Christmas Gifts (Mary Balogh)

December 17, 2015 Book Reviews 8 ★★★★

Christmas Gifts (Mary Balogh)Christmas Gifts by Mary Balogh
Published by self-published on Oct. 27, 2015
Genres: Christmas, Historical Romance
Pages: 168
Format: eBook
Source: purchased
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Proposal, The Arrangement, The Escape, Only Enchanting, The Heart of Christmas, Christmas Miracles, Only a Promise, Someone To Love, Someone to Hold

CHRISTMAS GIFTS brings together three previously published and long out-of-print novellas, each on the theme of Christmas gifts that will last forever because the gift, in essence, is love.

In "The Best Christmas Ever" a boisterous house party is in progress and all the children when asked are eager to tell what they want for Christmas. But one man feels sad, for his young child has not spoken since her mother died and he does not know if the gifts he has bought her will be what she really wants. Unknown to him, her one fervent wish is for a new mother for Christmas, and when she sees one of the guests she knows who that will be. But the lady concerned has an unhappy history with the child's father.

In "The Porcelain Madonna" a gentleman becomes involved with helping an impoverished lady, who thinks of everyone's happiness but her own. However, he has seen her gaze with longing at a porcelain Madonna well beyond her means displayed in a shop window.

In "The Surprise Party" a man and woman who are antagonistic to each other find themselves landed with the care over Christmas of children who are related to each of them. They quarrel over which of them should undertake the task. It is not a happy situation until the children teach them the true meaning of Christmas, and of love, and they discover that they can do it together.

Christmas Gifts gathers together three heartwarming Regency Christmas tales from the incomparable Mary Balogh. All three were new to me, though they’ve been printed in other anthologies. “The Best Christmas Ever” and “The Surprise Party” are both second-chance love stories in which a child or children brings an estranged couple back together, but they are nothing alike beyond that broad theme. The first focuses on a mute child who desperately wants a new mama, while the second involves three recently-orphaned children, their maternal uncle, and their paternal aunt — who have a shared history. “The Porcelain Madonna” was equally delightful as a gentleman who hates Christmas rediscovers his softer side thanks to an impoverished lady and a street urchin. All three tales are brimming with Christmas spirit, though I think the first and third stories are the strongest.

 

CHALLENGES: HoHoHo Readathon

 

four-stars

About Mary Balogh

Mary Jenkins was born on 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, she moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.

Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling Slightly sextet, Simply quartet, and Huxtables series. She has won numerous awards, including a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

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8 Responses to “Christmas Gifts (Mary Balogh)”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      She’s one of my absolute favorites as well… but I don’t think these stories revisit any of the characters from Balogh’s other books.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      It’s a nice collection, and she’s one of my favorite historical romance authors — though on the whole, I prefer her full-length books. Try A Summer to Remember or the Slightly series.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I really binged on Christmas romances this year! I didn’t get a chance to review all of them, but that’s OK; some were older titles. 🙂