"Scrumptious Victorian confection...A Cinderella story with a compelling culinary twist."—Publishers Weekly
He has risen from the gutters to become a powerful man--London's foremost barrister, Mr. Gladstone's right hand in the House of Commons. She is a woman who spends her days in the kitchen. A chance encounter changes both their lives, but she disappears at dawn, leaving behind no name, no address, and only a pair of muddy galoshes.
Ten years later, the last thing Stuart Somerset expects, as he arrives at his new country estate following the unexpected death of his elder brother Bertie, is to fall in love with the delicacies from the kitchen of Madame Verity Durant, Bertie's mysterious and notorious cook. Little does he know, Madame Durant and his lost beloved are one and the same, and he stands to lose his hard-won respectability were he to follow the yearnings of his heart.
A Cinderella story as delectable as a belle époque feast, this is a must-read for fans of Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs.
A Cinderella story with a compelling culinary twist, Thomas's scrumptious Victorian confection (after Private Arrangements) proves impossible to resist. Madame Verity Durant works for Bertram "Bertie" Somerset at his estate, Fairleigh Park after serving as the mistress he failed to marry (due to a questionable background that includes an illegitimate child). When Bertie dies unexpectedly at 38, Verity worries as Bertie's "bastard-born" brother, Stuart now London's foremost barrister takes over the estate. Verity had shared a secret, mouthwatering affair with Stuart 10 years earlier, and she doesn't expect him to keep her on, especially since he's affianced to the very proper Miss Lizzy Bessler. What ensues, however, is "happiness on a plate," as Thomas shows that hunger for passion, and madeleines, never dies.