Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 113: Reading Christmas Romance Novels



Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @


For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.


This Week's Question

If you celebrate Christmas, do you
feel the need to stop reading
anything but Christmas-themed
romances as the holiday
season starts?

(Submitted  by Maria @ 



My Answer

Oh, ABSOLUTELY!! Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I LOVE everything about the season! I usually have my decorations up on Black Friday. I am, in fact, a Christmas addict! If you visit my blog during late November and all of December every year, you'll see just how true this is, lol. I actually feel depressed once the season is over.....

Christmas is the season of love and giving, so of course romance would be related to it! Therefore, at this time of year, I do indeed feel the need to drop all other genres, and only read Christmas romance novels. Although "A Christmas Carol" is my favorite Christmas-themed read, I also especially enjoy reading Regency romance novels during this time of the year. These are novels set in the period of British history in which Jane Austen wrote her own novels, so these modern novels are, of course, influenced to some extent by Austen's work. I have found this historical period fascinating since I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was in high school.

In the Regency novel genre, the absolute QUEEN, in my honest opinion, is Mary Balogh. I have never come away from a Balogh novel feeling either bored or unsatisfied. And I mean NEVER. This writer truly excels at creating memorable characters, and her plots are delightful! She incorporates humor into her novels, too, much the same way Austen did.

Balogh has some really wonderful Christmas romances, whether novels or shorter fiction. Whichever one I read, I KNOW I will definitely get some very warm fuzzies!

In recent years, I have started reading contemporary Christmas romance novels, as well. The first author that comes to mind here is Melody Carlson. In 2013, I read her omnibus collection, The Treasure of Christmas, which includes 3 novellas: The Christmas Bus, The Gift of Christmas Present, and Angels In The Snow. These were all WONDERFUL!  

Another of my favorite contemporary romance authors who writes GREAT Christmas romance is Sarah Morgan! Last year, I read Miracle On 5th Avenue, and this year, Sleigh Bells in the Snow. I really enjoyed them both, and want to read more of her books, including those that have nothing to do with Christmas!

Then there's Scarlett Bailey's Just For Christmas. Not only do I LOVE this book's cover, but the story inside is set in Cornwall (England), and is chock-full of the perfect Christmas spirit!

I've even read some paranormal Christmas romances, mostly those featuring vampires. Of course, these vamps are not  Dracula clones. Oh, no! These are ROMANTIC vamps. They don't go around killing people. They either visit blood banks, or drink synthetic blood. I'm thinking here of the novels of Kerrelyn Sparks and Lynsay Sands. Both of these authors actually inject humor into their novels. If this seems odd, you just have to pick up one of their books and see for yourself!

I have read All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire, by Sparks, and want to read The Bite Before Christmas, by Sands. (I have read a few of her non-Christmas romances, and laughed a LOT at the antics of her famous Argeneau clan.) The Sparks book was VERY funny indeed, and I'm sure the Sands one will be, too!

As you can see, reading Christmas romance novels is one of my treasured holiday traditions, right along with all of the typical ones!

Here's a list of some of my favorites. I have reviewed several of these. Just click on each book cover for either my review or the Goodreads page.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/969590.A_Christmas_Bride


https://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/book-review-under-mistletoe-by-mary.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8472364-the-treasure-of-christmas?ac=1&from_search=true

(For my individual reviews of each novella, check out my Book Reviews page.)
 
https://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/2017/01/book-review-miracle-on-5th-avenue-by.html
 

https://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/search/label/Christmas%20romance?updated-max=2017-01-26T01:30:00-05:00&max-results=20&start=8&by-date=false


https://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-review-all-i-want-for-christmas-is.html


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6652840-holiday-with-a-vampire-iii





What are your thoughts on
this topic?
If you're participating in this hop,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!!  
 






16 comments:

  1. Hey Maria.

    Most of these books are not my cup of tea, but your post is interesting as usual. I would think that Christmas vampire mix would have to be to involve humor to work. I can see how such a book could be very funny while still offering elements that appeal to both fans of Christmas themed books and Romance themed books.

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Brian!

      Yeah, I know! Lol. Thanks for the compliment, as well as for commenting even though these are not the types of books you would enjoy reading. :) :)

      It's interesting that, even though I call myself a feminist, I still feel the need to read romance novels. Not all women enjoy reading such novels, as I have seen from other answers in today's hop. For me, romance novels fulfill a deep emotional need. Those women who do read them will understand. Just reading about a man looking at a woman in that special way, and kissing her tenderly....it just hits all the right buttons, lol.

      This is a very clear gender difference. Men are not into reading about such things. However, there's one male romance novel author that I know of: Nicholas Sparks. He's very popular, too. I don't know why, though, as his novels all have sad endings, as far as I know. So I don't read his books. After I found out how "The Notebook" ended, I said to myself, "Forget about it!" Lol. I NEED to have my happy endings!! :) :)

      As for vampire romance novels, they sure sound paradoxical. Yet, the figure of the vampire has "evolved" into something totally different from the Dracula type. Nowadays, vampires are indeed romantic characters in these books. And then you throw Christmas into the mix, to make it even more unusual....lol. I also love the use of humor in such books. Actually, most of the Christmas romance novels I've read so far have included quite a bit of humor in them. Sands and Sparks have actually made me laugh out loud! Even Balogh has made me smile. And heck, joy is one of the characteristic feelings of the Christmas season!

      I used to read a LOT of SF and fantasy before I fell in love for the first time. Then, BOOM!! All of a sudden, I did a 360, and started consuming romance novels like some sort of "head snack". :)

      I really do need to get back to reading more of the books I used to read before I got addicted to romance novels. But, of course, I won't stop reading these novels entirely. And I will ALWAYS want to read these books exclusively during the Christmas season! As I said in the post, I do need my "warm fuzzies" at this time of year! Lol.

      Thanks again for commenting! Hope you have a great weekend, too!! <3 :)

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    2. Love your reply...always thoughtful and interesting, Maria.

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    3. I think that your idea of Feminism makes sense. Some schools of feminism argue that there is no difference between men and women. But it seems that most folks, whether they call themselves feminists or not recognize that there are differences between large groups of men and women. In mu opinion it is important that we treat everyone equally. I also think that it is important to keep in my the differences are in averages, Individuals are unique. As you point outThere are some men who like and write romance novels, there are women who do not like them. Have a great weekend!

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    4. Hi, again, Brian!

      I'm glad you agree! Thank you! I think it's totally absurd to say that there are no differences between men and women. Ironically, I used to think that way myself -- but that was back when I was a ten-year-old tomboy! Lol. As I got older, of course I saw that this just is not so. However, it's also very true, as you say, that every individual is unique. Some people do deviate from "the norm" for their gender, and this should be respected.

      You know, I remember an "interesting" incident from two years ago. It was during the time that my husband and I were looking for a condo. Our realtor and her husband were driviing us to different buildings in the Miami area so we could check out the apartments in each. Well, one day that we were in their car, on the way to a building, we started chatting. Books came up in the conversation, because the realtor's husband is a reader. At one point, I happened to mention that I LOVE science fiction, and the man's reaction really surprised me! He actually exclaimed, and I quote: "But you're a woman!" I was shocked. His wife said nothing, but she did glare at him, as if to say, "Sweetie, don't antagonize our clients!" I should have replied, "Yeah, and SO WHAT?" But I felt somewhat embarrassed, and even a bit cowed. So I quickly said that I also enjoyed reading romance novels. What a COWARD I was!! I should have told him that WOMEN write science fiction, for Pete's sake! But I didn't want to start an argument. My husband and I were sitting in the back seat. I guess I didn't want my husband to feel that he would then have to stand up for me, and the two men would start arguing. Things could easily have escalated from there. So I think that was the underlying reason I didn't react more assertively. And isn't this what we women are EXPECTED to do by society -- diffuse potential conflicts, especially between two men?

      Anyway....after I gave my reply, the guy dropped the subject, and no more was said about it. But I was VERY surprised by this man's reaction, to say the least. I mean, WHAT century is this guy living in?! I guess I'm being naive in thinking that misogynistic attitudes are dying out. Clearly, they aren't. On the other hand, I think guys who are millenials ae not as likely to be misogynists. This man I've just told you about was in his late fifties. But then, YOU are 50, and you don't think like this jerk. (I wonder if his wife gave him an earful when they got back home that day. I sure HOPE she did!!)

      Having said all of the above, I must admit to some prejudice myself.... I can't help but feel surprised when I find out that a woman is not interested in romance novels. So I have to get over that! But I think this is because society BRAINWASHES kids from the time they're born. Gender stereotypes are drilled into them.

      Anyway, thanks for commenting again!! Hope you have a great Sunday!! <3 :)

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    5. Thanks for the compliment, Elizabeth!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

      Delete
  2. Another great question and marvelous answer, Maria, even though I don't read holiday-themed books. :)

    The covers you chose are FABULOUS and GORGEOUS. THE TREASURE OF CHRISTMAS is my favorite cover.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Thanks for the compliment!! :) :)

      As you know from reading this post, I am a HUGE Christmas addict!!! LOL. So I feel this NEED to read Christmas romances (and sometimes other Christmas-themed books) as the season gets under way.

      I'm glad you loved the covers!! YAAAAAAY!!! And I agree with you -- my favorite cover is also the one for "The Treasure of Christmas"!!

      You're very welcome for the sharing!! Thanks for the lovely comment!! HUGS!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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    2. Oh yes...I can tell you are a Christmas addict. :)

      Have a fun day and week.

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    3. You, too!! Thanks for all the fun comments!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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  3. Great set of books here! I need to check these out!


    Here’s my Book Blogger Hop!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Ronyell!

      Glad you like them!! Yes, be sure to check them out! They're all GREAT reads!! (I don't know if you like paranormal romance novels, though.)

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)

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  4. Looks like a great list for anyone hoping to find some good holiday reads this year. Have a wonderful week. - Katie

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Katie!

      Oh, sorry for the late reply! I had not seen this comment! :(

      I'm happy to see that you like my list!! Of course, this is only a wishlist, lol. I know I won't be getting ALL of these books this year. Lol. But a girl can dream, right? Lol.

      Hope you're having a GREAT Saturday!! Thanks for commenting back!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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  5. Great picks! I'm going to have check some of these out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Chrissy!

      Sorry for the late reply.... I had not seen this comment... :(

      I'm glad you like my list! Do check these books out, I'm sure you'll enjoy at least some of them if you get to read them!

      Thanks for commenting back!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

      Delete

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