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Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)
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Once Upon a Winter's Eve

(Spindle Cove #1.5)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  11,477 ratings  ·  1,147 reviews

Some wallflowers bloom at night...

A Spindle Cove Novella

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.

Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's f

ebook, 113 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Samhain Publishing
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  11,477 ratings  ·  1,147 reviews

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Start your review of Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)
Feb 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Carmen by: Sam (AMNReader)
"Your fears of a child...?"

She shook her head. "Came to nothing. But clearly, I'm not such an angel."

"You" - he leaned forward, such as his bindings allowed - "are an angel still. The one who did this to you? He is a devil."
- 24%

SO.... ... ... This is my second Tessa Dare book. I have some things to say.


Violet is at a ball when a wounded, dirty man stumbles in and collapses at her feet. Is he a stranger? A spy? Or her past love, come back to haunt her?

Not a bad premise. Let's break
Rachel Reads Ravenously
DNF at about 40%

I have been on a mission to read all the "unread" books on my and this book was next up in line. I honestly do not remember why I bought this book, because I haven't read any others in the series, but I was willing to give it a shot.

I felt I was missing something when reading this, so it's possibly not a standalone? Or easily read as one? The beginning was intriguing but then it took a turn and no longer held my interest.

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This is a short story set in Spindle Cove about a lady who falls for a spy that washes up on shore during a Christmas dance.


There's a bit more to Violet and her mystery man's story than first appears and it's fun to watch it all unfold. Definitely short, but also definitely sweet.
A nice filler if you're craving a bit of Tessa Dare's trademark romance.
Norah Una Sumner
❀ Cute but a bit silly. ❀

I liked Violet a lot but, however, couldn't connect with our broody hero mostly because I don't think I would ever forgive him if he treated me the way he treated Violet. Their banters were quirky and entertaining, though. This is a nice holiday-spirited novella but overall nothing special. At least not for me since it didn't move me in any way. The other novella - Beauty and the Blacksmith was a bit more interesting in my opinion.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean, my heart swells every time I read one of her books.
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

In a setting much like this one, almost a year ago. A man she'd adored for years had finally noticed her. Locked gazes with her across a crowded room, then carved his way through the throng to take her hand.

But in the end, he had proved to be a disappointment.

The Disappointment

Violet Winterbottom is clever, pretty but no beauty. She had loved her neighbour, Lord Christian Pierce, for years and finally he'd noticed her. But then with barely a word he'd left. Well, twenty-six words in a note to be
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

I'm keeping this review short and sweet, just like the book - Spindle Cove is a wonderful series, and this book is an absolute delight! Romantic, steamy, exciting and witty, a truly entertaining story!
Al George
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm gonna say this was a solid addition to the series and a decent and enjoyable holiday read. Probably one of the better ones I have read this season. ...more
Christina ~ Brunette Reader

2,5 Stars

A very fluffy “second-chance” and Christmas themed novella, though written with the author’s usual charm and wit. And it was nice revisiting Spindle Cove's world once again.
slapable hero makes for a meh read!!
“I take you, Violet Mary, to be my wife. To have, to hold. To love, honor, and cherish. To amuse, to pleasure, to make smile and laugh. To dance with, at every opportunity. To respect always, and tease on occasion. To confide in, whenever need be. To treasure, protect, admire-“ She couldn’t help but laugh. “I don’t think these words are in the vows.” “They’re in my vows,” he said gravely.

After a bitter disappointment, Violet Winterbottom has stopped believing in happily ever after. But one winte
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely little story.
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

Violet Winterbottom had her heart shattered. Above and beyond broken. Like that scene from Sex and the City where Carrie was broken up with via Post It note. Yeah, that bad.

So Violet does something not too many heroines in Historicals do-She grows up. She gets over him. She moves away to Spindle Cove, and realizes that she doesn't need a man to be happy.

Then a dangerous, bloody, bedraggled stranger falls at her feet (literally) and passes out. But the one
Ohow Wow..!Thrilling,hilarious and so so so sexy!!!!!!

You should read this novella directly after "A Night to Surrender" so you are not confused with the circumstances,and we follow a once again,a very unique love-story.I remember Violet Winterbottom from the first book,and i was so surprised to how spirited and passionate she was in this one.I love woman who knows what she wants.And the way she claimed her man in the near end,what a woman!

So Christian Pierce was the man who left Violet a year a
Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped for. The problem mostly lies with the hero, whom I detest. What a cad and a bounder despite his protestations of love (yeah, whatever). After spending the night with the heroine, he left her the next day with only a note. 26 words. That's it. And the heroine happened to be a long-time neighbour. Poor Violet! I just didn't buy his reasons for his hasty disappearance. If he really loves her, he'd find a better way to say goodbye. Violet had to ...more
Another insomnia induced read and review. As far as novellas go I thought this was good. There was enough development and backstory for both our leads to get me invested in their story and it felt well concluded. I always like how Tessa Dare addresses consent and boundaries within her stories - Violet is at all times in control of what she does and doesn't want. She's also an incredibly intelligent woman who speaks several languages who just so happens to be mending a broken heart in Spindle Cov ...more
Sammy Loves Books
Adorable story with a bit of reality suspension.

Over a year ago, Violet's true love left her without saying goodbye. She fled to Spindle Cove to lick her wounds. Now she she's getting a second chance at love!!
Sam (AMNReader)

This book's premise was ridiculous too, but in this case it was so fun. It didn't try to do too much, it made you love and admire both characters. And holy sweet-talker. Could that be cheesy? If it is I don't care! It was was swoony and romantic.

(view spoiler)
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

I think this is a case of a good idea in a book that was WAY too short. Once Upon a Winter's Eve is a historical romance novella following wallflower linguist Violet Winterbottom. When a man stumbles bleeding into a holiday ball, she is the only person who can understand him. But what if he's actually the man who coldly left her years ago?

I think the idea here was a solid one, but given the amount of hurt done to the heroine, I didn't find it believable that things could
4 stars – Historical/Holiday Novella

This is a delightfully engaging and romantic historical holiday novella with a great story, intriguing characters, and the perfect amount of steam to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. And for only .79 cents on Kindle, it’s a cozy read indeed.
Danielle (Love at First Page)
I loved this novella! A very swoony, second chance romance of sorts. The hero was beyond dreamy.
Renaissance Kate
Overall a great Saturday night read!

While I'm surprised by the number of low ratings/DNFs, I'm SO glad I read it immediately after finishing the first book in the series. If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it quite as much.

Violet and Christian's story is steamy and sweet, with two of my favorite tropes—childhood-friends-to-lovers and second-chance-at-love—plus a healthy dose of polyglotism and espionage. I definitely enjoyed it and can't wait to continue with the series!
Camila (previously the opinionated Catruler)
Still not fully over this:
“During fair weather seasons, we have a schedule here in Spindle Cove. Mondays, we have country walks. Tuesdays, sea bathing. We spend Wednesdays in the garden. And on Thursdays”—she jammed a lead ball into the barrel—”we shoot.”

Saint Monique
2 'The Disappointment' stars

The Disappointment - that's how the heroine called the hero. And, yes, I was disappointed too. I love Tessa Dare's book but the plot of this one is too silly. At least it was short and free, so no harm done. Oh, well. Moving on.
h o l l i s
This little novella was beyond adorable. Second chance romance and espionage make this little story just a bit silly and all sorts of swoony.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
FREE today at Amazon US, 12/5/18!
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I absolutely ADORED our mc, violet. she was incredibly smart and knew exactly how she deserved to be treated but not who deserved her unfortunately.


the love interest was just.... not it and I liked him way more before we learned his identity

this just proved that even in tessa dare books, some men ain’t shit.

A very nice and lovely read in the Spindle Cove series by Ms. Dare. Her characters are always interesting to read.
3.5 stars. A truly indomitable heroine is the highlight of this sweetly romantic novella. Violet Winterbottom is a determined wallflower, after a Disappointment broke her heart. But then a wounded, foreign stranger -- or is he? -- bursts into a ball and collapses at her feet, beginning an adventure that will test her mettle and bring her back to life. The story loses some of its edge after the mystery of the stranger's appearance is solved and the style is generally frothy, but Violet's strength ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 03, 2015 09:28AM  
Q&A with Tessa Dare: Once Upon A Winter's Eve Discussion Thread 1 27 Aug 28, 2012 01:46AM  

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Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice!) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellen

Other books in the series

Spindle Cove (5 books)
  • A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1)
  • A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)
  • A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3)
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • Love Letters From a Lord (Spindle Cove #5)

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“His thumb caressed her cheek. His eyes held her, warm and strong. “I, Christian James, take you, Violet Mary, to be my wife. To have, to hold. To love, honor, and cherish. To amuse, to pleasure, to make smile and laugh. To dance with, at every opportunity. To respect always, and tease on occasion. To confide in, whenever need be. To treasure, protect, admire—” She couldn’t help but give a nervous laugh. “I don’t think these words are in the vows.” “They’re in my vows,” he said gravely. “But in the interests of time, I shall to return to form. All that richer-poorer, sickness-health business goes without saying. And I will gladly forsake all others, so long as we both shall live.” His hand slid back into her hair, grasping tight. Raw emotion roughened his voice. “I need a lifetime with you.” 10 likes
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