Winter's Tale

Adult
Rated 4.11/5 based on 10 reviews
Half faerie, half elf Hans Winter broke the heart of the wrong princess. Cursed to live as a statue at a school for human girls, only true love—and true bravery—can free him.
December Worth never met a rule she didn’t want to break, as the numerous institutions that expelled her can attest. Bravery she can handle. Love she’s less sure about, especially if it involves believing in fairytales. More

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Words: 32,030
Language: English
ISBN: 9780988894303
About Emma Holly

Emma Holly is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Whether it's vampires, fairy princesses, or just extraordinary ordinary folks, she loves writing super-hot romance.

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Reviews

Review by: e_ bookpushers on March 24, 2013 :
Joint review originally published here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/03/20/joint-review-winters-tale-hidden-3-5-by-emma-holly/

Probably 3.5 stars

Publisher: Self-published
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: ARC from the author

Something sexy is afoot at Rackham’s School for Young Ladies
Half-faerie, half-elf Hans Winter broke the heart of the wrong princess. Cursed to live as a statue at a school for human girls, only true love—and true bravery—can free him.



December Worth never met a rule she didn’t want to break, as the numerous institutions that have expelled her can attest. Bravery she can handle. Love she’s less sure about, especially if it involves believing in fairytales.



A kiss seems like the last thing these lonely souls would share, until one night in the cemetery where Hans stands trapped, Fate brings stone and flesh together . . .
This blurb came from the author’s website.

Has: I am a fan of Emma Holly’s books, because she can sure write erotic romance which are hot and very sexy. But I have to say I am really drawn to her fantasy erotic romances, because she combines imagination and heat in a delectable way. Winter’s Tale is set in her Hidden world, where the fae and other magical beings exist albeit hidden in the modern world. Winter’s Tale is a bit of a departure though because like the title suggests, it is more of a fairy-talesque take which has elements of other fairy-tales which I enjoyed. December Worth, is a young girl who is sent to live in a variety of boarding schools, because she rejects to be conventional from her more restrictive parents, And in the latest school she is sent to – she encounters a mysterious statue of a man who is be-spelled in a curse and he holds a promise of true love which she holds the key to unlocking.

I found this was a cute and sexy read and I loved the fairy tale tone and feel of the story. I also liked December’s character, who was rebellious, snarky and fun and I wished this story was longer because I would have liked to see more of her in action. Winter’s Tale was also slightly different from Emma Holly’s other books, because it had a dreamy like quality and although I enjoyed the tone because it did fit the story really well. Although I wished there was a lot more expanding the plot, especially in developing the romance which was rushed for me.

E: Like Has I have also been a huge fan of Holly for a very long time. She has the ability to provide a high heat level while developing her characters, their world, and carrying forward a plot. The combination of those things is what has kept her on my autobuy list. Holly does not shy away from including paranormal aspects or characters in her stories. Even when they are melded into a more familiar earth-like world she ensures that they are noticeably not human. The distinction makes her worlds even more solid to my imagination. Winter’s Tale is set in a different part of Holly’s Hidden series world and gave me a different perspective than that of the shapeshifters.

While I enjoyed Winter’s Tale, I also wished it was longer. December’s character was so much fun. Watching her transform from spoiled, bored, too smart for her own good to someone who took fairy-tales so seriously that she risked her life was a lot of fun. I just wish it was more gradual. I really enjoyed December’s inner monologue because it provided a lot of insight into her character and why she could possibly be the one to break Hans’ curse. I also wanted to know what happened to some of the students and instructors, their pasts and futures because they seemed stuck at the school for a particular reason. I was really intrigued with this particular setting and saw the potential for some branches or just some fleshing out in the supporting cast I wanted a longer story.

Has: I agree! I think there was huge potential for exploring that aspect. I liked the New Adult feel because it was very much about coming of age and exploring sexuality especially with December because she basically grew up and matured over the course of the book. But I was disappointed that this was glossed over because the back-story was interesting and even though fairy-tales have insta-love – I found it hard to believe that Hans and December had true love especially when it tied in with breaking of the curse, because of the story’s length which was so short. I would have also liked to see more of Han’s back story especially on how he got cursed and would have loved to see more of the fae world because it would have added more depth to the story.

E: Yes I was more able to by December’s love because Hans was the first person who actually saw her value but I wasn’t as sold on Hans’ love. During his story to December while I understood that he had been wronged I wasn’t sure that his time as a statue taught him how to love. Hans was not in a very good position throughout most of the book but I did enjoy how he was able to use his mind to work with December to prove to her that he was real not just a dream. I also liked the fact that he valued December as more than a chance at freedom. He was also pretty intent on ensuring she enjoyed herself **grin** despite his years of frustration. Hans had some real potential as a character that I hope we get to see in a later book.

Has: Yes! I found this was my main gripe about the story, because we never really got to see how he felt about her and when they were together, it was either facing danger or making love, and I would loved more of the emotional aspect being developed. And unlike December’s character which really stood out for me, I found Hans a tad undeveloped because I never got a real sense of his characterisation. But I think this was due to the short length of the story, and their scenes together was sizzling and I liked the underlying sweetness in the tone as well when he was with her. I think because there was so much promise and potential if this was expanded this would have been a stellar story.

Overall, despite the short length and some undeveloped factors, I did enjoy Winter’s Tale, because it was a sweet romance with erotically charged scenes which added to the dreamy and fairy-talesque feel and tone. Which added a lush sexiness to the romance – I really hope we get to revisit those characters, because December stood out for me because she was such a fun heroine!

I give Winter’s Tale a C+

E: Winter’s Tale provided a very entertaining glimpse into how capricious both humans and fae can be. It showcased December who was the poster child for difficult and let her shine. It had magic, conspiracy, hot smexytimes, the power of love, and a seriously creepy boarding school. I enjoyed reading Winter’s Tale even though I wish it was longer so I could have enjoyed the journey they characters took as they matured. Holly remains on my auto-buy list because she consistently delivers a story I can lose myself in regardless of the length. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next in her Hidden world.

I give Winter’s Tale a B-
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Liliane Menard on March 14, 2013 :
Once again Emma Holly delivers a great short story. Steamy, erotic and a bit of a mystery in it. She always create strong female heroine, who know what she wants in man out of bed and in it.
I liked the link with the character of a previous books Move Me and The Fearie'e Honeymoon.

Thank you Emma
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Karen Voitik on Feb. 26, 2013 :
I enjoyed the book, but I wanted more. I ordered it knowing it was short, but it was good, so I wanted it to last longer than it did.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jossi Evans on Feb. 24, 2013 :
This short story is a really fun and steamy hot read. I wish it were longer. I hope that we can see a book about the characters in this story and the characters from Emma's book "Move Me". It was great, because of this, I want more. Thanks again Emma!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: shanda trautman on Feb. 22, 2013 :
Love Emma Holly. Good but to short.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: shanda trautman on Feb. 22, 2013 :
Love Emma Holly. Good but to short.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Julie Serson on Feb. 12, 2013 :
I loved it Emma holly's stories are awesome they keep you reading and you can't put it Down till your done
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Linda Terrutty on Feb. 02, 2013 :
So, because this is a short story, I probably should not be so hard on it. I do love Emma Holly and read a lot of her books. I was especially intrigued with the whole frozen fairy and new "bad" girl at school story line. The preview I read made me want to read the book. However, a part of me struggles because of how fast they fall in love...and I get a little leery thinking an 18 year old is having crazy sex with someone who does come across as feeling like an 18-20 year old guy, but in truth is over 200. I'm no prude, but wow, the scene where she frees him is not something I would have done at 18 and with a statue.

I did like December...she was confident, unafraid of taking risks, and came across pretty smart. Not enough to be out on her own with someone not from here - which was the other part that didn't sit well with me...the end with her parents, with her and Hans living on their own...not many 18 year olds walk away from rich parents who don't abuse them...and thrive. I get he is a fairy and lucky, but that still felt a little unrealistic to me.

If you want a book with some hot sex scenes, this is a great short read for that...and the story line isn't bad either, but if you are like me, you may be left feeling that something was missing or a little too pat.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Linda Terrutty on Feb. 02, 2013 : (no rating)
So, because this is a short story, I probably should not be so hard on it. I do love Emma Holly and read a lot of her books. I was especially intrigued with the whole frozen fairy and new "bad" girl at school story line. The preview I read made me want to read the book. However, a part of me struggles because of how fast they fall in love...and I get a little leery thinking an 18 year old is having crazy sex with someone who does come across as feeling like an 18-20 year old guy, but in truth is over 200. I'm no prude, but wow, the scene where she frees him is not something I would have done at 18 and with a statue.

I did like December...she was confident, unafraid of taking risks, and came across pretty smart. Not enough to be out on her own with someone not from here - which was the other part that didn't sit well with me...the end with her parents, with her and Hans living on their own...not many 18 year olds walk away from rich parents who don't abuse them...and thrive. I get he is a fairy and lucky, but that still felt a little unrealistic to me.

If you want a book with some hot sex scenes, this is a great short read for that...and the story line isn't bad either, but if you are like me, you may be left feeling that something was missing or a little too pat.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Diana Collins on Feb. 02, 2013 :
Oh yeah, another great one from Emma Holly. Really hot fairy tale. Couldn't quit reading so read it in one sitting. I really hate that sometimes, because you just don't want to see the end of the book so quickly. And again the only problem is it was way too short.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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