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A Christmas Promise

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,833 Ratings  ·  229 Reviews
A love that cannot be bought or sold proves to be the greatest gift of all, in this heartwarming classic that demonstrates once again why New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh is among the most celebrated authors of historical romance.

Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions—especially when a couple seems as well matched as Randolph Pierce, Earl of Falloden, a
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published by Signet (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I’m not someone who specifically seeks out Christmas-themed books to read around this time of year, but I’ve had this on my TBR pile for a while now, and it caught my eye when I was scrolling through my Kindle looking for my next read - so I thought, “why not?”

A Christmas Promise pushes two of my favourite buttons – the arranged marriage and a nice dollop of angst before we get to the HEA – as our two protagonists, an impoverished earl and the daughter of a wealthy coal merchant, enter into a ha
Tiffany Reisz
Dec 10, 2013 Tiffany Reisz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this one down. Read it one sitting. I found the sex and emotional conflict surprisingly gritty for a Christmas-themed romance. But I'm a sucker for a marriage of convenience story especially if the hero and heroine are having sex as total strangers. Basically I'm a pervert. A Christmas pervert.
This one was a difficult read for me. I can say that Mary Balogh certainly isn't afraid to "push the limits" of romancelandia, and she certainly does so with A Christmas Promise.

This marriage does not start out all. It is an arranged marriage. Randolph will marry for money in order to get out of debts, and in return, Eleanor will become a member of the peerage. They have an intense dislike, even hate, for each other right off the bat.

******Warning****** for those that hate cheating in
Mar 31, 2016 Leona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, regency
I'm not sure what to make of this story. It's well written and definitely had me absorbed, but on some levels it didn't work for me. I found there to be more things wrong than right.

* The sexual scenes between the two were just that, sexual with absolutely no romance. (view spoiler)
Miranda Davis
Jan 13, 2013 Miranda Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, Mary Balogh is just so darn easy to read. (I have a recent re-issue so the cover is different.) Lovely delineation of characters and their conflict. In this case, an extorted, arranged marriage brings together a cit's proud, pugnacious daughter honoring her father's dying wish and an honorable earl who inherits crushing debts from his predecessor. Both have every reason to dislike the other but they marry because each must.

Neither understands the other, each believing the worst interpret
I love to read any books of Ms Balogh. This one was not different.

I read the similar plot numerous times, yet I liked every scene of the book and couldn't put it down until at the end of it. I liked MCs very much and could understand their conflict and prejudice. It was nice to read, again, they had perfectly normal problems and could defeat them with talking and tried to respect with each other. These actions helped them to build a family, friendship then love.

Christmas theme and family values
This book started out very, very slowly. Overall, it was a difficult read because of all the internal monologues. As a writer and a reader, I'm a fan of dialogue, so all the introspection didn't exactly work for me. I also think it was hard to read because of all the animosity between Randolph and Ellie, and all the repetition of "But they're from different classes! And they hate each other! And it's a marriage of convenience!" But as soon as Randolph and Ellie go to the country for Christmas, a ...more
Lady Wesley
Mar 17, 2012 Lady Wesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lady Wesley by:
Shelves: favorites, amz-rev
I generally don't care for Christmas-related romances, but Mary Balogh overcame all of my prejudices with this one. I'm surprised at myself, but this truly deserves five stars.

Eleanor Transome is a cit, the daughter of a fabulously wealthy coal merchant. Although she has been educated to be a proper lady, she has no desire to elevate her social standing and yearns only to marry her second cousin Wilfred. He, however, is a mere clerk and has told her that he cannot marry her as he has no prospect
Jan 14, 2016 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Holiday Romance
"4.5 stars" A Christmas Promise is a different sort of romance, at least in the way it progresses. Mary Balogh is an author I've come to appreciate for her unique take on romance and this book was no exception. In this story, the hero and heroine are essentially forced into an arranged marriage by her father. The heroine's father isn't a bad man, just one who is dying and has very little time left. He loves his daughter very much, calling her his precious jewel, and he wants to make an advantage ...more
Closer to 3.5 stars

Anger. Everyone knows what resentment does to a person when there is no outlet. It festers, rankles, develops into a slow burn, exasperates, starts to become a fury and, lastly, it rages. Now imagine starting a marriage with this feeling: deep anger almost to the point of hatred. It becomes a hardship to be in the same room. You talk but only when necessary. You touch but only when it is unavoidable. You see what you want to see.

And this is the way Randolph Pierce's, the Earl
Dec 04, 2011 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a reissue, this book is about 100 pages shorter than current romances. However, despite fewer pages to get us into the story, I never missed them. The narrative voice of this book is lonely, wistful, and somewhat aloof - like both protagonists.

What I loved most about this story is the coming together of two extremely lonely, prickly individuals who start off, due to misunderstanding and desperation, truly detesting one another. But after an arranged marriage and the requisite growth, they co
Nov 14, 2015 P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When two people are forced to marry the results aren't always pretty. It's a bumpy sleigh-ride to this happy ending.
Nov 24, 2010 TJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE Mary Balogh's writing. Whether I like a particular story or not, I can always be assured I won't be able to put the book down.

In this instance, I had trouble liking either Eleanor or Randolph (H/h). Both spent the majority of the book being cold and nasty to each other rather than finding a way to make the best of an unwanted arranged marriage. Of course it's Mary Balogh, though, so the HEA is satisfying and the reader is left happy as the last page is turned...
Dec 14, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good Christmas story. Not super memorable, but it was short and kept me interested. Lots of angst, which I always love. It felt very old-school, if that makes sense--maybe a cross between Heyer (but less subtle) and more modern HRs in terms of tone.

The characters all felt a bit remote, despite a good deal of internal dialogue, and I couldn't connect to them very well, but I did like them. The hero started out as a jerk, particularly on he and the heroine's wedding night, which occurr
May 03, 2016 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, romance
A Christmas Promise is a delight—sheer reading enjoyment. It is not just a Regency, not just a romance, not just a Christmas novel, but a Regency romance Christmas novel, i.e. reading this is hitting the jackpot. You've landed in Mary Balogh heaven.

This book employs one of my favorite premises, which is the, Oh, we two attractive young people have to marry each other; boo hoo, poor us. Although in Randolph, Earl of Falloden, and Eleanor's case, they do have some legitimate reasons for resenting
Such a wonderful read,Randolph-Eleanor both are forced to marry,both despise each other there's misunderstanding between then which leads them to think worse of each other but as time passes by these two start to understand each other,respect each other and fall in love with each other but then still there's the misunderstanding and the persons whom they thought they loved but then they realise it was not love just attraction/infactuation

Randolph thinks Eleanor is cold marble who does'nt feels a
Dec 19, 2011 Nell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2011
I am a Mary Balogh fan but not of this book. It's a dismal Christmas story. A wealthy middle class father arranges a marriage for his daughter with an aristocrat drowning in inherited debts. It's hate at first sight. Each stereotypes and believes the worst of the other. They marry and the father dies the next day. One thing I found implausible was that the daughter, Ellie, believes that her father who had doted on her and been devoted to her would arrange a marriage with someone as dissolute as ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Sharyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is fun to read these old Regency's that have all been reprinted. I know my reviews are not so insightful as some. I just like people to know what they are getting if they read a book, and if I liked it. "A Christmas promise is another lovely story about an Earl in debt and a Coal merchant father who wants his daughter to be happy. He buys up the debt and forgives it if the Earl will marry his daughter. Once again misunderstandings abound. She thinks he ran up the debt and he thinks she wants ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Patrisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Non potevo non dare cinque stelle a questo romanzo, che pur senza pretese, ha conquistato il mio cuore in punta di piedi, pagina dopo pagina. L'atmosfera natalizia in costume, il calore e l'affetto della chiassosa e allegra famiglia Transome, l'ambientazione di una dimora di campagna e soprattutto due protagonisti così forti caratterialmente e così contrastati, in cerca di amore e terrorizzati all'idea di mostrare le loro fragilità ed emozionalità in una situazione inizialmente sfavorevole, mi h ...more
This Christmas novel was just absolutely wonderful. Frustrating at times yes. I was sad to see it end, I really wanted to find out more with regards to the secondary characters in this book. Is there another one somewhat connected to this? If anyone knows do comment and tell me.
Nov 04, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-release of an old Signet Regency . A wealthy, dying merchant arranges the marriage of his daughter and an impoverished, debt-ridden Lord. The hero thinks the heroine is only trying to improve her social status; she thinks he's a wastrel. The truth is much more complicated. The book starts off with them loathing each other; the wedding night scene was actually kind of rough to read. Yet as they go to his estate for Christmas, the relaxed setting and the presence of the heroine's large, gregari ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Yeah, just no. The only saving grace of this book were the family members of the MC. The rest of it was just really kind of annoying and kinda scary/creepy.

I used to read romance books ALL of the time when I was a kid. Long story short, the Harlequin Presents were cheap at my used book store when I was a kid and I had very little money as a kid, so those were the books I got. One of the lessons I learned from them was to be HONEST and COMMUNICATE, because holding feelings and thoughts inside end
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2014 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This truly is my favorite book from Mary Balogh. I read it a few weeks ago and it has stayed with me like no other. Don't get fooled by the Christmas team - this story is no sugary treat, but angst filled, emotional, tense, at times gut wrenching and ultimately romantic and satisfying ride. I can not recommend this book higher.
If I had to make a complaint about this book, it would be the number of characters introduced for a Christmas weeklong gathering at the Earl's. I have enough trouble with characters' names as is, but 25 was a bit much ;)
Anna D.
Dec 20, 2014 Anna D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr
Really enjoyable Christmas story :)
This was a cute Christmas read. I picked this up because it reminded me of Georgette Heyer and her fabulous regency romances, and actually it was quite similar but it a bit more sex!

It is quite a slow story, but as it is a quick read, it doesn't really matter. I think if it had been longer, I would need it to have more action or at least more adversity (like maybe an illness that makes one of the characters realise what they are missing, or maybe a duel, because who doesn't like a duel?!)

It is
I haven't read many Mary Balogh books, but I've been trying to make my way through the ones I do have when I get a chance. Christmas is a good time, as she has written many Christmas books. It seems I either love or dislike her books, typically no middle ground. I was delighted to realize at the end of this story that I simply adored it!

This is an (almost) arranged marriage regency. The new Earl of Falloden, Randolph Pierce, has inherited from his cousin, unfortunately he also inherited a mount
Dec 13, 2010 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
I'm not really sure how I feel about this story. On the one hand it's Christmas, yay! I did enjoy the H/H Randolph aka Randy and Eleanor aka Ellie...except for those times when I hated them. This was a story chock FULL of Big Misunderstandings and it became very old, very fast.

That is really my one and only complaint though. When Randolph and Ellie were allowing themselves to be open to each other and not defensive at every turn, they had an obvious accord and the potential for great love. Elli
Nov 29, 2013 Francy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il padre di Eleanor Transome è un ricco commerciante di carbone ormai giunto alla fine della propria vita. La malattia lo sta gradualmente consumando e prima di andarsene vorrebbe vedere la sua graziosa fanciulla maritata con un uomo d' onore, fiero e leale. La scelta ricade sul giovane conte Randolph Falloden, finito sull' orlo del lastrico a causa dei debiti che il cugino lasciò lui in eredità prima di morire. Il matrimonio combinato potrebbe rivelarsi u
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 19, 2015 05:48PM  
  • Mutual Consent
  • Once Upon a Christmas (Nobody, #2)
  • Marian's Christmas Wish
  • Christmas Angel (Company of Rogues, #3)
  • His Lordship's Mistress
  • Christmas Revels
  • The Christmas Countess
  • The Christmas Knight
  • A Historical Christmas Present
  • A Countess by Christmas
  • Regency Christmas Wishes
  • An Infamous Marriage
  • His Christmas Pleasure (Scandals and Seductions, #4)
  • Fallen Angel
  • Some Enchanted Season (Bethlehem, #2)
  • It Happened One Night
Mary Jenkins was born on 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 curl ...more
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“He loved me," she said, her voice leaden. "It is so easy to take love for granted when one has always had it. I knew he loved me as I loved him, but I did not realize perhaps how much until all love was removed.” 2 likes
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