Delightful anthology from Mary Balogh. 4 of the stories have been previously published in various other Christmas anthologies, 1 story is new. A pleasant revisiting of some of my favorites from her as well as an added bonus of a new story. Quick, well written stories for Mary Balogh fans out there.
I've read tons of seasonal offerings similiar to this one, so I was not expecting the quality that I found in this book. Five vignettes, all revolving around Christmas; some warmed the cockles of my heart, some had me in tears, but they all somehow found the true meaning of Christmas. I would like to keep this book, and read it every Christmastime, but in the spirit of the season, I will post it so that I can share it with others. Enjoy.
Under the mistletoe is a compilation of five short Christmas love stories, all by Mary Balogh. As is usual with Mary Balogh's writing, each of the stories is very very good. However, being used to reading her full-length books, I find each of these stories a bit too harried for my taste. The heros and heroines almost always go from mere attraction to declaring love and marriage over a page or two, very unconvincing compared to other Mary Balogh's stories. But the premise for each story is good and quite believeable, and the spirit of Christmas is always the one constant factor that brings these poor souls together, so I guess that's the point.
I liked the holiday stories, they were just the right length to give you a little holiday boost. They would all make a great book on their own. I would reccommend this even during the off season. Fun stories that have you wanting more.
I usually love Mary Balogh's books, but after the first story, I gave up on this one. The premise of the story and the characters have lots of promise, but I found the story repetitive and the ending too predictable. I'll go back to her full-length books.
A Family Christmas, brings together a couple estranged since just after their arranged marriage the year before, and gives them the perfect chance to start over.
The Star of Bethlehem features one betrothal ring lost but three that are mysteriously found as a broken marriage is abundantly mended.
The Best Gift is the tale of a teacher who has never known family, love, or Christmas-then finds all three when asked to chaperon one of her pupils over the holiday.
In Playing House, a lonely aristocrat and his daughter are drawn to an impoverished young woman and her siblings, who are celebrating their last Christmas together with brave gaiety.
An assortment of unhappy travelers stranded by bad weather at an inn on Christmas Eve encounter love after a young couple arrives to find that there is No Room at the Inn just as their child is about to be born.