Release Date: Dec 5, 2017
Series: Maiden Lane
Heat Level: Scorching
Publisher: Grand Central
Imprint: Forever Yours
I had the pleasure of reading another novella from this series by Ms. Hoyt so I jumped at the chance to get this one in my library. I am proud to say that it has fuelled a full-fledged addiction to her writing and this series in general. Once Upon a Christmas Eve is a sexy Georgian romp that just about scorched my e-reader in under 100 pages. This novella is a must for your Christmas holiday reading list.
Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, is a rake of the first order. His reputation is so bad, being seen standing near him could ruin an unmarried woman. Sara St. John has had her fill of rakes and men of Adam’s ilk so when he shows up on her doorstep a few days before Christmas, she wants nothing to do with his wicked looks, sultry voice, and searing touches. But the longer he stays under her roof the more she wonders if his reputation is a true reflection of him or if there are depths to this stunning man that only she can see.
I am pleasantly surprised with how well Ms. Hoyt can wrap her reader around her finger and pull them into her story in such a small amount of time. Often, novellas leave me feeling as if I have missed something or I struggle to feel attached to the characters. The author has a strong voice and a beautiful writing style that brings the reader immediately into her world and endears her characters to you the moment you begin reading. This story might be short but it feels almost like a full-length novel and left me wanting more in a positive way; I went out and bought the first three books in the Maiden Lane series immediately and I highly recommend that you do as well.
Both Sara and Adam have been featured in other previous novels in this series but I don’t think being introduced to them before would change how the reader feels about their characters. Sara is a feisty girl who challenges Adam every step of the way as he muddles through an attempt at courting her. She knows his type and is happy being a spinster with her simple life. But Adam is a dangerously sensual man whose candid kindness and compassion is throwing Sara’s life plan out the window. They are undeniably attracted to each other and the passion they ignite will keep you fanning yourself as you turn the pages. Adam might be a rake with several married ladies and widow’s chasing after him but the moment he encounters Sara, his previous affairs seem insignificant compared to the way she makes him feel.
Overall, I found this novella to be a fun, sensual read that will draw you into Ms. Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series in the best way possible. It is a great stand-alone story but I dare you to try not to pick up another one of her books after reluctantly putting this one down.