Toast of Tokyo

by Heather Hallman

Japan, 1900: As the owner of La France Boutique, Marcelle fights to be one of the finest French dressmakers in Tokyo, yet when Nobuyuki Koide opens his stylish new department store, Marcelle’s sure that behind all his traditional Japanese charm and entrepreneurial skill lurks a design thief who’s playing dirty and intends to unravel everything she’s worked for.

Torn Apart at the Seams

With all her skill at her fingertips, and funded by a secret benefactor, Marcelle Renaud puts everything she owns into a modest French dressmaking boutique in Tokyo. She works hard blending Japanese traditional style with the exotic taste of France, and it's getting her noticed. She needs little by way of support. She enjoys being self-sufficient, and with her shop as her focus, a love interest stands no chance of getting close to her heart.

Nobuyuki Koide returns from London and uses running his stylish new Ginza Boulevard department store to keep his parents from forcing him to marry and become the latest toast of Tokyo’s elite. Having tasted London and beyond, he wants to move with the times, especially when it comes to choosing a wife.

When Marcelle calls him out for attempting to bankrupt her boutique, he thinks he’s met his match in all ways that matter. But first he needs to convince her he’s not a design thief out to threaten her livelihood or her independence.

Except, there's the matter of the brick that was thrown through her boutique window.

Marcelle believes her troubles concern only her and Nobuyuki. But in 1900 Japan, a French woman who's embroiled in both love and business with a Japanese man has far more complications than she can imagine.