Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare

Series: Spindle Cove Book 1.5
Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

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.

Warning: The heroine packs a pistol, the hero curses in multiple languages, and together they steam up a cold winter s night. "

Oh my god, that's probably the best novella I've read. Definitely romance novella. And it was very fast paced-mainly takes place in one night-which is normally a turn-off for me.

I don't want to spoil things, but the characters and their story is beautiful. Ms. Dare took one of my least favorite tropes and made it compelling. Violet definitely stole the show. She has so much sass and strength under her wallflower shell.

And the pacing. This is how you do a well-written romance. The time is so compressed, but the characters face conflicts (internal and external) in a natural way. The romance truly had a beginning, middle, and end (Happily Ever After).

I've said before that writing a novella is a particular skill set and not everyone can do it. But Tessa Dare sure can. I want more of these characters in the best possible way.

Probably, the best compliment I can give this is that I wanted to immediately read it again when I finished it. That doesn't happen very often.

Thanks for reading!

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