Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Once Upon a Winter's Eve

Once Upon a Winter's Eve
Tessa Dare
Historical Romance/England/1814
Spindle Cove/Book 1.5
Samhain/November 15, 2011

From Goodreads ~

Some wallflowers bloom at night...

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.

After reading and loving the first book in this series, when I read Tracy's review for this one, I knew I had to read this novella. We head back to Spindle Cove during which an uninvited guest crashes the officer's ball. He's certainly not dress for the ball and turns the village of Spindle Cove upside down with talk of spies and invasions.

Violet Winterbottom has been hiding out in Spindle Cove but her seclusion is about to end when she returns to her family and London society. The night before she is due to leave a surprise is delivered in the form of a man at her feet. Violet has a gift for languages and is given the task to find out what she can about this stranger. I love how Violet takes charge of the situation, using her intellect and bravery to get to the bottom of the mystery. She doesn't back down when her captive refuses to cooperate.

As the night progresses, Violet learns exactly who has invaded her solitude leaving her with decisions to make that will affect her future. Even though this is a novella, there is plenty of emotions and action packed into the short format. We see Violet come out of her seclusion, demonstrating her strength and her deep love of the man she never forgot. It's obvious the forward thinking of the women of Spindle Cove have had a profound affect on Violet, giving her confidence in herself and her decisions. The hero, I will only say that he is smart and amusing, filling the role of dashing man of mystery exquisitely. But it is Violet who held this reader's attention, with her hero there to champion her.

Dare's writing is smart and fast paced giving the reader a romantic adventure with Violet and her mysterious hero playing the separated lovers. I only wish it had been a full length novel so more time could have been spent with Violet and her hero. Certainly a wonderful addition to the series.

Rating: A

Spindle Cove Series ~

A Night to Surrender
Once Upon a Winter's Eve (novella)
A Week to Be Wicked (March 27, 2012)


  1. Okay! I'm reading this one! Yesss... I have THREE books by Dare in my TBR, but I'm going to begin with this novella. Thanks Leslie!

  2. This really has been getting some great reviews. I'm reading it right now :) I'm liking Violet and Christian :) I'm just not sure why/how Christian did to reach out to her ^_^;

  3. I read the outline of this book and thought it sounded very interesting so I got it for my Kindle. I'm glad to see you give it an A.

  4. Actually, got my answer :) Okay, so I ended up giving it a B+ :)

  5. Hils ~ Hope you enjoy it!

    Nath ~ Yeah for B+! :) Glad you liked it!

    Kristie ~ Don't you just love how easy it is to buy ebook? :)

  6. This was a very cute story. I read it this month, too! :)