PDF cheapnikeshoes.co ✓ A Christmas Bride MOBI Ê A Christmas PDF \

A wealthy man makes a promise to his aging father that he will wed a titled and proper young lady by Christmas but it is a beautiful widow who ends up capturing his undivided attention Caught up in an irresistible passion and scandalous liaison the two believe they are destined to remain apart This is the season however when miracles do occur


10 thoughts on “A Christmas Bride

  1. says:

    45 starsIt’s stories like this one in which the author takes a big risk with one of her principal characters which serves to remind me just why it is that Mary Balogh became such a renowned author of historical romances and has remained at the top of the tree for so many yearsBecause she’s been writing for so long it’s sometimes easy to forget that her stories often feature characters and plotlines that were – and are still – unusual in the genre A Christmas Bride looks from the old Signet cover as though it will be a nice comfortable story about well a Christmas Bride – when in reality it’s anything but At the age of thirty six wealthy self made man Mr Edgar Downes has decided that it’s probably about time he got married and so goes to London to see if he can find a suitable young woman to wed Handsome somewhat imposing of figure and definitely imposing of character he finds most of the young ladies he meets with too insipid for his taste But at the first ball he attends he catches sight of a very striking mature woman in an eye catching scarlet dress and finds himself very drawn to herThe reverse is also true – and it’s not long before Edgar and the mysterious woman are hot footing it away from the ball and into the lady’s bed for a passionate one night stand with neither having any clue as to the identity of the otherBeing a gentleman if not by birth then most definitely by inclination Edgar is rather ashamed of himself after the fact and worries that he may have been too rough; the lady has no such concerns and doesn’t want to see him again But Edgar is no green boy He’s a determined and resourceful man in his prime who is used to getting his own way and making things happen and when he discovers the identity of his mystery lady he pays her a call determined to apologise for his behaviour only to find the lady completely unrepentant and undesirous of accepting any apologyHelena Lady Stapleton has been a widow for around fifteen years having been married at the age of nineteen to a man in his fifties She is fiercely independent to the point of rudeness and is absolutely adamant that she will never let a man control her life so adamant in fact that it’s almost an obsession with her The reader like Edgar begins to suspect that she must have suffered from some kind of abuse during her marriage but in reality that is not the case I realise from reading other reviews that this book is a seuel to A Precious Jewel and that there is to be learned about Helena in that book her stepson Sir Gerald Stapleton is the hero with Helena cast in the role of the villain I haven’t read Jewel yet but will certainly do so in the near future I didn’t think that I missed out by not having read it before this book because the story is full and complete so I think it’s safe to say A Christmas Bride can stand aloneAs the story progresses Helena becomes and determined to have nothing to do with Edgar even though she is still very much attracted to him; and Edgar is and determined to find out what makes Helena tick because he is coming to realise that perhaps she is just the woman for him He needs someone who can hold their own with him – not a much younger woman who will be overawed by his physical size and personality and who will almost certainly become a doormat very uickly One of the most engaging things about Edgar – who is a very attractive hero by any standards – is his self awareness He knows he’s a dominant personality who is apt to use whatever means necessary to achieve his ends and he’s honest enough with himself to recognise that getting his own way all the time is not always in his own best interestHelena is not only older than the norm for heroines in historical romance she’s the same age as Edgar she’s also abrasive obstinate rude and often downright unpleasant She doesn’t want anyone to get close to her even as she is able to admit to herself that she’s lonely; but she continues to present herself to society as a “merry widow” who is happy in her solitary state She is thought to have had numerous lovers and does nothing to correct society’s belief on that point – but because nobody knows anything for certain she maintains her social positionIn reality Helena’s unpleasant manner is a way of keeping people at arms’ length and her façade of mockery and superciliousness covers a well of intense self loathing and the belief that she is liable to destroy the life of anyone to whom she gets close So she allows no one to get close to her and maintains the belief that something she did in her past was so unforgiveable that she does not deserve happiness or loveI loved the way that Edgar so carefully and cleverly persevered with Helena It would have been so easy for him to have given up on her or just accepted the little she was prepared to give him but he doesn’t instead offering her kindness comfort and affection in exchange for her harsh words and dismissiveness Even impressive was the way in which he did all this without compromising his masculinity or becoming Helena's whipping boyBecause I haven’t yet read the previous book I don’t uite know the full extent of the horrible thing Helena did that has led her to believe she is worthless and undeserving But I think the point is not whether what she did was really that terrible but rather that she believes it was – and this is something which Edgar also understands intuitively when he decides that Helena has spent long enough in a hell of her own making and takes steps towards setting things straightAlongside the tempestuous central relationship there are a couple of sweet secondary romances and we also become reacuainted with a number of characters from some of the other books in this series most notably the Maruess and Marchioness of Carew from Lord Carew's Bride As with A Christmas Promise which I read recently Christmas works its own kind of magic in the story and there are some wonderful familial relationships and friendships in the book especially the one between Edgar and his father It makes a nice change to read a fatherson relationship where the two actually love and respect each other rather than being at each others’ throatsI enjoyed A Christmas Bride very much and was especially impressed with the way Ms Balogh redeemed her thoroughly unlikeable heroine throughout the course of the story Edgar is a wonderful hero – formidable in many ways he’s also intelligent and highly intuitive; he and Helena are certainly going to be leading each other a merry dance in the coming years but they are in the end a very well matched coupleThis title has recently been re issued with another of Mary Balogh’s Christmas themed books A Christmas Beau as a “two in one” in print format only


  2. says:

    This was kind of a disaster and a fundamentally incomplete story to boot It's a very awkward follow on from events in A Precious Jewel with a lot of character development left to that story Which I haven't read And never will given how very gothicly melodramatic it seems to have been Which made rather a lot of this book kind of opaue and uncomfortable Primary in this is how deeply broken Helena is And by deeply broken I mean pathological with a side of self hatred that was wearying within the first time we meet her Still I stayed with it to the end That's because Edgar is awesome And his family doesn't suck though the domestic bliss was a bit much coming as this does at the end of a romance series where a bunch of happy marriages have been blessed with bundles of children So yeah I was in it for Edgar pretty much from start to finish I only wish he'd had someone worth falling in love with Someone not Helena Helenot Who was a psychotic pooheadA note about Steamy Edging high with three all out explicit sex scenes and references to others It doesn't help that Helena is a psychotic minx with completely opaue motivation pretty much right from the start


  3. says:

    Welcome to my HR Purgatory shelf In Roman Catholicism the purgatory is where the souls of the dead wander in an indefinite state They stay in such a state unless they become fit for heaven at some point Similarly this shelf is where books that I am warned about stay—untouched and unread—unless a very compelling reason forces me to read themReasons for putting A Christmas Bride in this shelf The heroine tried to seduce her stepson in a previous book Eeeeeeeeew pukesThank you Nenya for your reviewNenya's Review


  4. says:

    Honestly I had considered not reading this historical romance It was the last story in the Stapleton Downes series but it contained the crusty Edgar Downes Cora's brother from THE FAMOUS HEROINE And added to the mix was Lady Helena Stapleton the suggestive and precocious step mother from A PRECIOUS JEWEL As someone else mentioned at minimum you should have read and enjoyed the above stories before attempting ACB Of course it would help to read the entire series because a bumper crop of returning characters are mentioned in this romance I really wanted to say nice things about this story It is the last book in this series and I had high hopesSTOP Only read the spoiler if you do NOT plan on reading the book after what I just told you I am doing you a favor by telling you that all the secondary characters continue to happily live their livesNow for the spoiler view spoilerEdgar and Helena have a meet and greet Then a one night stand with plenty of sex They have some words plan not to meet each other again meet again here and there Helena finds out she is pregnant and Edgar eventually marries her Then they fall in love I DON'T THINK SO With little believability or chemistry I actually thought that Ms Balogh forced her writing to meet a publisher's deadline Hence the reason for her Hh's lack of depth I expected much better from this author hide spoiler


  5. says:

    Please do not bother to read this book unless you've read A Precious Jewel Even then the only reason that I'd recommend reading this book are for readers like me that loved loved loved A Precious Jewel and want to see what happens next in the lives of Pris and Gerald A Christmas Bride isn't really all that good It features Gerald's stepmother from the book A Precious Jewel and casts her as the heroine of this book She isn't very nice She is a tortured woman who believes herself unworthy of love or forgiveness for the sins of her past involving Gerald The hero is the brother of Cora from The Famous Heroine and I really liked his character He was the savior in this book as it was Helena that needed rescuing The romance was awfulI did not believe that these two people loved eachother at anytime throughout the book Helena was just too flaky and weird for me and although they were marriedI couldn't help but feel that without the pregnancy there never would have been a wedding and that HE would have been better off Not a great feeling to have after reading a romance novel The appearences from past couples from all the preuels and especially Gerald and Pris from A Precious Jewel make it worth the read but do not waste your time with this one if you plan to read it all by itself


  6. says:

    35 I did enjoy the slow falling in love of the main charactersI also loved how the hate relationship slowly turned into lovethere was a lot of confusion and most of the time the issues were unclearand sometimes blown out of proportion I loved the hero however He was strong determined and gentle but firm in his approach in life and love


  7. says:

    Helena is a beautiful bitter widow when she spies Edgar Downes across a crowded Society drawing room One night of passion later they go their separate ways Helena to wallow in her guilt and Edgar to find a ton ish wife Except that one night refuses to remain in the past Pregnancy; I'm talking about babies There's all the markings of a true Christmas story at hand self loathing snow fights an entire FLEET OF CHILDREN 1 Another I'm glad to have read even if the heroine initially drove me up a fucking wall So beautiful so bitter soinfuriating I didn't have the history of A Precious Jewel to understand the reasoning for her self loathing and so it took patience and spoilers to make it through the early chapters 2 The true highlight of this book was said development of Helena and her dealing with her guilt and shame and regret for what she had been and what she had done 3 ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT NOTE Post book gatherings of many couples are officially The Worst It just gets so discouraging and frustrating to see 2 3 4 10 Happiest Couples all in a row especially when all the characters couples are so damnably interchangeable Other than Cora and Francis and Gerald and Priss there didn't seem to be ANY distinguishing characteristics And mostly it's frustrating because all these couples are just soBLAH in some ways? Like 1 All are Super Comfortable with children 2 All are Fertile as Fuck 3 They're so Confident and Comfortable with all the people 4 PDA ALL OVER THE PLACEHere's the thing where are my introverted heroines? My barren heroines? My heroines who are terrified of children? My loud heroines? My brash heroines? My blunt heroines my fearful heroines? My heroines who stutter? My heroines who are cold and calm and cool even after 13 years of wedded bliss at least in company? Why must all heroines and heroes by extension be always warm and welcoming and eager to make 40 new bosom friends? Where are the heroines who fall in love and still have struggles who discover that love doesn't solve all ills? I know these books are out there I've read a few even They exist I just want MORE Because I'm an inherently greedy thing apparently


  8. says:

    A wonderful way to tie in all seven of the Stepleton Downes books Previously there were two branches of the family that weren't related at all until now This is very much a book about forgiveness of self and of others complete with a very Christmassy vibe I liked it


  9. says:

    Last year I started reading Mary Balogh reissues which promptly hooked me It was a welcome change of pace romance novels where prose for one mattered than the hijinks the hero and the heroine commit themselves to on the trail to True Love I keep saying it and I’ll do so again Balogh’s prose is graceful It’s almost uaint these renderings of the love story; and though they were rarely intense reading for me they could aspire for the uietly romantic at their best moments The archetypes—nearly institutions really—are as vivid as they’ll ever be and the Baloghs of the 80s and 90s are perfect examples of how the formulae of the genres work Here’s the virtuous daughter the brooding peer the naïve but refreshing country lass the flamboyant lord And on and on we go with tropes galoreNow I don’t know how consciously Balogh subverted those archetypes and those tropes—if it was a conscious decision at all—in this book Here’s how I made a hash of the premise the last time I was here talking about this book Sigh I admit my impatience and my frustration with this book; skimming was how I went about reading it once I realized after so many reminders to wait and see that Lady Stapleton was going to remain a bitch of the highest order—unnecessarily mocking lashing out at every opportunity because of some moral failing in her past a failing that only the hero could help her get over never mind it’s been well nigh ten years—and defiantly snide about it to boot Let’s not forget that as she reveals her damning past mockingly she’s waiting for the other to cast her off upon the revelation There’s also her sly skirting of convention doubly hard I give her that for a woman to do at the time while managing to remain firmly ton And let’s not forget all the lashing out and the unnecessary bitchiness Augh Lady Stapleton is an all around meanie for realsiesAnd then I found this review which basically described Lady Stapleton as a hero—with all the angst ridden nearing asshat machinations that heroes are wont to do in romance novels It’s an apt observation if a very disturbing one—but I’d like to amend it because for all the hero’s staple characteristics that Lady Stapleton manages to tick off Lady Stapleton forgets to cover the gradual and continuous redemption that these be breeches ed men in romance novels must undergo—must actively pursue—to be fittingly called a goddamned HeroSee in my reading of the heroes who act the same way teetering toward Total Asshat Avenue yes it’s that one fortunate rule that has to have him relent emotionally to the heroine and especially to giving in because man does he struggle to his feelings for the heroine That’s the part that makes you giddy makes you swoon And there’s absolutely none of that with Lady Stapleton She just keeps playing the head scratcher mean girl part; you never stop wanting to tell her “Dude you are not a nice person at all not a bearable one”The one time she relented it was for sex and as much as she enjoyed it—as much as she initiated it pursued him—the self loathing was uick to follow And those tedious avowals of how much she hated Mr Edgar Downes There’s never any glimpse of Lady Stapleton convincingly softening for Edgar convincingly easing up on herself It took a fucking Christmas party and one of the most awkward family reunions for one scarily massive mood swing that had her going “Oh I love you Edgar” Oh Edgar? Edgar must be a nice guy but I was too caught up wondering what the hell was wrong with Helena to even worry abut him Seriously You poor thingPS – Someday I’m going to find the energy to talk about the rest of the Balogh reissues because they really are wunnerful It’s just that you know I’ll have to reread them and nobody’s got time for that I kid I hope cross posted


  10. says:

    Was actually reading the version that compiled A Christmas Bride and Christmas Beau but this story left such a bad taste in my mouth that I have decided not to read the other one even if the general consensus was that it's the better story I don't think I can slog through it especially not as soon as I finished this one And rather than rating that book as DNF I'm reviewing the first story as a stand alone instead like how it was originally released to meet my 52 book annual uotaNow this book gets a 1 because I found the female main character so abhorrent I wanted her to not end up with the male lead which we know is impossible this being a romance and all I had no idea that she was also a character a villainous one at that in an earlier book in the series Probably really villainous seeing how I wasn't buying how that plot line was resolved in this book view spoiler Come on JUST BECAUSE IT'S CHRISTMAS? Really? Forgiveness? Can you imagine? Look Philip had to die for Eliza to forgive Alex for a lesser crime And here it's all Forgive my wife for molesting you who incidentally wasn't doing the apologizing herself we'll let you go to our parties if you do Plus your kid can sit at our kids' lunch table Deal? hide spoiler