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5 Stars / Historical / Review

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

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.

Title:Once Upon a Christmas Eve
Author:Elizabeth Hoyt
Series:Maiden Lane (Book 10.7)
Pages:92
Category / Genre(s):Historical
Trope(s):Christmas Romance
Close / Forced Proximity
Enemies to Lovers
Point of View:
Location:Upper Hornsfield, England
Setting:1741 (Georgian)
HEA:✔️
Release Date:5th December, 2017
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The perfect festive tale

This book is part of Hoyt‘s Maiden Lane series but it stands completely alone – you don’t have to have read (or have knowledge of) any of the previous books in the series to read and enjoy this one. Having said that, there is a hint of a story between secondary characters, Dr Manning and Charlotte, and I’d be interested to know if that’s a previous Maiden Lane story or perhaps one yet to come.

Back to this story, I can’t resist a couple that hides a deep attraction with bickering and banter and Adam and Sarah certainly do that. I loved them both, rooted for them and completely believed the pair’s emotions even with the shortness of the tale (it’s just 90 pages long). Their journey from distrust to friends to love was sweet with hints of hotness. Yes, there’s a little bit of sex in here and I’m always here for that!

“It really was the perfect festive tale…”

The festive touches were also nicely done in the story. The snow, the gathering of the holly, the warming fires and Christmas games – it all added up to a story that brought me the feeling of the Christmas season. It really was the perfect festive tale and ideal to read while snuggled up under a blanket, beside a roaring fire with cream-topped hot chocolate.

There was an added bonus of a short tale of the Frog Princess at the start of each new chapter. This was a fun addition and I laughed along as I was supposed to.

I had one major irk about this story – and it’s a pet peeve of mine – there was no epilogue. I would have loved an epilogue to just round out the story. I know it couldn’t have worked with the conclusion of the Frog Princess but aargh – I always want an epilogue to see how my couple are working into the future. Still, since the story was so lovely, I’m not letting my love affair with epilogues affect the rating.

If you love a short, Georgian romance to get you into the mood for the long, dark nights at Christmas then I would recommend this to you. 5 stars.

Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.

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Maiden Lane Series:

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7
Book 8
Book 9
Book 10
Book 10.5
Book 10.7
Book 11
Book 12
Book 12.5

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