by Heather Hiestand
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Sugared violets, buttercream…but he craves her kiss most of all…
Orphaned as a boy, Ewan Hales is proud to make his living as secretary to the manager at Redcake’s Tea Shop. But the startling news that he’s heir to the Earl of Fitzwalter changes everything. While tendering his resignation to lovely Matilda Redcake, however, Ewan is struck by her spirit, the luscious bow of her lips—and a realization. Matilda might not marry a working man—but will she wed a future nobleman?
Ewan’s unruly hair and roguish kisses are tempting, but Matilda has far too many problems to consider romance. With sabotage at a cake factory threatening the family empire, she must focus her considerable willpower on keeping Redcake’s from ruin—until she learns that her young son has been kidnapped. Together, she and Ewan must uncover the truth before they can savor the sweet freedom of love…
Matilda knew Mr. Hales was the spider at the center of a web of information about Redcake’s.
The man himself had his back to her, one finger on a row of figures in an open ledger and the other on a typewriter key. She had no idea how to operate such a machine, but it did make reports easier to read, so she had insisted that her own secretary, her cousin Greggory Redcake, learn to operate one.
“Mr. Hales?” she inquired.
The finger went up in the air in a request for silence. Her eyebrows lifted. When had the man become so imperious? He probably thought she was a cakie, the Redcake’s name for waitresses. Still, she’d have expected him to be more charming. Her sister Alys said he was notorious for relationships among Redcake’s female employees, having worked his way through accounting, the Fancy, and the bakery staff.
His finger moved down the row of neatly printed numbers in the ledger. The keys clicked a few times. A pause. He turned a page in the ledger and repeated the sequence.
“Mr. Hales,” she tried again.
His fingers stopped moving, pinched around the page he was turning. His back stiffened as he slowly resumed his page turn. His other hand left the keys and he swiveled his chair around.
He remained cold. No little bow, no small obsequious smile, as she had seen from him in the past. His hair had been mussed, she now realized.
Didn’t he recognize her? “I’m Matilda Redcake.”
Her announcement brought no change in his demeanor. “I know who you are, Miss Redcake.”
Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.
For more information, visit Heather’s website at http://www.heatherhiestand.com.
Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is email@example.com.
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Heather Hiestand will be awarding a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.