Title: Baked with Love (A Match Made in Heaven, book 3)
Author: Peggy Jaeger
Genre: RomCom, smalltown, friends-to-lovers, foodies
Innkeeper Maureen O'Dowd lives to cook and bake, spoils her family and friends, and is an expert at keeping secrets, especially about the man who's held her heart for years.
Police Chief Lucas Alexander is dealing with an aging father and a moody teenage son, and he's in love with a woman who only wants to be friends.
How can these two fiercely private people reveal their feelings for one another without destroying the friendship they already have? And if they're successful, will another secret, if revealed, drive a wedge between Maureen and Lucas that can never be repaired?
“Thank you again for coming and helping us out,” he said. “I haven’t worn a tux since prom.” He chuckled. “The cut and the price have changed dramatically since then, that’s for sure.”
Robert snorted at his father’s words, then flushed scarlet.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
He lifted his head, glanced once at this father and then me, then dipped his chin again. “Nothing.”
“Oh, I think it was something.” I snuck a side eye at Lucas and grinned. “You’re trying to imagine your father at prom, aren’t you, and can’t quite picture it, can you, Bobby-Boy?”
Little grin lines popped up on his cheeks as he tried not to smile back.
“I’ll have you know I looked pretty damn good at my senior prom,” Lucas said, mild pique slipping through his tone. “I was even voted Prom King.”
“Dad.” Robert shook his head. “That’s so lame.”
I was barely able to keep my laugh at bay. “Chief of Police Lucas Alexander at eighteen. You should have seen him, Robert. Decked out in a blue velvet tux with a frilly baby-blue shirt and bow tie, his long hair slicked back like he jumped off a 1950s teen idol magazine, a pint of dime store cologne wafting from him.”
I lost the small thread of control I still had when Robert burst out laughing.
Lucas’s feeble “Hey!” of indignation made us laugh harder.
Our drinks arrived and while the waitress handed them out, Robert and I tried to control ourselves.
We did a pretty poor job of it.
“You didn’t really wear a velvet tux, did you?” Robert asked his father.
“I think I can hunt up Cathy’s prom pictures as proof. Colleen probably has them in the family albums at the house. I’ll ask her tomorrow.”
“Yes, I did, Robert, and you should know I rockedit. Why do you think the whole class voted me king?”
“Because everyone felt sorry for you, showing up in a velvet tux?”
Robert had taken a sip through his straw and, at my words, laughed so hard he choked, then spit out his soda when it went up his nose, the moisture raining down all over the table.
Unfortunately, this only made me laugh harder. I don’t know who Lucas gave the more stern warning glare to: his son or me.
“What did Mom wear?” Robert asked when he finally composed himself.
I answered for him. “He and your mom had broken up, so he took Shelly Bookerman, the biggest flirt in the class.” I rolled my eyes and shook my head. “Shelly had a huge crush on your dad and had been after him for all of high school to pay attention to her. Followed him whenever he was in the halls, always tried to sit near him in the lunchroom. Went to all the football games, home and away, to cheer him on. She must have thought she’d died and gone to Heaven—the real one— when you finally asked her out,” I added, addressing Lucas.
Lord, was there anything worse than hearing a teenager’s voice filled with censure? Or funnier?
Lucas hadn’t heard him. Or if he had, he chose to ignore it, his attention focused solely on me.
“First of all, how do you even know that? You were, what? Ten, when I was a senior?”
“Nine, and how do you think I know? Cathy, of course.”
“I can’t see her discussing me with you when you were a kid.”
“She didn’t, not exactly. But she and Danny did all the time. You were the topic of their couch conversation on more than one occasion.”
“And you, what? Just happened to overhear them?”
“To be truthful, it was more Eileen than me. She was a major eavesdropper, especially with anything Cathy-related. But she always shared what she overhead.”
I grinned and took a long pull of my water. “Your dating life was a wicked hot topic to twin nine-year-old girls living in a house of women. Daddy didn’t count because he was at work so much. You and Danny were the brothers we didn’t have but so desperately wanted.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/3n88ve
What makes your featured book a must-read?
If you like friends-to-lovers romance filled with angst and humor, Baked with Love is a book for you. Maureen and Lucas have been family friends for a lifetime and know one another like that proverbial book cover. What they each don't realize, though, is that they've both been secretly in love with one another for years. Why they haven't acted upon their emotions is the angsty and humorous part of the story.
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Winner will be drawn on March 22, 2022.
Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"
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Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0