Published by self-published on Oct. 27, 2015
Genres: Christmas, Historical Romance
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
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 Historical Romance Reading Challenge
- Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon 2014