Read His Mistletoe Wager by Virginia Heath Online

his-mistletoe-wager

"Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal." Notorious rake Henry Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is certain he'll win his Christmas bet—until he learns he'll be stealing Lady Elizabeth Wilding's kisses. A woman who refuses to be charmed! Once jilted, Lizzie must guard her heart, because the ton is unaware of her scandalous secret—her son! Despite the"Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal." Notorious rake Henry Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is certain he'll win his Christmas bet—until he learns he'll be stealing Lady Elizabeth Wilding's kisses. A woman who refuses to be charmed! Once jilted, Lizzie must guard her heart, because the ton is unaware of her scandalous secret—her son! Despite their increasing attraction, she can't risk the persistent Hal bringing down her defenses. But when her former fiancé returns, Lizzie realizes that perhaps Hal's the one man she can trust—with her heart and her son…...

Title : His Mistletoe Wager
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780373629732
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 282 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

His Mistletoe Wager Reviews

  • Caz
    2019-04-23 17:11

    If you only read one Christmassy historical romance this year, I’d strongly advise you to make it this one.  His Mistletoe Wager is simply delightful from start to finish; it’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s full of warmth and tenderness - and in Hal Stuart, Virginia Heath has created one of the most swoonworthy heroes I’ve read all year.The story opens with a prologue set five years before the book proper begins, with Lady Elizabeth Wilding awaiting the arrival of her bridegroom, the Marquess of Rainham. She’s blissfully happy, deeply in love with her fiancé and can’t wait to tell him the news that she’s to bear his child – but her hopes for a bright future are dashed when her brother arrives at the church to tell her that Rainham isn’t coming.  He has run off with the Duke of Aylesbury’s daughter and her large fortune.Five years on, and we learn that Elizabeth – whose aloofness and icy demeanour have earned her the nickname “sullen Lizzie” - is still moving about in society, having had her child in secret with the full support of her family, which is a refreshing change from so many stories where a heroine “in trouble” is disowned.  Her father, a prominent member of the government, is eager for Lizzie to marry, and has, over the past few years, paraded suitor after suitor in front of her in the hopes that one of them would take her fancy – but to no avail.  Lizzie is determined to remain unwed for the sake of her son; she has no desire to surrender her independence to a man who might take Georgie away from her or mistreat him, and she certainly has no desire to fall in love. In fact, though she knows it will break her father’s heart, she has made plans to retire to a small village in Yorkshire where she can live as a widow and allow Georgie to grow up without the need for secrecy and where he will be able to have a normal life among other children. She hasn’t yet had the heart to tell her father of her plans, but she is holding fast to her intention to depart after Twelfth Night.Having inherited his title around a year earlier, Hal Stuart, the Earl of Redbridge is surprised to discover that he rather enjoys all the things that go along with being an earl.  He’s got a talent for spotting good investments and has already substantially increased the family fortune, he is a good landlord and estate manager and he likes being involved in politics, things he never in a million years thought he’d actually enjoy after having spent his youth rebelling against his unpleasant, authoritarian father.Even more worrying for Hal – who has rather a devilish reputation as a ladies’ man – is that he hasn’t felt much like sowing any of the wild oats he’s certain that, at twenty-seven, he still has in abundance.  He’s not sure exactly what’s wrong with him, and right now, between escorting his mother to various seasonal entertainments and dodging the eager match-making mamas and their equally eager debutante daughters, Hal doesn’t really have the time to work it out.  But he’s certainly not himself, and is pondering the problem of his absent libido with his best friend and brother-in-law, Aaron Wincanton (who married Hal’s sister, Connie in Her Enemy at the Altar) suggests that perhaps Hal is just missing the thrill of the chase now he’s got women throwing themselves at him.  In an attempt to pull Hal out of his funk, Aaron suggests a wager.  His interest piqued, Hal listens as Aaron outlines the details of The Mistletoe Wager (their silly wagers always have names), which is that Hal must steal five kisses in five different locations from a lady of Aaron’s choosing before Twelfth Night.  No prizes for guessing whom Aaron chooses ;)Daunted but not defeated, Hal quickly realises that the best way to approach Lizzie is to make it clear he’s not interested in her at all, but rather that he is taking advantage of her formidable reputation as an ice maiden to repel all boarders and hide from the barely-out-of-the-schoolroom-chits who keep trying to corner him. Surprised at such an approach, Lizzie finds herself sympathising with his plight and before she can help herself, tells him she’s in a similar situation vis-à-vis her father’s eagerness for her to marry.  Hal immediately sees a way for him to be able to spend time in Lizzie’s company and suggests they can help each other out.  If they pretend to be interested in each other, the debutantes will leave Hal alone and Lizzie will be able to refuse the attentions of the gentlemen her father continues to hope she will favour.At first, Lizzie is appalled at the idea.  But when the smarmy Lord Ockendon approaches her and makes a number of cryptic comments that seem to indicate he knows something damaging about her, Lizzie changes her mind and agrees to Hal’s suggestion that they act like a courting couple until the Redbridge ball on Twelfth Night.Yes, we all know where this is going, but Ms. Heath has fashioned a story of surprising depth and emotional complexity behind the whimsical set up and title.  Hal is still of the opinion that he’s far too young to be thinking about settling down, but it’s clear from the start that he’s no longer the hellion he was and is already making the transition from wild youth to responsible adult. He keeps telling himself he isn’t ready for marriage, but his actions towards Lizzie, his thoughts and feelings about her – feelings he steadfastly denies are born of anything other than the enjoyment he finds in her company – reveal he’s most certainly ready and more than that, he’s well over half-way head-over-heels in love.  He’s witty, clever and gorgeous; and more to the point, after an initial mis-step, takes the truth of Lizzie’s situation in his stride and wants to help and protect her however he can.Lizzie could have been the rather stereotypical ice-maiden who guards her heart after being disappointed in love, but in Ms. Heath’s hands she’s more than that; she’s a woman determined to protect her son at all costs, even going so far as to give up all hope of personal fulfilment and happiness.  She’s young and beautiful, and should have been enjoying the thrill of a stolen kiss, a first waltz or a harmless flirtation, but thanks to Rainham’s faithlessness, she has missed out on all those youthful pleasures, taking refuge instead behind the emotional walls she has erected.Ms. Heath develops their relationship splendidly, showing two mature, like-minded people trading quips and intelligent discussion enjoying each other’s company and coming to know each other.  Before long, spending time with Lizzie has become far more important to Hal than the wager, and Lizzie, who had sworn never again to be taken in by good looks and charm, realises that there is far more to Hal than a pretty face and that there’s an intelligent and well-informed man behind the rakish exterior.Of course there are a few road-bumps along the way to true love and happiness.  The threat to Lizzie is nasty and is extended to those she loves, and Ms. Heath thankfully doesn’t opt to go down the Big Mis route.  Lizzie knows she can’t handle it alone and confides in her father and in Hal, who really does leave no stone unturned in order to help her.His Mistletoe Wager is romantic, funny, poignant and will charm you completely. If you’re wondering what to give yourself for Christmas… it’s the perfect seasonal treat.

  • Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
    2019-05-03 21:28

    What a delightful, romantic and heart-warming Christmas story!Henry (Hal) Stuart, only son and heir to the Earl of Redbridge, hated everything his mean, dictatorial father stood for and adopting a rakish lifestyle was his way of annoying his father. After inheriting the earldom, Hal finds that his old life has lost its appeal and he is more interested in running the estate, reading the financial news and listening to debates in the Lords. He isn’t looking forward to approaching Christmas season because it means he will be obligated to continue the family tradition of attending every festive event for a month culminating in a ball hosted by himself on Twelfth Night. Since rejecting his old lifestyle, Hal feels that something is missing in his life and when his brother-in-law and best friend, Aaron Wincanton, Viscount Ardleigh, suggests a wager – steal 5 kisses, one for each berry on the sprig of mistletoe Hal is holding, in five different locations before Twelfth Night, with the usual stake of the loser mucking out the other’s stables single-handed – it’s a wager that Hal has every confidence in winning…“I can assure you. I am the single most eligible man at this ball. I am phenomenally wealthy, devilishly handsome, totally charming and, as you have quite rightly pointed out, I’m an earl. There isn’t a young lady in that ballroom who would not welcome my advances.”Maybe his confidence might be a little premature when Aaron names the lady he has chosen for the wager…the frosty, unapproachable Lady Elizabeth Wilding.Lady Elizabeth (Lizzie) Wilding’s world was shattered when her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, leaving her not only broken-hearted but pregnant as well. Her father used his political connections and respected position in society to protect his daughter’s reputation and Lizzie has emerged a stronger and harder woman. Her father refuses to give up hope that she might find a suitable husband but nothing will tempt her to ever marry again.She was no longer a dreamer but a realist whose eyes had been opened to the harsh realities of life.Lizzie has been able to keep her son George’s (Georgie) existence a secret, but he has led an isolated existence well away from the eyes of the ton. Now he is older, Lizzie wants Georgie to have a normal childhood; to go school, make friends and grow up free from the stigma of his illegitimacy. She has purchased a cottage in Yorkshire with an inheritance from her grandmother and, once the Christmas festivities are over, she intends to start a new life there as Mrs Smith, a young war widow. The only thing Lizzie dreads is telling her father who has always stood by her and adores his grandson.It is wonderful to see how much Lizzie loves her son Charlie and the sacrifices she is willing to make to protect him. She is also selfless in her love for and loyalty to her father and her determination that her foolish indiscretion will not bring scandal to the family. I admire Lizzie’s father who clearly loves his daughter very much and gives her his unconditional support when so many girls in her situation would have been shunned by their family and forced to give up their baby.I love how the relationship between Hal and Lizzie develops slowly. I anticipated that their initial meeting at the ball would be full of witty banter and I wasn’t disappointed. When Hal’s tactics fail, and Lizzie gives him short shrift, he is not one to admit defeat where a wager is concerned, even if it means confronting the Wilding’s large, imposing butler, Stevens, who looks more like a prize fighter than a butler. Their various exchanges are pure delight.Hal edged into the room as her bodyguard glared at him murderously. ‘I will be just outside the door. Just outside the door.’‘Message received and understood, Stevens. Whilst you are out there, I don’t suppose you could rustle up some tea?’ Hal grinned cheekily, and she quite admired his bravado. ‘Only it’s dashed cold outside and I could do with something to warm me up.’I ADORE Hal and totally fell in love with him. Beneath all that flippant, roguish charm is an honourable, intelligent and kind man. He sees beyond Lizzie’s ironclad façade to the beautiful, intelligent, loyal and witty woman beneath, whose company he enjoys and is determined to discover the secret he knows she is hiding, even if it involves risking life and limb scaling an ancient wisteria bush! When he finds out about Georgie, initially he has mixed emotions, but ultimately he realises that…Lizzie was his friend. She was in trouble.An innocent little boy was in trouble, too.I enjoyed seeing Lizzie gradually softening towards Hal and recognising that he is more than just a charming rake lacking in substance and purpose; he is a strong, honourable and loyal man, willing to defend her against the evil machinations of the odious Lord Ockenden and his associate, Lizzie’s former fiancé, the dissolute Marquess of RainhamHer knight in shining armour smiled, although there was ice in his eyes and a hardness about his jaw she had never seen before. Physically he appeared to have grown. Devoid of his veneer of charm, he was huge. Menacing. Ready to charge into battle like one of the lead soldiers he had picked out for her little boy.Hal has such a natural way with children which is evident in the way he strikes up an immediate rapport with Georgie and their scenes together are charming. I also love how he insists on teaching his nieces to be hellions much to the chagrin of his sister, Connie.I feel that Ms. Heath handles the solution to the potential scandal surrounding Georgie in a clever and believable way and paves the way for a well-deserved Happy Ever After for Hal and Lizzie.MY VERDICT: If you are looking for a delightful, witty, romantic and passionate romance to read over the festive period, then I can most definitely recommend His Mistletoe Wager.**I received a complimentary copy from the author for the purposes of an honest review** This review was first posted on my Rakes and Rascals Blog:https://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com...

  • Frankie Reviews
    2019-05-07 19:24

    This is my first Christmas book of the year and it is a doozy, and it can’t be kept just for Christmas “His Mistletoe Wager” should be read now and then again and again and then at Christmas and then again…Five years earlier Elizabeth (Lizzie) Wilding is waiting in the church for the love of her life, only to be horrible jilted by only to be told by a note hastely scribbled. She is broken this man was suppose to be her happy ever after, she had given him everything even her innocence only for him to jilt her. Leaving her facing scandal and censor, not only that but leaving her pregnant.Now she is five years older she has sworn off men for the rest of her life, she has built a wall around her heart and no man will ever broach it again, the only man she wants in her life is her son; George. She has decided that now her son is getting older she is to leave her aristocratic life and move to Yorkshire in peace where her and her cute as button son, George can live without all the cloak and dagger, creeping around as what happens now. She has planned to live her life as a widow, which is entirely proper and also she knows that as a widow her son will be accepted. But unfortunately for lizzie her father has yet again decided that she needs to get herself back on the marriage market and it would be in her best interest to find a gent and get married.To not only complicate things and make matters worse for her, she has caught the attention of the rakish and womanizing Henry Stuart, the new Earl of Redbridge, for whatever reason he has suddenly decided that she is exactly what he needs to get through this Christmas. He makes her a bargain that she cannot possibly pass up, but in dealing with the devil himself will she be able to fulfil her dream of living independently? Or will she succumb to his charms?The initial meeting between her and Hal is really very funny, he forces himself in to her little bubble and she is just so irritated by him. She literally think of him as a pesky wasp that first needs swatting with a good old fashioned barbed, tongue lashing. When that doesn’t work she decided that the only way to make the wasp go away is to ignore it, which is highly amusing.I really like Lizzie, people from society may think of her as an ice queen and a boring old spinster who wouldn’t know fun if it danced naked in front of her, but that’s just a visage. That’s how she wants everyone to think her to be, that way she is protecting her damaged heart and her young son. She is a really good mother to him she tries her very utmost best for him, and her plan to move to the country to live as a widow is proof of far she will go to make sure her son gets the very best life. And to be perfectly honest, I can’t fault her for her plan to live in a secluded cottage in Yorkshire. The girl is on the money.I like her father as well, the way he protects his daughter from the society vultures, he makes sure that after the jilting no scandal will tarnish Lizzie’s name. He even goes against the grain of the time by letting Lizzie keep her illegitimate son which was very rare as most unwed aristocratic women had their children taken away to hide the scandal. I applaud him for that and I highly applaud him for what he did, maybe not the best course of action but applaudable anyway.Hal has got to the point in his life where he is bored of the rakish behaviour, he want’s something more to fill his days. Not just a quick tryst with a willing widow, he finds that since gaining the title he has found an whole new love of books and politics and how things are run.He has spent his life going against the grain and flaunting his rakish ways for all and sundry to see but now that he has taken his rightful place in parliament he finds that he enjoys the debates. He is growing into the Earl we know deep down he is and, we as readers can see what he’s missing in his life and why he isn’t as bothered with bed hopping as he used to be. But as ever with our heroes it does take them a while to get to the conclusion that; Yes, he needs a woman! A good, strong woman who can put him in his place.I do love a Christmas story and this is such a sweet, festive tale that can be read at any time. For me Lizzie’s personal struggle and trials that she has to face and what she has gone through is the centre stone of the book, and that’s what Heath is particularly very good at. She brings the character’s alive and as always Heath transports you to another time and place with her charming and enigmatic writing, which is as ever spot on.For me Aaron does steal the book, but that’s probably because I have a soft spot for him. I love what Heath’s done with him and his family it’s so good catching up with Connie and Aaron and seeing how well their doing and how they are still the super cute couple they were in the end of their book.Over all Ms Heath has done it again, she had created a fun Christmassy and intriguing love story and one that I highly recommend.

  • Phoenix77
    2019-04-25 17:31

    Virginia Heath’s winning streak of rich, thoughtful romances continues with her latest release, His Mistletoe Wager. This holiday story is an early gift for readers and the season’s joy fills every moment as a young woman’s damaged heart is healed by the kind of man she swore never to trust again.It was very easy for Lady Elizabeth Wilding to fall in love with the handsome Lord Rainham. Despite the rumors of his rakish ways, Lizzie was charmed when he told her his heart beat only for her as well as by his attentions at each dance and his playful way of stealing kisses. Their wedding day is planned down to the smallest detail and will hopefully be the envy of her peers. It is also to be the day that Lizzie shares the wonderful news that their family of two will soon become three. Unfortunately Lizzie’s dream of becoming a wife is crushed when her groom never arrives at the church.Five years later, Lizzie has sworn off marriage and closed off her heart. Her love is saved for her young son, George, who has been raised out of public sight in her father’s house. Lizzie knows isolating George forever is impossible and she’s made plans to leave London behind and begin anew in Yorkshire as a widow raising her child alone. She’s been reluctant to reveal her plans to her father who protected her from the fallout of Rainham’s abandonment and who still hopes that Lizzie will marry. Lizzie has been patient with her father’s matchmaking while she put her plans together, but with her home in Yorkshire all set-up, this Christmas season will be her last in London. All she needs to do now is attend the high profile functions in town, dance with a few of her father’s acquaintances and then quietly disappear forever. She doesn’t expect to be swept off her feet by another scandalous gentleman.Please read the full review at All About Romance

  • Amy Ella
    2019-05-14 19:35

    "Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal." And what powerful kisses they are! *Still Swooning...*Hal is gorgeous, inside and out but, as we all know ‘rakes make the best husbands!’ Especially when they meet a heroine who can hold her own and is not easily swayed by flowery words. Hal’s rakish attitude is nothing but a superficial layer; hiding a very loveable and loyal man that had me all a flutter. Lizzie is a heroine who has learnt from her past mistakes and is sworn off men, all for the love of her child and family. I loved her fierceness when it came to protecting those she loved. Hal and Lizzie’s story smells, tastes and feels every bit like a Christmas miracle! My first festive read and it’s full of every magical ingredient I needed to kick-start my Christmas. I stayed up way passed my bed time reading this one and it was worth being a zombie for today. His Mistletoe Wager will leave you glowing and ready to break out the mistletoe, 5 stars from me!

  • Donna
    2019-04-28 17:22

    Wonderful Christmas story! I really enjoyed it.Hal Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, enjoys being a bachelor, but lately feels like he's missing something. His sister, Connie, [Her Enemy at the Altar] is happily married to Aaron Wincanton and they have 2 daughters. Hal and Aaron love to bet on things and the loser has to muck out the winner's stable. While at a Christmas party Aaron challenges Hal to steal 5 kisses by Twelfth Night from a woman Aaron chooses. Aaron's choice is Lady Elizabeth Wilding.Lady Elizabeth, aka Lizzie, was left at the altar 5 years ago by a man she believed loved her. She loved him and they anticipated their vows, resulting in her son, Georgie. She loves Georgie very much but he's mostly housebound to prevent ton gossip. Her plan is to move to a cottage away from London, change her last name and raise her son. Her father keeps introducing her to men, but she doesn't believe they would accept her son. She plans to tell her father, who loves his grandson, that she is moving after the holidays. Hal talks her into pretending, for the holiday season, they like each other to avoid the women chasing him and the men her father introduces her to. The time spent together has him thinking of marriage but she is still planning on leaving London and society after Twelfth Night. Hal meets Georgie and his reaction is not what she expected. The rest of the story you must read as several things, not all good, occur before the HEA. I don't like to write spoilers.I can easily recommend this standalone book. Characters from his sister's story do appear but you do not have to read that book to follow this one. Thanks to Virginia Heath for giving me an ARC. The release date is September 19th.

  • Lady Day
    2019-05-12 18:39

    My first book by Virginia Heath. Harlequin has great writers. I enjoy reading one or two Harlequin Christmas books each season. This book delivers all the components I enjoy during the holidays, a festive season with a slow romance and children. Usually, I don't like novellas, but the author creates a seamless plot by establishing depth to the characters and establishing history as acquaintances.Henry, "Hal" wagers against his brother-in-law, Aaron. Hal's not very concern with the wager. I like Hal, a family man in the making. The man has a vibe of being suave. For me, he's more mature than his actual age. Elizabeth "Lizzie" pessimistic and blasted noble to a fault. The woman is stubborn. However, I could not help sympathizing her "icy" behavior. At the beginning of the prologue, Lizzie quickly pulls you into the story. Her introductory scene helps the novella feel full, rich in details and good dialogue.I like how the author depicts and provide substantial justification for a seemingly unlikely couple. For those concern with bedroom doors opened, there is one. After reading this novella, I want to know Aaron and Connie's story.

  • Gwessie Tee
    2019-04-29 22:39

    Received arc in return for an honest reviewNaughtiness 4*As always Virginia never fails to have me captivated by every book she writes, the hero and heroine you want to champion, any who do them wring you want to take ain at in a duel to fight fir their honour and the giggles to be had are epically done.As always I will never give spoilers what I can tell you is that if you love romance Regency adventure and the magic of Christmas as well as a lovable rogue and endearing characters, you all without a doubt laugh, be enraged in their honour at some point because you love them so much they become kin.I was in tears a fair few points I was moved so much and also tears if joy thank you Virginia for writing tho amazing book for us to escape into away from the madness currently ongoing in the world today, I am as always in awe of your gift for story telling and am blessed to know you. thank you for writing it and the privilege of reading it. 💕

  • Em
    2019-05-12 18:19

    Excellent in every way.RHR review to come.

  • Michelle Cunliffe
    2019-05-01 23:18

    My ReviewI love reading Christmas books yes I know its September but you can ignore that small detail. Because this book is absolutely fantastic I just adored it from start to finish and as normal I can highly recommend it.This book had it all as normal Virginia had the humour, we also had the baddie and then at the end Virginia had me in tears but they were happy ones.I just adored Hal he may have rakish ways but god how I loved him, and I would have adored having a uncle like him who wasn't afraid of playing with children especially little girls, like his two nieces which he calls them hellions-in-training or as their mother calls them Prudence and Grace.There is nothing more that Hal likes doing and that is having wagers with his brother-in-law Aaron, who by the way is married to Connie Hal's sister. This particular Christmas Hal is the new Earl of Redbridge and is not looking forward to the festive season because between now and Twelfth night he is expected to attend all of the functions, because apparently it was a Redbridge tradition and one his mother was determined to continue, and so because Hal loves his mother he couldn't bring himself to complain and on Twefth night he has to host the most opulent and eagerly anticipated ball.I digressed right back to Hal and the wager. Hal is at the Renshaw ball when Aaron finds him outside with a sprig of mistletoe with five berries, and comes up with a very interesting wager were the looser mucks out the other's stables single-handed, so I hear you cry what is the wager, alright I'm getting there. The wager is five berries equal five kisses, each one has to be in a different location and all five before Twelfth Night. Hal at this point is very confident that he will get all five kisses with no problems, until Aaron says the full terms, which is he gets to choose who Hal has to kiss, Hal agrees to the terms and Aaron with mischief in his eyes spots the young lady he has chosen. The solitary figure of Lady Elizabeth Wilding or Sullen Lizzie, because apparently she loathes all men or does she.Now we come to the lovely Lizzie, I will not call her sullen because she isn't. I adore her I want to be her best friend, because of what happened five years ago. I found Lizzie to be courageous and she has such a caring heart and she also so strong well you would be when to society they believe and Hal is included with this, they believe she callously called off her wedding on the day she should have married The Marquis of Rainham. Well that's what society thinks in actual fact it was Rainham that jilted Lizzie at the alter and left her something that no one in society knows of or so she thinks and that is her son Georgie.Right from here I'm not revelling anything more just that watch out for The Earl of Ockenden who apparently has bad breath that can singe eyebrows off, that really does make me shudder. Also the Rainham makes appearance but he just spineless and Lizzie and Georgie are better off without him.There is one other person who I loved that is Stevens Lizzie butler and bodyguard, I did find him funny especially when he won't let Hal enter Lizzie's home. But Hal finds a way round that by climbing the wisteria much to Stevens annoyance, and that my friends is were I will end. I can here you now we want to know about the wisteria. Well you are going to have to buy the book and find for yourselves.Virginia I adored this book you have surpassed yourself. without a doubt I give this book 5/5 stars, I would give more but I can't.I received this ARC from the author in return for a honest review.This book is released on 1st October and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk

  • Adele
    2019-05-05 20:24

    My first festive read for the upcoming season and what a feast for your eyes it is. His Mistletoe Wager is a sequel to Virginia Heath’s Her Enemy at the Altar. His Mistletoe Wager can be read as a standalone but to fully appreciate and enjoy the full reading experience I would whole-heartedly recommend reading Her Enemy at the Altar first.This story focuses on Hal, Henry Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, brother of Connie who we fell in love with in the previous story. Hal is a notorious rake and has enjoyed many scandalous moments in his past however, he’s feeling a little out of sorts and now with the responsibility of the title bequeathed to him following his father’s death Hal has become more of a target to the ladies of society. Even the attention of the hordes of females cannot change his current mood but his brother-in-law, Aaron Wincanton, places a wager with him and challenges Hal to steal five kisses from a fair maiden between now and the Twelfth Night. The maiden Aaron has in mind is Lady Elizabeth Wilding.Lizzie Wilding has been hiding from society after being jilted at the altar five years ago. Her father wants her to return to the society scene but Lizzie would rather stay at home with her son she has so far kept hidden from the world. If her secret son was to be revealed she would be shamed and her son would be shunned. Life for a single mother was very tough in Regency time and was frowned upon. Yet Lizzie has more to fear than her secret son being revealed when a would be suitor starts blackmailing her. What hold does this unscrupulous man have on her?With Hal game on winning his wager and gaining five kisses from Lizzie he starts the challenge with his full charm offensive. However, Lizzie wasn’t to be easily won having sworn off men after being broken hearted. But the unlikely pair found they had more things in common than they first realised and a mutual understanding is sought.Once again Virginia Heath has had me swooning over the dashing hero Hal in this story. I loved the banter between Hal and Lizzie and Hal’s cheeky charm had me smiling on many occasion. The author was very clever though and gave Hal a sensitive, loyal side which had me sighing with contentment.A delectable regency romance story that had it all; swooning and charm, hero’s and villains, family saga, drama, love and longing. I adored it and I’m feeling bereft to be leaving my regency hero behind.

  • Zeba
    2019-05-13 22:35

    His Mistletoe Wager is an absolute treat to read.The characters are all beautifully crafted in a story which leaves you wanting more. There’s comedy, bromance, a bit of intrigue (which had me on the edge of my seat at times) and of course romance. The story has been beautifully developed and it had my attention all the way.Both Hal and Lizzie are wonderful characters and grab the readers’ attention and emotions with two hands from the go. Hal is a loveable rogue who despite what his reputation suggests, is an honourable and noble peer of the realm who you fall in love with at first sight. Lizzie is a classic case of ‘once bitten’, but her character evolves beautifully and believably. It’s not a sudden change of heart from uninterested to head over heels in love, but a gradual melting of the emotions which have been frozen due to the betrayal she suffered.This is a classic tale with a hero, heroine and villain, with supporting characters who are all delightful. Virginia Heath has given a truly festive gift with this book that is engaging and leaves the reader with a smile on their face and that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Highly recommended!

  • Laura J.
    2019-04-23 23:24

    A delightful story with very likable charactersThe prickly (sullen) Lizzie who has a scandalous secret and Hal who is much more than just his charm are brought together by a wager between Hal and his brother-in-law. They then form a pact to protect each other from unwanted suitors which leads to friendship and eventually romance. The other characters, Lizzie's father and son, Hal's sister and brother in law, his nieces (hellions in the making) as well as the villain were all well written.

  • Dot Salvagin
    2019-04-21 18:34

    Here is another gem of a story for the holidays. Her father who is determined to see her settled in a marriage is carting Lizzie to all the ton holiday events. But Lizzie has plans to go to a cottage in the north with her son ,Georgie, where they can live without fear of scandal. Hal has made a wager with his brother-in-law, Aaron, that he can steal 5 kisses from Lizzie before Twelthnight. All manner of attraction, lust, villainany and secrets abound. Terrific characterizations, a strong heroine and a handsome hero plus some excellent prose and plotting.

  • JoAnne
    2019-05-22 01:20

    Read my review on RomanceJunkies.com by clicking on the link below:http://romancejunkies.com/reviews/his...

  • Mel
    2019-05-15 21:38

    This was a very sweet story even though it was totally unbelievable.

  • Jéssica
    2019-05-10 00:21

    This book was amazing. I only put it down because I had to go to sleep, but once I woke up I got back to it.Like I said before, this is my first Virginia Heath's book so I wasn't familiar with her style or writing, and that's something I love when I find a new-to-me author and get to read their books for the first time. It's all new and exciting, and I know I will re-read her book again and again in the future. And I will certainly recommend it when people ask me for a Christmas book.The story starts with the female main character, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Wilding, waiting in the church for her fiance, the man she thought as the love of her life, only to have him jilt her. ['jilt', a new word for me, which isn't a surprise since I haven't read many historical romances and English isn't my first language.] The fact that he jilt her, left her facing a scandal, not only because he was leaving her for another woman, but he was also leaving her pregnant.Then the story jumps 5 years, Lizzie is now older and has sworn off men, and sworn of marriage. She just wants to be left alone, happy and contempt, with her little boy, George. She has decided to leave her aristocratic life and move away, so she can have peace and so that Georgie can have a normal childhood, like any other kid, that's what Lizzie wishes for herself but most importantly for her son. A normal life where George doesn't have to hide forever.Unfortunately for her, Lizzie's father has other ideas, and has decided that she needs to get married, that it would be in her best interest to find a husband that could protect her. So, there she is, in a ballroom, where she ends up meeting Henry 'Hal' Stuart, Earl of Redbridge.(I'm not going to give any spoilers about the rest, this is just the initial part of the book.)There were a lot of funny moments. Lizzie and Hal's interactions were fun to read and they certainly had chemistry. He tries to break her walls little by little with every meeting and every conversation they have, which makes me so happy. And she's now like other women, what makes him even more intrigued by her.I love Lizzie. She has this fire-y personality and she's not afraid to say what she thinks. She's very protective of her family, and especially of her son, which totally makes sense, she's a mom. A really good mother and everything she does, she does it for him, for Georgie. And that warms my heart and makes me so happy. That at first I was always thinking "I really hope she gets happiness soon because she deserves it."Hal... What can I say about him? I know I would have a lot of fun with this book once I started reading about him and his and his brother-in-law talk. He's a new Earl, and all the single women are attracted to him like his the new shining object at the shore. But he doesn't want them, he got bored at all that attention and he doesn't want to get married.As I was reading the book, I could see that he wasn't just a gorgeous and funny man, Hal's smart and kind, a loving man, loyal to his family and he certainly loves his nieces, the two Hellions-in-training, also know as Prudence and Grace, he's the naughty uncle and has "invested hours schooling them in the subtle art of practical jokes and taught them to be resourceful with the materials at hand." (page 95)Overall it was such a festive and fun book to read. There were some turns and twist that made me stay at the edge of my seat. I could say more, but then I could be also say some spoilers so I'm not risking it. All people need to know if that if the want to enjoy a good, funny and amazing love story during Christmas time, this is a book for you.That been said, do I recommend this book? Of course I do!It was a 5* read, so I absolutely recommend this book to every one.

  • Roses R Blue
    2019-04-25 00:31

    4.5 Stars as reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-F5Henry "Hal" Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is growing tired of his rakish lifestyle. All of the gambling, unsuitable women, and scandals were mostly to annoy his now deceased, cruel father. Still, he can't resist a wager with his brother-in-law, Aaron. Hal has a sprig of mistletoe with five berries, and Aaron bets that Hal won't be able to obtain a kiss for each of those berries from the woman Aaron selects. Hal is very confident of his charms, and accepts the bet, sure that he'll easily win. Then Aaron states that the woman Hal must kiss is Lady Elizabeth Wilding.Elizabeth "Lizzie" Wilding's life changed drastically five years ago. She was in love with, and engaged to be married to Charles, Marquess Rainham. Her despicable fiancé literally left her at the altar and ran off with a duke's daughter who had a larger dowry. Lizzie's family made it appear that Lizzie was the one who did the jilting, but there was no easy solution when it was discovered she was pregnant. Still, they managed to hide Lizzie's condition from society, and when her son, Georgie, was born, they kept him hidden from visitors. Now Georgie is approaching five years old, and it's getting harder to keep him hidden. Lizzie has purchased a small cottage in the country, where she plans to take Georgie, and live as a widow under an assumed name. She just has to break the news to her father, who will be devastated to be separated from the grandson he loves.Because of her circumstances, Lizzie has treated any men who approach her with frostiness and rudeness. Though her father still attempts to find her a husband, she has no intention to ever marry. When Hal approaches her in the wallflower section, she quickly and brusquely brushes him off. It seems that the gentleman with the rakish reputation can't take a hint, as he continues to linger and tries to engage her in conversation. Though his first attempt at gaining her favor mostly flopped, Hal doesn't give up, and continues to seek her out at every function they both attend. Soon Lizzie unbends enough to allow a mild friendship, and she even begins to like Hal. It's not long before Lizzie shows flashes of the girl she was before her disastrous jilting, and Hal finds himself being charmed. He manages to steal a kiss here and there, plucking a mistletoe berry for each one, and tossing them to a disgruntled Aaron.Lizzie realizes that she's beginning to be very fond of Hal, and she knows there's no future for them, as she is determined to keep her son with her. When Hal eventually learns Lizzie's secret, I was thrilled with how he reacted. Instead of condemning her, he sympathizes with her and places the blame on Charles, a fortune hunter taking advantage of a very young girl. Once Hal decides he wants to marry Lizzie, there's no stopping him. He puts on his superman cape (regency version) and begins to battle her villains, while coming up with a genius plan that would allow them, along with Georgie to be accepted in society.There is so much I love about HIS MISTLETOE WAGER. Though he has a colorful past, Hal is not shallow - he's kind, determined, very clever, charming, and wonderful with children. While Lizzie puts up an icy front to society, it's obvious what a lovely and caring woman she truly is. She and Hal have a fun, loving, and passionate relationship, I particularly love how author Virginia Heath handled two things - first, she didn't let the original wager turn into a stumbling block or a big misunderstanding. Then she wrote a wonderful scene that put Georgie smack in society's face, and laid the groundwork for them to be together as a family and accepted. Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed this warm, clever, engaging story, and highly recommend adding it to your holiday reading.

  • Monique Daoust
    2019-05-18 00:22

    Hal and his friend and brother-in-law Aaron have a history of scandalous wagers, and the now happily married Aaron could not resist daring his friend again, as Hal has debutantes nearly falling at his feet in hope that he will choose one for his bride. Hal – Henry Stuart and the Earl of Redbridge for one year – has no intention of getting married in the near future. The wicked Aaron dares Hal to steal five kisses from a lady, but not just anyone: the beautiful and perpetual wallflower, Lady Elizabeth Wilding. Lizzie is a confirmed spinster, but as Hal bestows his attentions on Lizzie, it turns out they can help each other. Their agreement soon turns into a firm friendship, which has Lizzie wishing there could be more, but she must protect her dark secret, the son she has been hiding from the world. Magnificent? Enthrancing? Sublime? Enchanting? I haven’t quite decided which best describes HIS MISTLETOE WAGER, and I don’t quite know where to start. It is truly heartbreaking to watch a young woman’s life unravel because she believed a cad and bore a son out of wedlock, and Virginia Heath paints a picture of Regency society with such clarity that this story rivals the best suspense novels. The story unfolds at a lively pace, the writing is astonishingly gorgeous, the language sheer perfection, and the dialogues as just as wonderful. Hal is charisma personified, and so genuinely charming, I swear I saw his eyes twinkle while reading. He and Lizzie are a delightful pair: teasing, flirting, sharing, and just being themselves while the superficial relationship soon starts to morph into something they never saw coming. Everything is all perfectly lovely and light-hearted to some extent until Lizzie’s erstwhile fiancé makes an unwelcome appearance, and Lizzie’s carefully planned life is threatened. My dears, Ms. Heath has created two villains you will not soon forget: one despicable, revolting man, while another is a snivelling coward, and both so believable they literally had me shudder in disgust. HIS MISTLETOE WAGER is a phenomenal story filled with unexpected and fabulous twists, an epic romance that will warm the coldest heart, and the author treats us to superb period details and fabulously multifaceted characters. From the amusing beginning to the wonderfully clever and sigh-inducing ending, HIS MISTLETOE WAGER is an unforgettable and absolutely smashing book!I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

  • Rosie Amber
    2019-04-26 20:31

    His Mistletoe Wager is a Christmas Regency romance. The prologue opens with Lizzie Wilding jilted on her wedding day.Five years later: two characters are unwilling to join in the parties and balls of the festive season. Lizzie is being paraded by her father in the hope of snaring a husband. Meanwhile, reknowned rake Hal Stuart, the Earl of Redbridge, fears the hordes of single young ladies and their determined mothers who see him as an ideal catch. To add a little excitement to an otherwise dull occasion, Hal’s brother-in-law, Aaron, challenges Hal to obtain five kisses from a lady of Aaron’s choice, before Twelfth Night. Unable to refuse a tantalising wager, Hal agrees, assuming the task an easy one.However, Aaron choses ‘sullen Lizzie’, who has a reputation as a frosty wallflower and Hal must look for a new tactic to charm his way to her side.For five years Lizzie’s family have kept a secret. But now her father’s constant attempts to find her a husband are relentless; Lizzie has decided that after Christmas, she will leave London and make a new life for herself away from the gossips and prying eyes of society.Lizzie knows of Hal’s scandalous reputation, so is very surprised when he offers to form an alliance with her; he would act as a suitor and her interest in Hal would deter other young ladies.What begins as a game soon becomes serious when one persistent suitor threatens to expose Lizzie’s secret. Hal finds himself wanting to do all he can to protect Lizzie, the woman who has inched her way into his heart.This is easily a stand alone novel, but links to Her Enemy At The Altar. I enjoyed, once more, meeting the characters from the first book, and Hal was a lovely rogue. I especially liked how he set out to teach his nieces to be hellions. Lizzie was a strong, wronged woman and I liked seeing her bloom under Hal’s attentions. Not just for Christmas, this book is an ideal Regency romance for any time of the year.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-06 17:19

    This is the first book that I have read by Virginia Heath and I can honestly say that I have clearly been missing out. I absolutely loved Hal and Lizzie both characters were well written and I was well and truly swept away by their story.  It's the third Christmas story that I have read so far this year and even though it is set at Christmas it isn't too over the top. However the story simply compliments the season and has definitely helped me to get into the festive spirit. The opening to this story shows Lizzie being left at the altar, going from trusting to very wary of men and to be honest who could blame her. So I loved Lizzie and Hal's first feisty interactions and how slowly but surely she lets down some of her defences. Hal is a strong lead and I loved how his character grows within the story from his rakish behaviour to becoming Lizzie's friend but will there be anything more between them?There is a gorgeous chemistry between Hal and Lizzie but also a sweet and caring side that just made me want to sigh. There are some brilliant supporting characters such as Aaron and Connie (I really need to read their story) and Lizzie's butler who makes a great guard! This story is perfect for reading in one sitting it has secrets, romance and some villains who definitely deserve their comeuppance. If you are looking for a book with romance and effortless charm then look no further His Mistletoe Wager is perfect!With thanks to Virginia Heath for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  • Diane K. Peterson
    2019-05-04 19:12

    A lovely story! His Mistletoe Wager has everything you could want in a Regency romance: a clever setup, a charming hero with a heart of gold, a sympathetic heroine with a past, cute dialogue, and a nice bit of spicy parts. It pulled at my emotionally and caused tears more than once. There were underlying positive messages about choices, acceptance, and self-discovery. Hal had been a charming rogue for quite some time, getting into mischief with his best friend (brother-in-law). They make a wager at the beginning of the Christmas season. Hal has to get five kisses from "Sullen Lizzie", a beautiful, but very reluctant heiress. Slowly, Hal discovers that there is much more going on with Lizzie and she discovers a friend and knight in shining armor.This was my first Virginia Heath book and I am very impressed by her writing skills. She created wonderful characters that were totally consistent in their actions and behaviors. Hal, especially, was so engaging. I would love this guy! Sweet, charming, and a little unsure of himself, plus terrific with children. How could Lizzie not love him? The secondary characters were loveable as well -- her father, his sister and brother-in-law, the children. There was just nothing I didn't like about this book. A great read!

  • Rosemarie
    2019-05-19 20:28

    This story is incredibly sweet. Both the hero and the heroine are undeniably likable. I loved that the hero fell in love first, and that he didn't quite understand his what his feelings were. I also loved that after her scandal is revealed, although he has a short time of shock, he shows right up the next morning determined to stand by her. And, although it takes place at Christmas it is not hugely essential to the plot, so the story can be enjoyed at anytime of the year.

  • Jan
    2019-05-12 21:28

    I think I have just found a new book boyfriend. Hal Stuart is a rogue but he has a sense of honour that makes him the perfect hero for Lizzie Wilding. How they avoid a scandal that has been brewing for five years and find a HEA for themselves, and their loved ones, makes for an endearing, sexy and heartwarming story that’s perfect for the Christmas season.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-19 19:12

    Although there were too many run on sentences and gramatical errors, the plot was rather cute; the characters well developed. However, I had a problem buying the transformation of a confirmed rake to a chilvarous, noble, concerned, attentive gentleman in such a rapid fashion.I feel like this author has more work to do polishing her writing. It's rather amateurish.

  • Vana
    2019-04-28 18:16

    Virginia Heath has not disappointed yet. A solid story with a likeable hero and heroine. I liked Hal's roguish tongue-in-cheek humour, which he uses to hide over his honourable principals. I also liked Lizzie who was prepared to sacrifice love to save her family. The child Georgie was likable too. A good plot and very well written.

  • Cecilia Rodriguez
    2019-05-16 23:36

    The story begins in 1815, but quickly moves forward to 1820.While at a family Christmas gathering, Henry "Hal" Stuart, the Earl of Redbridge,makes a rash wager with Aaron Canton, his brother-in-law. He bets thathe can steal five kisses from Lady Elizabeth Wilding, a woman known to spurn the advances of other men.

  • Ruth
    2019-05-22 01:29

    I loved this. I love the drama and character growth and personal stakes that Heath brings to her stories. I'm starting to think she can do no wrong. And yes, I figured out the ending before I got there, but it didn't take away any of my enjoyment of the story. I knew what would happen, but not how.Loved these two. Or three.

  • Coral
    2019-05-15 21:29

    Plot: 4/5Characterisation: 4.5/5Prose: 4/5How much I enjoyed it: 4/5Rating are rough estimation. Read this in mid-January 2017 but didn't remember much except how much I enjoyed it in the sense that very rarely its the heroine who has an illegitimate child, usually its the hero.

  • Reading with Cats
    2019-05-19 18:21

    4.5 starsMinus one half star for a heroine who skates a bit too close to Martyrdom for Papa.