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Christmas Past

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  88 reviews

Christmas Past is a seasonal, serial-killer-thriller from New York Times bestselling author, Mary Burton.

Photographer Nicole Piper just received a very unwelcome Christmas gift - a letter that holds clues to an elusive killer's identity. Uncovering the truth means enlisting homicide detective David Ayden's help, and embarking on a road trip that will take them both

Kindle Edition, 100 pages
Published November 21st 2013 by Penguin (first published December 20th 2012)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  312 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Christmas Past by Mary Burton is a novella length romantic suspense story that is now being republished. Originally published in 2012 it once was part of a collection of four novellas from different authors. This one is a standalone story though that takes place at Christmastime.

Nicole Piper has spent the past year picking herself up and putting her life back together for not only herself but for her daughter. Nicole’s place now may not look like much but it’s hers and she’s proud she found the
Linda Strong

Nicole has a violent past. She married a very charming man but discovered that beneath that charming exterior, he was physically abusive and controlling. She was afraid that eventually he would kill her ... leaving her no choice but to run and pray for safety.

Not realizing that she was pregnant until she was in hiding, she's turned all her love to her infant daughter.

She only breathes easily again when she receives a letter from an attorney and discovers that her husband has died. Evidently he
Natalia  R
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Photographer Nicole Piper is trying to rebuild her life after the death of her abusive husband. She's looking forward to spending Christmas in her new home with her baby daughter. But then she receives a package from her dead husband which provides details on the murder of the woman who helped Nicole escape her abusive marriage. Nicole, joined by homicide detective David Ayden goes on a road trip to try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I thoroughly enjoyed this steamy, fast-paced ...more
Christmas Past is a quick suspense read with the wintery holiday as a backdrop providing a nice little story to read by the fire.

Nicole escaped her abusive husband, now dead, and is moving on until she receives a letter promising to identify the killer of the woman who helped her escape. Nicole knows the letter will dredge up the past, and it does require she go on a goose hunt for information. Not something she’s looking forward to, but Nicole wants the man who murdered her savior brought to
Christmas Past was an exciting, fast-paced read centered on a woman who wants to put her past behind her and the man who makes her long for the future.

Nicole Piper has built a new life for herself and her infant daughter in Virginia now that her abusive husband is dead. But on their first Christmas in their new home, Nicole receives an unwelcome surprise in the form of a video from her late husband which provides details on the murder of the woman who helped Nicole escape. Soon Nicole finds
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it

Nicole Piper escaped from an abusive marriage and is slowly but surely rebuilding her life as a photographer with her infant daughter . When she receives a package from her dead husband together with Homicide Sergeant David Ayden she decides to search for the truth.

Christmas Past by Mary Burton is a fun- filled, romantic suspense short read.I didn’t realize it was part of a collection of stories but can be read as a stand alone though I did feel at times I was missing something. Overall a
CD {Boulder Blvd}
I'm a huge Mary Burton fan and have read most of her books. I was really happy to get this ARC from Net Galley... until I read it. And then I found myself bored with the novella and wondering what had happened. This did not feel like what I've come to expect from this author. It felt rushed, incomplete and poorly developed compared to other books I've read by Ms. Burton.

Granted this was a novella, but I still it felt like the characters and plot weren't developed enough. The machinations that
This book was ok for me ... I felt like I got thrown into the middle of an awesome thriller that turned out more romance in the end.
A short quick story.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher in exchange for an fair and honest review.

This novella is part of the Richmond Series from 2008 - 2012. Even though there are characters from those books, the story does very well as a standalone. One thing I didn't like is that while a Christmas novella, there is very little to do with Christmas. This is a Romantic-Suspense that happens to be set from December 23th to 25th. A lot happened very quickly and that's great.

Nicole Piper
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading Christmas mysteries cozies is my yearly tradition. I started this year with Christmas Past, a romantic suspense novella by Mary Burton. I chose it based on the cover - it looked like it would be kinda eerie and creepy, sort of a touch of Halloween at Christmas. Unfortunately, it wasn't. It was originally part of an anthology but is being released as a standalone. Trouble is, it felt like it started in the middle of the story which might have been alright if the missing parts didn't seem ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christmas Past is a well written, fast paced romantic suspense. I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in two sittings. Mary Burton always delivers a good read as was the case with this book. I highly recommend this book. Thanks to the publisher for my advance ebook. This is my unbiased review.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-copies
Unfortunately this one just didn't do it for me at all. I didn't get that shock I expect in a thriller ... felt more like a romance. More sex scenes than twists and turns. The writing was well done but the storyline fell short for me.
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: december
A republished novella, A Christmas Past was a quick-paced read, light on the Christmas.

“He would not rule her life. She would have the last word.”

MC Nicole has escaped her abusive husband and now he’s dead, but he’s planned one last manipulative and creepy scavenger hunt for her to follow. She embarks on the hunt with detective Ayden whom she’s also apparently all about. Because this is a short story, there is a lot of backstory given quickly and told not shown. I thought this book had to
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up.A romantic suspense novella set at Christmas time was just the thing for me right now. It’s not very Christmas oriented, but it does come into play a bit. I’m all about the romance and suspense so that was the delight here for me.

Piper is on her own with her infant daughter, Beth. She’s had an horrendous time in her recent past(18 months)concerning her abusive husband and his unrelenting search for her to kill her. She survived, he didn’t. Now she’s trying to pick her life
Nicola Short
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to say, when I first started reading Christmas Past, I was a bit confused thinking there must have been a previous book because there was so much that had happened previously to the main character. But, the author did do a good job keeping up the backstory throughout the whole book.
Christmas Past will grab your attention right from the beginning. Nicole is a single mother who had been in an abusive marriage and is trying to put the past behind her. When she receives a note from her dead
Joyce Stewart Reviews
Christmas Past
by Mary Burton:
400 pages

Photographer Nicole Piper moved to Virginia hoping to put a troubled past behind her and start fresh with her baby daughter. But those hopes are dashed when she receives a very unwelcome Christmas gift—from her late husband. It’s a letter that holds clues to an elusive killer’s identity. The victim had helped save Nicole’s life—and paid with her own. Nicole owes it to her to follow the letter’s trail, and perhaps put to rest the fear that stalks her once
Vikki Vaught
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve become a huge fan of Mary Burton in the last year, so when I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review I See You in advance of publication, I eagerly accepted. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Christmas Past is another spin chilling romantic thriller with plenty of action. The pacing is fast as with most novels in this sub-genre. This book does have a twist that isn’t normally in Mary Burton’s books. The heroine has an infant
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This novelette features secondary characters from Richmond Series.

Nicole Piper manage to survive an abusive marriage to a man so obsessed he killed over it. Now dead Nicole is trying to put the pieces of her live back together surrounded by friends and her 11 month old son. Even though she has come a long way she put the breaks on a relationship with homicide detective David Ayden six months ago out of fear of the past.

A dvd from her dead husband finally makes its way to Nicole. It not only
Sue Plant
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mary-burton
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this short story

a quick short story by one of the best authors around...

domestic violence and christmas, they go together like strawberries and wine...

a young woman has survived domestic violence and is bringing up her daughter but the scars run deep...the attraction she feels for the new man in her life triggers memories she cant seem to put behind her...

then she receives a letter from her dead ex husband..and so it begins...

Cathy Geha
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christmas Past by Mary Burton

Pulling strings from the grave – yep – Nicole Piper’s evil deceased husband found a way to get her to make a trip that would endanger her life...again. Luckily she has Homicide Sergeant David Ayden beside her to, hopefully, save the day.

This is a novella length, action-packed, suspense filled thriller that had me from page one and kept me interested to the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly.

Thank you to Kensington – Zebra and NetGalley for
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christmas Past by Mary Burton is a Christmas novella thriller, and my first book by the author. I enjoyed this book, it kept me interested from beginning to the end. I will be reading Ms. Burton again, and looking forward to a full size book, so the plot and story has more time to develop. If your looking for a quick read, I recommend this book.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
Peggy Jaeger
I know this was billed as a Christmas book, but its' really more a mystery/women in jeaopardy book that just so happens to take place around Christmas. A good plot and solid characters make it a great story from Mary Burton and her fans will enjoy it. Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read a pre-published Arc.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written and fast paced romantic suspense story. This is the first book that I have read by Mary Burton and I like her writing style. I will be looking for more books by her.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short but very enjoyable romantic suspense novella. If you're looking for a sweet Christmas story this isn't it. Just when Nicole is getting her life together now that her abusive husband is dead, he finds a way to reach out from the grave. Now Nicole's life is in danger yet again. This is a fast paced, action filled story but it is heavy on the romance between Nicole and the homicide detective that is helping her.
Wendy Kalthoff
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was the best book in the series.I really liked the characters especially the main ones.
Ileana Renfroe
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you read a title "Christmas Past" you never imagine a thriller that will spook you.

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton comes a captivating tale of romantic suspense set in the heart of a rugged winter. Photographer Nicole Piper moved to Virginia hoping to put a troubled past behind her and start fresh with her baby daughter. But those hopes are dashed when she receives a very unwelcome Christmas gift—from her late husband. It’s a letter that holds clues to an
Stephanie Panach
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like thrillers, romance, and Christmas - this is the book for you! I didn't realize that this story was connected to other ones when I got it- and even though it does stand alone, I would have preferred to read at least the preceding book first. this book also needs a serious content warning for physical and mental abuse. Nicole's former husband was a terrible and terrifying man. She has bounced back pretty amazingly - and even with her fear still holding on to a part of her life - she is ...more
Bourbon, Books and Brenda
Boom! Mary Burton has done it again. drop
This book will be released 29 October!! Preorder it now! ******
Overall Rating:
Kindle Unlimited: unknown
Grab a drink (it’s Screwball Peanut Butter whiskey for me tonight ), a warm blanket and get ready for a Christmas story Mary Burton style. .
For a novella, this book packed a punch. David and Nicole/Christina are a wonderful set of MCs. David was strong, kind, and very patient, Nicole has had to
Jacqui Huntley
I needed a change from my usual detective thrillers through too much psychopathic killers/child abusers and thought that this might hit the button. Sadly not. It's essentially a rather steamy and unrealistic romance with bouts of a potentially good story about recovering from an abusive relationship. Nichole moved to Virginia, changing her identity after a nasty abusive relationship but during which the manipulative and nasty husband died as did her friend running the Retreat. 18 months later ...more
Jackie's Bookbytes
*I received a free kindle copy from the publisher via NetGalley
**Trigger warning of abusive relationships and brutality

The cover caught my eye and since it is Novella November I couldn't wait to dig in.
Christmas Past is a tale of romance and violence extending 3 days. David Ayden is absorbed by his attraction to Nicole. He wants to marry her. He's a good cop who lost his wife to cancer and is now a single dad to 2 teenage boys. Nicole is a struggling photographer and a single mom who is being
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Mary Burton, whose latest novel is Hide and Seek, loves writing suspense, getting to know her characters, keeping up with law enforcement and forensic procedure, morning walks, baking, and tiny dachshunds. She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels. Library Journal has compared her work to that of Lisa Jackson and Lisa
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