Under the Mistletoe by Mary Balogh
Under the Mistletoe
A Novel

Note: the edition of this book being published in 2013 is a repeat of the book that appeared in 2003. It has a spruced up cover but looks very similar to the original, so I hope none of you will buy again what you already have. I thought I had better warn you, though. I know there is little more annoying than purchasing a "new" book only to discover that you already own it.

This is an anthology of five of my Christmas novellas:

A Family Christmas was published for the first time in this anthology, in 2003

The Star of Bethlehem first appeared in 1989 in the Signet anthology A REGENCY CHRISTMAS

The Best Gift first appeared in 1994 in the Signet anthology A REGENCY CHRISTMAS VI

Playing House first appeared in the Signet anthology A REGENCY CHRISTMAS II

No Room at the Inn first appeared in the Signet anthology A REGENCY CHRISTMAS V

This Christmas anthology is made up of four of my older novellas and one new one. I have always loved writing stories and whole novels set at Christmas time since Christmas has always been very special to me and my family. I have always believed that I can take a man and a woman, a child or two or more, and Christmas, and make magic of them. It is at Christmas that the human heart yearns most earnestly for peace and joy and unconditional love. There is no time more perfect for romance and a lasting love commitment. All five stories in this anthology have the three necessary ingredients.

In The Star of Bethlehem a betrothal ring is first broken and then lost. It symbolizes a broken marriage, about to be ended. But along comes a child in the form of a little chimney sweep, and along comes Christmas, the time for gift-giving, and soon there is hope for both the ring and the marriage.

In The Best Gift, three ill-assorted, lonely adults--an aristocrat, his niece, and a teacher hired as her chaperone--are brought together for a Christmas two of them are determined not to enjoy. But then a child is foisted upon them, and somehow the magic of the Season begins to wrap itself about all of them.

In Playing House an aristocrat and his daughter, who seem to have everything, become unwillingly involved with a young woman and her young siblings, who seem to have nothing. But as Christmas draws near, it becomes less clear which family is rich and which is impoverished.

In No Room at the Inn an assortment of unhappy travelers are stranded by rain and mud at an inferior inn on Christmas Eve. But love finds them there after a young couple arrives just as their baby is about to be born--and are put in the stable because there are no rooms left.

And in the new story, A Family Christmas, a young couple who have been married for a year and estranged for more than eleven months meet again at a family Christmas and are given the chance to start over.

SIGNET, ISBN 0451209788

Under the Mistletoe by Mary Balogh