Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Under the Mistletoe; M. Balogh

An impulse buy gone wrong. I'd already read three of the five short stories in this holiday anthology. It's my own fault. I saw it in the grocery store & thought,"Wow! A MB Christmas title. I've not read this one." Dropped it into the cart and away she goes. Discovering too late I'd read most of it already. Ah well. I can always trade it later.

The five short stories are: A Family Christmas, The Star of Bethlehem, The Best Gift, Playing House and No Room at the Inn. These are traditional Regencies & feature the usual cast of plots: unhappy marriages, overbearing parents, stranding at a remote inn due to weather, etc. Balogh is a master, though, and I have to say that I enjoyed the rereads (the first three stories) quite a bit. My favorites were the last two. One of which features a remarkably pouty, willful four year old child and the other reminds me how a single event or short time period can cause a person to rethink their modus operandi and their priorities.

None are particularly realistic, but then originality isn't strictly necessary especially when we're discussing Christmas romances. After all- Christmas is the ultimate happily ever after season of them all. Or at least- it ought to be, if it weren't for meddling relatives, poverty, bills, etc. etc. For me, Christmas reads are all about comfort & familiarity & the love triumphing over all.


Mailyn said...

I've never liked holiday novels because I feel that the author is just trying to make some money off the holidays ergo there goes the plot, characters, etc. But I am glad you enjoyed this. :-)

Jenster said...

I may have to give this one a try. I always seem too busy to read much in December (much like the last several months) and I enjoy short stories for that reason. Not only that, but I love MB!


CindyS said...

There was a Christmas anthology that I really liked a few years back. I think McNaught was one of the authors. I think it takes an easy hand to write a good holiday story. I love to read about snow storms and such and I usually get in the spirit just from that.

This year, I want a white Christmas. There, I said it. I love Christmas when there is snow on the ground. We had about 8 years of gloomy rainy Christmas days - ugh.

Oh and I totally agree with what Christmas reads are all about.

On that note, can you read a Christmas story after Christmas - like even a day after? I have to read them before and won't touch them again until the next year.

The last Christmas story I read was Evanovich's.

Okay, now I'm just babbling ;)


Kate R said...

I liked the first mary balogh xmas story I read. And the second. But then I figured out the obvious pattern and so much for that.

Diane Farr and Barbara Metzger have both written xmas stories that are fun and not drealy sap.

Bookwormom said...

Thanks for the input Kate R- I'll keep an eye out for the Metzger & Farr Xmas titles.