Once Upon A Wicked Night (Donovan Sisters #1.5)
by Jennifer Haymore
by Jennifer Haymore
Publication date: 01 Feb 2013 by Forever
Category: Adult Historical Romance
Keywords: Historical, romance, sisters, novella, short story
Source: e-ARC received from Netgalley
Seven years ago it was a young Serena Donovan and Jonathan Dane who shocked the ton when they were discovered in a most compromising position. Tonight they return for the first time as the Earl and Countess of Stratford. And while Serena hopes for a quiet evening to introduce her younger sister Olivia to society, Jonathan’s only desire is to pick up where he and Serena left off…
Though innocent Olivia secretly longs for the kind of passion her sister shares with her husband, none of the men she’s met spark a fire inside her heart—least of all the notorious Marquis of Fenwicke. When his request for a waltz turns into something sinister, Olivia must use her wit and wiles to evade a powerful peer who vows if can’t have her, no man shall.
This novella was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be. Reading it on my Kindle, it ended at about 50%, with the other half being the first chapter of Confessions of an Improper Bride (first book in the series). I feels much more like the epilogue to the first book or the prologue to the second book in the series than a full novella.
Though I wished it were longer, I did enjoy this brief glimpse into the Donovan Sister series. Serena and Jonathan were a wonderful couple. It was clear that they had gone through a lot to be together and their love for each other was very sweet. Serena's younger sister Olivia is innocent in the ways of London society and has a brief run in with a rake. Olivia was pretty bland in this. I think it has more to do with the brevity of the piece than an actual problem with Olivia herself. She has the potential to be an interesting character but she doesn't get a chance to shine in this short piece.
Once Upon A Wicked Night is more of a teaser than a novella. If the intention was to pique my interest in the Donovan Sisters series, it definitely worked. However, as a standalone story it's too short and does not give you enough to be a truly satisfying read. I received my copy free from NetGalley in exchange for a review but I would have been annoyed had I paid for it. It would serve its purpose better as a free read on the author's website. That way, fans of the series can get an epilogue to James and Serena's story and new readers can read it and decide if this is a series they'd be interested in. The actual "story" of this book is 2 stars for me but I am giving it 3 stars because it was enough to make me want to read this series. I would recommend skipping this and jumping in with the first book. Yes, it costs more but you will be getting much more for your money.
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.