Friday, December 30, 2011

Once Upon a Winter's Eve

Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare 1221

Violet Winterbotom is a wallflower who escaped to Spindle's Cove after she fell in love with her next door neighbor, gave him her virginity, and he promptly left to go exploring. She finally found her voice and a place where she feels welcome and accepted but her family wants her to come back and marry. Until one day a French farmer appears at a ball, bloody and weak, bearing a striking resemblance to the man Violet had named The Disappointment. She uses her skills with languages to try to find out what the man is hiding something and when she is left alone with him the truth inevitably comes out. Christian had fallen in love with Violet but when his brother was killed in the war he saw it as a sign that he needed to do something more, but leaving Violet was the hardest thing he ever did. Hearing of her family's marriage plans he comes back to make one last desperate plea for a future with Violet even while knowing he cannot give up his career. Both of them have a lot to work through but together they can move beyond their past and start a new life that suits both of them.

The story was incredibly short but it was enough time to fall in love with Violet as a character because she was so intelligent and quick thinking, not to mention quite caring for a man who could have been the enemy. Christian's motives were well explained but I did not really enjoy not knowing who he was until about halfway through a really short book. They had fallen in love with each other before the book began but throughout the course of the novella their feelings changed because the person they had fallen in love with had changed as well. I really enjoyed that they both had to get to know the new person and how it added to their feelings because it was a nice change from many short stories. There was a little bit of steam, nothing major but I did not feel like anything was missing and it fit well in the story and in the progression of their relationship. There was a lot of intrigue in the book because they had to escape from the people in Spindle's Cove and it was not my favorite thing because it took up a lot of space in an already short story but it was an interesting little addition.

Rating: A good little short story that continued the story of a very interesting little town about two people who were well suited to each other but the shortness did mean some things were left out.

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