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Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorite Christmas Read

Mary Balogh
Signet 2006
ISBN-10: 0451219791
ISBN-13: 978-0451219794
Historical Romance

When I think of favorite Christmas reads, I think of Mary Balogh.

She has had a long writing career beginning in the 1980s continuing through today where she has continually made the bestseller lists with her Regency historical novels. It’s the Christmas novels and novellas written for the now defunct Signet Regency line that make my favorite Christmas reads list. Balogh has a particular genius writing novellas—perfect little gems that sparkle with excellent writing, deep emotional intensity, the real meaning of Christmas, and sensuality. Gathered together in UNDER THE MISTLETOE are five of these wondrous gifts, four from the various Signet Regency Christmas anthologies, and one new story written for this volume. I dare any reader not to be touched, not to tear up and/or smile happily at each perfect story’s end. Historical romance fans won’t find any other book that will set the Christmas mood than this collection of Mary Balogh novellas:

In “A Family Christmas,” Elizabeth and Edwin have a second chance at happiness at making their arranged marriage of an aristocrat and a wealthy merchant a real marriage if only they seize the chance at the family Christmas celebration.”

When a costly much beloved-jewel, “The Star of Bethlehem,” disappears, it takes a child chimney sweep to bring love and joy to Lord and Lady Lisle’s marriage.

Teacher Jane Craggs receives “The Best Gift” when she is invited to spend Christmas with one of her students at Viscount Buckley’s estate—to have the Christmas of her dreams and to make this a special Christmas for him and his newly-arrived young daughter.

In “Playing House,” Lilias is about to become a governess having fallen on bad times and to be separated from her much younger brother and sister, but when she seeks out her former love the Marquess of Bedford and asks him to help her give them a Christmas to remember, the magic of the holiday works its magic on Bedford’s and his young daughter’s hearts.

There’s “No Room At The Inn” when several people are stranded at a less-than ideal place for the Christmas holiday. Mary Balogh shows how you can have a wonderful awe inspiring story without the usual Regency holiday trappings and create a most magical, wonder-filled story.

UNDER THE MISTLETOE is destined to become a holiday classic…it’s available as a mass-market paperback as well as Kindle download at amazon.com.

Reviewed by Deb Hosey

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