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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…
Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:
“I am intimately acquainted with that blackguard,” she said.
“Lovers?” Greggory asked. Surely this sensual creature was not a virgin, despite her father.
“No.” She shook her head vehemently.
He had to admit to himself that he had sometimes fantasized about her coming to him at the end of the day and having her way with him in his office. His brother always insisted you could tell if a woman was still a virgin by the way she walked. Apparently, he had misjudged her sensuality. That bottom-centric walk of hers hadn’t meant she’d felt the pleasure of a man’s intimate touch.
He put a hand to his forehead. Really, his disordered thoughts were taking him places they really should not. “Why did you call him a blackguard? Do you know that he is a murderer?”
“No, but he is a blackmailer.”
“Who has he blackmailed?”
“What would he have on you?”
“He knew I was closer than I should be to Ewan Hales. He threatened to tell my father about my bad behavior. We were not engaged, though I hoped we would be. Later, I didn’t want Ewan knowing about my mother. I didn’t want anyone at Redcake’s to know.”
Greggory tried hard to follow her. Ewan Hales, now Lord Fitzwalter, had been the secretary at the flagship Redcake’s for years, until he’d discovered he was the heir to an earldom. “When was this?”
“Four years ago.”
“What didn’t you want Lord Fitzwalter to know about your mother?”
Betsy’s lips trembled again. He stroked her hair and caressed her shoulders until her face relaxed.
“She killed two men,” she whispered. “Simon found out somehow. He made me leave Ewan and pretend to be his. He left me alone for a long time, but today he came here, as you know, and talked about us getting married. I’m afraid he killed that man to scare me.”
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