Book Highlight: The Cheesecake Queen by Miranda Koerner

The Cheesecake Queen
Miranda Koerner
Published: November 21, 2013
Genre: New Adult
Sugar Rule 1: Christmas is the perfect time for cheesecake.

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.

From every table, pleased sighs and moans rise with every forkful to the lips of the happy patrons at the Cheesecake Queen Bakery in Chestnut, Colorado. Cinnamon Sugar, known as the Cheesecake Queen, serves up…

“Excuse me?”

Caeleah glanced up into a pair of brown eyes crinkled at the edges, as though they were bursting with a secret just too good too share. Sculpted cheekbones and a strong jaw line with firm lips would have made both Johnny Depp and George Clooney envious. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out.

“I heard you’re writing a story about Cinnamon Sugar.”

“That’s right. I’m a food writer.” Caeleah raised an eyebrow. “And you are?”

The man grinned. “Delighted to meet you. I’m the mayor of Chestnut. Nathan Watson.”

“Where’s your Sherlock?” Caeleah cringed at the bad joke, but Nathan chuckled. He held out his hand and she took it with a gasp. The touch of his fingertips nearly electrocuted her and sparks sizzled down her arm. She jerked her hand away, grasping for her pen but clutching only tufts of tablecloth.

“It’s wonderful to meet you…”

“Caeleah.” She gripped her pen, her fingers still throbbing in nervous anticipation as she poised her pen over the pad. “So, um, what can you tell me about the Cheesecake Queen?”

A slow grin crept across the mayor’s face. “Everything you want to know.” He pulled out a chair, sliding in across from her. “How’d you find out about Chestnut and the Sugar Sisters, anyway?”

“Sisters?” Caeleah echoed. “There’s more than Cinnamon?” The image of the airport mural flashed in her mind and she cringed. “Three sisters, right?”

“Of course.” Mayor Watson raised his eyebrows. “Didn’t you do your research?”

“No, because I heard about the Cheesecake Queen at the airport.” Her teeth snapped and warmth flooded her cheeks.

“Whoa, whoa girl!” Mayor Watson waved a white napkin, ducking behind it. “I come in peace!”

Her cheeks singed and she bit her lip. “Sorry. I’m just a little defensive. I never do anything like this—it’s kind of put me on edge.”

“You don’t write stories?”

“I do, but I just don’t randomly go investigate without an editor assigning me.” Seeing his raised eyebrow, she explained, “I was about to fly home from a job interview when a woman insisted we exchange flights so I could do this article. Not only do I not have an editor, but I’m in a strange city on Christmas without a job and I just feel—” Tears pricked her eyes and she bowed her head. She was not going to cry in front of such a cute guy. Especially a cute source.

“Brave? Adventurous?” Mayor Watson suggested.

“I was thinking more along the lines of stupid.” Caeleah forced her lips into a smile.

“Listen, Caeleah, I may have only known you for approximately three minutes, but I can tell you’re not stupid. I think you’re courageous. And you know why you have to believe me?”

“Why?” This time, her lips needed no coaxing for a smile.

“Because I’m the mayor.” He waved the white napkin and she chuckled.
Ayanami Faerudo

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