Today is my turn on the Clued In Christmas blog tour, brought to you by Hear Our Voices and I am excited to suggest great readalikes after you read the latest in the Love & Games series by Mia Heintzelman!
It might be October, but it is never too early to begin your holiday reading, and Clued in Christmas is a great and spicy romance. Secrets, first love, second chances…and board games? What could be more exciting for a holiday romance?
After reading Clued In Christmas, you are probably looking for more reads that will pique your interest. Well, you are in luck. I’ve come up with eight readalikes that will hopefully match your interest. Some include a love/hate relationship, some include mysteries (a little bit less tame than the whodunit in Clued In Christmas), and of course, you can forget the board games. Hopefully, reading the synopsis of the following book recs will make you want to go and get a copy of Heintzelman’s book today!
Board to Death by CJ Connor
The first in an ulta-charming new “quozy” mystery series starring Ben Rosencrantz, a queer 30-something English professor (and closet scifi fan) who’s returned to his hometown of Salt Lake City to run his family’s board game shop in the trendy Sugar House neighborhood – a community hotspot for players of all ages…and for killer collectors! Back in his hometown of Sugar House running his family’s board game shop and café, Ben Rosencrantz just can’t seem to get his life to pass go, much less collect $200. Once he was a happily married English professor in Seattle. Now he’s a divorced caregiver, looking after his ill father and a Chihuahua named Beans while still figuring out the rules of retail management. At least the town has become more LGBTQ+ friendly than when Ben was a teenager-and that flower shop owner, Ezra McCaslin, enjoys flirting with him. But despite his usual clientele of gamers, Ben is barely earning enough to keep the store running and stay on top of his father’s medical bills. Then a local toy and game collector named Clive offers him a winning strategy-to purchase a turn-of-the-twentieth-century edition of The Landlord’s Game, the realty and taxation game that inspired Monopoly, at a tenth of the rare edition’s true value. Suspicious of Clive’s shady, low-priced deal, Ben turns the offer down. Then Clive turns up dead at the front door of Ben’s and a backpack full of $100 bills appears on his doorstep. Now Ben is the #1 suspect in Clive’s death, and unless he and Ezra can prove his innocence and find the real killer, he’ll go to jail for murder-and no amount of double dice rolls will set him free . . .(Credit: Kensington Cozies)
Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello
City girl Tia Solanke is dreading the festive period. She’s on a break with her boyfriend and the last thing she wants to do is spend Christmas away from London. Arriving at Saiyan Hedge Farm, Tia takes an instant disliking to it. She falls in horse manure, is chased by sheep and the Wi-Fi sucks. How is she meant to stalk her ex now and concoct a foolproof plan to win him back?
Country boy Quincy Parker and his family run the farm, and this year they’ve been selected to host the biggest event in the town’s calendar – the Winter Ball. Preparations are underway, and Quincy is working around the clock to make it a success. The only problem is, he’s told everyone he has a date to the ball, when in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.
At first, Tia and Quincy don’t see eye to eye, until they realise they both have something to gain by pretending to be a couple. But when a snowstorm threatens to cancel the Winter Ball, their fake relationship is put to the test. Will Tia and Quincy be able to keep up the pretence and save the day, or will real feelings get in the way? (Credit: Simon & Schuster)
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption–yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)
These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.
Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship? (Credit: Joy Revolution)
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
noun: a substance that speeds up a reaction without itself changing
When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It seems that even though Najwa is trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.
But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.
As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself. (Credit: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Lotería by Cynthia Pelayo
The Mexican board game of Lotería is a game of chance–similar to bingo. However, in Lotería instead of matching up numbers on a game board, players match up images.
There are 54 cards in the Lotería game, and for this short story collection you will find one unique story per card based on a Latin American myth, folklore, superstition, or belief–with a slant towards the paranormal and horrific. In this deck of cards you will find murderers, ghosts, goblins and ghouls. This collection features creatures and monsters, vampires, werewolves and more.
Many of these legends existed long before their European counterparts–passed throughout the Americas via word of mouth, collected just like the tales the Brothers Grimm. These are indeed fairy tales–Latin American fairy tales–but with a horrifying slant. (Credit: Agora Books)
Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery by Olivia Matthews
Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.
On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later–murdered–Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent–under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family–what could go wrong? (Credit: St. Martin’s Press)
Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall
When up-and-coming true crime podcaster Liza and her corporate financier wife Hanna head to a luxurious hotel in the Scottish Highlands, they’re hoping for a chance to rekindle their marriage – not to find themselves trapped in the middle of an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery with no way home. But who better to take on the case than someone whose entire profession relies on an obsession with all things mysterious and macabre? Though some of her fellow guests may consider her an interfering new media hack, Liza knows a thing or two about crime and – despite Hanna’s preference for waiting out the chaos behind a locked door – might be the only one capable of discovering the killer. As the bodies rack up and the stakes rise, can they save their marriage — and their lives?
Under Lock & Skeleton Key: A Secret Staircase Mystery by Gigi Pandian
An impossible crime. A family legacy. The intrigue of hidden rooms and secret staircases.
After a disastrous accident derails Tempest Raj’s career, and life, she heads back to her childhood home in California to comfort herself with her grandfather’s Indian home-cooked meals. Though she resists, every day brings her closer to the inevitable: working for her father’s company. Secret Staircase Construction specializes in bringing the magic of childhood to all by transforming clients’ homes with sliding bookcases, intricate locks, backyard treehouses, and hidden reading nooks.
When Tempest visits her dad’s latest renovation project, her former stage double is discovered dead inside a wall that’s supposedly been sealed for more than a century. Fearing she was the intended victim, it’s up to Tempest to solve this seemingly impossible crime. But as she delves further into the mystery, Tempest can’t help but wonder if the Raj family curse that’s plagued her family for generations–something she used to swear didn’t exist–has finally come for her.
About The Featured Book
Nadia Sikes usually loves the holidays-cozy game nights, snowy mountain girls’ trips, hours decking the halls at Love & Games. But when her two best friends and co-owners find love, all she wants is to tuck away her heart and make it through the season. Quietly handsome bookstore owner and single dad Micah Hamilton is determined to a) build lasting Christmas memories with his little girl and b) avoid Nadia. When his daughter asks to attend the holiday festivities at Love & Games, though, Micah is forced to introduce the woman who broke his heart, to his child she never knew existed. The scene would drive anyone to plot their romantic reunion…and someone does. Between turkey dinners, tree decorating, and mistletoe kisses, mysterious notes begin showing up at the game store. As Nadia strings together clues, motives, and suspects for this twisty whodunit, she and Micah are blindsided by the return of their desire. Is it a mistake to lose themselves in each other again? Or will a Christmas miracle bring them back to where they belong?