Uninspired by life on the road, singer-songwriter Nat Hathaway has quietly returned to Marietta to pen his new album. But his high school girlfriend, Linnea, has other ideas–she’s already volunteered him to co-organize a charity Christmas concert with her. As they spend more time together, Nat is drawn to the warmth and comfort that he sees in Linnea and her girls.
Linnea knows that this is only a holiday-romance because Nat will be back on the road soon and she needs stability for her girls. Still, as the holiday season begins to wind down, she hopes that a Christmas miracle will inspire Nat to put roots down in Marietta for good.
Lacey Hathaway has it all — a job she loves as a local radio DJ, a home with her adored, eccentric aunt and, best of all, a community after a childhood traveling with her musical parents. So what if her life is a little too safe? Marietta is everything to Lacey. Not only is she helping to organize the Bachelor Bake-Off and filming a documentary about the process, she’s also volunteered her brother as a Bachelor. But, when her brother backs out, Lacey has to find a last-minute replacement. And who better than her aunt’s lodger, gorgeous – if taciturn – Zac Malone?
Zac’s not exactly community-minded. In fact, he makes it clear that the sooner he’s out of Marietta the better. But when Lacey persuades him of the powerful impact the Bake-Off funds will have on local children, he decides to give it a go. On one condition. If he has to learn to bake, so does disaster-in-the-kitchen Lacey. Desserts aren’t the only thing heating up, and as the attraction flares and Zac makes plans to leave, Lacey’s beginning to realize that maybe there is a world beyond Marietta’s borders after all… if she’s brave enough to take that step.
*First published as Baking for Keeps