quiet mountain town of Wolf Rock to ski, celebrate single life and admire the male shifter population from afar.


Funny how a little accident can turn a girl’s world upside down. Lucian is a sexy, reclusive polar bear shifter who’s stayed out of humanity’s way for ages, and he expects humanity to return the favour. That includes clumsy women who aren’t great at skiing but are remarkably gifted at smashing into trees.

Will the laws of attraction trump the laws of common sense? Probably. It is Christmas, after all. The season of mistletoe, warm hearths and the warmest hearts.

My Thoughts

This reads a lot like one of those quirky, contemporary romance novels. It kind of reminds me of Bridget Jones' Diary Series, since the main character is sort of a mess and doing all she can to avoid her family. The difference is, in this world, there are were-creatures and the main character finds herself falling in love with the were-bear.

And when you read the story, you really can't blame her for falling for the guy. He has it all. He's strong, tall, handsome, heroic, and has a painful past that the main character saves him from.

It's easy to fall in love with this story.

19. "Cold Winter's Bite" By Dawn Michelle

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novella!

December meant more to Hunter Wynn than holidays and time off from a stressful job as the owner of a law firm. It meant the annual getaway he and his partners lived for. A trip to the cold forests of Canada for a winter hunt. Alone and isolated, anything could— and did— happen.

This year it was Hunter's turn to bring the guest of honor, and he'd just met the perfect girl for it. Pretty, intelligent, and lacking any close friends or relatives. The only question left is whether Hunter can sink his teeth in her before she sets her claws in him.

My Thoughts

Whatever you're thinking this book is going to be going in to it, you're wrong.

At first, I was so confused reading it. Not because the writing was unclear, but because I knew I was missing something and was excited and curious to find out what it was.

It read almost like a billionaire romance novel at first. Like the story of a billionaire's secret fantasy for how he'd like his life to turn out. There were no obvious paranormal elements. At first, I thought it wasn't a paranormal story, although there were little hints that it might be.

And then as you keep going, it gets darker and darker. You get more absorbed and then BAM! There's a bunch of plot twists at the end and you're shocked and satisfied by all that you read and it all makes sense now.

I love it. I'm for sure going to read more by this author. This story was like no other. I recommend it to everyone.

20. "Breaking The Stag" By Jessica Ryan

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Ryan:

Celeste's life is falling apart around her, but she may just find the comfort she needs in a sexy stranger that has been watching over her her entire life.

My Thoughts

I really loved this story.

The part of the two of them meeting for the first time as children was unexpected and so sweet.

It's a story that takes place over decades, two people who destiny keeps pushing towards each other, finally find each other in the end.

They're from two different worlds, but they come together in unexpected ways to form their own world. I wish there was more to read about these two characters. I loved it.

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