Review: Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts
Christmas Gifts by Mary Balogh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet Christmas Stories

This book contains three short stories that were previously published in Signet Regency Christmas anthologies in the 1990s.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER — Edwin Gwent, Viscount Radbrook has a five year old daughter who hasn’t spoken in the two years since her mother’s death. What she wants most for Christmas is a new mother. She has picked out Emma Milford. A potential romance between Edwin and Emma is complicated because they have a history together — 9 years ago she rejected Edwin’s suit. I liked this short story. The best ones of these are where there is a pre-existing relationship because of the short time period involved. I loved how these two adults interacted with Edwin’s daughter and the little girl is incredibly cute. Even though the story was short, I thought the relationship between Edwin and Emma was sweet. Rating: 4 stars.

PORCELAIN MADONNA — Cynical Darcy Austin, Earl of Kevern is walking down Bond street when he spies a woman looking in a window. When he sees that she is about to be robbed by a young boy, he comes to her aid. Julie Bevan insists that the potential thief be forgiven. Darcy finds himself drawn into the lives of Julie and the young boy despite this determination. The story itself was sweet and the characters were interesting, but the short time period in which these characters know one another made the quick romance a little difficult to accept. Rating: 3 stars.

THE SURPRISE PARTY — Ursula, Lady Carlyle is a widow who is notified that her brother has died and left three children orphaned. She comes to claim them and encounters Timothy, Viscount Morsey who is the brother of the children’s mother. As the two attempt to bring some spirit of Christmas to these children, they unwillingly draw closer. This is complicated by the fact that years ago Ursula and Timothy had been betrothed to one another. This story worked for me because of the existing relationship between these two. I did feel that this would have been a better story if it were longer. I did like the relationship between the characters and the children. I think the highlights of this story are the strong integration of the Christmas theme and the cute children. Rating: 3.5 stars.

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