Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, loathed Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The sly demands for charity. The asinine party games.
Yes, he does. But he’s out in the middle of the countryside in the cold, wet weather because he adores his grandmother. He’ll do anything for her, including visit a crotchety, not so nice aunt for the holiday season simply because she wishes it. Now he’s stuck with a broken carriage and he’s worried about getting his elderly grandmother somewhere safe and warm. Which is how he ends up at the St. John residence and verbally sparring with the only woman who has never given him the time of day. In fact, he’s pretty sure she hates his guts.
Sarah St. John loathed rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constantly witty banter rife with double meaning. She especially hated that bit.
Yes, she does. But what is she supposed to do when Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, suddenly shows up on her doorstep in the middle of a snow storm needing help? It’s the Christmas season after all, and despite her dislike for Adam and his rakish tendencies she offers him and his grandmother a place to stay under the St. John roof. She’ll just have to try and ignore him and all the smirks, gazes, and witty banter he throws her way.
Ha! I loved this holiday novella. It’s probably my favorite novella yet this year. Despite Adam and Sarah having been previously introduced, I will admit to not really remembering much about either of them. That didn’t stop me from falling right in to their story and enjoying myself immensely. The enemies to lovers set up was done well, Adam pricks Sarah’s temper when he has the chance while Sarah bristles and volley’s barbs of her own. Yet the close proximity gets to them and they start to realize that they have tremendous chemistry.
About that chemistry… for a novella it’s got some heat. Adam and Sarah have several very well done love scenes.
Usually I go into novellas knowing the page count will limit relationship development and I kind of factor that in when rating and writing my review. Not so here. Ms. Hoyt really did an excellent job of introducing two not so well-known characters and then building their relationship to a point that by the time the HEA came I along I was fully on board and felt it to be believable. Despite this being a quick read, it never felt rushed or like any character or relationship development was scrimped on.
Whether you are a fan of the Maiden Lane series, or are just looking for a fast, fun, adorable holiday read make sure you put this one on your TBR list. It really was quite lovely. Final Grade-B+
He broke their kiss and laid his forehead against hers. “Make me stop.”
“I can’t,” she whispered.
“Then we’re doomed,” he said, his voice husky and low. “For I’m unable to stop myself. I want you. Day and night and all the time in between. I want you.”