The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand
Series: Redcakes, Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: July 4, 2013
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Michael Shield, Marquess of Hatbrook, has a sweet tooth, which is why Redcake’s Tea Shop and Emporium is his favorite place in London. It doesn’t hurt that Michael’s also captivated by cakie Alys Redcake. Alys has no interest in anything other than decorating cakes and working at her family’s business, but that doesn’t stop Michael from pursuing her. The attraction is mutual and when Michael decides he needs to marry, he can’t picture anyone other than Alys as his bride. Can he convince her to be as passionate about a life with him as she is about the cakes she bakes?
Don’t start The Marquess of Cake when you’re hungry, or Alys’s creations will have you hunting for pastry in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth like Michael, The Marquess of Cake is still delicious thanks to Alys and Michael’s romance.
Alys is a woman who was raised to work hard and her family’s rising fortune has turned her world upside down. Alys is happy being a spinster and decorating cakes, but her father is determined she marry and there’s nothing she can do to change his mind. I appreciated Alys’s passion for her work and it saddened me a bit that conventions of the Victorian era dictated she had to give a lot of that up, even though Michael does come up with a compromise for her. The titular marquess is a handsome hero with a taste for Scotch trifle. What was most interesting about Michael (to me) was that Heather Hiestand made him hypoglycemic. The way Alys came to recognize his health problem (though obviously it was never named or formally diagnosed, given the time period) and how she and Michael ultimately addressed it made The Marquess of Cake unique, in my opinion.
Aside from the romance, The Marquess of Cake has family drama aplenty. I admit, I wasn’t very fond of Alys’s sisters, particularly toward the end of the book, and I really had to question Michael’s judgment given his choice of friends. I was, however, interested in Michael’s sister, Beth, Alys’s twin brother, Gawain, and her cousin, Lewis. All in all I found The Marquess of Cake to be a highly entertaining read and I’m looking forward to the next book in the Redcakes series.