Last week, I saw a reference on Twitter to an upcoming Spindle Cove novella by Tessa Dare. I was surprised by the news and tweeted about how I had missed this information. Tessa Dare so graciously offered a review copy and made my day. I am a big fan, and I loved the first book in the series, “A Night to Surrender,” which was an incredibly fun book to read. I’m not ashamed to say that I read “Once Upon Winter’s Eve” almost as soon as it arrived in my inbox.
Violet Winterbottom is one of Spindle Cove’s unique, wallflower-type female residents using the locale as a refuge. Violet sought refuge in Spindle Cove because of the “The Disappointment,” when the man to whom she gave her virginity abruptly left England leaving her brokenhearted. It is now almost time for her to return home. She has mixed feelings about this because she knows her parents want her to finally choose a husband. However, her life takes a strange turn when a French-speaking, possible spy lands at her feet during a local officer’s ball.
The man, who claims to be Corentin Morvan a humble French famer, is a bit dazed. He seems to be injured and only responds to Violet. Violet senses that there is something familiar about him, but isn’t quite sure. Could he be the same man who she still thinks of as the cause of “The Disappointment?” There is definitely something simmering between the two. Violet is curious, but the man refuses to answer any of her questions until they are alone.
The story takes an interesting turn once the two find a way to lose the men guarding Corentin. Violet learns Corentin’s real identity, but doesn’t forgive her beloved Christian too easily. I love the scene where Violet pulls a gun on him demanding the full story of how he, Lord Christian Pierce, the third son of the Duke of Winford, became Corentin Morvan . . . and of why he left her.
Christian did hurt Violet, and his actions towards her were not those of a gentleman. Fortunately, his time in France has matured Christian, making him realize that he must make things right with the woman he loves. Making the harrowing journey to Spindle Cove to declare himself is a great start.
“Once Upon a Winter’s Eve” is a fabulous addition to the Spindle Cove series. Violet and Christian’s love story is highly entertaining and wonderfully romantic. It is fun, quirky and has a definite sense of humor. This is a perfect story to curl up with on a cold winter’s eve (or a fall one).