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Under the Mistletoe

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  1,435 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
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.
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Signet (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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BUR 2012
The stories really warmed my heart, in spite of the current month, and there is something quite magical about the season of Christmas coming from Balogh.
Caz
3.5 stars. A bit uneven, but enjoyable.

This is a collection of five short stories/novellas, most of which I believe have been available in other collections except for A Family Christmas which was a new story at time of publication, and is my favourite of the set.

There’s something about the way Mary Balogh writes Christmas-themed stories which puts her in a class of her own. She’s said herself that she always thinks of Christmas itself as the third major character in her festive novels and stor
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kris
Oct 08, 2014 kris rated it liked it
I am apparently reading all of Balogh's Christmas novels. It's not because I'm looking forward to the season necessarily, but it's it's just ... happening. And I can't seem to stop it.

A Family Christmas
An aristocratic daughter marries a cit. She thinks he's a haughty bore; he thinks she's a frigid icicle. Yet somehow they believe that they fell in love at first sight over 13 months ago? And they have a baby, too! Can Christmas give them feelings again?

If I hadn't just read A Christmas Promise a
...more
Linda
I am on a Balogh bender, spree, binge; call it what you will. I think every reader will find their own favorite winter romance.

UNDER THE MISTLETOE contains 4 reprints and one new short romance. Her heroes and heroines are imperfect. Hence, the various ratings. Each of the plots will remind you of a thick soup with settings that are more realistic than you normally find in Regency romances. The tugging and push/pulls will have you rooting for the hero one minute and the heroine in the next. But i
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L8blmr
Nov 29, 2008 L8blmr rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys CHristmas romances during the season
This book is a collection of sweet romances, with, of course, a Christmas theme, all written by Balogh. I've only read one other book by this author, but after reading these stories, I believe I grasp her "formula" pretty well. The rakish hero initially talks himself out of a relationship with the plain heroine for various reasons, while the heroine acknowledges to herself that she is in love with the hero. Eventually the hero comes to realize that the heroine really is as sweet, unassuming, ...more
Joanne
Dec 31, 2011 Joanne rated it it was amazing
This was a great Christmas book that I will be reading again. I recommend it to anyone who reads historical romance and is looking for a great Christmas story collection.
Courtnie
Dec 31, 2015 Courtnie rated it liked it
Collection of shorts - the first one, "A Family Christmas" was my favorite.
Ana T.
Jan 29, 2008 Ana T. rated it really liked it
This book has 4 of Mary Balogh's old novellas and a new one.

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.

The new one is A Family Christmas. This is a story about a couple already married and I usually like those. And I liked this story, it had all the good ingredients of a christmas story - a family house party, greenery gathering, snow ball f
...more
Mo
Nov 27, 2016 Mo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cath
description

This book is 5 Regency novellas, each about 70 pages long and about as predictable, formulistic, and clichéd as it gets. It is really a 3 star book, but it gets the extra star just because it’s Christmas and it was EXACTLY what I wanted to be reading at this time of year! (Dec 21, 2013)

Re-read Dec 5, 2015
tacitus
Feb 08, 2014 tacitus rated it it was amazing
I loved all the stories, with perhaps one exception getting three stars rather than five. Since these are short stories, it would hardly be fair to complain of lack of character development or sudden shifts in mood, etc. So, if you suspend the typical reliance of realistic time frames and character development that most of us novel readers possess, and just come at these stories with a short-story mindset, I think you will really like them =)
Melissa
Dec 23, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
This is a collection of five Christmas-themed short stories, and while some of the stories were better than others, I enjoyed reading them all. If you don't like a lot of sentimentality about love, romance, family, and the meaning of Christmas, this might not be the book for you. The holidays make me sappy, though, and Mary Balogh's gentle, warm writing style was just my cup of tea.
Jackie
Feb 18, 2014 Jackie rated it liked it
Mary Balogh skirts the emotional line, veering close but never succumbing to easy cheesy Hallmark sentimentality, in these four reprinted and one new short story focusing on love developing or being reinvigorated by the warmth of family, holiday traditions, and kind acts. While the characters in each story are quite different, the cure for what ails them is all the same (multiple scenes of decorating the house for Christmas, and foraging for greenery & mistletoe; throw in some snowball ...more
Jenny Q
Dec 26, 2012 Jenny Q rated it liked it
A Family Christmas: 4 Stars! Just what I needed to put me in the Christmas spirit! Sweet and heartwarming story of an estranged husband and wife finding their way back to each other and packed to the brim with Christmas fun: snowball fights, mistletoe hunts, decorating, singing, feasting, and some loving in front of a crackling fire. Made my cry, too.

The Best Gift: 3 Stars
Lori
Nov 15, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it
I enjoyed these stories. Each one had an emphasis on the real blessings of Christmas; children, family, providing shelter and care for a young mother about to deliver her firstborn child. All were love stories. Some about learning to love someone new, others about falling in love with one's spouse again, learning to communicate the deepest feelings of the heart.
OhWell
Feb 10, 2015 OhWell rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency, mary-balogh
A 4* overall, with two 5* gems: "The Best Gift" and "No Room at the Inn". Loved the pivotal role children play in all of these stories, emphasizing so well the true meaning of Christmas! A heartwarming read indeed.
Tasneem
Jul 25, 2011 Tasneem rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency
A lovely collection of seasonal love stories that are full of the magic of Christmas. A bit over the top sometimes with the sentimentality and Christian spirit but still in keeping with the times of the narratives and the personalities of the characters.
Hazel
Feb 10, 2013 Hazel added it
I caught a bad dose of the Christmas spirit and actually enjoyed some of this. ;-) Heart-warming as hell, it was.
Gail
Aug 31, 2016 Gail rated it it was amazing
I had read the first and last of these before, but a fresh encounter was delightful, and the three middle stories just added to the delight. Great Christmas stories. Great anytime stories.
Suzanne
Aug 16, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Very emotional Christmas stories. Have to admit I cried, but enjoyed it!
Olga Godim
Nov 06, 2016 Olga Godim rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
This collection is comprised of 5 Christmas novellas. Like everything by this author, each novella is a historical romance, set in England in the 19th century.

A Family Christmas , 2003
Elizabeth, a young aristocratic woman, is painfully shy. She had grown up under the influence of her arrogant, domineering mother. When her family fell on hard times, they married her off to a rich merchant to recoup their finances. It happened a year ago, and she welcomed the marriage as a way out of her joyless
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Appleapple17



Under the Mistletoe, an anthology of five stories is a great read for those who want to read something of good quality but do not want to invest their time ( or maybe soul) in a proper novel and just need a quick read.. The anthology brings out the Christmas feel effectively. It also brings out things like

1. You may think you know a person, maybe for years, but he/she might be the exact opposite.
2. Second Chances
3. There is happiness and love for everyone........ you just need to make the effo
...more
Sandy Cox
Too simple

This book contained several short stories. They were so predictable after the first paragraph. Too simple and not really interesting.
Debbie Lester
Dec 26, 2013 Debbie Lester rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Lord Rose
Cute little Christmas stories. (I know it's a bit early to start my Christmas reading, with Halloween not even past, but inter library loans never come when I want them to. Sigh.) My main complaint about this collection is too many babies. #1 h and H had a child. #2 had a chimney sweep. #3 had H's illegitimate daughter. #4 had H's daughter and h's siblings. #5 had a baby being born.

Numbers one and two were both about estranged married couples, but rather different ones. The first one rather remi
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Christy
Jul 16, 2011 Christy rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for holiday romances and am currently re-reading my collection of them. This anthology has a couple of my favorites. I especially love "A Family Christmas", in which the couple have been married for a year and even have a child together, but are estranged largely due to the manipulations of her mother. She is a lady and he is the son of a "cit", and their marriage was arranged by his father before his death. Both mistakenly believe the other disdains them, and in this story, ...more
Connie N.
I can't quite rate this a 5-star read, but it's close at 4.5 stars. These are actually 5 short Christmas stories set in the Regency period in England and written as only Balogh can write (I'm a big fan.) Although none of them is longer than 50 pages, each got me so invested in the characters and the story that I didn't want it to end. The stories are all predictably sweet and loving, with happy endings, but I still couldn't wait to share in their lives and enjoy the warmth and romance each ...more
Laurla2
a family christmas - brings together a couple estranged since just after their arranged marriage the year before, and gives them the perfect chance to start over.
the star of bethlehem - features one betrothal ring lost but three that are mysteriously found as a broken marriage is abundantly mended.
the best gift is the tale of a teacher who has never known family, love, or christmas, then finds all three when asked to chaperone one of her pupils over the holiday.
playing house - a lonely aristocra
...more
Lita Bouquard
Dec 22, 2013 Lita Bouquard rated it liked it
Once again I wish for half stars. I would have given 2 and a half. This collection of Christmas stories has some romantic, sweet, touching short stories, but reading them in succession they become repetitive. I'm not sure if they were written at the same time, but the same events of celebrating Christmas in the country with gathering mistletoe, holly, snowball fights occurs in most of them. The same with the nativity scene. Some of these same events happen in other Balogh novels also and since I ...more
Judith
Sep 27, 2014 Judith rated it liked it
Mary Balogh is a competent writer. This collection of 5 stories with Christmas themes is a pleasant seasonal read. None of them seem particularly original, but the writing is good. The novellas suffer from the usual problems of restricted length: there are fewer characters to deal with and they are less developed; there is a shorter time frame and the resulting unrealistic instantaneous falling in love. Overall, these are decent stories that feature reconciliation, redemption and reward.

If you
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Amyiw
May 24, 2015 Amyiw rated it really liked it
Shelves: x-2015, historical
5 novellas all good though the characters in some have the relationship happen too fast as that is the way with novellas. Two were very emotional (happy), two had me crying about how these people were hurting each other. Three I would give 4 stars, as romance novellas and 2 three stars. Probably should have got to this for Christmas as it is incredibly sentimental and perfect for the season. I took it off my shelf for Christmas, but just got to it now. I might save it for a re-read for another ...more
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Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and ...more
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