Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)” as Want to Read:
Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Once Upon a Winter's Eve

(Spindle Cove #1.5)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  8,047 ratings  ·  781 reviews
Some wallflowers bloom at night…

Violet is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. 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 feet. He’s wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet
Kindle Edition, 116 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 (first published November 15th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,047 ratings  ·  781 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Feb 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Follow me on ♥ FacebookBlogInstagramTwitter
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
I mean, my heart swells every time I read one of her books.
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.
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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.
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!
“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  ·  review of another edition
Lovely little story.
Laura the Highland Hussy

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
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.
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)
Camila, 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.”

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
3.5 stars ⭐.
The adventure in this was very well done. I also enjoyed the strong heroine. This was short novella but had all the right ingredients.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I do love the few titles I’ve read from Tessa, so when I saw this novella was free, I had to get it.

I loved Violet. She’s sassy and knows a lot of languages and has seemingly grown into an amazing woman. I love that the ladies learn to shoot. Christian was interesting and I think that’s all I have.

Plot wise, everything moved extra quick since it a novella and I think it may have hurt this story line. I couldn’t quite agree with Violet letting everything go in a matter of a few hours. Although,
I really wanted to love Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare because I love all her books and as an author she can do no wrong for me. She still hasn’t done me wrong per se but I will say this wasn’t her best work. I could see the potential for a cool story but ultimately Once Upon a Winter’s Eve has many issues.

The biggest issue here is length. The fact that the story is a novella is not doing the narrative any favors. There needs to be much more story here for it to feel like a complete tal
“I did hate you... But forget? How could I ever forget?” You broke my heart into twenty-six pieces that day. But do you know something, Christian? Over the past several months here in Spindle Cove, I’ve stitched those pieces back together.”

The Disappointment.

Lord Christian Pierce was named as "The Disappointment" after he broke Violet Winterbottom's heart. She went to Spindle Cove to heal. Considered herself as a wallflower she was shocked when a man crashes the officers' ball and cling to her.
Avid Booker
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Like a Short Simple Read
Starting my new year off with some Tessa.... seems about right. lol

Okay, so, this is about Violet Winterbottom, she is one of the resident spinsters of spindle cove. I don't remember her being mentioned in any of the other books, so she's not too important. She's super smart, and I honestly had no problems with her character. She didn't let the hero in too quickly and she thought about everything she did.

Our hero, Christian, which can I say for some reason that name is so hawt to me? Anyway, he
This was the first one of the Spindle Cove series that I've read, and although it was an OK read, I'm not sure I could take a full-length HR in this setting. Apparently, there's a whole load of women who've "escaped" to the middle-of-nowhere Cornwall to get away from men, but who then each find love - with a man. I don't know. this sounds slightly weird to me, and not particularly exciting. I've read a few books by Tessa Dare, and some I really, really liked, and others didn't really do much for ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
This is a wonderful Christmas story. With a bite. If you expect some wallflower mopping, then you'll be disappointed. While Violet might be a shy young woman hiding in the corners of ballrooms thinking how "certain commodities ran scarce" (especially corners because it seems every woman who comes to Spindle Cove wants one for herself), she did spend quite some time in Spindle Cove. She is not the same person she was when she first came, heartbroken and hiding a secret.

The story is about "...
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday, historical
So, I'm not much of one to read historical romances. The best I can do is a time-travel where the heroine goes back in time but still retains her modern vernacular and ways. She would introduce the hero to more "modern thinking" and he would convert her to his primitive ways.

That being said, I really enjoyed this novella. It was definitely swoon worthy. I got caught up in the romance as well as the era. I loved how Violet was a strong woman and had grown over time. She was definitely worthy of C
Didn't have that humor and warmth that I expect from a Tessa Dare's love story. The couple was unremarkable and the romance felt rushed. I never felt that there was prior connection between them. Maybe it would have been better as a full novel. Maybe not.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
An adventurous little novella, with intelligent and daring leads. At one point in the story our hero is discussing tortures and says that he hadn't been able to read a book in a year (!!gasp!!)! That would be torture for me! :) All in all, a "dashing" read.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a very sweet short novella!!
I really enjoyed it !
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
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  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Winning the Wallflower (Fairy Tales, #2.5)
  • Unlocked (Turner, #1.5)
  • Pride & Passion (The Brethren Guardians, #2)
  • The Untamed MacKenzie (MacKenzies & McBrides, #5.5)
  • Never a Gentleman (Drake's Rakes, #2)
  • The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy, #3.5)
  • Blame It on Bath (The Truth About the Duke, #2)
  • How to Seduce a Scoundrel (How To #2)
  • Deck the Halls With Love (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5)
  • The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, #3)
See similar books…
Sign up for Tessa's newsletter and be the first to hear about new books and hot deals!

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)
  • Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5; Castles Ever After, #4)
“Language was a vast, complicated tapestry. The key to communication was finding a common thread.” 13 likes
“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.” 8 likes
More quotes…