This intriguing historical romance offers a different perspective of life in England as the addition of mechanized inventions changes the Victorian world. The rigid class lines are altered and the upheaval that this causes is touched upon as one family rapidly changes in status but I was a bit disappointed in the shallow natures depicted for Alys’ sisters and the unwitting damage that is caused by their father’s embracing his family’s rise in society. I found the allusions to diabetes and gall bladder issues to be an interesting addition to the story and look forward to reading more about the clever inventions being developed by Alys’ cousin. There are multiple dangling threads which hopefully will tie in to the next book in the series and I look forward to discovering new ways the world is improved even as I fear for the revelation of even more dark secrets which seem to be part of these tales. I thought that this was a refreshing look at a rapidly changing society and look forward to reading more tales by this author.
“The Marquess of Cake” by Heather Hiestand is a fun historical romance that reflects the exciting changes that occurred during the Industrial Revolution as it follows the adventures of a couple of families which become entwined as Michael Shield, Marquess of Hatbrook, pursues his love of sweets and becomes acquainted with the Redcake family. Alys Redcake has trouble becoming reconciled to the change in her family’s status when her father is knighted, especially when it means that she will be barred from creating more of her wondrous cake creations which have helped make her family’s progressive Tea Shop and Emporium so popular. She and Michael enter into an arrangement under somewhat strained circumstances but discover that they will have to re-evaluate their goals if they are ever going to be as successful in love as they have been in business.
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?