This winter I’ve become fascinated by the Danish concept of hygge, or coziness. Growing up in Maine, curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book was how I kept my sanity with three feet of snow on the ground. It turns out the Danish had a very similar idea. Even though I’m spending the winter in Florida this year, I still love books that inspire a feeling of coziness. Here are four novels that have made me feel cozy and warm inside even if it was miserable outside.
1) Lily by R.M. Walker
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Reverse Harem, Teen
Page Count: 173
Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When Lily and her mother move to a small Cornish village she never expected it to be any different from their previous moves.
But truths she’d lied her whole life believing will be shattered. Myths will become reality and lies will be exposed. Lily is not alone though. Nate, Matt and identical twins, Josh and Jake aren’t quite what they seem and will change Lily’s entire life.
Whether she wants them to or not.
This is my most recent obsession on this list. I’ve read this story about three times now and it got me through the stress from last semester. Because it’s the first in the series the romance is far from developed but it’s still a cozy read anyway. The way the boys protect Lily and take care of her is sweet without being smothering and the dynamic between them was enough to make me smile and giggle in the middle of the student center. Even when it was raining outside, this book made me feel warm and safe.
2) The Bride by Julie Garwood
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Page Count: 352 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.26 out of 5 stars
By the king’s edict, Alec Kincaid, mightiest of the Scottish lairds, must take an English bride. And Jamie, the youngest daughter of Baron Jamison, is his choice. From his first glimpse of the proud and beautiful English lady, Alec felt a burning hunger stir within him. This was a woman worthy of his fearless warrior’s spirit. And he aches to touch her, tame her, possess her…forever.
But with the wedding vows, Jamie pledges her own secret oath: She will never surrender her love to this Highland barbarian. He was everything her heart warned her against — an arrogant, brooding scoundrel whose rough good looks and seductive embrace fire her blood. But when strange accidents begin to threaten Jamie’s life and an old rumor that Alec killed his first wife spreads anew, something far more dangerous than desire threatens to conquer her senses.
The Bride wasn’t one of my first romances, but it was one of the first where the conflict between the two main characters was actually rational. The scenes between Alec and Jamie were cozy and sweet, especially as they made their way to Alec’s home. The bickering between Alec and Jamie is also hilarious if you need a good laugh this winter.
3) New Free Chocolate Sex by Keith Lowe
Page Count: 336 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.15 out of 5 stars
Matt, the brilliant young marketing director of the confectionery Trundel & Barr, loves chocolate. To him it represents sensuousness and innocent joy; it is to be adored, worshipped — and exploited — at every opportunity. For Samantha, however, chocolate represents something more sinister: While researching for a television documentary she learns that there is a darker side to Trundel & Barr, in the horrendous conditions of its African cocoa plantations. So Sam sets out to expose Matt — until she finds herself locked up with him in his own chocolate factory. Stuck together, they are at risk of having a complete meltdown. But if Sam and Matt can find a way to confront their differences and learn to accept each other’s passion for chocolate, their bitter situation stands a chance of turning out sweet….
This book doesn’t get cozy until they get trapped in the chocolate factory. Until then it’s an eye-opening look at the chocolate industry with some sexual tension simmering between Matt and Sam. However, the two of them camping out in a chocolate factory is very cozy, and (pardon the pun) very sweet.
4) His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls
Page Count: 299 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.44 out of 5 stars
When Earl Max meets Verity he sees a downtrodden servant and he proposes a shocking solution — he will set her up as his mistress. It’s only once Verity’s agreed, once Max is beginning to lose his heart to her, that he discovers her true identity!
This was one of the first romance novels I had ever read, so it’s near and dear to me. I remember reading it under the covers after my sister had fallen asleep, hypnotized by Max and Verity as he tries to convince her to come away with him. Maybe it was because I was so young when I read this story for the first time or because Max was so gentle and sweet to Verity after she had been abused by her relatives, but I’ll always love this story.