5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Yes Virginia, Thanksgiving is Still a Real Holiday Complete With Romance

Hi everyone! 

I am Young Adult, and now Middle Grade author Barbara Binns, writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for adolescents and teens. My tagline syas it all, I write Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them.  My debut middle grade novel, Courage, was recently published by Harper Collins. More about friendship than romance, it's still a great read for this, or any season. Check my books out at

After I saw my first Christmas commercial on TV in September, and trees and lights in stores right next to the Halloween decorations, I wasn’t sure the turkey day still existed. (Blink and Thanksgiving is over, especially with the holiday coming so early this year. It's barely a week away)

In the interests of total honesty, Thanksgiving is not the greatest time of the year for the Binns family. My sister's well-loved son died over Thanksgiving more than a decade ago, from a major asthma attack. For years she could not even spend that holiday in the country, she had to be somewhere else to make it through. Even now she still keeps herself isolated. Fortunately she still has her daughter, and two grandchildren. One is a junior and track phenom at Clarke University in Indiana. (You rock, Mikayla!)

That's why I chose to go seek out romances set during Thanksgiving.  I know, Christmas romance is all the rage, but believe it or not, there actually are Thanksgiving-themed romances floating around. At least, a few. Here are some turkey-day stories you might have missed.

In A McClendon Thanksgiving, by Sean D. Young, Faith McClendon put her promising fashion career on hold to support her investment banker husband's climb to financial success. Once he achieved his goals, he dumped her for another woman. In A McClendon Thanksgiving Faith moves home to Chicago (my home town) to hit the “reset” button.

One bright spot is the renewal of her long-time friendship with her childhood best buddy, Michael Montgomery. Michael pretended to be Faith's husband to fend off unwanted attention, gave her a shoulder to cry on, and cheered the loudest when she left home for fashion school. She never knew that he actually loved her, and that time has not dimmed the feeling. Now he decides to break down the walls around Faith’s heart and convince her they can be much more than friends.

This is a story about putting past hurts aside in the hope of finding your HEA with the one you love. It’s about learning not to judge all men because of one bad one. This book demonstrates that there is love after heartbreak. And who doesn’t love a good friends-to-lovers romance?

I write stories aimed at younger readers, so I always love reading young adult and middle grade books with the right touch of romance. Ready or Not by Meg Cabot is both a sequel to her All American Girls, it’s a romantic escapade centered around Thanksgiving.
At Camp David.
With the president’s son.
Who wants to take their relationship “to the next level.”

Samantha Davies is dating the First Son. And now, not only does her art teacher think she’s ready to for life drawing, which means drawing naked people. And the First Son seems to agree. At least, he’s invited her to spend Thanksgiving with him at Camp David. She’s the only one who’s not so sure about any of this. It’s a teenaged romantic comedy set around this almost forgotten holiday, where Samantha and her boyfriend have some decisions to make. (And a little misunderstanding to clear up)

In His Road Home, a 2015 RITA winning novella by Anna Richland, Staff Sergeant Reynaldo Cruz invents a fiancée to avoid an Afghan warlord’s matchmaking. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it.

When Reynaldo loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral. He ends up in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where his so-called fiancée, marine biologist Grace Kim, is summoned to his hospital room. The lonely biologist who barely remembers him, has one question: why did you lie?

Cruz can’t explain. In addition to losing his legs, he has a traumatic brain injury causing aphasia, a language impairment affecting his ability to speak. But he can communicate via text. Touched by his funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Samantha, who generally prefers the company to killer whales to men offers him friendship.

She agrees to help drive his classic muscle car across-country at Thanksgiving. His hands-on method of teaching her to operate a manual transmission is the beginning of a spark. She introduces him to the steamy world of South Dakota ice-fishing shacks. This once-in-a-lifetime road trip leads to what feels like real love, and they both learn to look beyond labels into each other’s hearts. But Samantha is uncertain what will happen once Rey is ready to be on his own again.

If humor, youth, and duty are not what you want with your turkey, maybe you are looking for suspense. In that case let me recommend Thanksgiving Protector, a Harlequin love-inspired suspense novel from Sharon Dunn. Border patrol agent Kylie Perry finds herself responsible for the ten-month-old daughter of a murdered informant and the target of her mother's killer. Texas Ranger Austin Rivers, a true lone wolf, finds himself drawn to the new mother and her tiny charge. No, it's not his business, but he is totally man enough to step forward to protect both of them. His heart opens first to the little girl, then to the woman pledged to care for her. (And who doesn't love a man who adores babies?)

Thanksgiving is on the way, but so is peril. Fortunately, Kylie has her Thanksgiving Protector who is discovering he wants to be around both girls for more than just one holiday.
Now it's your turn. Don't let the turkey holiday be forgotten. Please let me know of any Thanksgiving themed romances you can share? Lets push back on the idea that this holiday no longer exists.


Judith Ashley said...

BA, Thanks for the list of wonderful and wonder-filled Thanksgiving themed romances. I'd be rereading several if not all of them if I had them. However, I've not been reading new-to-me books/authors recently so I've nothing to add to the list. Will be checking in to see what books other folks recommend.

Judith Ashley said...

Oh, and I totally get the whole "Where did Thanksgiving go?" question. So many special days are drowned in the promotion of a few...the ones where people spend the most money on diverse products/gifts/decorations.

Sarah Raplee said...

I love Thanksgiving Romanceszzzz1 It's my favorite American Holiday. Thank you for the recommendations, B.A.