Holiday Book Battle – 2023

You may have noticed that my December Book Battle didn’t include all the books I reviewed this month. That’s because I thought my holiday reads deserved their own bracket! Let’s see which of the six holiday reads topped the list this year!

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Holiday Lift by Corinne Michaels - vs - Dear Santa by Kristen Granata

Our first round sees Holiday Lift by Corinne Michaels up against Dear Santa by Kristen Granata. Both were super short and super cute romances that were published back in 2020. We’ve got ‘enemy’ coworkers vying to win a campaign, though they end up inadvertently winning each other, versus faking dating forced proximity. While I love a good enemies to lovers, there wasn’t enough in A Holiday Lift to elevate it past three stars, where Dear Santa had sweetness and spice, giving it a solid four when I first read it.

Victory goes to Dear Santa by Kristen Granata!

Same Time Next Year by Tessa Bailey - vs - Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey

Oh no this is a hard one! Same Time Next Year by Tessa Bailey was SO SPICY and I absolutely fell in love with Sumner. It had fake marriage and hockey romance with a great sunshine boy. There were some great quotes and I highlighted so much of this book. I originally rated this at 4 stars.

Meanwhile, Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey was so fluffy and sweet! I actually was able to recommend this book to a coworker who was thinking of getting into romance. There’s no spice, but it is refreshing in how funny and ‘grown-up’ it is. I originally gave Faking Christmas 3.5 stars.

Honestly, these two were likely my favorite holiday romances and to have one go out so early just feels bad. Faking Christmas was DEFINITELY much more holiday themed, but Same Time Next Year just did it for me. On vibes alone, Same Time Next Year moves on!

Tis the Season for Revenge by Morgan Elizabeth - vs - Good Elf Gone Wrong by Alina Jacobs

A fun surprise versus a surprise disappointment for this battle! Tis The Season for Revenge by Morgan Elizabeth was such a fun read! There was spice and romance. The main male character was fantastic and I loved that he wasn’t the typical alphahole that is going to misunderstand and not listen. The pairing talk things out and it is so great!

Good Elf Gone Wrong by Alina Jacobs was such a confusing hot mess. I was so excited to read this and was so disappointed. It did still end up getting 2.5 stars, but it felt like two books in one and I really didn’t like what is started out as but enjoyed what it ended as.

This is a much easier pairing. The win goes to Tis The Season for Revenge!


Dear Santa - vs - Same Time Next Year - vs - Tis the Season for Revenge

With an odd number for the finals, we’ll have all three go head to head! We’ve got fake dating in Dear Santa, fake marriage in Same Time Next Year, and revenge dating in Tis the Season for Revenge.

Despite being the longest of the three, Tis the Season for Revenge comes in third place. For being as long as it was, it definitely helped the romance and character building, but the spice felt lacking, as did the holiday aspect of the romance. It was good and fun, but not great.

Second place goes to Dear Santa! Yes, it was a short read. Yes, it was unrealistic. BUT, it’s a holiday romance! I’m not expecting pultizer prize caliber storytelling! This was sweet, had fun characters, had character growth, good and fun spice, and had these characters that barely met each other actually say hey, I know these were some crazy circumstances wee were in, let’s take a step back and actually TRY dating. That was so refreshing!

And so, of course, we have Same Time Next Year by Tessa Bailey as my TOP Holiday Romance this year! The spice was off the charts! The devotion and love Sumner had for Britta and the respect to let her be ready for him, for his feelings. I want to read this as a full novel. I want to read more about this hockey team. This was just so great, that it didn’t matter to me that the holidays weren’t heavily featured.