I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12.6
Published by Forever Yours on December 5th 2017
“Sarah St. John should have been utterly forgettable. He’d met the lady only once, and that fleetingly.
Yet he remembered her for two reasons.
The first was that Miss St. John had made it plain she hated him on sight — an occurrence unique in Adam’s experience.
The second was that on that occasion he’d found himself immediately and overwhelmingly attracted to Miss St. John.”
FINAL DECISION: A much anticipated story since the two met in LORD OF DARKNESS, I loved finally reading their tale. The novella is short, but the action works so well between these two that the story left me smiling.
THE STORY: Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque doesn’t like Christmas but he does love his grandmother so he does his duty escorting her to the holiday festivities. An accident strands them at the St. John house where he meets Sarah St. John again. Sarah hates rakes and she is not afraid to let Adam know it. As the two are forced into close proximity, the simmering attraction between them combusts.
OPINION: Readers of the series may recall that Adam and Sarah had a confrontation in LORD OF DARKNESS. Ever since, many fans of the series have wanted these two together. In a final gift to fans, Hoyt gives these two secondary characters their own happy ending.
Adam is such a sweetheart. Although he is a rake, he is always seen as having a heart because of his love for his grandmother. We get to see more of his history here in this novella and it doesn’t disappoint. He is sexy and rakish, but he is also a good person who respects women. (Thankfully all his behavior and history fits nicely with his character as he has appeared through the series).
Sarah is smart and witty and certainly can compete with Adam on all levels. She also hides some hurt in her past that challenges the relationship between her and Adam. This Christmas is set up as an opportunity for her to find a husband, but the only man she had eyes for is Adam.
I love that these two exchange so many cutting snarky comments. There is something entirely comforting about how these two interact on an intellectual level. I loved how their talk contrasts with their essential goodness. These two are both nice people on the fundamental level and their interactions allow them the opportunity to see that in one another and find a way to trust one another.
This is a sexy story, but limited by its length. I loved all the glimpses of other characters and also how the promise of these two that appeared in LORD OF DARKNESS is fulfilled here.
While I was a little sad that there weren’t more appearances by characters in the series, I was so happy that this well done little story was written. A warm little Christmas story that left me with a warm feeling in my heart and a smile.
WORTH MENTIONING: Readers get to see the St. John family.
CONNECTED BOOKS: ONCE UPON A MAIDEN LANE is the 12.6 and final installment of the Maiden Lane series. This novella has the romance of two secondary characters from the series. It is not necessary to read the other books to enjoy this one, but this novella is a treat for those who followed the series and wondered about these two.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.