Victor smirked. “I’ll fix you, Redcake. I already did. And don’t get cozy with my sister.” He pulled a wooden truncheon, similar to a police weapon, out from under his coat.
Greggory realized that had been the reason for Victor’s strange immobility. Before he could so much as shout out a protest, the young man swung the truncheon at the infamous window. The glass shattered, shards raining down inside the tearoom.
Greggory heard Miss Popham shriek. Was she injured? He heard the truncheon fall onto the wood floor inside the broken window. Victor ran down the street away from him, the coward. Greggory kicked the rest of the glass out of the frame and climbed back into the tearoom to check on Miss Popham, his heart beating at double speed.
“Are you injured?” he called, his eyes dazzled by the light outside. He couldn’t see. Instinctively, he put out his hand. Small, warm fingers touched his hand, then squeezed his palm.
“I’m well enough. Why did he do that?”
“He belongs in Bedlam,” Greggory said, squeezing Miss Popham’s hand in return. He didn’t want to let go. Moments passed as he blinked his vision back into working repair. When he could, he peered at her closely, brushing her abundant hair away from her face so he could examine it. While her perfect, peaches-and-cream skin seemed untouched, he found a tiny speck of blood on her cheek. His finger came away with a minuscule shard of glass.
He showed it to her. “He’ll pay for this, Miss Popham. I’ll see him jailed for assault. You have his address?”
“Of course, Mr. Redcake.”
He continued his examination, finally, regretfully, releasing her hand so he could check for glass. One piece had imbedded itself in her sleeve, leaving a hole, but otherwise, she had sustained no damage.
“I will pay to have your blouse repaired,” he told her.
“Oh, it scarcely needs mending,” she said, much too calmly for a woman who’d just been hit by flying glass.
Her willingness to dismiss the attack made him want to shake her. Or embrace her. “You could have been badly wounded, even blinded.”
“You told me to go into the kitchen,” she reminded him. “Not only that, I brought Victor’s wrath down upon your tearoom.”
Was she staying so eerily calm for fear that she’d lose her position? “Your mother’s sins, even your father’s, aren’t yours,” Greggory said.
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…
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.
For more information, visit Heather’s website at www.heatherhiestand.com. Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is email@example.com
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