Xan West’s new book, Eight Kinky Nights is out on December 16 and I asked them to put together a list of their favorite holiday romances to share with the Smexy readers. Take it away Xan-
I love holiday romances, and read them all year long. As a reader, I particularly adore high heat holiday romance because it’s one of the few places where I can consistently find humor balanced with the heat. To help celebrate my first holiday romance release, which is an erotic romance, I put together this list of my top twenty sexy holiday romances, and included as many fall and winter holidays as I could.
Brother’s Best Friend
- Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz (contemporary m/f Halloween romance novel) Full of 80s references, this brother’s best friend romance balances heat, heart, and humor beautifully, and culminates in an 80s costume party queer wedding. The MCs have truly amazing chemistry, and I could not put this down.
- Stroke of Midnight by Andie J. Christopher (contemporary m/f New Years romance novel) I enjoyed this very hot brother’s best friend one night stand to fling to lovers romance. The characters are compelling and complex and have amazing chemistry. The light kink in this story is delicious, and I liked how the heroine was extremely competent.
- Mangoes and Mistletoe by Adriana Hererra (contemporary f/f Christmas romance novella) I really enjoyed this baking contest themed romance. The MCs had amazing chemistry and also rubbed each other the wrong way half the time, which made for great heat and also a really compelling story. (pubs 12/16)
- In Her Wildest Dreams by Farrah Rochon (contemporary m/f Valentine’s Day romance novella) I really enjoyed this friends to lovers romance. Sexy, fun, a little bit of angst, a whole lot of chocolate (hero runs a high end chocolate shop), and just the right amount of sweetness.
- Wrapped by Rebekah Weatherspoon (contemporary m/f Christmas romance novella) Baker heroine reconnects with sweet hero former coworker to try romance again after divorce. Glorious food details, so much Christmas as sentiment; full of heat, heart and humor.
Home for the Holidays
- Eight Naughty Nights by Eliza Madison and Liz Lincoln (contemporary m/f Chanukah erotic romance novel) Heroine comes home after her mothers death and proposes a Chanukah no-strings-attached affair to a longtime friend as a way to manage her grief. (She has no idea that he’s been in love with her for years.) Deliciously geeky m/f romance; includes Star Wars marathon.
- Kwanzaa Angel by Shirley Halstock (contemporary m/f Kwanzaa romance novella) Heartwarming tropey goodness with a big dash of heat, in a lovely m/f Kwanzaa romance, with childhood crush, second chance, return to hometown, & business rivalry tropes. Can she forgive him for breaking her heart on prom night?
- Page of Swords by Ainsley Booth and Sadie Haller (contemporary m/f Halloween romance novella) I enjoyed this kinky meet-cute neighbors to lovers Halloween romance. He’s an experienced dom who assumes she isn’t kinky when he meets her, she’s a novice sub who fantasizes about him spanking her from the start; they end up neighbors, with him the landlord, and as secretly mutually crushing friends, until they start planning a Halloween street festival together…
- Mistletoe Mistress by Nicola Davidson (historical Christmas m/f erotic romance novella) I adored this kinky historical romance with it’s no room at the inn so they must share trope and particularly for the wonderful fat representation.
- Lumber Jacked by Annabeth Albert (contemporary m/m Valentine’s Day romance novella) I really enjoyed this addition to the Rainbow Cove series, which is one of my faves by Albert. A lovely kinky romance, with bondage and light D/s and a really tender connection that warmed my heart.
- A Tale of Two Cities: A New Year’s Novella by Alexandra Warren (contemporary m/f New Years romance novella) I adored this meet-cute New Years romance! It cracked me up multiple times and delivered serious heat. This was my first read by this author and got me motivated to read her backlist.
- Trick or Treat by Sydney Blackburn (contemporary m/genderfluid Halloween erotic romance novelette) A genderfluid pansexual man answers the door for trick or treaters and meets a bi man who is taking his nephew around on Halloween. This leads to a one night stand, and the possibility for more.
- Dance All Night by Alexis Daria (contemporary m/f New Years romance novella) This delivers on tropetastic goodness in so many ways, and this story has deliciously high heat, wonderful pacing, complex nuanced characterization, MCs I fell hard for, and an approach to holiday romance that I really appreciated.
- A Werewolf’s Valentine by Zoe Chant (paranormal m/f Valentine’s Day romance novella) I loved this shifter romance with a great meet-cute, a heroine I adored, and a found family theme. It was full of heat and heart, and gave me so many feelings.
- The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish (paranormal m/m Chanukah romance novel) A beautiful rather angsty retelling of Practical Magic, with so much baking, a lovely Chanukah feast, a light touch of magic, and characters that stole my heart and gave me so many feels. The heat is a deliciously slow burn in this story. I especially appreciated the autistic artist MC, and the kink, and also the dogs. I highly recommend the audio.
- Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert (paranormal m/f Halloween romance novella) This is my most favorite of all the Halloween romances I’ve ever read. I adore the heroine so much, and found it hilarious, smoking hot, and full of heart. It disrupts shifter romance tropes in wonderful ways and is deeply about the importance of consent. I also just love how much the hero adores the heroine for being bloodthirsty and violent and strong.
- New Year, New We by Katrina Jackson (contemporary polyamorous New Years romantic suspense novella) We see Lane, Kierra and Monica doing their best spy work, this time posing as two queer couples with another agent, which becomes a foursome when the job is done! This is one of my most favorite polyamorous romances ever. It made my queer polyamorous heart sing!
- A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone (contemporary polyamorous Imbolc romance mystery novel) This is part mystery, part polyamorous romance, centering six childhood friends returning to the house where they spent time together as kids, and is centered around the complex, fraught, intense relationships they have and build as adults. It is a gorgeously written, deliciously kinky story culminating in an intense sex magick ritual for Imbolc, and it ends on a cliffhanger for both the mystery and the romantic relationships, though there is some resolution for each. I highly recommend the audio.
- On The Twelfth Night of Kinkmas by Tamsen Parker, in the Hot for the Holidays anthology (contemporary m/f Christmas romance novella) I adored this exboyfriend’s father snowed in at the kink club romance, it’s so hilariously Christmassy, complete with Santa/elf roleplay. I fell hard for both the MCs, and was really glad to read kink that had so much humor and heart.
- Hot Coded Xmas by Nana Malone (contemporary m/f Christmas romance novel) Second chance geeky snowed in m/f romance centering a heroine who is trying to save her gaming company and a hero who wants to buy it. Wonderful chemistry, so much heat and so much rivalry, and this lovely flashback to play 7 minutes in heaven in high school.
About the Book: Eight Kinky Nights by Xan West, publishes on 12/16, pre-order now.
Sometimes the perfect Chanukah gift can change everything.
Newly divorced stone butch Jordan moves into her friend Leah’s spare room, ready, at 49, to take on a new job and finally explore kink and polyamory. But moving to NYC during the holidays sends grief crashing through her, and Jordan realizes that when she isn’t solely focused on caring for others, her own feelings are unavoidable. Including her feelings for Leah.
51 year old queer femme Leah, an experienced submissive kink educator who owns a sex shop, has recently come to terms with being gray ace and is trying to rework her life and relationships to honor that.
Leah has a brainstorm to help them both: she offers Jordan eight kink lessons, one for each night of Chanukah, to help Jordan find her feet as a novice dominant, and to create a structured space where Leah can work on more deeply honoring her own consent, now that she knows she’s gray ace.
She’d planned to keep it casual, but instead the experience opens cracks in the armor Leah’s been using to keep people at a distance and keep herself safe. Now she needs to grapple with the trauma that’s been impacting her life for years.
Can these two autistic queers find ways to cope with the changes they are making in their lives and support each other, as they build something new they hadn’t thought was possible?
About the Author:
Xan West is the nom de plume of Corey Alexander, an autistic queer fat Jewish genderqueer writer with multiple disabilities who spends a lot of time on Twitter. Xan’s erotica has been published widely, including in the Best S/M Erotica series, the Best Gay Erotica series, and the Best Lesbian Erotica series.
Their story “Trying Submission,” won the 2018 National Leather Association John Preston Short Fiction Award. After over 15 years of writing and publishing queer kink erotica short stories, Xan has begun to also write longer form queer kink romance. They have two other queer kink romances currently available: Nine of Swords, Reversed and Their Troublesome Crush. Xan’s latest book, a polyamorous kinky f/f Chanukah romance, Eight Kinky Nights, comes out December 16, 2019.