Title: The Cheesecake Queen
Author: Miranda P. Koerner
Release Date: November 21, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Sugar Rule 2: Men are as useful as burnt cookies.
After losing her reporting job to layoffs at the local paper, Caeleah Turner’s pity party at the airport is interrupted by a woman claiming to know the location of the world’s best cheesecake. Intrigued, Caeleah trades plane tickets with the woman and finds herself in Chestnut, Colorado, a tiny town hiding a woman known as the Cheesecake Queen. The Cheesecake Queen not only bakes the best cheesecakes in the country, but her cheesecake is known to cure everything from infertility to baldness—one woman even loses 100 pounds on it! There is a thick batter of secrets behind The Cheesecake Queen and her two sisters, who operate all the bakeries in town.
But as the mayor’s efforts to shut down the Sugar sisters before Christmas gear up, Caeleah finds herself wanting to sample his own treats.
There’s a bigger secret than love to Cinnamon’s cheesecakes. And Caeleah is determined to find out what it is.
“Go to hell.” She dropped her heels on the ground.
“Seriously, let me have it.” Adam held one arm steady as she flailed, her frozen toes refusing to fit into the tight leather confines of her shoe. “I really need a good lead story for my Christmas issue.”
“You should have had that planned out months ago.” Caeleah bit back a cry. “What are you doing here, anyway? How did you find me?”
“I have my sources.” Adam kneeled, his hand still on her arm as he held up her other shoe. “This is all your fault, anyway. You should have never left your position.”
Wavering on one heel, Caeleah glared down at him like a perturbed flamingo.
“Do you not remember a little thing called forced layoffs?”
“That wasn’t my fault,” Adam pointed out. “And I did get you that job on my staff.”
“Which lasted all of two minutes. Should I quote the first thing you said to me?”
Adam winced. “Okay, I admit I didn’t act like a gentleman—”
“I believe the technical term is ‘sexual harassment’.” Caeleah echoed his wince as he carefully slid her left pump over her frozen foot. His warm fingers caressed her frigid flesh, rubbing away the tingling pain in her toes.
“Can you blame me?” He rose as her foot slowly joined its mate, unsteady on the skating rink of a sidewalk. “A beautiful writer who made me drool daily, five desks from mine? The only thing I wanted more than your copy was you.” He released her arm, damp imprints from his fingers speckling her wool coat.
Crossing her arms, Caeleah shivered. “Is that what you came out here for? To steal a kiss under the mistletoe?”
“It wouldn’t hurt.” Adam grinned, all imp once again. “Actually, I was sent out here by Fred. To beg you to come back. I’m just lucky I saw you get on that private plane—I would have never found you otherwise.”
“You were at the airport?” Caeleah snapped up her head. “You were stalking me?"
“No.” Adam grabbed her arm and pulled her closer to the fir trees, away from the street.
“The copyeditor of Treat is an old friend of mine. He called and told me you had a interview. When Fred found out you were looking, he called the editor and—”
“And that’s why I didn’t get the job.” She deflated back into her coat. “So you went to the airport to gloat? Is that what it was?”
Adam rolled his eyes. “You should have gone into theater. You’d be perfect for it.” He stepped in front of her, blocking her path as she tried to move away. “I came to the airport to offer you a job.”
Caeleah stopped and raised an eyebrow. “My old job?”
“Yes. I mean, no. Kinda. The budget is as tight as it was before. But it’s a good gig. Education reporter with some restaurant reviews on the side.”
Caeleah gagged. “If I can’t write what I love, I’d rather freelance.”
“You mean starve.” Adam glanced back at the Cheesecake Queen, at the cheerful sign glimmering in the falling dusk. “Let me make you a deal. You give me this story, and I’ll talk Fred into retiring Nancy and making you food editor.”