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Once Upon a Winter's Eve: A Spindle Cove Novella Paperback – December 10, 2016
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My biggest issue is with the hero and what he's gone through to get to Violet. This guy makes one miraculous recovery. He has survived a small boat wreck, waded through freezing waters (it's Christmas), then traversed a rocky landscape in the bitter cold to get to his beloved's side...where he passed out soon after getting to her. I don't know any person who can go from that nearly frozen, passed out state - who also had a head injury and got stitches in his head by a former heroine - to someone who is able to maneuver and react with no signs of ailment just hours after said shock and trauma. Within an hour or two, he can speak coherently - and in different languages - move about quickly, and is skilled enough to cut his own ropes and set himself free. AFTER surreptitiously nabbing some laudanum from said previous heroine's bag to doctor up a drink to knock someone out. With nobody noticing or the wiser. Mmmmmkay.
Violet was your typical feisty wallflower that Dare writes so well. But for some reason, her constant rushing into one situation after the next with the hero (who had taken her virginity in the most...puzzling and concerning way - i.e., was there really time for her to give consent - then left her the next morning with a note) made me want to tell her to slow the ef down and think...really think. I guess she bordered on close to TSTL in my book.
But she's spunky like all Dare wallflowers are, so if you can't get enough of those girls, Violet is your girl.
I read this while I was on the treadmill at the gym on 2 separate days, and found myself flipping through most of the pages to get to the end of the chapters. A quick skim was enough for me, it barely held my attention. I think sometimes books like this can be *too* cute, and for whatever reason, with this story it just didn't work for me. Maybe I'm in a darker mood and needed to be reading something where people were suffering for love. Who knows. But if you are looking for a no-brainer, quick, charming romp with a good bit of action and some sex, then this would be a good read.
Usually Amazon lets me know that I already own a title so I don't purchase it twice. Not so here.
I bought it, so excited that there was a new Spindle Cove book that slipped through my radar and was disappointed for being tricked.
Luckily I was able to return it for a refund.
I really enjoyed this novella, it was a bit like Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Violet is BAD ASS, and Christian is hot. Being the sad speaker of one single language, I am fascinated by people who can fluently speak more than one, and Violet speaks six! I love the back and forth between Violet and Christian and felt like, even though this is a secret agent/spy novel, they were both very believable. I love that Violet takes something bad that happened to her and turns it around, refusing to let it drag her down and instead using it to grow as a woman, becoming strong, confident, and a total BAMF. *sigh* I sure love me a BAMF leading lady…
At 155 pages this is a pretty quick read, and takes place over just one night (with an epilogue, of course, taking place some months later). It's fast paced and fun, and was a great read for an evening in the week before Christmas.
(Originally published November 2011)
Some wallflowers bloom at night…
Violet is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. 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. 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.
I found myself reading this book for a second time. I had previously read it when I bought it originally but with the new cover art I didn't recall having done so.
It was equally good a second time around.
The characters are well thought out and developed. The storyline has an interesting twist.
I find myself enthralled with each Tessa Dare book that I read, both the novellas and the full length novels.
I gave this novella 4 of 5 stars for characterization and storyline.
The characters are interesting and not without their flaws.
I would give it a heat rating of 3of 5 flames. We know these two have one night of passion before our hero disappeared from our heroine's life. Now suddenly he is back pretending to be someone else.
I recommend reading this short book to fans of regency romance.