04 July 2013

The Marquess of Cake (Redcakes #1)

Summary from Goodreads:

Coffee…tea…or a pastry chef sweeter than any confection…

Scotch trifle fit for Queen Victoria, scones with clotted cream…Alys Redcake knows the way to a man’s heart. Yet she is unaware that with each morsel—and flash of ankle—she is seducing the handsome marquess frequenting her father’s tea shop. Unmarried at twenty-six, Alys’s first love is the family business. But thoughts of the gentleman’s touch are driving her to distraction…

With his weakness for sugar, the Marquess of Hatbrook can imagine no more desirable woman than one scented with cake and spice. Mistaking Alys for a mere waitress, he has no doubt she would make a most delicious mistress. And when he finds himself in need of an heir, he plans to make her his convenient bride. Yet as they satisfy their craving for one another, business and pleasure suddenly collide. Will Hatbrook’s passion for sweets—and for Alys—be his heart’s undoing?

Interesting concept involving an aristocrat with hypoglycemia and a baker in Victorian London. The middle section of the novel - once Alys and Michael are out of London and in Sussex and relatively alone - is the best. The opening felt rough and a bit too modern, the resolution/reconciliation of Alys and Michael at the end of the book felt rushed, and the bit with the sick sister didn't fit with a reported action later. I would have liked an expanded look at how the class differences between the hero and heroine were an obstacle or bonus. Cute though - and for those of us with a pastry/cake habit very bad for the waistline.

I'd like to see how the second book works in moving Michael's brother into the hero role but definitely a "maybe" series.

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