GENRE: Historical Romance (Victorian)
The sweetest treat is a kiss…
Greggory Redcake’s plate is full. Widowed young and left with two small children, the manager of the Kensington location of the illustrious tea shop is besieged on all sides between the bakery and family matters. If only his remarkably efficient shop assistant, Betsy Popham, could manage his home life, too! But Greggory can’t linger on thoughts of Betsy’s fetching smile when a dead body is discovered in the bakery…
Betsy has no time for romance, not even with the delectable Mr. Redcake, whose kisses are all too unforgettable. Haunted by a specter from her family’s past, Betsy is terrified that the man blackmailing her has turned to deadly violence. Yet the only way to save her position–and possibly her life–is to accept Greggory’s help as their delicious attraction sweetens into the tantalizing promise of true love…
As Betsy started down the stairs, the lights behind her were extinguished. She craved this silence after a long, busy day. No more customers, no cakies or shopgirls bustling about.
When she reached the entry hall, she saw one of the ferns, hanging in pots on wires above her head, was swaying. Mr. Redcake stopped behind her and breathed on her neck.
“What is wrong?”
She pointed up. “The fern is swaying, as if someone bumped it.”
He lifted his hand and stopped the basket from moving. “It’s up seven feet. No one bumped it, unless we had a late customer who is a circus freak.”
She turned. “A man could reach up a hand and set it into motion as easily as you stopped it. Or a very tall man with a tall hat could have bumped it.”
He pulled a silver pocket watch from the interior of his coat and peered at it. “No one should have been here this past half hour.”
They both stood silently, craning their necks, not sure what they were looking for.
“How long would it take for a fern to stop swaying?” she asked.
“Not half an hour. Was a window left open? The doors are closed.” He raised an eyebrow.
“I’ll check the tearoom,” she said.
“I’ll see to the bakery.”
They separated. She saw one of the doors to the tearoom was open slightly, which was unusual at this time of night. The double doors were usually locked because the tearoom closed an hour before the bakery did.
She peered through the door, hearing the snick of a key in a lock as Mr. Redcake opened the bakery doors, which must have been closed properly. Light still streamed in through one window. White and gold lace and cotton curtains properly covered all but that window on the far right. She glanced along the room, following the path of the light.
When she saw the man’s shoe, slack and brown against the gleaming white floor, she screamed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
Rafflecopter Giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1570