Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Review - Once Upon a Christmas Eve

Author:  Elizabeth Hoyt
Series:  Maiden Lane #12.6
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  92
Date of Publication:  December 5, 2017
My Rating:  4 Stars

A heartwarming stand-alone novella from New York Times best-selling author 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.


There are two facts about Adam, Viscount D’Arque. One, he despises Christmas. Two, he dotes on his ailing grandmother. So, with Christmas approaching, and her desire to spend it with her cousin, he has no problem escorting her there. However, their carriage becomes disabled, and they are forced to take refuge at a nearby home. Things become more complicated when they are forced to extend their stay. 

Sarah St. John may have only met Adam one time, but he has a reputation for being a rake, and that is something she cannot abide. Sarah has a very good reason for her feelings. However, her attraction to him is utterly overwhelming, and now they are in close company. 

Thus a fine basis for a warm love story is developed. However Sarah’s pain runs deep, and it would have been great seeing a bit more on that. Also, Adam’s relationship with his grandmother was quite affecting and I would have loved more scenes with them. All that notwithstanding, the story has wonderful characters and some warm emotional situations, even an effective teaching point women no doubt will appreciate. 

Once Upon a Midnight Clear is part of the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I would have loved to been able to read more of this series, and may very well be putting them on my TBR. I received this story as a bonus story of the ARC, My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes. 

Many thanks to Forever for this book for review. This is my honest opinion.


Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince.

Elizabeth was born in New Orleans but grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was fortunate to be able to travel extensively as a child, visiting St. Andrews, Scotland; Germany; France; and Belgium. She spent a year in Oxford, England and was a summer exchange student to Kawasaki, Japan.

Elizabeth has a BA in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and, as a result of having no clue what to do with her life thereafter, a career history as a barista, a (terrible) sales clerk, a Wisconsin Revenue Service data entry slave, and an archeological field work grunt. Fortunately, Elizabeth married relatively young and produced two children who kept her busy until her mid-thirties. At about this time, when her youngest was entering Kindergarten, Elizabeth’s mother hinted that perhaps Elizabeth should get a Real Job.

Sadly, Elizabeth was so delusional she thought writing a romance novel might qualify as a Real Job.

But! Five years later, to everyone’s surprise, she actually sold that romance novel (The Raven Prince) and began a rather successful career as a Romance Novelist. This was most fortunate since Elizabeth is singularly unqualified to do anything else but Make Up Stories. Since then Elizabeth has written over twenty books to critical acclaim including three contemporaries under the pen name Julia Harper.

Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the ever faithful Mr. Hoyt.

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