Title: Love on the Sweet Side
Author: Mariah Ankenman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Maggie Evans is back in Peak Town, Colorado to take over her grandmother’s cupcake shop, but problems keep arising. Is it rotten luck…or something more nefarious? To top it off, her former best friend/childhood crush, Colton Denning, won’t leave her alone. He’s sexier than ever. But Maggie has no time for love.
When his best friend comes back into town all grown up, Colton finds his feelings for her go far beyond friendship. Unfortunately, the pretty baker only sees him as the town playboy. He plans to convince her otherwise, but may not get the chance when someone starts threatening Maggie’s life.
Whether she likes it or not, Colton plans to take her safety into his own hands. How will Maggie keep her shop afloat with a madman after her? More importantly, how will she keep her heart intact when Colton admits her safety isn’t the only thing he wants in his hands?
Colton stepped back into the cabin half an hour later. His mood had not improved. Ever since Maggie came back into town something had been off with them. He wasn’t stupid. It wasn’t like he expected them to go back to being best friends like when they were kids. Years had passed. But he always thought they were still the kind of friends that confided their problems to each other.
Guess I was wrong.
The snow was still coming down hard outside. He dropped the firewood in the bin by the door. A tarp covered the pile outside from the elements, but the walk to the front door resulted in the logs receiving a decent dusting of snow. They would dry soon enough. Hopefully, the house would stay warm until then. The old heater only did so much in a snowstorm.
Shrugging off his coat, he noticed the cabin was indeed warm, and it smelled delicious. What was that enticing aroma? Following the smell into the kitchen, he stopped in shock. It looked like a war zone. Dirty bowls, spoons, and measuring cup were stacked precariously in the sink. Various food items and spices lined the counter tops. A fine white powder covered almost every surface, and in the middle of all the madness...Maggie.
Singing, very off tune, she stood in the middle of the kitchen holding a large mixing bowl in one hand and stirring the contents with a wooden spoon in the other. She obviously found her clothes where he had set them out to dry, because she was dressed.
She hadn’t noticed him yet, so he watched as she sang, stirred, and shimmied around the kitchen. It was the sweetest thing he had ever seen. Then she swiveled her hips in a little booty shaking motion. Scratch that, it was the hottest thing he had ever seen.
“What in the world have you done to my kitchen?”
The sexy woman screamed, nearly dropping the bowl in her hands. She spun toward him, her expression going from shock to anger in an instant.
“Jeez, Colt. Don’t sneak up on me like that!”
He chuckled. “I didn’t sneak. You just didn’t hear me because you were too busy getting your groove on.”
She blushed. “I was making you a peace offering, but now I’m thinking I might just eat it all myself.”
Maggie was making him something?
“Oh come on, Magpie, don’t be like that. You have a...beautiful singing voice.”
She laughed. “Please, I’m tone deaf and I know it.”
“Yeah, but with moves like those no one’s going to pay attention to your voice.” He waggled his eyebrows.
Round, apple cheeks tinged pink. She had an adorable blush. It turned her whole face slightly rosy. Made a man wonder if the same coloring came out during the throes of passion.
Walking over to the counter where she was cooking, he leaned against it. “So, what are you making me?”
Her eyes narrowed, but she gave in. “Lemon tart cookies.”
“Really? Those are my favorite!”
She gave him a sheepish grin. “I know. I remember.”
She did, huh? Well, that was a good sign. So was the cookie apology. It meant she still cared about him on some level. He wondered, for the first time, just how deep that caring went. He always knew Maggie had a little crush on him, but he had discounted it as puppy love. A schoolgirl-crush. He’d seen her as a friend, a kid.
But she wasn’t a kid anymore, and the feelings he was beginning to have for her were much more than friendly.
“So, how long ’til they’re done?”
She turned to the counter and began scooping out small spoonfuls of batter onto a cookie sheet left by his mother the last time she visited.
“I’ve got a batch in the oven now,” she answered. “Should be done in about five minutes, but they’ll need to cool.”
“Sounds good. I’ll just go hop in the shower real quick.”
He started to go down the hall until a soft voice stopped him.
“Yeah?” he said, turning back to face her.
“I...could I still use your sat phone real quick?”
“Oh, sure. Let me just grab it for you.”
That wasn’t what she was about to say, he was sure of it. He could always tell when Maggie was nervous as a kid. She would twist her hands together like she had just done in the kitchen. He walked back to the bedroom closet where he kept the phone.
The question was...what the hell did Maggie Evans have to be nervous about?
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
What makes your featured book a must-read?
If you like small town steamy cowboy romance with a dash of danger and some delicious cupcakes, then this is the book for you!
Enter to win a $39 Amazon (US) gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win. Runs August 24 – September 2, 2021. Winner will be drawn on September 3, 2021.
Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes.
Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books. To learn more about Mariah and her books, follow her on social media or sign up for her newsletter.
Social Media Links: