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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.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9780345535795
List price: $7.99
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A Christmas Bride - Helena Stapleton is a proud widow, cleverly hiding deep emotional scars beneath a confident facade. Along comes Edgar, a wealthy merchant and not one of the ton, in search of a titled bride. He has no need for wealth, but his father yearns for him to achieve some level of status as a result of their hard work. When Helena and Edgar lock eyes, sparks fly, but Helena is certainly not loveable, much less worthy of someone's forgiveness. That does not stop her from treating Edgar as if she is far an away his better. Separate from his interaction with Helena, Edgar pursues an eligible bride, but neither of them can forget a night of abandon, which ultimately produces consequences and changes both of their plans for the future.

I am a fan of Ms. Balogh. She writes deeply troubled characters who must struggle to overcome self-inflicted emotional obstacles, and this story is as keenly written as I have come to expect from her. Deeply touching, she instills the sense of hope that is lost when all appears to be bleak.

A Christmas Beau - This one is another tale of redemption, albeit much more active than most of Ms. Balogh's works. She has created an utterly evil hero, which I noticed from someone else's review was very hard to redeem. And yet, this is the type of character one would expect from Ms. Balogh (though usually not on the page). I thought it was well done and just at the moment when you believe all is lost and there is no hope, there is redemption.

I do enjoy the Regency era stories and the happily ever afters. I do not enjoy modern day heroines plunked into a previous time period. These stories ring true to their era and as I enjoy a good old fashioned romance novel, enjoyed these books.more
I did not think I would like this book; it started out with them immediately getting into bed together and I thought give me some plot please! But then she pulled through with a great plot although it continued to be hot! Our heroine has issues she just cannot get over, but our hero is up to the task (it is another problem for his businessman's brain) and they both come through with flying colors (as expected!) So I really enjoyed it and gave it 4 1/2 stars.more
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Reviews

A Christmas Bride - Helena Stapleton is a proud widow, cleverly hiding deep emotional scars beneath a confident facade. Along comes Edgar, a wealthy merchant and not one of the ton, in search of a titled bride. He has no need for wealth, but his father yearns for him to achieve some level of status as a result of their hard work. When Helena and Edgar lock eyes, sparks fly, but Helena is certainly not loveable, much less worthy of someone's forgiveness. That does not stop her from treating Edgar as if she is far an away his better. Separate from his interaction with Helena, Edgar pursues an eligible bride, but neither of them can forget a night of abandon, which ultimately produces consequences and changes both of their plans for the future.

I am a fan of Ms. Balogh. She writes deeply troubled characters who must struggle to overcome self-inflicted emotional obstacles, and this story is as keenly written as I have come to expect from her. Deeply touching, she instills the sense of hope that is lost when all appears to be bleak.

A Christmas Beau - This one is another tale of redemption, albeit much more active than most of Ms. Balogh's works. She has created an utterly evil hero, which I noticed from someone else's review was very hard to redeem. And yet, this is the type of character one would expect from Ms. Balogh (though usually not on the page). I thought it was well done and just at the moment when you believe all is lost and there is no hope, there is redemption.

I do enjoy the Regency era stories and the happily ever afters. I do not enjoy modern day heroines plunked into a previous time period. These stories ring true to their era and as I enjoy a good old fashioned romance novel, enjoyed these books.more
I did not think I would like this book; it started out with them immediately getting into bed together and I thought give me some plot please! But then she pulled through with a great plot although it continued to be hot! Our heroine has issues she just cannot get over, but our hero is up to the task (it is another problem for his businessman's brain) and they both come through with flying colors (as expected!) So I really enjoyed it and gave it 4 1/2 stars.more
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