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A Christmas Bride: Only Us: A Fool's Gold Holiday\The Sheik and the Christmas Bride Mass Market Paperback – October 23, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mallery's prose is luscious and provocative."

-Publishers Weekly

"Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling."

-Booklist

"Romance, vivid characters and a wonderful story; really who could ask for more?"

--Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author on Blackberry Summer by RaeAnne Thayne

From the Author

Dear Reader,

It thrills my heart that readers love Christmas romances as much as I do! The response to A FOOL'S GOLD CHRISTMAS has been truly heartwarming. To keep that happy feeling going, I'm pleased to offer A CHRISTMAS BRIDE. A CHRISTMAS BRIDE includes reissues of two of my holiday romances.

First up is Only Us: A Fool's Gold Holiday novella, in print for the first time after being issued as an ebook exclusive last year. (Happy news for those of you who would like to have all the stories in paperback!) Pet groomer Rina Fiore has a problem: she's in love with her boss, veterinarian Cameron McKenzie. He loves animals and children, and he's sexy, too. Unfortunately, he sees Rina as nothing more than an employee and part-time nanny to his precocious daughter. If Rina confesses her feelings, she could lose them both forever... but if she doesn't, she might be doomed to spend another Christmas alone.

The second story in A CHRISTMAS BRIDE, The Sheik and the Christmas Bride, is pure fantasy, a heartwarming comic tribute to The King and I, with a desert prince-cum-single father overwhelmed by his responsibilities to three orphaned little girls. Desperate for help, Prince As'ad hires the girls' teacher, Kayleen James, to serve as the royal nanny... and then, perhaps, his bride. If you haven't tried one of my sheik books, you're in for a lot of fun. These books are romps - strong women who bring powerful, sexy men to their knees.

To see a complete list of all of my books in order of publication, please visit the Freebies page inside the Members Only area of my website.

Susan Mallery
read. laugh. love.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fool's Gold
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN; Reissue edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373778023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373778027
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives--romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they're an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I always tread lightly when reading two books published as one, but since I love the "Fools Gold" series so much, I gave it a whirl.

ONLY YOU: What a disappointment. The entire story was about 70 pages - far shorter than any novella I have read. The story has no depth or character development like her full length novels, so it was difficult to care about the mismatched hero or heroine. Mallery is such a gifted writer and can churn out great novels one after another - this story just falls so short.

THE SHEIK & THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE: Takes up the bulk of the novel - a whopping 2/3 in fact! I did not make it through the entire story. The dialogue and plot were both atrocious and I just could not get into the storyline, and wondered how this could be written by the same person.

Don't judge the writer by these two stories - check out her other series, including the Marcelli Sisters, the foodies from the northwest, the sweet series, and of course the great other stories in the Fools Gold series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was two stories in one. Short novella--ONLY US, and regular length category--THE SHEIK AND THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE.

ONLY US, as I feel with most shorts, lacked the depth needed to pull off the story. I wished this had been full length. Pet groomer Carina Fiore wants to confess her feelings for her veterinarian boss Cameron McKenzie. She's loved him and his son for years, and with the spirit of Christmas miracles, she finally gets the courage. Cameron's reaction and the love story itself felt forced, as did the conflict. Again, I'm confident Mallery could have pulled this off and issues resolved had this been full length. In saying that, the idea was a great one, and the secondary characters were so lovable, as was the town.

THE SHEIK AND THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE fell a tad flat for me. I loved the premise of prince and peasant, but the emotional conflict never gelled. Prince As'ad of El Deharia agrees to adopt three orphaned girls when their beautiful teacher, Kayleen James, tries to save them from a terrible fate. But when she becomes his nanny, she does more than inhabit his castle, she captures his heart. I will say Mallery had me tearing up for those kids and Kayleen's backstory. And I wanted a HEA for them all badly. I suppose my biggest issue was the prince himself, and his runaround on love.

Alas, I still love Mallery and will read her books 'til she stops writing them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting Susan Mallery book. I didn't enjoy it as much as others. Maybe the Sheik aspect was farfetched.
The 3 girls appeared to be an important part of the plot but even that turned out to be fluff. An easy read but did not
hold my attention and did not keep me wanting to read further.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really hope these two novellas aren't good indicators of Mallery's writing ability/style. Only Us was okay. It felt too short to really even be a novella. It composes maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the entire Christmas Bride book, and it's a 'small' book as it is. So Only Us seemed rushed and I really didn't understand its purpose.

The Sheik and the Christmas Bride was at least triple the length Only Us was. But SCB was still kind of...off. The heroine was a let down. She starts off passionate and interesting but withers away. The dialogue was off. The little side romance with the King's sister (which would make her a princess) was off because she starts dating a king from another country and is all giddy and worried about him being a king....she's a king's sister. Why would a crown intimidate her? I don't get it....

I'll give Mallery a try again, but I won't be buying anything. She'll probably end up on my 'library list'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a 2-in-1 reprint of novellas, though one is really a long short story. I bought it because the short story was set in the world of the author's Fool's Gold series, which I'm following. Since I had the book anyway I also read the second entry, The Sheikh and the Christmas Bride, which was so ridiculous that I continued reading it just for the ludicrous set-up. There's a wealthy desert kingdom in the Middle East, whose king has six unmarried sons. Okay, that's a good premise for a series of books. But right away, unreality sets in and never departs. First, there's never the slightest hint that anyone in this kingdom practices Islam. There are slight hints that sometime in the distant past, women were not on a par with men, but now the country is as modern as the USA. Second, the king's widowed sister concocts a plan to throw a nubile young woman at one of the princes. Who is the Chosen Fair One? Why, a 25-year-old virgin who was raised in a convent and expects to become a nun, who never knew who her father was. Just what any monarch wants for a daughter-in-law. Third, the plan winds up convincing the prince to adopt three American sisters and taking along the virgin to be their nanny, as if any Middle Eastern royal family would adopt American orphans. And so on, including our intrepid heroine (who has flashing eyes and flaming tresses) insisting on everyone saying Grace before meals, the sheikh included. There is a Christmas pageant at the local school and naturally the sheikh goes along with every Christian aspect of it. This version of sheikhdom reads like something concocted by a pre-teen with a vivid imagination and absolutely no knowledge of the Middle East, the desert, or anything other than the exotic sound of the word 'sheikh'. I'm giving it three stars because of the entertainment value, not because it's a good book. The only thing it's good for is a laugh.
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