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Publisher's Summary

A heartwarming stand-alone novella from New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Hoyt!

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.

©2017 Elizabeth Hoyt (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Once Upon a Christmas Eve

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  • Trish R.
  • 07-12-2017

Terrible novella but great narration..

I liked the other novellas much better than this one. This one was centered mostly around sex and that just doesn’t do it for me.

I liked D’Arque and Sarah but theirs was a story that was all about sex. I’ve read 15 of EH’s books and novellas and her sex scenes get worse and worse. She used to right romantic sex but anymore she tries to make it a little too dirty for me. I think I might be done with her.

There were two sex scenes, with only one in a bed. And the F-bomb was used 1 time.

I know a lot of you are all about sex but I need something more in my romance novels and novellas. The best part of this was the very end when he proposed to her.

As to the narration: Ashford McNab is a great narrator, her male voices and her emotions BUT even she couldn’t help this novella.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jackie S. Toole
  • 04-01-2018

A good story,

It is a good short story. However I did find some of the direct to the point descriptions a little vulgar and somewhat distracting from the story as a whole. Some of the dialect of the characters was a little nasally but there's no fault of the reader just is what it is. And I believe it was also part of the description of the character in general.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine
  • 04-01-2018

Nice to Have Maiden Lane Characters

Would you consider the audio edition of Once Upon a Christmas Eve to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but thoroughly enjoyed the audio version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Once Upon a Christmas Eve?

It was just an overall Christmas-feel-good...makes you smile, but the main character defending the naïve was a memorable moment.

What about Ashford McNab’s performance did you like?

She has a nice voice and she distinguishes the characters well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me smile...some hopes were predictable...I liked the grandmother.

Any additional comments?

I like having some Maiden Lane characters from one of the memorable books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • GAJuju
  • 05-12-2017

Steamy and predictable

If you like romance novels you will probably enjoy this. The story is is totally predictable but good for easy listening. Especially if you’re concentrating on something else and just listening to it

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley M
  • 04-03-2020

Short and sweet Christmas romance!

This was my second listen and I think I liked it even better than my first. This story brings together two nearly forgotten side characters in the Maiden Lane saga. D’Arque was a rakish foil for jealous in a number of the series books and now gets his own story. Sarah, an aging spinster, appears in one or two of the main books as well and can’t stand rakes in the least. This is due to some bad history that has given her major trust issues. And yet sparks fly when Adam Lord D’Arque (don’t you love the name!?!) and his granny (who doesn’t love a man who loves his granny!?!) get stranded at Sarah’s brother’s country estate for the holiday after his coach breaks down to allow granny to recover from her resulting illness. In spite of the shortness of the tale, forced proximity during this holiday story allow the lovers to get to know each other. Now, I thought this story was a good start but I wasn’t fully convinced by the declarations of love. It works for a short story but something seemed missing. Instead of Sarah’s old assailant getting his comeuppance, there is sort of a stand in when something similar happens to Sarah’s sister and the blackguard is tossed out in the cold. There were so great MeToo ally moments which I appreciated and managed not to be preachy but rather matter of fact. Adams’s attraction was palpable and I saw how that grew but to the extent of love and a marriage proposal? I wasn’t fully convinced. Same with Sarah’s I didn’t see how she could trust him so easily after over a decade of hating and distrusting rakes. These issues were sort of minor. It’s a short story so you know you’re getting and abridged story to some extent and I think EH did a great job within that framework. Ashford McNab’s phenomenal narration was on point and differentiated several male voices extremely well!

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  • Steen
  • 12-03-2019

Rushed version of all the same

This story was like someone took all the ingredients of an Elizabeth Hoyt novel, but threw it all together real quick. The result felt like someone pulled a rug out from under my feet. At this point, the author has wrote several really successful books that I absolutely adore (Duke of Sin, Thief of Shadows, Darling Beast.... The Leopard Prince.) Maybe she's exhausted this genre and should try for a different series? thank you

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-09-2018

worth the read/listen

The narrator got a bit quiet, slow, and breathy during the love scenes...this seemed unnecessary, but it's just her style I guess. I liked that there wasn't really a big unnecessary misunderstanding, but it is more drama and less romantic comedy. Decent for a short Christmas read. I'll reread it again next year.

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  • DOM
  • 08-12-2017

A sweet storey 💜📚💜

I am a huge fan of The Maiden Lanes series & this novella was a very sweet addition. It was nice to see Godrick & Meg from Lord of Darkness in the book. I was happy for Lord Dark to find love. He was featured in other books of the series and I always found him an interesting character. I am quite sad to have this series end, but I look forward to what Ms. Hoyt has for us in the future. Ashford McNab did a fantastic job with her narration as always.

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  • denise
  • 06-12-2017

Holiday treat!

I love all of the Maiden Lane stories. The continuation of characters and enjoyable plots never disappoint. There is love, laughter, sensual encounters, and fairy tale in each one. McNab is a wonderful narrator. This is a treat for the holidays!

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  • Glenda
  • 05-03-2018

Mixed message!!

Lead character makes the mistake of trusting a charming rake, because she doesn't know his character and it proves to be her downfall. Fast forward years later she meets another charming rake and doesn't know his character either but this time it's okay????? What????

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  • Alex
  • 22-11-2020

A lovely Christmas Fable

Adam was a great rake and due to a problem with his carriage and his ill grandmother, he ends up spending Christmas with Sarah and her family, something he wasn't looking forward to! I really enjoyed the romance between Adam and Sarah but I found the references to the Frog Princess infuriating and unnecessary and I nearly turned it off when I heard the dreadful music in the beginning! The narration was OK but she doesn't do men very well. in my opinion they are very overacted. Overall, it was an enchanting tale and I will look out for more stories from this author.

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