by Jo Beverley, Margaret Moore and Deborah Simmons

December 1999
ISBN: 0-373-83417-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback

These three wonderful Christmas romances are set in the middle ages. In The Wise Virgin, by Jo Beverley, the de Grave and de Montelan families, have been feuding for generations over the possession of the Bethlehem Banner; which has been carried into Bethlehem by crusading ancestors of both families. The de Graves have it, and the de Montelans think it's the cause of their neighbors' fame and glory. When Nicolette de Montelan falls in love with Gerald de Grave, they make love and Nicolette becomes pregnant. Unthinkable, then, that she play the part of the Virgin Mary in the de Montelans' traditional Christmas reenactment. Her impoverished cousin, Joan of Hawes, takes her place, but then it is Joan who is snatched by the great Edmund de Graves, the Golden Lion, trying to save his brother's beloved from disaster.

Forced to hide from pursuit in a cave, neither Edmund nor Joan are pleased with the situation or each other, but through Christmas Eve, they begin to see that they have each found their heart's delight. What hope, though, when a deadly feud stands between them, worsened now by this night's events? Can they find a way to heal ancient wounds and free both families from the prison of hate?

In The Vagabond Knight by Margaret Moore, a lady's quiet Christmas is disrupted by a boisterous knight, who seeks shelter from a storm. Lady Katherine DuMonde thinks Sir Rafe Bracton is trouble the moment she sees him, but courtesy and duty command that she be a hospitable hostess. As for Rafe, he thinks the lady will enjoy his company, once she thaws. Rafe, however, has seriously underestimated Lady Katherine. She has long told herself she doesn't need any friendly companionship, or anything else a man might offer, especially one as noisy and overwhelming as the undeniably attractive Rafe. Drawn together by circumstances, the couple are forced to confront both their pasts and their future as they discover the most precious gift of all, love.

In The Unexpected Guest, by Deborah Simmons; members of the powerful medieval family of de Burghs are gathering at Campion Castle for their Christmas celebration. But the worst weather in living memory threatens to curtail the festivities until the arrival of a mysterious visitor who changes the course of the holiday - and their lives. If I tell you anything more about the plot, it will be completely given away. Needless to say, this is a fun and exciting story.

All three stories are very well written. The characters are fully developed and believable and the plots are fun, exciting and flow well. This is a very nice addition to your Christmas library.

Reviewed in June 2003 by Debbie.