I think food and romance go together quite well. I don’t write foodie romance, but even in my historical romance food naturally plays a part. Back in the 19th century women were expected to be better cooks than they are today. After all there was no such thing as McDonalds!
In Midnight Kiss, Matt Seever hires April to be a nanny to his two children. He has been a widower for four years. She doesn’t mind cleaning up his messy house and cooking his meals too. What she did not realize was flapjacks could lead to romance.
Matt can’t cook. Most of what he cooks himself comes out of a can. As an officer on the steamer the Queen Bee he had his meals provided for him. Now that he quit and took a job in St. Louis, Missouri working for his brother his supply of good meals has disappeared. Fate brought him and April together. He and his children like anything she cooks – but their favorite is flapjacks.
April wanted to scream and cry at the same time. Mr. Seever had her so mixed up. The ruggedly handsome white man expected her to take meals with him. Every day he did something to surprise her. Her original plan of not spending much time with him had crumbled. The prospect of two and possibly three meals a day with him and the children was enough to leave her head spinning.
She hadn’t said much at breakfast because one look at him tied her tongue. He put in her in precarious position. She didn’t feel like merely his nanny, but she didn’t want to overstep. She had to figure out this puzzle on her own. There was no doubt his brother, Boyd, viewed her as hired help.
April walked to her room in the loft and sat on the pallet trying not to picture Mr. Seever wearing nothing but a nightshirt. Or maybe on these hot nights he slept naked. She closed her eyes and rubbed her eyelids as if trying to massage away the image.
He was tall and handsome and charming and white.
Despite the heated looks he’d sent her, they should never be together. Mr. Seever would just use her and throw her away like Mr. Bowden. If she was going to get married it would need to be with a black man.
But her body betrayed her common sense. Mr. Bowden had swept her off her feet when she was merely a girl. She’d thought she was attracted to him but the pull was nothing compared to what she felt toward Mr. Seever. Merely a glance from his sultry eyes made her hum in anticipation. Why…was it because forbidden fruit tasted sweeter? How much would one kiss hurt?
Her curiosity to know his intimate touch could cost April her heart. And so much more…
Unjustly accused of stealing, nanny April Windmire is turned out on the streets without pay. With no place to go and no friends, she stows away on a Mississippi River steamboat. Her hopes to hide through the journey to St. Louis are dashed when a handsome white officer finds her. But instead of turning her in, he takes her to his private quarters where she fights her growing attraction to a man she cannot have.
Matt Seever’s wife died four year ago, leaving him alone with two small mulatto children. But his job as an officer on the Queen Bee isn’t family friendly. He knows he needs a new wife, but no southern white woman will marry him. When April lands in his lap, his prayers are answered. Or are they? April’s not the trusting type and racial prejudice runs deep in post-Civil War Missouri. Just when Matt convinces April he loves her, his new family becomes a target and there’s no backing down from this fight.
Together, April and Matt must brave heinous race prejudice crimes to find an enduring love.
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.
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