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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blog Tour: His Wicked Smile by Heather Hiestand (Guest Post & Giveaway)

His Wicked Smile, by Heather Hiestand
May 1, 2014
Kensington Publishing
ISBN  978-1-60183-113-2;   ASIN   B00GYLVVS4
Romantic Suspense, 87,000 words
Heat rating: hot

4 Prizes: 1 Redcake ebook of your choice (3 winners) ; $10 Amazon giftcard. Enter via the Rafflecopter below

About the book:
Some temptations are impossible to resist, even for a bakery heir…
Ann Haldene is the most beautiful woman Gawain Redcake has ever seen. A gifted healer who soothes his battle-scarred body like never before, the widow’s touch has a powerful effect on him. It’s no wonder the rugged Redcake heir forgets his quest for a society bride during one passionate night in Ann’s arms. But once he learns she is pregnant with his child, he searches for her, intent on giving her his name, if not his heart….

Ann is shocked by Gawain’s proposal, mostly because he has not uttered a word of love. For the sake of their baby, she accepts, even knowing that Gawain dreamed of marrying to secure a title and all she has is a severed royal Indian bloodline. Now the new bride faces her greatest challenge: showing her husband that their union is more powerful than pedigree—and love is the ultimate reward….



“A delightful, sexy glimpse into Victorian life and loving with two wonderfully non-traditional lovers.” --Jessa Slade, author of Dark Prince's Desire and the Steel Born series

At Goodreads: This book was a very sweet and spicy romance. Sylvia, Netgalley reviewer.

5 Stars:  It was a wonderful story of romance, love and mystery. I cannot wait to read more from this author. Jennischell, Netgalley reviewer
His lips curved. “And how long should I continue my program with you?”
“What do you mean?” She put her back to the fire and faced him.
“How often should I ask you to marry me? How often should I demand you move to my family home? I have been looking for houses for us in Enfield.”
“You haven’t asked me today.” She thought about the few pounds she had left, the need to eat good food so that she could feed Noel. Clothes for a growing baby. Coal for the fire. The censure she would face back in Leeds for having an illegitimate child.
His gaze left the box she was holding and moved to her face. “You are correct. I have not been following my own program. Ann, will you marry me?”
She shivered. Could she tolerate a loveless marriage? Or to phrase it better, could she bring a husband who didn’t love her to love? Gawain had not yet had a chance to love her, but at least he had come looking for her. He had come twice, to Leeds and then to London. He loved Noel already. Thankfully, he had no doubts there. She was lucky the baby took after the Redcakes and not her family.
Going back to Leeds felt wrong. She had to move forward for Noel’s sake. Clasping her hands around her upper arms, she whispered, “Yes.”
“Yes?” he said doubtfully.
She swallowed hard and nodded. “Yes. It will be best for all of us. You caught me by surprise last week, but yes.”
He moved his head back and forth as if beating time. “Would you like a civil or religious marriage? We can be married a bit sooner with a civil marriage.”
The unromantic nature of the moment deflated her further. “Will you not kiss me to celebrate?” she asked. “And worry about details some other time?”
He let his cane drop to the ground next to the armchair. With a wolfish grin, he reached for her arm and pulled her down to him. He sighed and set his head against her shoulder. “I should not remember the feel of you, Ann, but I do.”
“My body is completely different since Noel. And I don’t even smell the same.”
“You smell like cake and wind now,” he said. “It’s not a bad thing. But there is still a spicy under-layer that will never leave you.”
She wriggled. “I am glad to hear it.”
He held her firm. “Don’t do that, not with Fern here.”

She allowed him to wrap his arms around her and kiss her neck. Closing her eyes, she wondered what he would think of her if he knew why she said yes.

Tea and Cake:  The characters of His Wicked Smile
By Heather Hiestand

India and England were deeply intertwined in the nineteenth century. Young men went to India through the army or to make their fortunes in the service of companies doing business there or under the Crown’s service. Queen Victoria was proclaimed “Empress of India” in 1877 and was fascinated by her new people. In His Wicked Smile, set in 1888, I have a hero, Gawain Redcake, who served in the army in India several years before the novel begins. He’s become an importer, bringing in tea and medicinal herbs from the country he loves, and he still adores Indian food.

Since this is an ongoing series, readers of the first two books, Marquess of Cake and One Taste of Scandal, will know that Gawain has a crush on pretty young Lady Elizabeth Shield, the sister of the first two books’ heroes. For me as the author, it would be far too easy to give him what he wants! No, I needed to challenge my hero and give him, not what he wants in a romantic partner, but what he needs. So, I sent Lady Elizabeth off on an adventure of her own (The Kidnapped Bride, out 9/15/14).

Enter a new character in the series, widowed, half-Indian Ann Haldene, a provincial innkeeper and trained healer whose mother was once an Indian queen. She and Gawain meet because she serves him an expertly prepared North Indian meal at her inn. When she offers to massage his battle-damaged body, a service she is trained for as part of her healing arts, neither of them are prepared for the erotically charged results. Or the baby that comes nine months later.

There is already one illegitimate child in Gawain’s family, but he resolves not to let another child be raised without a father. The problem is, Ann does not agree. A woman who had a loving, successful first marriage will not settle for simply a roof over her head the second time around, even if the man providing it is the sexiest male she’s ever made love with.

I had so much fun writing this book because it allowed me to indulge in the love of Indian food and culture I first discovered through high school and college friends who were from that part of the world.

But most of all, I loved writing the story of an ambitious, outcast Redcake -- one who does not delight in the cake business so beloved by other members of the family. So whether you read His Wicked Smile as a standalone or as part of the larger Redcakes series, I hope you enjoy Gawain and Ann’s journey to love.

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.


4 Prizes: 1 Redcake ebook of your choice (3 winners) ; $10 Amazon giftcard. Enter via the Rafflecopter below
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1 comment:

  1. I have not read a lot of historicals with ties to the India/England connection.

    I'm going to check into this Redcakes series. I like that you are making Gawain work for his HEA. Indian food is definitely spicy.



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