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.

Titles in the Maiden Lane series include:  Wicked Intentions – Notorious Pleasures – Scandalous Desires – Thief of Shadows – Lord of Darkness – Duke of Midnight – Darling Beast – Dearest Rogue – Sweetest Scoundrel – Duke of Sin – Duke of Pleasure – Duke of Desire  (end of main series, two more novellas in  2017) – Once Upon A Christmas Eve – Once Upon A Maiden Lane

Title:  Once Upon A Christmas Eve
Series:  Maiden Lane novella
Author:  Elizabeth Hoyt
Genre:  Historical Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  December 5, 2017
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing – Forever
My Rating:  4.5 stars

It’s rather astounding really when you think on it that a broken carriage wheel and axle are responsible for a happy ending for one rake and one rake hater… but stranger things have happened.  Adam, the Viscount d’Arque, and his beloved grandmother were traveling to a relative’s home for Christmas.  Their carriage accident on a bitter cold December night will change plans for many people, including Sarah St. John when she realizes that the insufferable rake will be forced to spend the Christmas holiday celebrations at her family home.  Neither Adam nor Sarah are particularly pleased with this change in events, but one sees this as an opportunity to tease a woman who despises him for unknown reasons and for the other to dish out the best personal put downs she’s ever uttered.  It’s going to be such a fun Christmas.

Both Adam and Sarah have very good reasons for their dislike for Christmas and for rakes in general.  But I’ll let them explain those reasons to you, I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun.  I have a soft spot for any man who shows his love and concern for his grandmother as Adam does.  If he can show that love and devotion to one important woman in his life, then there is indeed hope for his romantic future.  And the love Adam has for his grandmother simply flows off the page, so if for nothing more than that I would have been on team Adam from the start.

I completely enjoyed Once Upon A Christmas Eve.  Not only for having the chance for another Maiden Lane novella after the official ending of the main series, but for the chance to get to know Adam and Sarah better.  I liked these two characters and while I could understand why they acted as they did it was touching to watch them discover that the holidays and loving one amazing woman, or that not all men should be painted with the same brush was a fun, and sexy experience.

If you’ve loved the Maiden Lane series then you’re sure to enjoy this novella.  If you’ve never visited that series, then no worries for this story is easily read without having to know what went on before.  I would highly recommend Once Upon A Christmas Eve for any reader who enjoys Romance in any genre, has a good sense of humor and can enjoy an opposites attract story with glee.  It is really fun to watch this couple discover just how wrong they were about each other and I got quite a few chuckles from their antics… I’m betting you would, too.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle