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4.3 out of 5 stars
A Christmas Bride: Only Us: A Fool's Gold Holiday\The Sheik and the Christmas Bride
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 8, 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 28, 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
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 EditionVerified 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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on October 30, 2012
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Susan Mallery gives us two love stories that take place around Christmas time and the two couldn't be more different.

The first and shorter story entitled Only Us:A Fool's Gold Christmas, introduces us to pet groomer Rina who finds herself in love with the vet she works for - Cameron, only he doesn't know it. Complicating matters is Cameron's only child, Kaitlyn whom Rina has become very close to . Taking the advice from a friend, Rina decides to risk it all and admit her feelings to Cameron only to discover that he is not willing to take their friendship any further for fear he and his daughter will suffer if she leaves them like his wife did when Kaitlyn was only two weeks old.

Can Cameron let go of the past, open up his heart and take a chance on love? Well, it's Fool's Gold so you probably already know the answer to that!

The Sheik and the Christmas Bride is another type of romance all together and requires the reader to suspend reality for a moment and just try to forget how unlikely the whole scenario really is. In the spirit of Christmas and romance, you may want to give it a try. This story involves a wealthy Sheik prince who finds himself in the position of agreeing to adopt 3 little American orphan girls to keep peace with a nearby tribal chief. Handsome and wealthy, Prince As'ad does this thinking he will have little to do with the girls since the palace is large and they have a nanny to look after them. But Kaitlyn is no ordinary nanny and she is determined that the girls will have an involved and loving parent and a real family. She has her work cut out for her since As'ad feels that love is for weaker men and certainly not for a prince! Can Kaitlyn convince her prince that it's the strongest of men who can accept and give love?

These are two nice little romances, nothing earth shattering, just two stories about men who need convincing that love is worth the time and the risk, so if this appeals to you and you like happy endings, you will like this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love all of your books but I have my favorite which is Fool's Gold. Please consider going back to the beginning and putting the paperback on cd or MP3. I drive 50 miles one way to work; so I go througha couple of audio books a week. I would love to hear how it started.A Christmas Bride I have not read or heard yet. I work and read all day long that is why I listen to books now. When I retire I am planning on going back to books or use one of my 3 e-books (can't use it now because I am driving).

There just might be other people that would enjoy listening to them too.
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on March 28, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ok so I thought this book was tied in with the fools gold books by this author well it's not really. The first 77 pages are quick Catch up the happiness in fools gold. Then the rest of the book is about a prince who seems to avoid trying to find his princess till one day four girls are dropped into his world and he fights tooth and nail against the change. I love both stories but I think the stories very well could and should have been separated if you love Susan's books you will not be disappointed in this one for sure can't wait for the next one
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on August 22, 2013
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book because I have been an avid reader of the Fool's Gold Series and this book wasn't really a book of that continuing series but rather a short story of a character I hardly remembered. Tacking on the Susan Mallery reissue of an old story was also disappointing because it is a series of sorts but so old it will difficult to get any of the rest of it. I don't understand the need to fake a book of the series. What's up with that Susan Mallery? This was a rip off to your loyal readers.
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on November 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
this book is a great value dealing with a few perks. i got it from a reasonable used book vendor, and much to my surprise, the book arrived quickly and in wonderful condition to boot. i dont think it was even read, as the book looked to me to be brand new! i love to read holiday themed books at this time of year. if you like holiday books to read you wont be disappointed in this one. it also has 2 novels under the same cover, a reasonable and affordable book for you to enjoy!!
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