In the first book, readers fell in love with Emma Rae and Jackson, and they’ve gotten more acquainted with them in the two books that followed. But now it’s time for the diamond to meet the road as Jackson fields an offer to sell The Tanglewood, a move that will uproot this high-flying family act once and for all. Get reacquainted with all of the lovable and quirky characters from the first three books as your favorite diabetic baker figures out if she’ll achieve her greatest goal of all: Will Emma, at last become FINALLY the Bride?
“A champagne flute of vanilla bean gelato topped tableside with a shot of espresso.”
“Chocolate chip bread pudding drizzled with warm caramel.”
“Tiramisu lady fingers in coffee liqueur and cocoa.”
Emma balled up the lapel of her jacket in her fist and whimpered. “Jackson. My heart.”
Jackson leaned toward the waiter and clicked his tongue. “I’m thinking we should just move on to the sugar-free menu. She’s diabetic.”
“Oh. All right.”
The gentleman pointed at the other side of the dessert cart as Jackson interrupted. “But I’ll have that bread pudding,” he whispered.
“Yes, sir. And for the lady, our sugar-free menu includes a warm berry tart with frozen vanilla yogurt.”
“A red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing sweetened with agave.”
“You can stop right there,” Jackson told him. “You had her at red velvet.”
“Not so fast,” she countered, and Jackson’s heart began to thump. “Go on. What else?”
“Pumpkin spice cake with creamy buttermilk icing.”
“Oh, that sounds lovely.”
Perspiration puddled over his top lip, and Jackson wiped it away with his napkin. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he said. “Red velvet is your favorite.”
“Yes, but I can make my own sugar-free red velvet. The pumpkin sounds—”
Jackson’s attention darted to the waiter and they shared a lingering exchange before the waiter offered, “The red velvet is our specialty. It comes highly recommended.”
“Really?” she reconsidered. And by the time she nodded, Jackson’s heart had begun to pound at double-time. “Okay. I’ll try the cupcake.”
“Coffee for me, and a pot of tea for my date, please,” Jackson said, leaning back against the leather booth with a sigh.
“Are you all right?”
“Hmm? What do you mean?”
“I don’t know,” Emma replied. “You seem a little tense tonight.”
“Oh. No. I don’t know. I guess—”
Fortunately, the waiter reappeared so that he didn’t have to concoct some lame excuse. He stopped breathing as the waiter set the beautiful red velvet cupcake down in front of Emma. A shiny pink cupcake tin held the confection, and a ring of intricate white chocolate made to look like a crocheted doily surrounded it. The carefully-chosen diamond ring shimmered on top of it, catching the light from the chandelier overhead and reflecting the glint of recognition in Emma’s brown eyes.
She looked up at him, and those spectacular eyes of hers crested into turbulent waves of gold-flecked recognition. Her perfect lips parted, but not a single syllable passed over them. She blinked several times before glancing back at the cupcake, and Jackson knew this was his moment. He slipped from the booth and hit one knee beside her.
“What…What are you…Jackson?”
He took her hand and grinned at her.
“Are you serious?”
“I’ve never been more serious in my life. You’ve changed me, Emma. You are the center of everything for me. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get here, but I can’t even think of living without you. Will you marry me?”
And with that, she turned her head away from him and began to sniffle.
“Are you crying?” he asked on a laugh. “Emma, this is not a night for tears.”
“I can’t help it,” she chuckled, and he watched her struggle to pull herself together. “You’ve really surprised me here.”
“In a good way, I hope,” he said, and he plucked the ring from the icing and gave it a quick lick.
“Frankly, I thought the best part of this night was going to be the cupcake.”
“Emma. Will you give me an answer, please?” he asked, wiping the ring clean with the corner of a napkin. “Before my legs go numb?”
He waited. “Is that a yes?”
A mischievous glint betrayed her amusement. “Can I let you know after I eat the cupcake?”
Jackson laughed. “I’d kind of like to hear it now, if you don’t mind.”
“If you insist,” she told him, and she tilted her head slightly and smiled. If he’d been standing, he thought his knees might have gone weak under the weight of that sweet little smile.
“You’re killing me here,” he said with raspy emotion. “But I adore you.”
“Oh, now you’re just messing with me.”
“You really do adore me?”
Jackson sighed, glancing at the floor.
Emma touched his jaw with one finger and nudged his face upward. “Yes, Jackson. I’ll marry you.”
Sandra D. Bricker:
Sandra D. Bricker was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years. She is now a best-selling, award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market, and the mastermind behind the Another Emma Rae Creation series that started with Always the Baker Never the Bride. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure.
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* Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Pump Up Your Book Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Pump Up Your Book Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.