Reforming Harriet

Reforming Harriet

Book 4 ~ Love in Disguise

Once I wrote a book entitled Reforming Harriet. This is not that book.

When I reread that original story last year, I didn’t like it. Why were my hero and heroine always angry? Why was the hero, Elias, so thoroughly unlikable? The answer was that I mistook anger for passion and, as any decent romance writer knows, they are not the same.

Turns out I didn’t know these characters very well. I had to rewrite them to understand them. Elias now has a beguiling combination of strength and vulnerability, which I had missed the first time. And — how to put this? — he is perhaps the most unselfish romantic partner any woman could have. How he helps Harriet come to understand her true worth is — well, it’s in the book.

Food is still key to the story—it’s a metaphor for their developing romance—and there’s a wonderful recipe at the end. But I have rewritten the entire story, and I hope you’ll give it a try. Here’s a summary:

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Lady Harriet Worthington is as unconventional as they come. She runs a bakery, a mill, a household — and her own life. Having weathered one philandering husband, she’s sworn never to wed again.

Elias Westwood, partner with her late husband in a West Indies spice company, is at his wit’s end. Lady Harriet has been selling off shares of his business — and distributing the proceeds to her neighbors for necessities like cows, sheep, food, and other provisions — until he is nearly ruined.

He plans to outmaneuver the annoyingly independent widow and win back his shares, but Elias’s extraordinary gifts of smell and taste — so useful in judging fine spices — prove his Achilles’s heel. Lady Harriet’s meat pies leave him weak in the knees. Her garlic-buttered prawns enchant. Her Turkish trifle intoxicates. Elias cannot resist her culinary creations — or, it turns out, her feminine charms.

When she maneuvers him into masquerading as her fiancé for the Season, he never plans on falling in love…