Under the Mistletoe (A Family Christmas, The Star of Bethlehem, The Best Gift, Playing House, No Room at the Inn)

Under the Mistletoe (A Family Christmas, The Star of Bethlehem, The Best Gift, Playing House, No Room at the Inn)

by Mary Balogh

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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In this collection of five Christmas-themed stories, beloved author Mary Balogh brings together tales of love, marriage, friendship, loneliness, and healing. Includes four Balogh holiday classics, The Star of Bethlehem, The Best Gift, Playing House, and No Room At the Inn, as well as A Family Christmas, which is only available in this anthology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451223456
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/30/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 4.32(w) x 7.06(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mary Balogh grew up in Wales and now lives with her husband, Robert, in Saskatchewan, Canada. She has written more than one hundred historical novels and novellas, more than thirty of which have been New York Times bestsellers. They include the Bedwyn saga, the Simply quartet, the Huxtable quintet, the seven-part Survivors’ Club series, and the Westcott series.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise For Under the Mistletoe

“If you haven’t had the seasonal pleasure of Mary Balogh’s Christmas stories in past years, Under the Mistletoe will be a real treat for you. For those of us who have loved her stories for a long time, this anthology is a must buy.”—The Romance Reader

“Reading a Mary Balogh book, whether a novel or a collection of novellas, is always a great delight!...This collection of Christmas-themed novellas is definitely a keeper, and I can't recommend it highly enough! Each story is a beautifully faceted gem, one not to be missed, but instead savored….As I prepare to enter a New Year, I do so with the warmth of these beautiful tales stored in my memory.”—A Night’s Dream of Books

“Ms. Balogh has put together an enchanting book of lovely Christmas stories that will truly mesmerize readers. Each of the stories will touch the hearts of every reader and this reviewer definitely recommends having a box of tissues handy for the truly loving emotional tales.”—The Romance Readers Connection

“Charming….I enjoyed this fun holiday collection.”—Historical Romance Novel News

“These five Christmas tales are delightful historical romantic gifts.”—The Best Reviews

“[A] lovely early Christmas gift…five exquisitely crafted novellas.”—Booklist

Customer Reviews

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Under the Mistletoe 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿A Family Christmas¿. Lady Templar detests the fact that her son-in-law Edwin is coming home for Christmas though he owns the estate because she believes he is beneath her. Her daughter Elizabeth married Edwin as Templar needed money. Both actually wed due to the respect they have for his now deceased father, but neither know that what they feel for each other is love.

¿The Star of Bethlehem¿. Ellen tells her husband Allan that she lost the Star of Bethlehem diamond that he gave her. Angry he informs her she will go into exile. Though they love one another, this marriage looks dead even when three betrothal rings surface.

¿The Best Gift¿. Warren¿s sister dumps her teenage daughter on him. Needing a companion for his niece, he obtains the services of teacher Jane, who has no family. Jane and Warren fall in love during their family Christmas.

¿Playing House¿. Lilas asks Stephen for ¿payment¿ for the times her dad tutored him without remittance. She wants a last Christmas together for her younger siblings before they are scattered as orphans, but has no means of doing so. He agrees to host a grand holiday, but soon he and Lilas fall in love.

¿No Room at the Inn¿. The storm is so bad that everyone stops at the White Hart Inn seeking shelter even with Christmas coming. When Lisa goes into labor, Edward gives up his room for her and her spouse. Pamela sees Edward in a kind light and soon they fall in love.

These five Christmas tales are delightful historical romantic gifts of the magi that fans of the author, sub-genre, or the holiday cheer will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner

Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Mary Balogh is one of the premiere writers of traditional Regency romances. She has thrilled fans for years with her portrayal of the ton and all of it's antics. Under the Mistletoe is a reprint Christmas anthology that includes five Christmas novella's, some from Balogh's early career. Each story is well crafted and stands alone, but when they are put together they provide a wonderful gift of Christmas cheer. Balogh fans will enjoy the festive air of the stories and the underlying meanings. A great book to read during the holiday season. What I liked: Two of the stories in this anthology stood out as my favorites. Both are from Balogh early writings. "No Room at the Inn" is easily the best of the five and parallels the Biblical story of Jesus' birth. I liked the fact that Balogh uses the Biblical account to base her story on, but doesn't go overboard in making the references too obvious. I was both appalled at some of the guests and their entitled attitudes and moved by the sacrifice of others. A great Christmas story. "Playing House" was also one of my favorites in the anthology. I liked the stark differences in class between the main characters and how poverty did not diminish the Christmas spirit evidenced here. The orphaned siblings are going to get one more Christmas together in this tale and it's a very endearing story of love and hope. "The Star of Bethlehem" may not have been a favorite of mine, but it was still good. I thought the marriage between the two main characters was really in trouble, but when the ring shows up and there are some other things revealed about it's disappearance there is a glimmer of what might be. The Christmas spirit always seems to triumph this time of year. What I didn't like: "The Best Gift" and "A Family Christmas" just did not ring true for me. Both stories did not live up to the Mary Balogh stories I am used to reading. Balogh stays true to the customs and patterns of the ton throughout, but there just seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the characters. The situations seem contrived and the pacing was too fast, which sometimes happens in novellas which are shorter and less detailed. Bottom Line: I liked several of the stories and a couple were just not my cup of tea. I enjoy Christmas romances very much and was looking forward to this one since Mary Balogh is one of the best in Regency romance. Overall it is a good book of Christmas tales, though maybe not a great one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of Mary Balogh's book but this one was simply enchanting to read during the holiday season. She does such a god job of getting the reader into the character's mind and making us see how similarly our thoughts can be. Love, love, love her stories as she always puts in a little twist and some humor too. Avid fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Balogh and she does not disappoint with these short stories. I liked that a few of the stories were about repairing or saving marriages that had been neglected or dying deaths of miscommunication. And then there were stories of new love. A couple of situations actually had me in tears. Very good holiday escape novel that you can read separately or all together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of a good Christmas Holiday Regency Romance, this is one to treasure. Mary Balogh is one of the true masters of the 'traditional' Regency Romance. She makes this period of history come alive with her characters so true to life that the reader feels they are there in England with 'The Ton' and all of the beauty and pagentry of the time. The new story 'A Family Christmas' just happens to be the best of them all, although the reprints of Ms. Balogh's Regency Christmas classics are a real treat. These stories will make you a believer in true love and the miracles of Christmas. A definite keeper and one that will warm your heart. So curl up with an afghan, a good cup of hot chocolate, tea, or holiday cider around the lights of the Christmas tree, and bring Regency Christmas into your heart and home. Don't miss reading this holiday romance this season!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Christmas is just for children, God's children, that is. In these five, four classic and one new, stories, Mary Balough reminds her readers that the true gift of Christmas is love. A shaky marriage is almost broken by a loss, then mended by the same thing. Lonely hearts are pried open to let love in, families are patched together, and children tie lost souls together. ................... ** These stories are quickly read, and lightweight, but with a sweet profoundness. You can read them all at once or just have one at a time for a mental snack. Fans will enjoy them.**
abrbookbag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable regency set, Christmas-themed short stories.
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Compilation of 5 Historical Romance stories, all with the magic of Christmas. * A Family Christmas: It was an arranged marriage, he agreed to it to make his father happy, she agreed to help her parents pay off the bills. Edwin and Elizabeth Chambers hosted the family Christmas, the holiday spirit might be enough to unite this couple that never really came together before. * Star of Bethlehem: A ring that holds the heart of Allan and Estelle, the Earl and Countess of Lisle, but they didn¿t realize it until a dirty little chimney sweeps climber, Nicky, found the broken ring an took it. Would the return of the ring be enough to bring the estranged couple together, with the help of the holiday spirit. * The Best Gift: Getting stuck with his niece for the holiday, Warren Nash, Viscount of Buckley, needed help and Jane Craggs, the teacher, would be just the type. Arriving at his home with the girl and her teacher in tow and finding one more left on his doorstep had the Lord of the manor at a loss as to how to deal with the holiday. ¿Did one ever pass the age of dreams?¿ * Playing House: Past hurts effect Stephen West, the Marques of Bedford, when a childhood friend, Lilas Angove, asks for a favor for her family. Granting her request and then his own daughters requests, continues to bring both families together to make a special holiday for all. * No Room at the Inn: Stranded by a rainstorm at an uncomfortable Inn, many people come together, some will become friends, some will be more. All will be able to see the true meaning of Christmas for the first time in many years, if they ever really understood it at all.Short stories make characters harder to form, but in this group, Mary Balogh has created many characters that have great qualities. As usual with short stories, I wish it had lasted longer, some of the stories moved too quickly, but these stories were a nice change of pace and a good read.
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm kind of bummed writing this second review after having lost my first, along with my power for the last 2 days, to our most recent ice storm. However, I was not bummed out by reading this anthology :-)In this anthology of five short stories by Mary Balough we are treated to recurring themes of discovering love in places you never expected (like with your current spouse), the meaning of the nativity story and the delights of standing under mistletoe. Somehow despite the redundancy of some plot elements each story manages to be touching and romantic in its own original way. My favorite tale was "The Best Gift" where a school teacher who has never experienced Christmas is taken in by a Lord to chaperone his teenage niece and, much to his surprise, also became caretaker to his young daughter. This story was both heart wrenching and sweet. I didn't even mind that it made me cry a little. Even if I hadn't enjoyed the other stories (which I did) this one would have made the entire book worthwhile.The last story "No Room At the Inn" was probably my least favorite being a little heavy handed with the religious overtone and parallels. Although I liked it the least, it was still an interesting read in that it brought together many different people who had to all learn to interact and work together towards a common goal.Altogether a very seasonal and Christmacy romance anthology that I enjoyed very much. I'll certainly keep an eye out for more historical romances by this author in the future.
Anniik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a charming collection of short stories. My favorite two were "A Family Christmas" and "Playing House." While these are quite good stories, I must say that I prefer her longer novels, where she takes the time to truly go in depth with the relationship between the characters and make their love real to the reader. I think Mary Balogh's true strength lies in doing that, and I think it's obvious in these short stories. While they're enjoyable and worth reading, certainly, the love sometimes seems to pop out of nowhere because it seems she just doesn't have time to develop it properly in sixty pages. Still, I enjoyed this fun holiday collection.
theniceone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not big on short stories, but this is a wonderful collection of Christmas-themed historical romances by Mary Balogh. Very well done.
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