Always, in December
by Emily Stone
On the way to post her annual letter to her deceased parents, Josie bumps into Max, who will change the course of the next year of her life.
As far as romances go, this one is much more my speed than others I’ve tried in the past, but don’t go into it expecting anything overly sweet or a happily ever after ending. With a prevailing theme of grief at the heart of the story and a relationship hindered by personal troubles and doubt, this is a far cry from the standard fluffy holiday romance. Although I would argue that the ending offers some bittersweet comfort and hope to our main character, I wouldn’t recommend going into this expecting anything too sunny.
Although this clearly won’t be the romance for everyone, I liked that the main characters were flawed in real ways and doing their best to figure things out. There is a lack of communication at points due to reasonable misunderstandings and internalized problems, but I liked that Josie and Max were doing their best with what they were given rather than falling head over heels the moment they meet and acting like they knew everything about one another right off the bat. They take a while to work things out as life continues to bring them together.
If you prefer your contemporaries more somber like I do, this may be the romance for you.