Monday, January 30, 2012

Grace's Gold - Grace and Brent

Hi Mary! Thanks for having me back for Day 2 at Sweet Treats Bakery. I hear I'm going to get some of that famous gold cake today! Mmm mmm mmm I can't wait. But if I keep sampling the treats here I think I'll need a new wardrobe...

"Oh thanks, Kate." Mmm... the scent of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg floated to my nose. "My favorite! I love pumpkin spice coffee."

She grinned and twirled away, glancing over her shoulder. "You'll love it even more with the gold cake." She winked then turned back around, set the coffee on the warmer and headed into the back room.

"Ah, Mary, I'm not sure, but I think they're sabotaging my New Year's Diet resolution."

She laughed. "Oh yeah, they have a way of doing that."

"Of doing what?" Grace asked as she set a tray covered with slices of golden cakein the center of the table, . The scent of lemon had my mouth watering.

"Tempting beyond human willpower. All of you girls do it!" Mary answered. "I don't know how you stay so trim and beautiful working here."

Brent broke off a corner of cake and popped it into his mouth then turned a chair around to sit astride it. "What's the question?" he asked with a grin.

I shook my head and laughed. "How can anyone spend any amount of time here and not end up as round as a pumpkin?"

Brent glanced at Grace and shared a look before turning back to us. "Heck, we hardly ever get to eat the stuff ourselves unless we're slaving over some project or other. None of us sits still long enough to let it settle." He laughed and popped another piece of cake in his mouth, his muscled arms flexing with the movement.

I noticed Mary fanning herself and had to hide a giggle behind my napkin.

"Before we take up too much of your time, I was just wondering if you would share a little about how you two got together."

Brent brushed his hands off and stood up. "That's easy. I was an idiot and I let her get away once." He took Grace's hand and helped her up, drawing her close to his side. "But I'm not dumb enough to make the same mistake twice," he said, his eyes never leaving her face. He leaned down for a heart stopping kiss then turned to us with a wink and headed for the door.

I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks and I didn't dare meet Grace's look - until she chuckled. When I finally dared look there was nothing but laughter on her face.

"He never did know the kind of effect he has on the female species."

Oh, yeah...

Grace's Gold

Brent Peterson returns to Mount Ridge, Tennessee with a single goal-to win back Grace Spencer. He's loved her since kindergarten, and should have told her how he felt, but Dan Turner swooped in and stole Grace away before Brent had the chance. Now Grace is a widow with a young son, and while it's been three years since her husband's death, Brent isn't sure he should make his feelings known. When Brent comes around the family bakery, Grace longs to restore their friendship, but the thin gold wedding band on her finger-and memories of Dan-stand between them. Can Brent's gentle patience coax Grace to let go of her memories...and the ring, or is it time for Brent to move on alone, and leave Mount Ridge forever?


Brent couldn’t pull his gaze from Grace as she
spooned lemon‐scented batter into a greased bread
pan. Blonde hair spilled over her neck in a sassy blunt
cut that kissed her shoulders as she moved gracefully
between the counter and oven. Blue eyes sparkled in
sunlight that cascaded through the front window of the
bakery, but a hint of sadness lurked beneath.

knew she still thought of Dan, the husband she’d lost
in a construction accident three years ago—Adam’s
And he aimed to change that. A pre‐dawn ride
through cool mountain air in the Cove had cleared
cobwebs from his head and strengthened his resolve.
As the sun had risen over the horizon to kiss a clearblue
morning sky, a need intensified that could no
longer be denied.

He wanted Grace.

He’d had a thing for her since the first day of
kindergarten, when he saw her across the story circle.
Her blonde hair and blue eyes had captivated him,
even though he didn’t know what the odd tugging in
his belly meant at the time. And that “thing” had
roared into much, much more over the years they’d
spent hanging out together, swapping lunches and
swimming in the creek that bisected his horse farm. Theirs was an easy friendship that had grown into something deeper…at least for him.

He’d taken things slow during all the days they’d spent together roaming the pastures that fit together like giant puzzle pieces spanning the farm, assuming he had forever to make his feelings known. Their friendship grew strong as the roots of the old oak that stood as a sentinel behind his parents’ barn. But when Brent was with her, beside her—watching the sun glint off her huge blue eyes as she laughed at a little joke he shared—and he thought of taking it to the next level…of kissing her…his gut squeezed so tight he grew lightheaded and couldn’t seem to gather a breath.

As days eased into months, then years, Grace traded ball caps and pigtails for makeup and a sleek hairstyle, and something else—something wonderful—changed, also. The way she wrapped her arms around him, pressed a warm cheek against his neck while they rode one of his parents’ prized black racing mares through the Cove, told him she felt the same. Yet a little voice niggled…what if he pushed too hard—too fast? Would it ruin everything?

Then Dan Taylor moved to town the spring before their senior year. The star quarterback took one look at Grace and made no bones about what he wanted. He swooped in like a thief in the night and swept Grace away before Brent even had a chance to tell her how he felt. No more lazy summer rides through the Cove.

No more sparkling eyes and laughter.

The scrape of chair legs jarred him from the memory. He glanced up to find Grace staring at him.


This is one story worthy of a 5 cupcake review!

Oh my goodness, with a simple sweet lemon cake, Ms. Manners demonstrates the deep love from a mother to her child. Grace has traveled a hard road and is happy with the life of mother and baker extraordinaire. When Brent sneaks into her heart by showing his love for her little boy, Adam, her heart melts like the icing on her cakes.

This is such a sweet read! The agony Grace feels, over choices past and present, just makes you want to cry and cheer as this story unrolls.


  1. Welcome back, Mary! Oh what fun your characters are. I must admit they're making me feel very welcome in their wonderful bakery!

  2. Thanks, Donna! A cup of hazelnut coffee and a slice of gold cake is just what I need to get my engine started this morning. Thanks for the uplifting spotlight!!!

  3. Pumpkin spice coffee? Gold cake? Yummy! Love the excerpt, Mary! I can't wait to read this entire Sweet Treats Bakery series! Congrats!

  4. Welcome ladies, stop in all week for your morning coffee and a treat! Glad you could join the fun, Dora!

  5. Hey,'s great to 'see' you again! The coffee hit the spot today, didn't it? And gold cake...yum!!!