Once Upon a Christmas Eve
Maiden Lane #10.7 (Goodreads lists it as 12.6)
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he’ll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they’re forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he’s ever met . . .
Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she’ll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it’s the one gift this mismatched pair can’t wait to unwrap. (elizabethhoyt.com)
Once Upon a Christmas Eve is a very quick, fluffy read. It is perfect for fans of the Maiden Lane series but can be read as a standalone, too.
Adam would do just about anything for his grandmother, including spending Christmas in the country, but their plans go awry when their carriage breaks down. The two take refuge with the St. Johns, who already have a houseful of guests for the Christmas holiday. Sarah and Adam have crossed paths before, and their dislike for each other was instantaneous at first site. Sarah has no tolerance for rakes, and Adam is among the worst. However, as the week progresses, Sarah sees there is more to Adam than his shallow facade, and they cannot deny the attraction they feel for one another.
There is indeed a fine line between love and hate, and Adam and Sarah’s relationship definitely does not get off to a good start, but, of course they get their happy ending. My favorite aspect of the story is the delicious, witty bickering between the two. As with most novellas, I find this tale too short, lacking in character and plot development. I would rather their love affair to have unfolded over the course of an entire book. Even so, Once Upon a Christmas Eve is a nice little story sure to put readers in the holiday mood.