A very good holiday book, funny and sweet.
One of Fairchild's most unlikely hidden identity stories, but one with some lovely moments, particularly the contriving of the plum pudding dress.
Plot synopsis from fictiondb.com:
"When her father the Baron died, Jane Nichol thought she had lost every chance at happiness--and her newly-widowed step-mother's plans for her made things frightfully worse.
Now, having escaped the Baroness's clutches by running away, Jane lives a double life. By day, she powders and pads herself into the form of middle-aged Madame Nicolette, making her living as the town's best seamstress. By night, she sheds the costume and becomes herself once again, the lovely Lady Jane Nichol. So it is that her life's path crosses with that of a young duke, who also bears the weight of a great secret. The Christmas season has in store for them many surprises--surprises as lucky and unexpected as silver trinkets in a Yuletide plum pudding. But with rumors rippling in their wake, and secrets neither will divulge first, the two wonder if they can ever have their cake and eat it, too..."
I had this book sitting around for quite a while, and finally picked it up, completely out of the Christmas season. It's really a lovely story, and I'm glad I finally read it. Fairchild is a very good writer. This is a bit lighter than some of her other books, although there are some serious plot points and the stakes are high for the heroine especially, because she's in a very precarious position, a runaway in hiding from her family.
The hero is immediately likeable, because he respects the heroine. He is intelligent and has good instincts and doesn't make stupid mistakes that he then would need to redeem himself from. I loved the detailed portrayal of the heroine's seamstress business and the dresses she made. She had a real talent and passion for fashion design.