Kissing Books

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Romances

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well.  I’m P.N. Hinton, your companion through the world of romance. Whether this is your first time or you’re a regular, I’m glad to have y’all here.

So, I saw West Side Story with my sister this last weekend and I enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong; the original will always have the top spot in my heart, but I can appreciate this version on its own. There were some changes done that I feel made sense for today’s audiences, even though the setting was still the late 50’s. I also really enjoyed that they didn’t change the songs musicality wise, apart from who sang them.

I also finished Kobo exclusive The Mistletoe Motive which I found delightfully sweet and would recommend. The app is free to download and if you’re going to download it to buy that you may as well purchase Wrapped Up in You, Talia Hibbert’s exclusive release from last year.

Romance Reflection

When perusing the internet to find a topic to talk about, I saw a tweet that caught my eye. And the reason it caught my eye is that it uses a term that I’ve always disliked: “clean romance.” 

The connotation there is that any romance with sex in it is dirty which by extension makes the act the same. As a woman who grew up during a time where the purity culture was intense, girls were inundated with messages about all the various things that made them “dirty;” such as sweating and menstruation. Both of which are biological. Personally, whenever I’m describing these types of books, the term I use is “off the page.” To me it’s more open-ended to the reader’s interpretation of what the couple does in the privacy of their alone time. 

There would be a lot less blowback and/or division in the romance community if we stopped using “clean” to describe romances with no sex in it. The decision on whether or not to have sex is always based on the person. If you want to have all the sex, have it (just be safe and smart). If you don’t want to have sex at all, do you boo because it’s your body, your choice. But please enough with the labels one way or another for books and people.

Book Riot Romance

Be sure to listen to the latest episode of When in Romance to hear Jess and Trisha discuss Sweet Disorder as well as look back on 2021 romance and forward to what will come in 2022.

Last Friday was Retellings Day over on Book Riot, and there were a couple of articles focused on romance. Check out Trisha’s piece on why inclusive and diverse retellings and, by extension, happy endings are fantastic. 

And then Isabelle’s reasoning on why retellings of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella will never not be a thing.

Around the Web in Romance

Harlequin has their top five reasons to make it a point to read romance around the holiday season.

If you watched The Hating Game this last weekend and can’t get enough of that banter filled with tension, some of these read-alikes may peak your interest.


It’s time for my Christmas romance recommendations! I’ve been using these romances to help me not be a Grinch during the month because the holidays are rough for me, like they are with others. This has been especially true the last couple of years and honestly that is even before Covid was a thing. Reading these books always helps to keep my heart from shrinking to be three sizes too small though so I keep at it. Because if it ain’t broke…

And with that onto my recommendations for Christmas romances!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Cover of Merry Inkmas

Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert

Cash is determined to not give in to his attraction to barista Bailey, knowing that with his troubled upbringing he may not be the best partner out there. Bailey is equally as determined to not fall into the trap of love like her mother did and refuses to sacrifice any aspect of herself for a relationship. But when Cash rescues her in a time of need and lets her glimpse his heart of gold, she starts rethinking what has been her approach to love.

Cover of Being Merry

Being Merry by Meka James

A Christmas miracle saves Noelle from being homeless for the holidays. However, the roommate in her temporary housing situation, Lennox, appears to be the grumpiest of holiday grumps. Noelle doesn’t let that deter her holiday joy though and works to win her over.  Lennox is cursing her sister and the guilt trip that caused her to accept Noelle as a roommate especially since she is not one for the holidays. However, as the women live together they begin to grow closer and realize that maybe first impressions aren’t always the right one.

Cover of The Christmas Lights Battle

The Christmas Lights Battle by Skylar M. Cates

Single dad Julian no longer looks at Christmas as the feel-good holiday. Newly divorced thanks to a cheating ex-husband, and dealing with a new neighbor with loud dogs makes him want to hunker down for the holiday until his son tells him about a light contest with a cash prize that would prove helpful. Neighbor Leo is looking at spending Christmas alone since his family has yet to accept him and is focusing on developing his boot camp beach program. A cash prize would be nice so he decided to enter as well and the two men have yet another reason to bicker. As they do though the animosity between them builds to something that neither expected…love.

And that’s all for this week. I’ll be back next Monday with the latest round up in romance news and tidbits. If you’re not following me already I can be found on Twitter under @Pscirbe801. Have a wonderful weekend!