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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…
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 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.”
Heidi Kneale is an Australian author of moderate repute best known for her escapist fiction--especially Fantasy and Romance. She lives in Western Australia, near the ocean. Like most humans, she's got a family. She also associates with the World's Most Boring Cat. When not writing novels, she composes music and stares at the stars.
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