I received this book for free from Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12.6
Published by Forever on December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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.
Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt was a pleasant Christmas novella, although there were parts that felt a bit underdeveloped. It’s about Adam Rutledge, a viscount, who isn’t all that into Christmas. But his grandmother, whom he cares very much about, enjoys the holiday. On their way to the country, the carriage breaks down and Adam and his grandmother are forced to take refuge at the home of Sarah St. John’s family. Sarah is not a fan of rakes, and does not give them the time of day. So she’s not a fan of Adam, a known rake. But, now that they are forced to spend some time together, of course they fall for each other.
I really did like both Sarah and Adam. While I think there were parts of this novella that were underdeveloped, character development of the two leads didn’t suffer much from the short length of this novella. I loved seeing how devoted Adam was to his grandmother, and I adored seeing Sarah not give Adam an inch. Although I struggled a bit with their romance (see below), I did like these two together.
Another thing I really loved about Once Upon a Christmas Eve was the fairytale told throughout the book at the beginning of each chapter. This is something Elizabeth Hoyt’s books usually have, and it was charming. I love the feel the fairytale adds to the whole story – it’s so charming.
I think this story suffers in the romance development, however. Because Sarah really dislikes rakes (understandably based on her past experiences) I didn’t quite buy her being attracted to Adam. I felt like there were some scenes missing for me to completely believe Sarah would start thinking of Adam as something other than rake.
Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt is a fun Christmas historical romance. It reminded me that I need to read more from Hoyt, because she’s clearly a fabulous storyteller. That said, it’s not perfect, and lacks in some areas.