Widowed Nicolas Westfall, the Duke of Stapleton, cannot prevent the upcoming debut of his youngest daughter no matter how much he wishes her eventual marriage wouldn’t leave him all alone. Convinced to host a Christmas Ball to prepare her for the season, he’s aware he’s considered a catch on the marriage mart too, but Nicolas is drawn to companion Gillian Thorpe instead.
Gillian was hired to prepare the duke’s daughter for her first season, but it's not easy when the girl hasn’t the least interest in the men and its the widowed father makes her knees weak when he laughs with her. Gillian respects and admires (perhaps too frequently) the Duke of Stapleton and when she’s lured into a mistletoe kiss with him, will she be able to stop at one or even want to?
Note: A shorter version of the Duke and I was previously published in the Hot Winter Nights Racy Regency Christmas Collection.
Oh my goodness, this book was so sweet! Seriously, I simply couldn't put it down because I loved those characters so hard.
The story itself, well, it is nothing unusual, him falling for the unsuitable servant, his daughter's companion with or without wedding bells ringing at the hopefully happy ending but those characters made it very special. I loved Nicolas and his unabashed pursuit of Gillian. You can feel their chemistry and talk about sparks, right? It's fireworks, actually.
And don't get me started on Gillian, she is such a delight with her refreshing honest, her lovelyness and her capability to love (and to protect when it comes to her young charge and those around them). I loved that despite him pursuing someone in his employ, you never feel like Nicolas was pressuring Gillian, all their interactions are based on respect and honor and of course - love. The kind of love that doesn't care about outward appearances or status but that feels deep and warm and turns those fireworks into some kind of glowing and heart-warming fire.
I really enjoyed reading this book and felt myself grinning and swooning all the way to the last page!