Famous in Paris, infamous in London, Verity Durant is as well-known for her mouthwatering cuisine as for her scandalous love life. But that’s the least of the surprises awaiting her new employer when he arrives at the estate of Fairleigh Park following the unexpected death of his brother.
To rising political star Stuart Somerset, Verity Durant is just a name and food is just food, until her first dish touches his lips. Only one other time had he felt such pure arousal–a dangerous night of passion with a stranger, who disappeared at dawn. Ten years is a long time to wait for the main course, but when Verity Durant arrives at his table, there’s only one thing that will satisfy Stuart’s appetite for more. But is his hunger for lust, revenge–or that rarest of delicacies, love? For Verity’s past has a secret that could devour them both even as they reach for the most delicious fruit of all.…
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.
Read, Reflect, Repeat
I have read this book many times, years apart and yes, in one-sitting. I have yet to get tired of the story-line. Characters are not perfect, in short human and therefore, relatable. Remains one of my best reads, rivaled only by the author’s other book, “Private Arrangements”! Wished there were more of her books around…