One Taste of Scandal is the second in the Redcakes series, all featuring the cakery/tearoom. In this installment, the intrigue and family connections are full frontal as Lord Judah has returned from India and will be managing the shop as Hatbrook and Alys are heading away for a time. This gives Judah time to sort out his own lineage, and deal with the death of his mother: both trying and upsetting. While Judah is refusing the ‘courtesy title’ of Lord, and preferring to use his moniker from his service in India of Captain Shield, he is embroiled in his new position and not interested in females or relationships. Or so he thinks.
Magdalene Cross is the daughter of a scandal-ridden family: nursing an ailing sister-in-law and playing nanny to her children, although she is of marriageable age, she has never found a man. Needing an income, she is hired to decorate cakes at Redcakes, and her association and flirtation with Judah begins.
Different from so many historical romances in so many ways, this sweet romance was a breath of fresh air. Victorian in setting rather than regency, and more attuned to the mundane acts in making a living and dealing with everyday occurrences rather than debuts and balls and fabulous parties, we see the characters without the more polished veneers of society’s constraints. Magdalene’s family is already been the source of many scandals, as she works she also is completely aware of and careful to not reveal her connection to Redcakes, or her position there. It would be ruinous for her reputation, which has the taint of family scandal. But she is clever and smart and brave, as well as determined and bold, a wonderful heroine for the battered and bruised Judah.
The story was well paced, and there weren’t too many gaps in knowledge from not having read the first book, but I do believe that enjoyment would increase with the backstory from Hatbrook and Alys. I loved the idea of a Victorian-Era romance that didn’t focus on society’s events, but dealt with the lives of the people who are trying to move forward in life, despite the obstacles. A great story for romance and historical romance fans alike.
Title: One Taste of Scandal
Author: Heather Hiestand
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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A cup of sugar…a dash of cream….and a craving for a cake decorator that won’t be denied…
When Captain Judah Shield learns he is more bastard than noble born, he goes in search of his true lineage. Determined not to lean on his family’s wealth, he accepts a job managing Redcake’s Tea Shop. Despite the flurry of excitement a single soldier creates among the staff, Judah clearly has no time for a wife. Though what man doesn’t have time for a delectable beauty like lovely Magdalene Cross?...
He has the bearing of an English gentleman and the fiery touch of a true rake. Which is precisely why Magdalene must avoid Judah if she hopes to escape her family’s reputation for scandal. Surely no good can come from a man whose kiss leaves her hungry for more. Certainly not the kind of marriage that could restore her social status. Still, Magdalene cannot help imagining what an incredible wedding night it would be—and when fate steps in, she may not have to imagine after all…
“One Taste of Scandal is a delicious, multi-layered Victorian treat." --Gina Robinson, author of The Last Honest Seamstress and the Agent Ex series(less)
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.