Talk about an adorable title and blurb- a handsome aristocrat with a sweet tooth! I just couldn’t wait to read this one. And I was not disappointed at the hijinks, romantic entanglements and focus on scrumptious food. The foodie and the romantic in me can’t decide who is more satisfied at the moment. I am so in need of some delish baked goods after reading this one.
The handsome Marquess of Hatbrook has a weakness and it is while pandering to his need for sweets that he comes across the fiery Alys Redcake daughter of the proprietor to his favorite bake shop. He is attracted to Alys almost as much as he is to the Scotch Trifle, but his ideals for a wife are for someone much more mild-mannered and malleable so he attempts to contain his interest to the desserts she serves.
Alys is a woman past the usual marrying age and caught between two very different worlds. She grew up working in one of her father’s companies as one of the workers before continuing as a baker in his recently successful business venture and now that he is knighted she is expected to give up the joys of baking and decorating cakes to be a lady of class. Alys is not fooled- even if her father is- into thinking that the upper echelon of society like the handsome marquess will accept her. She has hope for her sisters who came along later and were brought up genteelly in landing good matches, but none for herself.
Meanwhile, her father removes her from her position with the bakery and starts parading suitors past her. Too bad her eyes are settled dreamily on Hatbrook and he seems to feel something for her too. Circumstances throw them together often and its usually over a slice of her delectable cakes before they finally give in to their attraction and that’s when things really start to happen.
The plot started out light and fun like an old-fashioned historical romance, but then the two main characters let their passion loose showing the two of them were hungry for more than cake. I loved how there was so much going on, though not so much that it gets dizzying, between Alys and Hatbrook and then their interrelations between friends and family. Admittedly, there is a great deal of focus on food and health in this one since it’s the Marquess’ sweet tooth and Alys’ baking talents that started it all going. The two of them were so adorable together even when they really didn’t understand each other or got headstrong about matters. I liked how the perspective swapped back and forth so I could get to know each of them equally well. There are some sad realistic things in the story, but the tone remains light throughout.
In the end there were a few things left unresolved, but I noticed that a second book is coming out so I assume it will pick up and give some explanations.
Fun and tantalizing historical romance that will appeal to the foodie romance lovers who like their stories set in the past along with those who just enjoy spicy Victorian era romances.
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