The best Christmas romances set at country houses

Who am I?

Historical romance author Emmanuelle lives on the bonny banks of Loch Fyne with her husband and beloved haggis pudding Archie McFloof—connoisseur of bacon treats and squeaky toys.
While waiting on her own country house party invitation [sending a wink to Inveraray Castle—which is just down the road, and boasts a duke!] she makes do by serving up imaginary shenanigans.  

I wrote...

The Lady's Guide to Mistletoe and Mayhem

By Emmanuelle de Maupassant,

Book cover of The Lady's Guide to Mistletoe and Mayhem

What is my book about?

Escaping her dastardly guardian until her inheritance unlocks on her twenty-fifth birthday, Ursula takes on the identity of an etiquette teacher and heads to a Scottish castle at Christmastime. She doesn’t expect her 'young charge' to be horse-riding, cow-lassoing, Stetson-wearing Rye—the long-lost heir to Castle Dunrannoch. Rye has five potential brides to choose from but, with a murderer on the loose, an ancient curse to navigate, and a wild Christmas shindig to end all shindigs, will he ever make it down the aisle?

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of 'Twas the Night Before Scandal

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Why did I love this book?

This story really had me chuckling, as the hero goes to great lengths to set up the perfect proposal, only to lose the irreplaceable family engagement ring! Cue a wild goose chase of tracking it down without letting on. Meanwhile, his beloved and her bestie become convinced he's up to no good, so are sneaking about behind every hedge and door to keep an eye on him. A feel-good ‘friends to lovers’ story to get you in a festive mood. 

By Merry Farmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 'Twas the Night Before Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All she wants for Christmas is him.

Lady Beatrice Lichfield has been madly in love with Lord Harrison Manfred, Marquess of Landsbury, for years, and she thought he returned her affection. So why hasn’t he proposed yet? With Christmas only days away, and with the encouragement of her mischievous friends, she’s ready to move from friends to lovers where Harrison is concerned.

Harrison is head over heels in love with Bea and has every intention of surprising her with the most perfect Christmas Eve proposal ever. Until he loses the family heirloom ring he means to propose with. He sets…

Book cover of Six Geese a Laying

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Why did I love this book?

One of a series of twelve novellas taking up the themes of the traditional Yuletide song, this one has a ‘snowed in’ scenario at a fancy-schmancy manor house and a mysterious newcomer among the guests. All is not as it seems, as the handsome stranger has a hidden agenda. Is his interest in our heroine all playacting, to uncover the information he seeks, or is his fascination something more…? Brimming with heartwarming Christmassy elements, this romance has strong ‘opposites attract’ and ‘enemies to lovers’ vibes. 

By Emily E K Murdoch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Geese a Laying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It’s 1817, with geese flocking just before Christmas—but Maria’s all alone…

Maria Fitzroy wants to do just two things this Christmas: avoid all questions about her matrimonial prospects, and see more of this strange Mr. Walter who appeared at Chalcroft asking strange questions.

He’s new to the village, mysterious and handsome, and has a strange fascination with Maria. Which absolutely should not get her heart racing. But an instinct that pulls her to him just as the geese are drawn across the sky keeps pulling Maria into Walter’s path, and before she knows it, scandalous kisses and games she should…

Book cover of The Marquess is Mine

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Why did I love this book?

I have a super soft spot for ‘second chance’ romances. Here, our heroine’s long-broken heart skips several beats on being confronted by the dashingly handsome culprit at a Christmas Ball. Having forsaken the only woman he has ever loved, our hero has just one chance to make amends. How will he regain her trust, persuading her that he’ll never again let her down? You’ll be rooting for them both to find the happiness they deserve. 

By Tamara Gill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Marquess is Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She’ll never let anyone break her heart. Not again, anyway…

Lady Sarah Farley has learned many of life’s lessons the hard way. She now knows the ton will viciously turn on anyone, anytime. And love? That only brings devastation. But when a particularly handsome ghost from her past re-emerges, she can’t help but wonder if life is about to teach her poor wounded heart yet another painful, unwanted lesson.

Lord Giles Longe, Marques Gordan, never wanted to hurt Sarah. But he couldn’t have married her back then. His father wouldn’t have allowed it. Everything is different now, though. He will…

Book cover of A Match Made at Christmas

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Why did I love this book?

I adore a ‘fake engagement’ plotline, and this one is so much fun. Our hero and heroine are trapped at a house party over Christmas, where the same old gossip and cringingly awful parlor games must be endured. Simultaneously enraged by the blatant matchmaking efforts of their relentless mothers, Ivy and Everett decide to teach them a lesson by pretending to have fallen madly in love. Of course, it’s the perfect set up for them to realize what’s staring them right in the face: that they are simply perfect for one another. 

By Ellie St. Clair,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Match Made at Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When two matchmaking mothers and the most spirited of dogs bring them together at a Christmas party, can a disowned son of an earl and an enterprising woman really avoid the love they’ve been running from?

Ivy Northrup craves adventure, excitement, views beyond Cambridgeshire. Which is why she has, politely, turned down every suitor her mother has brought before her. When her family accepts an invitation to the annual Christmas house party at the Earl of Walsingham’s, Ivy sees no cause for celebration, as it is the same people, the same games, the same gossip.

Except, this time, she is…

Book cover of A Holiday By Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Why did I love this book?

In this ‘last chance for love’ romance, our gently bred heroine allows herself to be courted by a London merchant for the sake of her family’s dwindling coffers. The courtship of convenience isn’t going well, however, as the darkly handsome hero keeps his emotions so much under wraps that Sophie despairs of him ever declaring himself. Will an invitation to their Christmas family gathering inspire the necessary proposal? Sophie is almost ready to throw in the towel, but her heart whispers that her suitor may not be as reluctant as he first appears. 

By Mimi Matthews,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Holiday By Gaslight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Readers will easily fall for Sophie and Ned in their gaslit surroundings." -Library Journal, starred review

A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He's grim and silent. A man of little emotion--or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she's ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn't as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And…

You might also like...

The Romantics

By Isabel Jolie,

Book cover of The Romantics

Isabel Jolie Author Of Cloak of Red

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Nature lover Rower Reader Ad guru Dreamer

Isabel's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Some endings deserve a second chance.

In The Romantics, Dr. Harrison Ramsey's meticulously planned life collides with the ex he swore to forget. A prosperous plastic surgeon, Harrison is a member of an elite, exclusive Houston club, while Zuri faces professional ruin after a messy breakup. When circumstances force them back into each other's lives, old emotions resurface, and they find themselves retracing past steps in the plastic surgery practice where they both work. The two explore the complexities of letting go and evaluating life’s choices and expectations.

The Romantics is a grumpy billionaire, sizzling second chance romance between two doctors who once upon a time loved each other. Some things belong in the past, but maybe not everything.

The Romantics

By Isabel Jolie,

What is this book about?

Some endings deserve a second chance.

Dr. Harrison Ramsey has it all.

A flourishing plastic surgery practice, close friends, and a coveted membership to one of Houston's most elite and secretive clubs.

His life has followed the plan.

Dr. Zuri Lennox's life is a literal dumpster fire.

Thanks to a cheating ex whose Ferrari ran into her baseball bat, she's unemployed, at risk of losing her medical license, and maxed out on medical school loans and legal fees.

Nothing in her life has gone as planned.

When she left a decade ago, he had one request. A simple thing. For…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in English country house, Christmas, and Turkey?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about English country house, Christmas, and Turkey.

English Country House Explore 29 books about English country house
Christmas Explore 233 books about Christmas
Turkey Explore 90 books about Turkey