December 3, 2011

Holiday Happiness • Once Upon a Winter's Eve

Once Upon a Winter's Eve book coverOnce Upon a Winter's Eve  by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #1.5
Previous Book: A Night to Surrender
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Source/Format: Moira Rogers (Thanks!) || e-book

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door. Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems. She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers—and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.

Oh Tessa Dare, you have a gift for telling stories. I have yet to finish reading my way through all of your novels, but I squeezed in Once Upon a Winter's Eve recently and it has become my absolute favorite story from you as of the moment. I mean, combining a quiet wallflower with a special talent and a mysterious, injured stranger? That alone is intriguing enough a premise for any fan of historical romances.

And the story took my breath away. As the story of our mystery male is unraveled and we discover more about the lovely Violet, I find that the novella becomes ever more intriguing. I gasped in outrage, sighed in envy, got extremely nervous in some bits, swooned over our mystery stranger (and the VERY swoon-worthy things he says) and ultimately enjoyed the crazy, intrigue-filled ride that your novella took me on.

Now what do I have to say about the characters? Well, I thought that Violet Winterbottom was a funny, whip smart, and very real. She's a girl who's experienced an incredible heartbreak, but thanks to her choices, has finally learned to stand on her own two feet. Some of the things she says and does have me giggling and gasping in mock outrage. She's another one of my favorite "wallflower" characters and I liked her immediately.

As for the mystery man, well, I think it may be a bit of a spoiler to actually reveal his name, but I thought he was swoon-worthy, especially when he starts thinking in terms of romance and spouting out beautiful turns of phrase. Let's just leave it at this: I wanted to shove him, smack him and kiss him all at the same time.

All in all, Once Upon a Winter's Eve is a beautiful little novella from Tessa Dare.


  1. I actually only started reading Tessa Dare recently. Sarah MacLean and Julia Quinn are still my favorites!

  2. Oh, I LOVE historical romance! I don't know why I have never read any of this author's books when you say they are so good!
    I love wallflowers and mysterious charming men! Am going to add this to my TBR list :) Thanks for the review!

  3. You've sold me on this story! thanks for the great review!


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