Time for some old Christmas reads…

Merry Christmas to all

Can you believe it?! December is here! That means whatever I’m reading that’s not a Christmas story, it needs to be abandoned for everything that is Christmas story.

Before I get to them though, I’d like to thank you all for making our second anniversary a huge success.To all the authors that have participated and to those that have been busy in their ‘writing caves’ and couldn’t stop by this year [and who I'll certainly accost next year], I want to send my heartfelt thanks. You are a bunch of unbelievably generous people that make me appreciate and love your work and you that much more.

My thanks go to all of my new and old subscribers who’ve faithfully followed and made comments [and made my days so much fun just by reading them all], I send my big, huge, humongous Serbian hug and a kiss! Without you, there wouldn’t be bookworm2bookworm. Period.

I also want to thank you all, authors and readers alike, for your patience with me on the contests that ran with every post [thirty-five in total for the month of November], as I procrastinated ’till the very last. I promise that by the end of this weekend many of you will be pleasantly surprised to find your names on our Contest page, and by the end of next weekend, we will have the Grand Prize announced and given away!

This month I’d like to dedicate to Christmas stories and will be recommending some that I’ve read before as well as some newly published. I hope you’ll stop by and join me in the coming weeks to find out which one’s I’m recommending and maybe recommend some of your own… I love this time of year and there’s nothing better than finding that perfect Christmas story that touches your heart, makes you sigh and cry…

Let me start with one of my all time favorites, and that is a story from Anne Gracie from an anthology I read a couple of years ago, Gifts of the Season. If you asked me about the other two stories in that book, I would have to probably think a bit to recollect them, but if you asked me about Anne’s, I’d tell you that I just cried and cried and smiled and smiled, that’s how much I loved the story and highly recommend you pick it up.

Gifts of the Season Anthology 

BOOK BLURB: The Virtuous Widow by Anne Gracie

Ellie was afraid she had no future. Left to her own devices now that her husband had passed away, she worried for her daughter’s welfare as well as her own. But her world changed when a stranger landed on her doorstep.

A Gift Most Rare by Miranda Jarrett 

Sara had never thought to see her precious Rev ever again. Yet here he was, come to stay for the holidays in the very home where she was a governess…and bringing up the painful memories of their shared past.

Christmas Charade by Lyn Stone

Beth didn’t want a husband. But when she agreed to marry handsome Jack as part of a scheme, she didn’t expect to be playing with her heart.

My next two recommends are from Mary Balogh. She never fails to give me one of the most touching Christmas stories and here are the two I think you’ll love.

ACP MBA Christmas Promise

BOOK BLURB: 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, and his bride-to-be, Eleanor Transome. Ellie brings to the marriage a vast dowry, while Falloden, though distant, is handsome, tremendously desirable, and possessed of a title most young ladies can only dream of sharing.

Yet Ellie is not most young ladies. She knows that she must honor her dear father’s dying wish for her to wed the proud earl, but she dreads a lifetime in a union without love—and how can Falloden claim to love her when he married her only for her fortune? As Christmas descends upon the Falloden manor, the warmth of the season may yet melt away the trappings of duty and wealth, leaving behind only a man and a woman destined for each other’s arms.

UTM MBUnder the Mistletoe Collection

BOOK BLURB: 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 BethlehemThe Best GiftPlaying House, and No Room At the Inn, as well as A Family Christmas, which is only available in this anthology.

A Christmas Scandal by Jane Goodger

ACS JGBOOK BLURB: In her latest romance, Jane Goodger weaves an unforgettable tale of a woman who thinks she’s lost everything–until a little Christmas magic reunites her with the one man she could never forget. . .

Dashing, debonair, and completely irresistible, Edward Hollings has all of Newport buzzing–and to Maggie Pierce’s surprise, she alone has caught his eye. But when the handsome earl returns to England without proposing, a devastated Maggie knows she must forget him. Life only gets worse for Maggie, as all her dreams of happiness and love come crashing down around her. When Maggie receives an invitation to go to England for the Christmas birth of her dear friend’s baby, she accepts–vowing to keep her devastating lies and shameful secrets from the one man she has ever loved.

Edward vowed he’d never marry, but he came dangerously close with Maggie. She’s beautiful, witty, indescribably desirable–and Edward can’t forget her. When Maggie visits mutual friends for Christmas, Edward can’t stay away. In fact, he finds himself more attracted to her than ever–a desire fueled even more by Maggie’s repeated snubs. With the love he never thought he’d find slipping away, Edward is determined to make Maggie his own, no matter what the cost. . .

The Present by Johanna Lindsey

TP JLBOOK BLURB: As the entire Malory family gathers at Haverston to celebrate the season, a mysterious present arrives anonymously. The gift is an old journal — a tender and tempestuous account of the love affair between the second Marquis, Christopher Malory, and a dark gypsy beauty named Anastasia, who seeks a love match with a non-gypsy in order to save herself from a prearranged marriage to a brute.

Though the dashing English lord Anastasia sets her sight upon burns for the exquisite, exotic miss, Christopher could never consent to wed such a lowborn lady. But miracles have been known to happen in this season of peace and giving and love, as two extraordinary people separated by circumstance of birth begin a passionate dance of will and wiles.

And in the miraculous blossoming of a glorious romance at a long ago Christmastime, there are wise and well-learned lessons that will enrich the hearts of the Malory descendants — and, indeed, of everyone who has ever dreamed.

Forbidden Magic by Jo Beverly

FM JBBOOK BLURB: Left penniless after her parents’ death, Meg Gillingham was in dire straits. Her cruel landlord threatened to turn her and her siblings out of their home by the New Year—unless she surrendered her sister to his lecherous whims. Only a miracle could save her: a magic statue that granted wishes—for a price.

Meg never expected the statue to bring her a marriage proposal, especially from the handsome Earl of Saxonhurst, who needed a bride to keep his fortune. Her heart raced wildly, for she was held spellbound by her desire for this man. But a villain was determined to destroy their union with mistrust, and see them dead. Now Meg had to put her faith in a more powerful magic—the magic of love.

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

AWC LKBOOK BLURB: Rafe Bowman has just arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen…

Winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic…and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

That’s just a handful of books that I really enjoyed in the past and I hope you’d give them a try, unless you already read them, in which case I would love to know what you thought of them. I usually look for short Christmas stories, often found in Anthologies  at this time of the year. They are the best because they give me the feel for the authors that I haven’t read before.

Speaking of, do you like Anthologies and why? If you have any good Christmas recommendations for me please let me know. This month should be fun as we talk Christmas books…and giveaway a few of those…

25 thoughts on “Time for some old Christmas reads…

  1. I do like anthologies, as you said, a great way to get a feel for a new author, also great for when you’re pushed for time and don’t have time to read full book especially at this time of year. :)

    I recently read and really liked Erin Knightley’s novella Miss Mistletoe and the Mischief and Mistletoe anthology. Some great stories and authors in that one. :D

  2. Oh man, I didn’t realize that there were so many I’ve not read… I like anthologies because I can read new authors and usually start & finish over a lunch hour!

  3. I love reading Christmas anothlogies. They are happy, bright, sentimental, and help to get me in the mood for the holidays. I enjoyed “A Holiday of Love” by Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux, and Jill Barnett and also “A Christmas Ball” by Jennifer Ashley, Emily Bryan, and Alissa Johnson.

  4. These books sound wonderful! Will definitely put several on my TBR list! You know, I haven’t read many anthologies. I usually like stories with more developed plots, but this list just may convert me. :)

  5. I want to start by thanking you for all that you do here on your blog. It is one of the places I most enjoy coming to each day. Your reviews are honest and our reading likes run the same so you bring a lot to me through your daily thoughts. You brought us some great authors this past month.

    The Present, by Lindsey, is one of my all time favorites. I love those Malorys so much that when something comes out with them in it it’s a must buy. I can remember when it came out how excited I was and went straight to Waldenbooks and made my purchase. I can even remember how hard it was on that drive home because I just wanted to pull over and start reading.

    A Magical Christmas and A Season Of Miracles by Heather Graham are on my favorites list also. I love everything she writes under both Heather Graham and Shannon Drake. She has been one of my favorite authors since I found a love for reading. Soaked up all her medievals. ;) I even followed her into contemporaries.

  6. I really like anthologies. They are nice for when one is in a hurry but enjoys a quick read. Some of the ones mentioned I have read some I haven’t so will check them out. One that is an older read but still nice is The Magical Christmas Cat with Lora Leigh, Nalini Singh, Linda Winstead Jones and Erin McCarthy. Christine Feehan has a Christmas anthology that is an older one too but can’t recall the name of the book.

  7. Hi Melanie!

    Thanksgiving is over with which means it’s time to start reading Chirstmas books! I love the ones you mentioned and my favorite is an anthology! The Heart of Chirsmas which had stories by Mary Balough, Nicola Cornick and Courtney Milan. The only problem I had when you buy an anthology with three of your favorite authors is which on will you read first!

    I try to buy a collection of new Christmas books every year, both single stoires as well as anthologies, but I also have a special shelf in my bookcase filled with “favorites” from years past! One of them is A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas! I must admit I love “wallflower” books because I was one “back in the day” of dating! My friends all kid me that’s one of the reason I’m still married after 42 years since “marrying “my hero”! Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love reading historical romance and reading what all the heroines have to go though before meeting that “special someone” who is a hero for them no matter their differences.

    Talking about heros, I hope you and your hero had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Jeanne!

      We had wonderful Thanksgiving Day, thanks ;D Hope yours was great too.

      How could I have forgotten The Heart of Christmas ?! I think I rev’ed it last year, though and I loved it!

      Are we lucky or what? To find that someone that’s the other half of you!

  8. The only one I have read from your list is The Christmas Promise & I loved that one! I do like anthologies for Christmas, because, like you said, you can get a taste for new authors. I would like to recommend Victoria Alexander’s “His Mistress by Christmas”. That is my new favorite Christmas read.

    • For some reason…I never read that VA book, and I have almost all of hers. Couple of years ago I read one of her very old books [found it in a local used book store] and fell in love with her voice so I went on Amazon and cleaned them out with every book they had ;D For months I just read her!

      This year I met her and she is so sweet…

  9. I have no anthology recommendations, I hardly read them. For me the longer the better. But you did list some great Christmas reads (The Present is wonderful)! His Mistletoe Bride is a fun Christmas one.
    I love Christmas, what a happy holiday. And this year my kids are old enough to know what presents are and enjoy the lights and family. =)
    Merry Christmas! Can’t wait for the rest of the month!

  10. I don’t generally read anthologies, except for Christmas stories. I think part of the reason I like that format at Christmas is that the shorter length makes it easier to get in a story here and there over the holidays. A couple that I liked were A Regency Holiday and Snowy Night with a Stranger.

    • Janie,
      I read A Regency Holiday last year and just adored it, especially the story of that hero from Montenegro [which is in former Yugoslavia, and I am Yugoslavian/Serbian]!
      Snowy Night with a Stranger is now on my wish list! Thanks!

  11. Hello B2B,
    I like your blog but I am not sure if I like to stay on as You make it hard for me to keep my TBR pile low, every day I read about a book or two that I now want to read and I have so many books already on that list. Ignorance is sometimes bliss.
    You always pick such romantic books with little twists and turns and characters one can only want to know whether they get together or not. Guess I will stay on a bit longer and torture myself with columns of books that I want to read.
    Anthologies is a different story. Usually it is like genetics. One story is really good, one is really bad and two are somewhere between ok and good. Usually I find new writers as I have been atracted to the book by a big name first but one of the other stories by someone I haven’t read yet turns out to be good or better than good and then I start looking for that writers work and bang, more books I want to read.
    Keep bringing on the book reviews and I will keep reading them in desperation and hope that I will eventually read them all!!! ;-)

    • Manuela!

      Say it ain’t so! LOL!

      I know what you mean though…I usually put all my recomends from all of you on my Amazon Wish List and keep track of them [prioritizing every week or so] as I go ‘a huntin’ at my local used book store, or keep an eye on them on Amazon as they go lower in price.

      Although, if there’s an author that is a MUST PREORDER I’m on it no matter what!

  12. I do like anthologies. Usually I read them for one particular author, but sometimes I discover a new-to-me author. I enjoyed the Christmas anthology, A Gift of Love with stories by Judith McNaught, Andrea Kane and Kimberly Cates. I also enjoyed I Will by Lisa Kleypas from the anthology, Wish List.

  13. I do enjoy anthologies, especially around this busy time of year. As a matter of fact, I just ordered Gifts of the Season – it sounds that good!

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