Violet is attending the Spindle Cove Officer’s Ball, standing in a corner alone as usual, when a wounded stranger crashes into the ballroom and throws himself at her feet. He begins spouting jibberish until he finally starts repeating the same phrase over and over in a foreign language that nobody recognizes. Nobody but Violet that is, and that fact, along with his familiar eyes, leads Violet to believe that perhaps this stranger is not a stranger after all.
After Christian Pierce’s brother was killed in the war with France, Christian was determined to do his part to help in England’s efforts against their enemy, even if it meant leaving behind the girl who adored him. He became Corentin Morvan, a simple Breton farmhand whose job it was to keep eyes and ears open for information that would help England. When Christian finds out that Violet is still unmarried and living just across the Channel in Spindle Cove, he knows that he has to see her one more time, at least, to try to explain his desertion anyway he can. But Christian soon finds out that Violet is no longer the quiet, unassuming girl he seduced and left behind. Spindle Cove has changed her into a confident woman, and it just might be too late for him to win her heart back again.
ONCE UPON A WINTER’S EVE is a delightful and charming novella about second chances and forgiveness. Violet and Christian are two wonderful characters, and the interactions between them are both warm and gripping. Ms. Dare manages to deftly weave a romantic, sensual and heartwarming Christmas tale into this novella, and I enjoyed it very much.