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The Sugar Palace by Fiona McIntosh

It’s such a treat when you devour a book and then discover the author is prolific and has a substantial back catalogue! Fiona McIntosh has written over 20 books, and my introduction was her latest title, The Sugar Palace. This historical adventure takes readers on a wonderful journey through the bustling streets of 1920s Sydney. Set against the backdrop of the construction of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, we meet Grace Fairweather. Grace is a young woman working in her family’s grocery shop in The Rocks. She loves making her own confectionary, and soon her chocolate, lolly and toffee creations become crowd favourites. Grace has dreams of opening her own sweetshop, but first, she must deal with her engagement to a local cop, Norman. He’s caring and reliable but has traditional views on Grace’s role after marriage. Opening her own store and achieving her aspirations certainly doesn’t align with his perspective. Grace’s story takes a captivating twist when a charming and roguish Londoner arrives to work for the Fairweathers. Alfie Sweeting’s irresistible ambition for Grace’s success inspires her. He encourages her to not only open a shop but create a retail destination for all – a sugar palace! Grace’s business acumen and Alfie’s sales skills make an ideal partnership, but Alfie’s criminal past looms over them. When Alfie’s past catches up with him, both their lives are threatened and Grace must act quickly. Fiona’s vivid storytelling quickly immersed me in Grace’s world while simultaneously exposing the dark underbelly of Sydney’s organised crime. Brothel madams, cocaine dealers and gambling dens also play a pivotal role in the character development and intriguing narrative. The Sugar Palace is a must-read for fans of historical romance! Fiona McIntosh is a bestselling author of novels for adults and children. Before becoming a full-time author, she co-founded an award-winning travel magazine. She lives in South Australia with her family. Follow Fiona McIntosh online and read an extract here.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Michael Joseph (PRNZ)


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