Book 6, The Redcakes
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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…
“One Taste of Scandal is a delicious, multi-layered Victorian treat."
--Gina Robinson, author of The Last Honest Seamstress and the Agent Ex series
struggling to find that sense of familiarity and enjoyment
The Redcakes Tea Shop, indeed the cake factory are experiencing troubles, and Matilda is feeling the pressure to keep everything running. The renegade of the family, she has a young son that she is raising herself, and combined with the factory and business, life is hectic. She doesn’t have time for the trouble OR to hunt down a new secretary, let alone have a relationship.
Evan was the secretary for the Redcakes Tea Shop until fortuitous news arrives: believing himself an impoverished orphan, he discovers he is in fact the heir to the Earl of Fitzwater. He’s grabbing for the brass ring, and turning in his resignation. He’s always had a crush on Matilda, but now he’s beginning to wonder if there is potential for a relationship.
There are several elements coming into play in this story, almost too many. Characters have always been (for me) the high point of this series, and both Matilda and Evan have quietly existed in the background of these stories, only coming forward in moments. While I enjoyed the two of them together I did find that some of the elements are too far beyond belief, and too many elements collided: the sabotage at the factory, Evan’s ties to the flour manufacturer, Matilda’s son being kidnapped for me to find a solid link to follow the story from point a – b – c.
Because of the multiple moments competing for supremacy and attention, the story felt disjointed, making the read feel far longer than a book of 250-ish pages should. Sadly, the enjoyment that I found in the first book I had read of this series was missing, and I was struggling to find that sense of familiarity and enjoyment that was present in earlier reads.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.