Series: 12 Dukes of Christmas, #2
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Penelope Mitchell is Christmas’ resident chemist and newly minted celebrity – she created a cologne for men called “Duke” and it is wildly successful – based on science, Penelope formulated the scent to attract women and by all accounts it works. So well, that she has decided to create a scent for women and will call it “Duchess” – she has a base formula, she just needs to test it.
Mr. Nicholas Pringle, known by all as Saint Nick, is an unrepentant rake. He never spends more than one night with a woman and has no desire to settle down, he doesn’t believe in love and has only agreed to come to Christmas to keep his brother Christopher company. While attending a party at the castle, Chris mentions that the creator of “Duke” is there and immediately Nick wants to confront her. He wants her to stop production of “Duke”, it is unfair to real rakes.
He meets Penelope and offers to buy the formula, she has no intention of selling it to him, but tells him she will think on it and tells him to return the next day. Penelope decides that Nick is the perfect test subject for “Duchess”, she will wear it and see if it works on men as well as “Duke” works on women. A kiss from him should be all the proof she needs, but to make things fair, she will make herself as dowdy as possible.
When he returns, she learns that Nick loves cookies, she feeds him and she is sure the perfume is working, just a kiss is all she needs. When she finally gets that proof, she decides that it is not enough and will need further research to be sure. They spend time together and Nick begins to question himself, he likes Penelope and his relationship with her has taken him to uncharted waters, he wonders if she might be the woman who finally breaks through the wall and meets the real Nick – not sure he is ready for that step, he tries to keep her at arm’s length and fails.
Is it love or is it “Duchess”, Penelope knows she has fallen for him, and he seems to care for her, but is it real or will it end when he learns the truth?
This was a very cute story with two very likable people, lots of cookies, secrets, chemical reactions, warmish love scenes and some corny Christmas references. The book is well written, flows nicely and is extremely entertaining. It is the second book in the series, but can easily be read as a stand alone and while there are references to Christmas, this is definitely a year-round read.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*