Book Review: Emma Holly’s Winter’s Tale

Posted August 1, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Emma Holly’s Winter’s Tale

Winter's Tale

It is part of the , series and is a in eBook edition on January 27, 2013 and has 116 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

It’s a short story, 103 pages, and Holly says it is sixth in the Hidden erotic paranormal romance series that touches around the fae, elves, shifters, and humans in and loosely around the town of Resurrection, although this story takes place in Kingaken, New York. (Check out the chronological list of this series at KD Did It Takes on Books.)

Holly has the first three novel-length stories in a single book, Hidden Series, and the first two shorts in a single, The Faerie’s Honeymoon & Date Night (the Move Me Duet is a more practical choice since it is about the same characters from Move Me and “The Faerie’s Honeymoon”. Or you might want to wait until Winter’s Tale merges with Move Me Duet since the Winter’s Tale includes the main characters from Move Me Duet, so it makes sense that this (book) threesome will result.) I know, this is so convoluted.

My Take

This was a unique take. Okay, so Pygmalion brought his statue to life way back when, but this is a first for me in reading a novel of today.

Holly is so good at creating a sensual scene that pulls a response from the reader, but not this time. The words are there, but the feeling is not. I suspect this lack started with the graveyard scene and December’s actions within it. Even looking back at it, I still can’t figure out if it was the opportunity for tension that didn’t play out or if it was just too weird for me. Maybe a combination? Holly certainly writes the scene with great detail, leaving me wondering what was happening, intriguing me. Maybe it was too fast? And yet there are more tension possibilities that crop up and don’t go anywhere. Readus interruptus, perhaps?

The time December spends in the cemetery, the feelings Hans inspires, and his worry about giving up hope are rather same-samey. Nothing too exciting. Sort of a kiss of death for the reader.

Hmmm, interesting comment: “If all a school trained students in was how to take exams, it might as well close up shop.” And people wonder why students today aren’t doing so well in school…

It has the potential to be a good story, but it isn’t written well enough for me to suspend belief and fall into it.

That bit at the end is a twist — a matchmaker? How very appropriate. And then the meeting with her parents! I adored how Hans leapt to her defense, LOL.

The Story

Sent to yet another boarding school, December takes its measure and finds it lacking in so many respects. All but that incredible marble statue in the graveyard. The one that calls to her, with whom December takes liberties.

The Characters

December Worth is a problem child who’s been expelled from more boarding schools. She’s simply not capable of behaving as the child of Old Money should. Paul Worth is her father; her mother is too interested in how chic she is.

Hans William Winter, half-elf and half-faerie, was a huntsman who has been cursed into a marble statue in the Dire Woods. A wood that became a graveyard.

December’s schoolmates include:
Nina is the ringleader with Alicia and Brianne, who hates Dr. Who, but is channeling Snow White’s tale, as part of her little clique.

Miss Westin is the French teacher who doesn’t know the language very well, but she is fascinated by folklore and fairy tales. Mrs. Blake is the librarian.

Queen Araun is the faerie queen who wants Hans dead. Duvall (“Faerie’s Honeymoon“, 4.5) and Belle (“Move Me Duet includes Move Me and “Faerie’s Honeymoon”) own the junk shop.

Rackham School for Young Ladies is December’s twelfth institution.

The Cover and Title

The cover is cold in blues, grays, and white with ice coating the ferny leaves and the marble body of a statue of a man. I love the gradation of the title sliding from light against the statue to dark against the leaves.

The title tells it’s best, for it is Winter’s Tale to reveal.