My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin
Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque and admitted rake, loathes Christmas. Sarah St. John loathes rakes. It’s only fitting, then, that the two of them fall in love at Christmastime in the absolutely delightful Once Upon a Christmas Eve. I love a romance where a rake falls for the “on-the-shelf” heroine who isn’t impressed by his charm or good looks so this story was right up my alley.
It’s attraction masked by dislike at first sight when it comes to Adam and Sarah. Adam is used to women falling at his feet, so Sarah’s withering comments ruffle his feathers a bit. While Adam does live up to his reputation when it comes to women, he’s also smart, a genuinely nice man, and a grandson who loves his grandmother very much – how can you resist him? Even someone like Sarah, whose past experiences have given her good reason to distrust charming men, can’t hold out against Adam for very long. She’s his match in every way. She’s quick, intelligent, and clearly loves her family. Sparks strike immediately between these two, and even when they’re bickering the energy between them makes their back-and-forths fun to read. I couldn’t put this story down because Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing had me so wrapped up in Adam and Sarah’s romance. Since this is a novella, they do fall in love rather quickly, but with two such well-suited leads and a wealth of Christmas spirit shining on the page, I didn’t mind the swiftness and simply enjoyed the ride. And what a lovely ride it was. Sarah and Adam’s romance is engaging, sensual, fun, and left me smiling.
Once Upon a Christmas Eve is part of Ms. Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, but even if you’re new to the books you can easily start with Sarah and Adam’s story. As a fan of the series, I was delighted that Godric and Megs (of Lord of Darkness) played supporting roles and it felt like a little gift to get a peek into their post-happily ever after lives. The only downside of this novella was it brought home once again how much I hate to see the Maiden Lane series end. Ms. Hoyt’s characters are always unique, interesting, and endearing and Adam and Sarah are no exception. If you’re looking for a heartwarming historical romance to get you in the holiday spirit, you definitely want to read Once Upon a Christmas Eve!
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.