on December 5th 2017
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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.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Once Upon a Christmas Eve is book 12.6 in the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque finds himself needing the hospitality of the St John family when his carriage wheel snaps. It’s snowing and bitterly cold, and he is with his grandmother which makes it necessary to ask for help. He’s not happy to discover that the closest help at hand is from people holding a Christmas house party. Adam hates Christmas. Still, there is no other option especially as his grandmother isn’t well.
Sarah St John is one of the daughter’s of the party’s host. She loves Christmas, she doesn’t love ‘rakes’. She considers Adam one of the worst rakes she knows. Therefore it infuriates her when she can’t help but appreciate his good looks. Adam, on the other hand, takes full advantage of those looks, and his charm to try to woo Sarah. She thinks she is immune to his charm, but it’s not his charm that starts to make her feel differently towards him, it’s the inner man that she learns more about the more time they spend together.
There isn’t any major drama in this novella, it’s a beautiful romance set at a beautiful time of the year, and the whole story had me smiling all the way through it. Even in one particular part where a gentleman forgets to actually be a gentleman, what could be a horrendous scene ends up a fun one when said man gets his comeuppance. I loved the festive atmosphere, the party games, the whole joviality of Christmas in those days. Watching Adam and Sarah develop deeper feelings towards each other was a pleasure. Adam’s grandmother was a star too. All in all this book was just perfect, a lovely quick read which left me feeling happy and festive.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.