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In a pair of classic Regency-era Christmas romance novels from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh, the holidays herald the greatest gift of all: unexpected, all-consuming love. A CHRISTMAS BRIDE The very wealthy Edgar Downes has promised his aging father to finally take a bride—specifically, to wed a titled lady by Christmas. London is full of pretty, proper, and eligible misses, but it’s the widow Helena, Lady Stapleton, in a shocking red dress, who captures Edgar’s attention. Helena is intrigued by the seductive stranger—but he’s simply not in her class. Marriage, of course, would never do. But in a season of miracles, something wondrous is about to happen.
CHRISTMAS BEAU Not even the warm, forgiving Christmas spirit can stop the Marquess of Denbigh from settling his score with Judith Easton: The beautiful young widow injured Denbigh’s pride years ago by jilting him for another man. Now that Judith is free from a nightmare marriage, the handsome marquess has her in his sights—and wants her in his arms. But to trust the tender words on his lips, Judith must not only see past the hardness of his heart, but learn once again to trust her own heart’s desire.read more
Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including the acclaimed Slightly and Simply novels, the Mistress trilogy, and the five titles in her Huxtable series: First Comes Marriage, Then Comes Seduction, At Last Comes Love, Seducing an Angel, and A Secret Affair.read more
Reviews for A Christmas Bride/Christmas Beau
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A Christmas Bride: Helena Stapleton has hated herself for 13 years, since she was infatuated with her stepson Gerald, tried to seduce him, and he fled his home in horror. She knows how insecure and sensitive he was, and believes she destroyed his life, which was confirmed when she heard he married a former prostitute. She has spent her life since her elderly husband died in distraction and self-indulgence. When she meets and quickly seduces Edgar Downes, she is terrified by the connection she feels to him. When she becomes pregnant, she is even more terrified by the prospect of motherhood and is sure she will take another life down into her darkness of soul. Edgar figures it out and insists that she marry him. He gradually drags the truth out of her, and tries to convince her to hope in their marriage. He goes to Gerald and his wife, Priscilla (from "A Precious Jewel"), and begs them to come to his father's home to meet Helena and forgive her to set her free. They do, partially from the hope of not being ostracized from the ton because of Priscilla's past, since many of Edgar's friends are of the ton because his sister Cora married a gentleman. Helena finally dares to hope and to love.Christmas Beau: Maxwell, the Marquess of Denbigh, had his heart broken when his betrothed, Judith, eloped with another man a month before their wedding. The rake had wagered he could steal Judith away, and he did since Judith was a little afraid of Max and thought he was not eager to marry her. Eight years later, she is widowed with two children. Max, whose bitterness turned to hate, plans his revenge: to make her fall in love with him and then break HER heart. Judith is terrified of him at first, as she was as a young woman, assuming the engagement was forced on him and that he was cold to her. But Max, apart from his revenge, is caring and loving, having funded a home for orphans from the slums, and he charms Judith's children and sister-in-law, Amy, who was always made to feel ugly by her family. He convinces them to visit his home for Christmas, along with several other people who would have been lonely. Max gets his revenge, but is miserable about it. Judith realizes that the only reason that he could have planned such painful and elaborate revenge was because he had been deeply hurt, and she is ashamed at how she acted. She confronts him with the truth that she knows he still loves her and that they need to forgive each other and set each other free. They decide that they can then have another try at marriage to each other.read more
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