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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Always the Baker Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Always the Baker Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Iris

Thirty-six-year-old Emma Rae Travis has been baking specialty cakes and melt-in-your-mouth pastries at The Backstreet Bakery in historic Roswell, just outside of Atlanta, for the last six years. But here’s the rub about her job as a baker … Emma is diabetic. When she tastes her creations, it can only be in the most minute portions. Emma is considered an artisan for the stunning crème brulee wedding cake that won her the Passionate Palette Award last year, but she’s never even had one full slice of it.

When Jackson Drake hears about this local baker who has won a prestigious award for her wedding cake artistry, he tells his assistant to be sure and include her in the pastry tastings scheduled at his new wedding destination hotel the following week. And for Jackson, that particular day has started out badly with two workmen trapped in a broken elevator and a delivery of several dozen 300-thread-count bed linens in the wrong size abandoned in the lobby. But when the arrogant baker he met a week prior in Roswell stumbles into the dining room with a platter of pastries and a bucketful of orders, he knows for certain: It’s going to be a really rotten day.

Can these two ill-suited players master the high-wire act and make a go of their new business venture? Or will they take each other crashing downward, without a net? And will the surprise wedding at The Tanglewood be theirs?

A sweet, sweet story, a happy ending, yummy recipes, an “eccentric” family, and an inspirational tale. This book has it all!

From the irritable first meeting to the sweet and tender kisses to the bonding over Emma’s aunt, each interaction between Emma and our hero, Jackson increases their understanding of each other, helps to bring them closer to their own spiritual understanding, and builds to their own romance. The lack of sexual interaction actually highlighted the building of the relationship and allowed the reader to know the characters better.

While this is an inspirational story, and involves several chats with God as well as characters openly praying for each other, this story is definitely a romance, and stays well clear of the “preachiness” that could occur.

Emma also deals with her diabetes throughout the plot of the book. She is sensible about the disease and deals with it as a part of the plot. It doesn’t detract from the romance in the book, and can become a plot point to attract readers who might be able to identify with a heroine dealing with the disease.

Emma’s best friend, Fi, delivers a genuine female connection. She is also the vehicle for several lighthearted moments throughout the book.

Each chapter was separated by a recipe or set of “tips” relevant to baking or weddings. I especially liked the directions on how to create a sugar rose and the suggestions for themed weddings.

I had a smile on my face each and every page (well, except the pages when tears were running down my cheeks!). Grab this book – you’ll be glad you did!