Holiday romances always contain beloved elements like baking cookies and lighting the menorah. So get out your audiobook bingo card—you can find one from us at the end of this article!—and check off all the boxes with these new holiday romances. Or dive into the AudioFile review archive to revisit older favorites. Let talented narrators fill your heart with festive romance.
Stranded in a blizzard. Start your bingo card off right with THREE HOLIDAYS AND A WEDDING by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley, read by Ulka Simone Mohanty. A plane full of people are stranded in a Canadian village that celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan with equal fervor. Mohanty portrays new friends Anna Gibson and Maryam Azziz, as well as their family, friends, and love interests, with unique voices and a bustling cheerfulness.
Filming a holiday movie. From White Christmas to Elf to the Hallmark Channel, holiday movies are a thing, and a movie is at the center of A HOLLY JOLLY EVER AFTER by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone, read by Joy Nash and Chris Brinkley. Listeners will get the opposites-attract vibe with Nash portraying sweet, excited female lead Winnie and Brinkley narrating Kallum, a former boy-band member who plays a seductive Santa opposite Winnie. Enjoy the cozy feeling and lots of sparkling chemistry.
Running a Christmas tree lot. Narrator Kathleen McInerney reads BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CHRISTMAS by Mary Kay Andrews, in which Kerry and her brother Murphy sell their North Carolina Christmas trees in New York City. McInerney uses accents well, portrays characters of different ages, and embodies the holiday spirit of an entire city neighborhood in this twist on the rural tree lot motif.
Saving a small business from closing. This storyline always tugs at the heartstrings, and THE CHRISTMAS CAFÉ by Eliza Evans, read by Eileen Stevens, is no exception. Baker Sylvie West wants to save the Christmas Café and utilizes an actor from a holiday movie (!) filming in the area to help.
This same small-business theme is present in MIDNIGHT AT THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSHOP by Jenny Colgan and read by Eilidh Beaton, although Colgan’s story is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Listeners will love hearing Beaton describe the holiday festivities in this ancient city juxtaposed against Carmen’s modern problems as her beloved bookshop is targeted by a rich, obnoxious developer. You can also mark your bingo card for reuniting families as Carmen struggles to coexist with her wealthy sister and beloved nieces and nephews.
WITH LOVE, FROM COLD WORLD by Alicia Thompson uses this same trope but adds the rivals with the same goal bingo square for added spice. Narrator Lindsey Dorcus gets to juggle employees Lauren Fox and Asa Williamson as they present rival business plans to save their beloved Cold World theme park. Listen to hear how they make it snow in Florida — and stay to discover more about Asa's sweet found family of friends, and how Lauren finds a place in his world.
Planning a musical performance for Christmas Eve. Believe it or not, this is a fairly common holiday plot, although WRECK THE HALLS by Tessa Bailey has a fun new take on this tradition. Narrators Brooke Bloomingdale and James Gloucester tag-team Melody Gallard and Beat Dawkins’s attempts to get their feuding mothers to reunite their band, Steel Birds, just in time for the holidays. Humor and strong characterizations are the hallmarks of this festively hilarious audio.
Stressful family expectations. THE CHRISTMAS SWAP by Talia Samuels takes on the topic of family expectations with narration from Kim Bretton and Emma Fenney. Ben and Margot make one of those made-for-rom-com pacts in which they agree to fake date to avoid family judgment. Bretton and Fenney navigate the fun conceit, in which Margot falls for Ben’s sister Ellie during the holiday festivities. Both narrators maintain the dramatic irony as Margot struggles to maintain her fictional relationship while Ellie questions its veracity.
Holiday weddings. Listeners will be overjoyed to return to Beverly Jenkins’s small-town community Henry Adams in A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER, narrated by Kim Staunton. In this eleventh book in the Blessings series, Bernadine and Mal are finally getting married, and the festive ambiance comes alive with Staunton’s skillful use of character voices and engaging delivery of dialogue.
Reuniting Families. For a gorgeous slow-burn romance, LOVE, HOLLY by Emily Stone will bring the meaning of the holidays into sharp focus, thanks to superlative narration by Heather Long. A Christmas in Devon, England, begins with a café meet-cute for Holly and ends with a terrible accident. As the story spools out over months and years, listeners hear Holly’s regret and sadness as she moves forward, while little nudges bring her back to Devon to meet new people and find an even keel. For those who like their holiday romances with a splash of cosmic destiny and a tumbler of forgiveness, Long’s narration is a perfect complement to the season.
End the story with family festivities. Wherever you go this holiday season, these audiobooks will make your journeys feel shorter and infinitely more enjoyable. We hope these skilled narrators remind you of the joy—and humor—of spending time with family and friends.