Miracles, love and forgiveness shine brightly in this trio of lovely holiday stories that capture the atmosphere of the era with three-dimensional characters and colorful backdrops.

Brisbin shows how childhood love can be rekindled if you "Blame It on the Mistletoe." Now crippled Ian MacLerie realizes he still loves Julia Fairchild. A bit of matchmaking, mistletoe and a fall through the ice bring them together for a second chance.

Needing a respite from the marriage mart, Allen Mansfell meets spinster Meredyth Wellingford, who has just about given up her dream of marrying for love. There's a spark between them, but will Merry have her "Christmas Wedding Wish," as Justiss desires?

In Burrows' "The Rake's Secret Son," Nell's onetime husband, Carleton Tillotson, whom everyone thinks is dead, returns. He barely remembers marrying her and refuses to claim the child as his before marching off to war. But he's faced with a child who looks like him, a woman he believes he can love and a new heir to his title who wants him dead. Can he unravel truth from fiction? (Harlequin, Nov., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin