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Cecilia‘s review of Once Upon A Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt
Historical Romance published by Hachette 05 Dec 17

Once again we have Hoyt battling Hoyt…in which our intrepid reviewer fearlessly compares all of Elizabeth Hoyt’s works against one another. WHO WILL EMERGE TRIUMPHANT? DOES THIS NOVELLA HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO OVERCOME THE HOYT HANDICAP? READ ON…

The Hoyt Handicap is similar to the Balogh Standard, in which I unfairly judge authors against their other written works. Harsh? Perhaps. Bitchy? Always. Accurate? Meh, it’s all subjective, right?

Fortunately for die-hard Hoyt fans like myself, Once Upon A Christmas Eve does not disappoint. It’s short, sweet, and to the point, and if you haven’t read any of the other Maiden Lane novels (and if you haven’t picked at least one of them up by now, I must seriously question your judgment) you’ll still be able to follow. As is true with so many other Hoyt offerings, the dialogue is superb, the side characters often steal the show, and our HEA is hard-won but guaranteed.

In this novella, we have the rake, Viscount Adam, traveling with his grandmother for Christmas. An axle breaks, grandmama is not in the best health, and they find themselves spending the holidays at the St. John estate. Sarah St. John is: sister to the head of the St. John family, Godric (hero of Lord of Darkness). She is not having any of Adam’s flirty nonsense. Of course, Adam is not well received at first because he (ahem) may or may not have flirted with Godric’s wife in the past (while she was married but why split hairs, amirite?), but Sarah slowly begins to see his softer side. Adam, of course, finds her entirely enchanting and allows himself to believe that maybe he can reform his ways after all and let this woman steal his heart.

It’s quick (I finished it in a couple of hours), it’s not-so-very-angsty, and it’s what I’ve come to expect from Elizabeth Hoyt. If you’re a fan of Christmas-themed spinoffs and novels/novellas, best snap this up NOW.

Grade: B+


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.

No excerpt available.

All fifty bazillion of the Maiden Lane books can be found here.