Columns > Published on November 25th, 2015

6 Festive Thanksgiving Romances

November is well known to be a month for family gatherings and counting your blessings, but did you know it's also the perfect month for falling in love? There’s just something about the cooler temperatures and feelings of camaraderie and well-being that somehow light the fire for romance. Authors from Rachel Harris to Janet Evanovich are celebrating the Fall season and all of the charm that goes with it, with Thanksgiving-themed romances that are sure to warm your heart and set the mood for the coming  holiday season. 

1. 'Thanksgiving' by Janet Evanovich

Megan is a potter and part-time historical greeter who has run away to Williamsburg, Virginia to escape a string of bad relationships culminating with being left at the altar. She wants nothing to do with men as she enjoys the picturesque town and its holiday charms. But one day Megan discovers a floppy-eared rabbit gnawing on the hem of her skirt, and is determined to give the owner a piece of her mind. But the rabbit’s owner, Dr. Patrick Hunter is just too darned cute to stay mad at for long. When Megan and Patrick find themselves in the care of not only that curious little rabbit, but a baby as well, the sparks fly. As much as they try to deny their attraction, they soon find themselves falling in love over Thanksgiving.

This book is the quintessential holiday romance! It excels at depicting a beautiful, storybook setting perfect for falling in love, and introduces readers to two absolutely adorable main characters. This book reads like a Hallmark television movie come to life and is all sorts of cute. It’s sort of a screwball comedy, with plenty of mishaps and a comedy of errors that keeps these to characters from finding the true love that they are inevitably after. It is fun, lighthearted, and squeaky clean in content. Romance readers looking for an escape from the heavier aspects of life will devour this little book.

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2. 'Early Bird Special' by Tracy Krimmer

Francie prides herself on being able to handle the rigors of her job as a top party planner, but when it comes to love, she’s lost. She just wants to forget about men and enjoy her family’s Black Friday tradition of standing in line and waiting for the shops to open. When a somewhat obnoxious, all-too-friendly man named Shane approaches Francie in line at the Thanksgiving sale, she is quick to push him away, just like she usually does. But despite Francie’s reservations, Shane is actually quite sweet. Will Francie be able to put her fears aside, or will she be destined to plan every wedding except her own?

This little novella is really more of a short story, clocking in at a scant 35 pages, but it is a sweet story with an adorable meet-cute that is sure to get readers in the holiday spirit. With a wonderful holiday setting, it evokes the madness of Black Friday and the emotions that tend to run high during family gatherings. Plus, it’s short enough to read while you’re stirring the gravy, so get your romance on and meet Shane and Francie this Thanksgiving.

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3. 'His Road Home' by Anna Richland

When Staff Sergeant Rey Cruz invents a fiancée while overseas, it is only to avoid the matchmaking offer from an Afghan warlord. As he picks out a photo from a hometown girl he once knew, he never imagines that he’ll meet her. But when he finds himself flat on his back in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he is all of a sudden face to face with Grace Kim, who just wants to know why he lied. But Rey can’t explain because his traumatic brain injury has manifested as aphasia, leaving him with few words. Despite her reservations, Grace offers companionship that begins as innocent texting for communication and grows into a fierce love cultivated over a Thanksgiving road trip.

This book does so much in such a limited space, with no wasted words or emotions. It’s a risky undertaking, with a hero who has little to no verbal ability for the majority of the novel, yet the author manages to convey incredible amounts of emotion through nonverbal cues. The novella has a wonderful holiday feel, with a Thanksgiving road trip that turns these almost strangers into lovers. Readers will swoon over the sweet romance and cheer for Rey as he fights to come back from tragedy.

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4. 'Once Upon a Thanksgiving' by Holly Jacobs

Samantha Williams has her hands full. After her husband left their family, she is raising four kids and one demanding cat all by herself. As if all of that wasn’t enough, she misses one little PTA meeting and all of a sudden she’s been volunteered to oversee the Thanksgiving pageant at her kid’s school. With all of this on her plate, falling into another relationship is the last thing on Samantha’s mind. But then she is reunited with sexy, single Harry Remington, who just happens to be acting as the interim principal at her kid’s school. Samantha welcomes Harry into her life and makes him realize how much he misses being part of a family. But how can he leave at the end of his term when Samantha and the kids are giving him the best reason to stay?

This is a super sweet, squeaky-clean romance that is sure to get readers in the mood for celebrating Thanksgiving, with all of the wonderful food and activities that surround the day. The characters are well rounded and completely realistic, coping with the real life dramas that befall families in a modern day era. Set around the holidays, with emphasis on Thanksgiving, readers will enjoy celebrating the holidays with this warm love story.

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5. 'Seven Day Fiancé' by Rachel Harris

Angelle Prejean has gotten herself into the ultimate pickle. She’s told her family back home that she’s engaged to a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but tattooed, muscled hottie Cane has no idea that Angelle has told her mother they’re getting hitched. When Angelle ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she thinks she knows exactly how to solve her fake fiancé problem. When she propositions no-relationships Cane, he agrees to play along, but doesn’t expect to fall for the feisty woman. Can Angelle and Cane make it through their seven-day shenanigans without losing their hearts?

This book is all sorts of sweet, with an absolutely irresistible sense of setting and two main characters that just leap right off the page and into reader’s hearts. Going home to meet the family with a fake fiancé in tow is difficult enough, but add in the drama and high expectations of Thanksgiving, and things are bound to get good. If you’re looking for a sweet romance that will warm your heart and get you in the holiday spirit, you’ll love this novel.

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6. 'Thanksgiving in Connecticut' by May McGoldrick

Paige Coleman has tried to stay away from her beloved seaside Connecticut village after being completely mortified by a YouTube video gone viral showing her in the nude at the top of a whaling ship at Mystic Seaport. But after four years away, Paige must face the town when her quirky, eighty-six year old grandmother throws the ultimate in Thanksgiving weekends to celebrate her recent marriage to a much younger man, Ed Fenwick. Paige’s longtime crush is none other than Stanley Fenwick, grandson of the groom, and Paige must not only retain her sanity, but also protect her heart. With her grandmother pushing Paige to rekindle her relationship with Stanley and a dinnertime humiliation, Paige learns to realize that sacrificing a little dignity is worth coming home to the family she missed so much.

This is a cute novella with a wonderful family dynamic that is sure to please romance fans. The characters are true to life, with a grandmother who absolutely steals the show in each scene she’s in. Anyone who has come home for the holidays after a long time away will identify with Paige as she faces the town she’s run away from. Readers will love the small town feel of this seaside village, with all of the quirky characters that inhabit it, and the epic Thanksgiving dinner is not to be missed.

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Each of these novels features a family and lovers celebrating the coming holiday season with a little romance. They are sure to have you craving turkey and pie, as you get ready to celebrate your own holiday season. What are your favorite Thanksgiving romances?

About the author

Riki has a long-standing love affair with all things books and writing. She indulged her love for all things literary with a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University and is currently studying at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Although she is well past her own teen years, Riki’s reading passion lies with Young Adult literature where she devours books that handle the “firsts” in life. When not reading and writing she can be found yelling at the television while watching sports.

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