Festive, feel-good reads from short stories to novellas to novels. Here's the list:
A festive, coming-of-age tale about an Oxbridge candidate and a young homeless man who find themselves in the bittersweet predicament of falling in love with exactly the right person at exactly the wrong time.
Well-to-do Jed never imagined he’d end up homeless, but family circumstances have made it his only option. Local vicar, Ben, tries to help him but there’s an element of self-punishment to the homelessness that makes Jed continue to put up with his situation – until disaster leads him to re-consider the vicar’s offer of a place to stay.
Hattie is on the cusp of adulthood, frantically trying to persuade her mum that she doesn’t want to attend an elite university, preferring the idea of pursuing her love of art and textiles. When she meets Jed, she badly wants to understand his circumstances and why, when she has everything at her fingertips, he doesn’t.
Hattie’s mum, Christine, has had a hard life and is desperate for more for her only child. When she meets Ben, the vicar who’s trying to help Jed, she finds an unlikely ally, and the two heartbroken souls find themselves drawn to each other. Until they find their relationship suddenly tested to the limit.
One thing’s for certain: none of these characters is looking forward to Christmas. It’s the worst time of year for each of them, for different reasons. But perhaps this year, the festive season could defy all expectations.
As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives over Christmas is the most life-changing of all.
Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan Jones finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?
The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.
"A heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking story of family, friends and the festive season. A wonderful Christmas read." Victoria Connelly, bestselling author of The Rose Girls.
Happy-go-lucky journalist Summer has always managed to focus on the silver lining. But nothing in her life has prepared her for her husband Seth’s recent revelation: he wants a six-month break from their marriage.
Determined to stay positive, Summer decamps to Jersey to spend six months by the sea, where every passing week makes Seth more of a distant memory. Then she meets sweet, charming Jude, whose life seems to be on permanent hold even before he receives devastating news of his own. To both of them, their chance encounter feels like fate, and with Summer’s encouragement Jude embarks on a bucket list of experiences that seem to bond them for life.
When they’re together, the world is alive with possibilities, but as Christmas approaches, their time is running out in more ways than one. Will they return to the lives they left behind – or take a chance on an unknown future?
Christmas by the Lighthouse was nominated for the Romantic Novel Awards in 2020.
Since the tragic loss of her parents, Enid has lived alone in a coastal cottage in Jersey. But this year someone new has come into her life: Fred, who truly gets her, and who knows how to make her happy. The only problem is that Enid has Asperger’s and doesn’t like to leave her comfort zone—and Fred lives in Australia.
Like Enid, Fred has survived heartbreak and is searching for a way to start again. Could a stranger on the other side of the world really bring new meaning to his life, or is he just setting himself up for another fall?
When Fred invites Enid to Australia for Christmas, her vivacious sister Bess begs her to take a risk for the first time ever. But Enid’s whole life is structured around familiarity. As the festive season approaches, she has a decision to make: play it safe, or embark on a momentous journey into the unknown?
Christmas is approaching on the island of Jersey, but Libby is feeling far from festive. Her police work and duties as vicar’s wife weigh heavily on her, she’s anxious about her troubled children, and now her best friend, Stella, has suddenly turned against her, citing a mysterious family grudge.
Libby is devastated by Stella’s unexpected coldness. But then her father shows her a diary written by her great-aunt Queenie, which sheds light on a long-hidden secret—one rooted in love, loyalty and betrayal. Writing during the Nazi occupation of Jersey in the winter of 1941, Queenie reveals a community torn apart by illicit romance, heartbreak and revenge—and by dark acts of fear and desperation.
The more Libby immerses herself in Queenie’s journal, the more she understands why its secrets still haunt her family and Stella’s. Christmas is a time of forgiveness, but is the treachery of their shared past too shameful to be forgotten?
Christmas on the Coast became a No. 1 bestseller on the UK Kindle charts in December 2018.
Serena Meadows and her twin sister, Luna, are identical in appearance—but the similarity ends there. Luna always had a mean streak and, as a teenager, her selfishness culminated in an almighty betrayal from which Serena thought she’d never recover.
Years later the twins are reunited by tragedy and Luna is a changed woman. The arrogance and spite of her youth are gone and, at a time when Serena really needs support, Luna sets aside her own life to come to the rescue. But her generosity is not what it seems and before long she does something so devastating that her past conduct pales into insignificance.
Distraught once more, Serena and her vicar boyfriend, Will, move to a country parish for a fresh start, but Luna casts a long shadow over their dream of a happy family life. Serena wants nothing to do with her sister, but while Luna has the upper hand, it’s impossible for her to move on.
These twins, torn apart by bad blood, discover that you can’t choose your relatives—and sometimes you can’t escape them either.
It’s been fifteen years since Rosamunde last lived at the vicarage in Potter’s Cove, the pretty coastal village where she grew up, experienced her first true love—and a heartbreak that changed her life forever. But now Potter’s Cove is calling her back: it’s time to make peace with the past and go home.
Rosamunde’s return to the vicarage in the days before Christmas is a whirlwind of festive cheer and heartwarming reunions with friends, family and her loving father, the vicar. And while seeing the old place after all this time stirs painful memories of long-ago grief, it also reminds her of all the love she left behind. Fifteen years ago she vowed never to let herself be vulnerable again—but now that she’s back she’s not so sure. Is it possible that real happiness could strike more than once?
Spanning three decades of family life,Christmas at the Vicarageis a warm, feel-good tale that examines what it means to love and to lose—and to be brave enough to try again.
"Really enjoyable - and very readable." Robin Pilcher, bestselling author of The Long Way Home.
Christmas at the Vicarage became a No. 1 bestseller on the UK Kindle charts in November 2016.