If you’ve followed me for a while, you’re well aware of my love for the two fireplaces I have in my house, especially the kitchen one. I love a crackling fire when cooking, while eating breakfast, or after a long day at the office. I enjoy sitting by the fire with a cup of tea in the morning, or relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening.
And I absolutely adore reading by the fire. I prefer short stories (don’t I always) by a trusted author that I know I’m gonna love. Or re-reading an old favorite. Best of all is reading the old-fashioned way; a physical book instead of my phone.
Here are five books I’ve read and/or re-read by the fire lately. They are all fabulous and I give them my warmest recommendations. (Buy links are below the quotes).
February Sugar – because K.L. Noone is as good for the soul as a crackling fire
Finn tasted like sugar, like chocolate and sweetness, like everything Wes wanted, forever.February Sugar by K.L. Noone
Wes wants to give his boyfriend a perfect Valentine’s Day. And that’s a lot to live up to, since Finn’s a movie star. Even worse, it’s all going wrong. Wes has a prestigious conference on Valentine’s weekend. The rain won’t let up. And Finn’s legs hurt in cold damp weather. Wes is afraid he’s ruined Valentine’s Day, but Finn has a plan to make it perfect after all.
Budding Hopes – a gentle giant and a grieving doctor in the 1950s 😍
He extended his leg at the same time, their knees barely touching. Later, he could blame it on the wine or the food, but right now it was more important to be exactly where he was.Budding Hopes by Vivien Dean
For eight months, Dr. Mark Vance has been visiting Sheehan’s Nursery to buy flowers for his mother’s grave, and every week, Hal Sheehan slips an extra lily into the bunch. Mark would love nothing more than to get to know the gentle giant better, but in 1954 Baltimore, a man just doesn’t ask another man out. At least, unless Valentine’s Day intervenes.
As the Crows Fly – because nothing goes with a fire like Britishness and tea
“Help yourself,” he said, putting his tea on the red-tiled hearth. “I’ll light the fire, hang on.”As the Crows Fly by A.L. Lester
Paul Webster has come out the army with a trick hip and no idea what to do with his life. He takes a few weeks walking along the Welsh coast to get his head on straight. Kevin Davies is getting lonelier and lonelier in his cottage on the edge of the sea, kept company by his cats and a friendly flock of crows. What happens when the two men hunker down together to wait out a wild March gale?
When Skies Are Gray – because age-gap, stubbornness and drama-queenery
The first touch had lit a fire inside him hot enough to burn his sense away. The first time they’d kissed, Madoc had known what it was like to be whole.When Skies Are Gray by Ofelia Gränd
Levi Campbell made a huge mistake. He asked too much of his boyfriend, and when Madoc told him no, he rushed off and enlisted in the army. The army! Madoc Griffiths did the right thing when he let Levi go, he knows he did, but if it was the right thing, then why can’t he move on? When he hears Levi will be in Northfield on a two-week leave, he can think of nothing except seeing him again.
Pretend You Are for Five More Minutes – because I don’t even like the fake boyfriend trope, but I loved this book
“My fiancé?” Not that the idea didn’t make Henry warm and fuzzy all over. It did. Henry just didn’t know how this was going to work. Did Luke expect to pretend to be engaged all night long? And then keep the charade going even after tonight?Pretend You Are for Five More Minutes by K.S. Murphy
Henry Kato needs a date for his office party and asks his best friend, Luke, who he just happens to be in love with, to be his plus one. What Henry doesn’t expect is for Luke to blurt out to one of Henry’s annoying co-workers that they’re engaged. Do they have what it takes to convince everyone that they’re engaged or will they burn up in smoke before the night even gets started?