A lady's companion with no prospects. A duke who has turned his back on romance. A wild snowstorm that leaves them both stranded. It’ll be a holiday neither of them will forget.
Resigning herself to becoming a companion to an elderly peeress is Miss Hope Marie Atwater’s last chance for a decent life. Though she’s unwanted, undesired, and unloved at six and twenty, being on the shelf hasn’t completely stolen her spirit. Her one wish at Christmastide is to stumble upon a man who will look past her drab life’s circumstances to the spirited woman beneath, but that would take a miracle.
Christmastide only brings maudlin memories he’d rather forget to Brook Gerard Clevenger, Duke of Denton. He wants to bury himself at his country estate, for the thought of merrymaking reminds him of all he’s lost. A widower of seven years, he’s not looking for another romance; one was enough, and the pain will last a lifetime despite the fact he might welcome companionship or the chance for a stolen kiss.
As they travel respectively through Oxfordshire, misfortune is their lot. A fierce winter storm blows in, makes a mess of the roads, and strands them at a posting inn where the situation isn’t ideal. During a meeting in the courtyard, an immediate attraction takes them by surprise. As Christmastide nears, the class divide disappears, and the desire simmering between them explodes into something undeniably heated and intense. If they can stop hiding, the wonder of romance might be the gift they both need.