Baker Publishing Group|March 1, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0797-6
Lucy Kendall always assumed she’d help her father in his candy-making business, creating recipes and aiding him in their shared passion. But after a year traveling in Europe, Lucy returns to 1910 St. Louis to find her father unwell and her mother planning to sell the struggling candy company. Determined to help, Lucy vows to create a candy that will reverse their fortunes.
St. Louis newcomer, Charlie Clarke is determined to help his father dominate the nation’s candy industry. Compromise is not an option when the prize is a father’s approval, and falling in love with a business rival is a recipe for disaster when only one company can win. Will these two star-crossed lovers let a competition that turns less than friendly sour their dreams?
Lucy Kendall has just returned home to St. Louis in 1910 after a world-wind year long trip to Europe with her Aunt Margaret and Uncle Fred. She ate Linzer torte in Austria, drank coffee in cafes in Italy, and viewed glaciers in Switzerland. She had been allowed to tour with her aunt and uncle with the hope that it would turn her into a lady. While in Europe she had collected candy wrappers and even a few samples in the hope her father would add a European line in his candy manufacturing business. Upon her arrival home, Lucy is informed that her father has had a heart attack, was resting and her mother didn’t want her to see him until the following day. She was upset when she found out he’d had the attack three months ago in June but no one had told her then. Lucy didn’t feel like talking about the exciting wonders of her trip with her mother now that she knew while she was off cavorting in Europe and have a good time, her poor father had been so ill. Royal Taffy had been her father’s ultimate triumph and had been his whole life until the company and the right to produce it had been taken from him. He created the candy but never had the success he’d had with his Royal Taffy. Now his doctors were strongly advising that he sell the business because his heart couldn’t take the stress anymore.
Lucy was angry that her mother thought this was a fabulous idea, she’d been raised by merchants and bankers and thought her husband should give up this silly candy business altogether and she was already taking it upon herself to make some changes much to Lucy’s horror. Lucy vowed to make a candy that would outshine everything else and save her father’s business. She was determined and felt positive she could pull this off.
Charlie Clarke had been through some very tough times. His father left him, his mother and sisters when he was just seven-years-old and never returned. The family strained and struggled to put food on the table and make enough money to keep a roof over their heads. Charlie was in jail when he was accidentally arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. Now he has a new role at his father’s Standard Manufacturing plant. He’s come home to see his father after a fifteen-year separation. This new job at his father’s factory is a chance of a lifetime and will give him a chance to reconnect with the father (Warren) who walked out on him so many years ago. Warren and his new wife, Augusta have been married for ten years.
When Charlie arrives at his father’s mansion he finds the house excessively large with many columns, lots of steps and an overabundance of windows. It was a grand home. Inside, the house stretched two stories above Charlie’s head. He followed the butler up a long, curving flight of stairs to his bedroom and didn’t go back down until he was sure his father had left for the theater.
The following day, Warren sent Charlie down to his tailor shop to have him outfitted for several suits, ties, shirts and shoes. If he was going to be a businessman now he had to look the part. While walking down Olive Street, he literally bumps into a woman who turns out to be none other than Lucy Kendall and it’s this first quick introduction that pair these two characters throughout the story.
This was a beautifully written story and had some completely unexpected and shocking surprises that I certainly didn’t see coming. I would highly recommend this book to ever one. Well-done!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".