When the fate of England falls in the Duke’s hands, he enlists Penelope for a new plan—they announce a sham engagement in order to flush out the traitor. But as the stakes get more deadly, and their feelings more real, will they discover that love is the most dangerous plot of them all?
This is the third book of a series that I would thoroughly recommend, but as it vaguely fitted with my Christmas theme I figured I would review this one first.
Penelope and the Duke of Marchford have been prominent throughout the series, so I would advise reading the books in order- starting with a wedding in Springtime, and then a Wedding in Summer. Penelope's career as a matchmaker, the infamous Madame X, is cultivated in these earlier books through the machinations of the Dowager Duchess, whom she acts as companion to. The Duke of Marchford has come to respect her and consider her as a friend- someone who he trusts with both his work as a spy investigating those who might work for Napoleon, and as someone who can help him to find a wife.... and he wants a wife... just like Penelope. As he comes to this realisation,
With two such significant story lines that quickly become interwoven, the story is definitely complicated, but not at all confusing thanks to Forester's telling of the story- the plot reveals itself pretty nicely as far as I am concerned.
As far as the Christmassy-ness of the book, whilst the book has a Christmas time setting, the holiday does not take the main focus- although Marchford's interesting interpretation of the 'On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me....' song is hilariously charming. I would highly recommend this whole series! Definitely worth paying for (although the first book is free, so you can get a good taste of the whole thing, and be introduced to the majority of the characters).
Highlights: Sexy scenes, banter between Pen and Marchford,
Low points: Frustration that the characters stand in the way of their own feelings