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Mistletoe Marriages [Paperback]

Elaine Barbieri , Kathleen Eagle , Margaret Moore , Patricia Garde Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

November 1994
Four holiday stories relate the experiences of two displaced Southerners who realize they are in love, a family discovery, a miner's wife who decides to leave home, and a seamstress who brings the spirit of Christmas to a lonely family.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical Christmas Romance Oct. 23 2005
By Gemma
Format:Paperback
From the back cover:
Timeless stories of love and joy from four of historical romance's most popular authors.
1) Rendezvous by Elaine Barbieri
Two displaced Southerners come to realize that Christmas will never be right again until they are together forever.
2) The Wolf and the Lamb by Kathleen Eagle
As the Christmas season approaches, a spinster, her two stepdaughters, and a Metis Indian scout discover that they have become a family.
3) Christmas in the Valley by Margaret Moore
Married to a Welsh miner, Kitty Maude doesn't realize what it means to be married until the Christmas she decides to leave home.
4) Keeping Christmas by Patricia Gardner Evans
An itinerant seamstress bring the spirit of Christmas into the lives of a crusty rancher and two abandoned children.
And my review:
With so many "big names" in this collection, you'd think it would be a five star book, but it's not. I could not even make myself finish the first three stories. They just did not capture my interest.
I normally like Elaine Barbieri, but this didn't measure up to her normal standards. Couldn't hold my interest, and I gave up.
I didn't have much hope for Kathleen Eagle's story, and my assumptions were correct. I haven't yet read anything by her that I've managed to finish, I'm sorry to say, as I am a fan of Native American romance.
Margaret Moore's story I found impossible to follow. Details and thoughts and dialoge just hit you from all directions, until the plot was completely indiscernable. Gave up after two pages. I've read her full-length historical "A Warrior's Lady", which I enjoyed, and recommend it over this tale.
Patricia Gardner Evans' story saved this book from the donation pile. It was enjoyable, and worth a re-read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute stories to inspire the Christmas spirit! Dec 18 2006
By Donna K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What was most captivating about this anthology was that the characters in each story had different cultural backgrounds and holiday customs.

Rendevous: Love that starts off as friendship is usually of the strongest and most long-lasting kind. This is a heartwarming story about a young lady who meets up with a family friend she hadn't seen in years. She's loved him deeply since she was a child but he always viewed her as a kid-sister. Can she make him fall in love with the warm and wonderful woman she's become before he marries the snobby and pretentious woman he's engaged to? And will he realize that his platonic sisterly love for her has grown into a mature and true love before he marries the wrong woman? These are two very likeable characters, who interact with eachother in a delightful way. The ranch workers and the wilderness setting add depth and interest to the story.

The Wolf and the Lamb: I am a huge fan of Kathleen Eagle's Native American stories, and this one did not disappoint at all, offering strong characters and lots of culture. A Boston-bred woman travels to the western frontier to meet up with her mail-order husband, but arrives to find he'd died and left two young daughters alone. The "half-bred" man who happened to be traveling on the same coach helps her to raise the girls, who are also half-breds. The prejudice they face is heartwrenching, and in their search for tolerance and acceptance, they learn that love is the strongest bond of all.

Christmas in the Valley: This story was set in an interesting coal mining community in Wales. The protagonists are childhood classmates who meet up years later and find that their crushes have developed into love. However, Kitty fears of losing her husband in a mine accident run so deep that she decides to leave the marriage. Gareth cannot keep his promise to change jobs until he is successful as the leader of miners fighting to improve safety in the industry. Besides, there aren't many other jobs to be found in the area. Their priorities are reevaluated when an accident does occur and they come to the realization of what's most important in life.

Keeping Christmas: Karin is a Swedish immigrant and a traveling seamstress, moving from the cold Minnesota territory to the warmer New Mexico region. She plans to visit fellow countrymen there for Christmas, only to find that they've died in an accident, leaving their two children whom they adopted off the orphan train orphaned once again. She stays and provides them with an authentic Swedish Christmas, grows to love them, and then petitions to adopt them. However, singles are ineligible to adopt, and Karin will not enter into a marriage of convenience because she is determined to marry for love.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "GREAT" Jan. 14 2006
By BOOK READER - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Contrary to the other reviewer, I enjoyed the book VERY MUCH!!

They were very different in there story line, but, very well done. It would be hard for me to pick out which was best, for they were all very good. I especially enjoyed "Rendezvous" by Elaine Barbieri. It had a very different twist to it, and she had me captured with the first chapter. But then "The Wolf & The Lamb" by Kathleen Eagle was good too. I love all of Margaret Moore's books and have all of them and have yet to be disappointed. "Keeping Christmas" by Patricia Evans Gardner was well written and made you realize how hard it was for a single woman in the old west. I don't know what to say about reading the book. As far as I am concerned, it is worth the search to find and read. I don't think you will be disappointed.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical Christmas Romance Oct. 23 2005
By Gemma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
From the back cover:

Timeless stories of love and joy from four of historical romance's most popular authors.

1) Rendezvous by Elaine Barbieri

Two displaced Southerners come to realize that Christmas will never be right again until they are together forever.

2) The Wolf and the Lamb by Kathleen Eagle

As the Christmas season approaches, a spinster, her two stepdaughters, and a Metis Indian scout discover that they have become a family.

3) Christmas in the Valley by Margaret Moore

Married to a Welsh miner, Kitty Maude doesn't realize what it means to be married until the Christmas she decides to leave home.

4) Keeping Christmas by Patricia Gardner Evans

An itinerant seamstress bring the spirit of Christmas into the lives of a crusty rancher and two abandoned children.

And my review:

With so many "big names" in this collection, you'd think it would be a five star book, but it's not. I could not even make myself finish the first three stories. They just did not capture my interest.

I normally like Elaine Barbieri, but this didn't measure up to her normal standards. Couldn't hold my interest, and I gave up.

I didn't have much hope for Kathleen Eagle's story, and my assumptions were correct. I haven't yet read anything by her that I've managed to finish, I'm sorry to say, as I am a fan of Native American romance.

Margaret Moore's story I found impossible to follow. Details and thoughts and dialoge just hit you from all directions, until the plot was completely indiscernable. Gave up after two pages. I've read her full-length historical "A Warrior's Lady", which I enjoyed, and recommend it over this tale.

Patricia Gardner Evans' story saved this book from the donation pile. It was enjoyable, and worth a re-read. I especially loved reading about the Welsh Christmas traditions, as I'd never heard of most of them before. This story was very well researched, but the historical detail was woven in so well that it only enhanced the story instead of distracting from it. My only complaint with this novella were the frequent point-of-view switches. But once I got past that, I really enjoyed this tale. Four stars.

Again, only one good story out of the collection, but that's right on par for an anthology.
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