Violet is passably fair, speaks six modern languages (and can read a few dead ones) and the daughter of a respectable family, but since The Disappointment, she’s hiding out and avoiding marriage in Spindle Cove. She is content with her wallflower status until a mysterious stranger bursts into the Christmas Ball and collapses at her feet, muttering an unknown language.
His dirty, coarse attire and good looks don’t escape Violet’s notice. Neither does the familiarity his presence brings her. Is he a smuggler? A French spy? A criminal? She wants answers, but the man seems bent on seduction. And Violet doesn’t know if she can resist or if she even wants to.
Despite its novella length, “Once Upon a Winter’s Eve” is engaging, full, rich and heartfelt. The characters have personalities and histories which Tessa Dare explores in a way that is never jarring or out of place. She uses a deft hand as she moves the story through nearly farcical events without ever going over the edge and becoming goofy.
Violet may be characterized as a shy wallflower, but that is really a self-assessment. When it comes down to it, she proves that there is more to her than even she knows. And her development and strength shows the reader how confidence and love can unleash a person’s true potential.
“Once Upon a Winter’s Eve” is a must read and is only available online.