Books with plenty of holiday spirit

This week, I’m continuing with my columns about holiday-themed books. If holiday books aren’t your thing, or those on your shopping list, then don’t worry, there will still be plenty of recommendations to follow!

From New York Times bestselling author Catherline Anderson comes a homespun story of romance in “The Christmas Room.”

Maggie is a widow who is starting over in Montana with her son and grandson. However, they soon find the contractors haven’t broken ground on their new house due to the weather, causing them to live in a camp of trailers, tents and sheds. Widowed rancher Sam doesn’t seem to think much of his new neighbors. However, that isn’t the case with his daughter and Maggie’s son. Soon, they are in love and pulling the two warring hearts together. With a holiday romance between the two be on the horizon?

A warm romance for chilly nights, this is a good book for fans of the author’s “Mystic Creek” series or those who want a stand alone story.

“The Christmas Room” is published by Berkley. It is $19 and 432 pages.

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The story of Pride and Prejudice gets a holiday and modern setting in “Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe” by New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.

This time, it’s Darcy Fitzwilliam, the successful and brilliant career woman, who comes home to Pemberley when her mother gets sick. Luke Bennett is her parents’ neighbor’s son, a smart slacker who has plenty of wit and has five wild brothers. The two couldn’t be more opposite, but end up hooking up after a little too much eggnog. Will their romance become long-lasting or be just a holiday fling?

Fans of the Austen story will enjoy seeing a new and modern take here, as well as the simple holiday theme.

“Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe” is published by St. Martin’s Press. It is $18.99 and 240 pages long.

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USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander delves into holiday historial romance in “Christmas at Carnton.”

Aletta is a Civil War widow, looking to hold together everything for herself and her 6-year-old after the loss of her husband. She applies for a position with the Women’s Relief Society, only to find it filled. Jake is a sharpshooter who has been wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga. Healing and ordered to help with the Women’s Relief Society auction, the last thing he wants is to be surrounded by a bunch of women, but one in particular catches his eye. As he and Aletta come into contact, will either be willing to trust their heart to the other? Will Christmas bring them both a season of second chances? For those that like historical romance and the Civil War period, this is a holiday romance for you.

“Christmas at Carnton” is published by Thomas Nelson. It is $12.99 and 240 pages long.

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Another historical holiday romance is available with Melody Carlson in “The Christmas Blessing.”

Set in World War II, Amelia has been told her baby’s father has been shot down over the South Pacific. She has nowhere to turn, but her child’s grandparents. Except they have no knowledge of her or her son.

Will she make a connection with her in-laws. And what has happened to James? Has he died or is he captured? And will Christmas bring a miracle of its own?

A warm story of the time period with a message of hope, this is a good historical story.

“The Christmas Blessing” is published by Revell. It is $16.99 and is 176 pages long.

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New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels brings a new holiday story with “Holly and Ivy.”

Ivy is facing another holiday season alone since her husband and children died eight years ago tragically.

Holly is an 11-year-old that wants nothing more than to perform in the upcoming Christmas musical. Her father won’t allow music in the house and won’t talk about Holly’s mother. As Ivy wants to help Holly, she becomes more involved with the family, and more willing to take a chance again just in time for the holidays. A warm story of two wounded spirits, this will give some holiday warmth the your reading.

“Holly and Ivy” is published by Kensington Books. It is $22.95.

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Looking for a gift idea for the Hamilton fan in your life? Check out the new board game, “Deal or Duel” from Clarkson Potter.

Players will take turns playing Face cards of historial figures that can challenge others to duels, or be sent to debtors prison for cash. A Hamilton card will also be played that can change up the rules at any time. Players can win by getting rid of their rivals or by amassing a certain amount of wealth.

This is a different look at history that will appeal to those of the time period. I found the rules at times a bit confusing and had to keep referring back but it could be one of those that become clearer the more you play. But the theme was definitely fun!

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com

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