Availability date: 02/01/2016
In 1905 New York City, affluent Millie Moore wants to be outspoken like the suffragettes she admires. She also wants to rid herself of an annoying and controlling suitor. For a well-brought up young lady whose mother fears her impending spinsterhood, speaking her mind is an uphill battle.
When Raymond Wilson sees Millie at a rally, it’s love at first sight. Not wanting his stutter to ruin his chances, he enchants a little candy heart to do his talking for him.
For Millie, Raymond is a breath of fresh air. And maybe, just maybe, someone she could love. But for her social-climbing suitor Guy Elliot, he’s a threat to his plans. And Raymond isn’t the only one who knows something about magic. Now the ante has been upped and Millie is the prize…
The warmth of his hands comforted her. What would it be like to hold those hands for the rest of her life?
“I know we’ve only just met, but I would like to see you again.” She looked up into his green eyes. “I’ve kept the hearts you gave me.” Both times he’d given her a candy heart she was starving. Yet if she ate those hearts, how would she have ever remembered him? She feared his memory would be as fleeting as the sugar on her tongue.
“Y-you can ee-eat them. It’s ok-k-ay.” He reached into his coat pocket and extracted a paper bag. But when he pulled out a humbug, he blushed and apologised. “Nn-not what I w-w-was l-l-l-l-ooking for.”
A giggle rose up inside Millie. “Do you always carry around candy?”
“A g-g-ood uncle is a-a-a-always p-prepared.”
Raymond patted down his pockets. His hand rested over his heart for a moment. A coy little smile played his lips. Then he reached into another pocket and brought out a rumpled white bag from Smith’s. He pulled out a heart.
“I—I’ve been s-s-aving th-th-these in c-c-ase I f-found you ag-g-gain.” From the inside of his jacket he produced a pencil.
He wrote a tiny message on the heart before he gave it to her.
“Eat me!” it squeaked.
Her laughter bubbled up unrestrained. “Is it safe?”
She looked at the heart, hesitated, and then held it up to his lips. “You first.”
He opened his mouth and accepted the heart from her delicate fingers. He sucked on it and closed his eyes in delight. “Mmmm…” He leaned back against the iron railing and gave himself over to the joys of a little conversation heart.
Millie let out a breath. “Are you teasing me?”
He lifted a single eyelid. “Yep.”
Extracting another heart, he wrote, “Sweet Lips.” He held it up for her. “Y-your t-turn.”
Reassured, she parted her lips, but as his hand came forward to pop the heart on her tongue, she surged forward, drawing his finger as well as the heart into her mouth. Slowly she slid back, her lips caressing the pad of his finger. A thrill rippled through his hand.
As the heart dissolved on her tongue, she peeked up at him through her eyelashes. He watched her, hand still upraised, his mouth slightly agape.
She said, “May I write one?”
He offered her the bag and the pencil. A carriage rumbled by on the street as she selected a heart and pencilled her message. He watched the carriage pass and scooted a little closer to her.
Millie held up a blue heart that said, “Taste me!”
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