Title: The Baker
Series: Workplace Encounters
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Length: 40000 words
Release Date: July 15, 2015
Blurb: Ian Wallace works as a baker for his tyrannical father in their family owned Scottish Bakehouse in Casper, Wyoming. He wants to represent the bakery in the upcoming Tartan Day competition, but his father refuses to reveal the secret ingredients that make them so successful—unless Ian gets married and has a son, proving he is fit to continue the family line.
Just before New Year’s Eve, Cameron Lewis, a former Marine turned police detective, comes into the bakery for donuts for his department and some black buns for himself. Cameron is hooked, and as his visits become more frequent, they stir Ian’s father’s suspicions. But threats can’t stop Ian from donning his kilt and entering the competition anyway—to show his father what he can do on his own. Though he might not have the secret ingredients, Ian and Cameron might still discover a recipe for happiness.
They ate quietly for a few minutes, Ian occasionally glancing at Cameron, to make sure he was still there. The whole situation felt like a dream, but Ian wasn’t complaining. Just when he began to wonder how to restart their conversation, Cameron paused in demolishing his food, and looked up.
“About that secret ingredient. Not that I’d dare ask what it is. I sorta like being alive—a lot.” Cameron waggled his eyebrows, making Ian grin.
“But I have to say it made me curious to find out what it is, which is likely going to make me come back to the bakery to buy more to see if I can figure it out. And that makes me wonder if you do it on purpose. Like it’s a marketing thing or something.”
“It’s that transparent, huh?” Ian had never heard anyone else make that observation. But maybe the detective was superobservant, which would certainly come in handy in his line of work.
“I don’t know about transparent, but it’s definitely clever. Even if you know it’s marketing, it wouldn’t stop you from being curious, right?”
Cameron shrugged. “Then again, maybe it just works on people like me who always want to know all the details.”
“I think you’re right.” Ian put down his fork for a moment. “The Scottish Bakehouse has been around since my great-grandfather started it in 1925 when he was only twenty years old. He was a second-generation American but figured he could make use of his ancestry to sell more bread and cakes than his competitors. Rumor has it he needed a reliable way to make money so he could feed his suddenly expanding family.”
“Oh, I like it! Do I detect the signs of a shotgun wedding?” Cameron leaned forward.
“Absolutely.” Ian laughed. “Nobody in the family will admit it, but I did some research and found out my grandfather was born only four months after the wedding.”
“Perfect. A family scandal to go with the family tradition. Tell me more.” Cameron waved his fork in a “do continue” gesture before getting back to eating. He kept his eyes mostly on Ian as he ate, clearly fascinated.
I’m a night owl and start writing when everyone else in my time zone is asleep. I’ve loved reading all my life and spent most of my childhood with my nose buried in a book. Although I always wanted to be a writer, financial independence came first. Twenty-some years and a successful business career later I took some online writing classes and never looked back.
Living and working in seven countries has taught me that there’s more than one way to get things done. It has instilled tremendous respect for the many different cultures, beliefs, attitudes and preferences that exist on our planet.
I like exploring those differences in my stories, most of which happen to be romances. My characters have a tendency to want to do their own thing, so I often have to rein them back in. The one thing we all agree on is the desire for a happy ending.
I currently live in the United Kingdom, sharing my house with a vast collection of books. I like reading, traveling, spending time with my nieces and listening to classical music. I have a passion for science and learning new languages.
THREE Winners win: $10 Amazon/ARe Gift Card.
THREE Runners-up win: E-copy from Serena Yates’ backlist!