Emma Rae Travis has worked at The Backstreet Bakery in Roswell, Georgia for the last 6 years, basically since the day she finished her training at Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts and received her certification in Patisserie and Baking. She’s excited over having won Atlanta’s Passionate Palette Award for her Crème Brulee Wedding Cake, a cake she’s never been able to eat because she’s diabetic. Emma has been a type 1 diabetic since high school has to monitor her sugar levels so she’s only tasted her creations a teaspoon at a time. Her best friend and assistant, Fiona “Fee” Bianchi, works with her at the bakery and makes sure that Emma keeps on top of her sugar consumption, both women dream of working in a kitchen of their own.
Jackson Drake purchased the Tanglewood Hotel as a tribute to his late wife Desiree. He wants to turn it into a one stop wedding venue where the rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception and honeymoon can be arranged and provided. He has no idea about how to run a hotel or any experience in wedding planning but he has 3 sisters and a secretary that are determined to help his business be a success. Jackson has hired a world renown chef and now just needs to find a pastry chef that would help to establish the Tanglewood as one of a kind. Fortunately for him, he’s just stopped into The Backstreet Bakery to get a cup of coffee and a light snack. Jackson is amazed with the brownie he’s been eating but is put off by the woman serving him. On a whim he takes a box of brownies to share with his sisters and secretary, having no idea that the brownies will inspire his sisters and secretary into wanting the pastry chef for his hotel.
When Emma and Jackson meet for the second time, Jackson is surprised and not sure that he wants to give Emma a second chance to make an impression, however, his sister’s are determined and after eating samples that Emma has brought him he realizes that no matter what, she’s the right pastry chef for the job. Emma agrees to work at the Tanglewood as long as she can bring her assistant Fiona and she and Jackson agree to a working relationship. Since the hotel has not opened to the public yet, Emma and Fiona are able to arrange the pastry kitchen as best suits them and are able to make significant contributions into the setup of the hotel. Emma has some fantastic ideas and impresses Jackson with her knowledge. He’s also beginning to realize that Emma is an attractive woman and suddenly he’s experiencing emotions that he hasn’t felt since his wife’s death.
Neither Emma nor Jackson was looking for love. Emma doesn’t have much faith in love after watching her parent’s marriage falling apart and doesn’t know if she even wants to take a chance on a long term relationship. Even though Jackson’s wife died years ago, he hasn’t gotten over her and doesn’t think there is room in his heart for anyone else. Both Emma and Jackson also have unresolved issues with God; neither can understand why they have experienced some of the events in their lives. Both have given up on prayer.
Ms. Bricker does an excellent job of balancing all of the elements that she introduces in this story. The characters are well developed and the dialogue is heartwarming and sincere. She addresses both the romantic issues and the spiritual issues that her characters face and doesn’t shy away from what could be difficult topics. This story is infused with a hopeful outlook on life and on one’s spiritual situation emphasizing that prayer can provide an answer if you are willing to accept it. It’s truly inspirational with its outlook on life, God and prayer. I loved this book and look forward to reading more of Ms. Bricker’s work.
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?