Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.
But Sophie's holiday is about to heat up...
With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.
It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true...
She bobbed a curtsey while holding the child. “I’ve explained to him that such a tantrum is hardly seemly and I do apologize for the noise.” She focused her gaze on the child. “You are a naughty fellow, young Kit, banging your tankard and shouting down the rafters...”
She went on softly remonstrating the baby while Vim recovered from the prettiest pair of green eyes he’d ever beheld. She wasn’t a pretty woman—she had a full though solemn mouth in the usual location underscored by a definite chin and a nose somewhat lacking in subtlety. Her hair was dark brown and pulled back into a positively boring bun at her nape. But those eyes...
And her voice. It was the voice of a pretty lady, soft and luminous with good breeding and gentility, though she was using it to try to gently scold the child into better behavior.
“May I?” He held out his arms, meeting those green eyes when she looked faintly puzzled. “I have some experience with children.”
She passed him the child, moving close enough to Vim that he realized she was not particularly tall. She had a dignity about her though, even holding a bellowing baby.
“His mama should be right back. She just went around to the back for a moment.” The lady cast a hopeful look at the door—a hopeful, anxious look
Vim took the child, who appeared distracted by the change in venue—though likely only temporarily.
“You will hush,” he said to the baby, which earned him a blinking blue-eyed stare from his burden. “This good woman is tired of your fretting, as is the entire room and likely half the block. Behave your little self or we’ll call the beadle to haul you off to gaol. That’s better.”
He put the baby to his shoulder and began to gently pat and rub the small back. “He just finished his luncheon, didn’t he?”
The woman colored slightly. “I believe he did.”