Review- Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare

Title: Once Upon a Winter’s Eve

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency/Novella

Author: Tessa Dare

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 11/2011

Source: Purchase, Kindle $.79

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from

Some wallflowers bloom at night…

A Spindle Cove Novella

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.


Violet does not recognize the hero at first because he is quite a beat up sight.  But she has her ideas and she tries to prove to herself that he is or is not who she thinks he is.  She is not going to give an inch in her assessment until she is convinced of his identity.

This is light Tessa Dare novella.  It is a quick read and Ms Dare can write quick and witty dialog as well as some heart thumping suspense.  We don’t want to see Violet hurt by this rogue from the sea. The other inhabitants of Spindle Cove get a bit of short shrift in this rendition because of the brevity of the piece.  That means that Ms Dare’s usual humorous touch is not evident quite as much as I would have liked.   I encourage you to read this sweet story if you are in the mood for good writing, a passionate rogue and a smart and sassy heroine.  (Frankly, at $.79 it is hard to pass up)




Filed under Book review, Historical Romance, Kindle, Novella

9 responses to “Review- Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare

  1. mo

    Agree with you here Dot. I read this last year and thought it was okay for a light novella. To be honest, IMO Goddess of the Hunt is the best of Tessa Dare’s books. None of her others have lived up to my expectations following this one. I am, however, really looking forward to her next book. The hero is wonderfully debauched and the heroine a blue stocking. I just hope it doesn’t turn too soppy.


  2. Edyta

    I know you’ve both raved about Goddess. Your rec’s are the only reason it’s on my wish list. I almost NEVER read HRs with the young miss theme. Even those get into the YA territory for me :D.
    Dot you said “silliness” for which I have zero tolerance in any genre. Mo, I did put a hold on that book you rec’ed while ranting (can’t think of the title now). I will get it next week and read it. I will let you know what I thought. I’ll also get One for the Money on the same library run. It will be a Dot and Mo reading week for me.


  3. mo

    Yeh, have to agree with Dot. Spindle Cove is not for you, Edyta. By the end of the first spindle cove book I was over it. All the mooning and raphsodising of how much they loved each other, blah blah, just got on my nerves. But the set up for the next one has me hoping.

    Excited and nervous to see what you think about Finnikin of the Rock (that’s the first in the series laying the ground for Froi, which I though was better). I’m always scared when someone reads a book I recommend, bcos it may rock my world, but do nothing for you.

    I’m reading Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne at the moment. It’s a stronger plot line than other HR’s, including spies and intrigue. The characters and romance more complicated. Also reading Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent, her new adult series and enjoying it so far.

    Dot, I see you’re reading Linda Howard. I really need to read more of her stuff. I really liked Cry no more and All the Queen’s men. I have Death Angel waiting to be read but haven’t gotten to it yet.


  4. Edyta

    I will let you both know for sure. Don’t worry Mo, it will be fine and no matter what, I will still read your rec’s. And I will read Froi for sure, though I don’t think it’s out here till March. I actually read both Back Hawk and Blood Bound. I really liked BH but was not crazy about BB. I look forward to hearing what you thought of it when you’re done.
    I looove Ms Howard’s older books. Death Angel and All the Queen’s Men are what Romantic Suspense should be. I will look for your review Dot as I’ve not read any of her newer stuff. I hope she’s gotten “it” back.
    You ladies rock BTW. I love that you seem to know my tastes. Will not be trying Ms Dare.


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