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.
“Whoa!” Cameron held up his hands and took a step back. “First of all, I have no idea why nobody would be interested in you. I think you’re fascinating.”
“You do?” The baker’s big blue eyes widened even more.
“Definitely fascinating.” Cameron nodded. Time for the big guns and some real honesty. He kept eye contact to ensure the baker knew he was serious. “And second of all, I can see why gay men might be cautious approaching someone out here, but I have to tell you, I’ve done scarier shit while serving in the Marines. It’ll take a lot more than some annoyed glances and a few intimidating words to stop me from being who I am. Hell, same-sex marriage has been legal in this state since October. So people better wake up and realize it’s the twenty-first century.”
“I agree.” The baker grinned, showing off a dimple that needed kissing. “And I knew you were a Marine.”
“You did?” Cameron was a little shocked from letting loose like that. He’d never said it out loud, had been timid about coming out himself, but suddenly, looking at this cute guy and seeing him all scared had made him realize there was no point in hiding. He wouldn’t do anything obvious like march in any Pride events, which were pretty much limited to college campuses in Wyoming for now, but maybe it was time he stood up for himself a little more. After all, he was looking at all the motivation he needed standing right in front of him.
“I suspected.” The baker blushed.
“Ah.” Cameron smiled. “Maybe you’re a bit of a detective too.”
“Um….” The baker shifted from foot to foot, clearly at a loss as to what to say next.
“So, about dinner? Would you like to join me? Please? If you don’t like Italian, we can go somewhere else.” Cameron held his breath.
“Yeah, okay, I think I’d like to have dinner with you. And I like Italian just fine.” The baker held out his hand. “I’m Ian Wallace.”
“I’m Cameron Lewis.” Cameron shook the offered hand, holding on to it as long as possible. Ian had strong fingers, probably from all that dough kneading he did, and his skin was soft. “You want to follow me in your car?”
“I could, I’m parked around back. But I know where it is, so we can meet there.” Ian looked unsure of himself, but at least the color was back in his face, and he didn’t seem on the verge of bolting any longer.
“I’ll see you there.” Cameron smiled and made his way to his car. He wanted to do a triumphant fist pump for having convinced Ian to give him a chance, but that might have been a little juvenile.
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.
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