Tessa’s Teacakes
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Pages: 76
Goes Well With: Hot coffee and warm pastries

With flakes of snow floating outside your window, reflecting the colors of the lights hanging outside, the holiday season is the perfect time to spend your lunch break curled up with a sweet, cozy romance—like Tessa’s Teacakes, the latest in author Mary Manners’s Sweet Treats Bakery series.

As the temperatures begin to cool in the small town of Mount Ridge, things get even busier for the four sisters who run the Sweet Treats Bakery. But disaster strikes when Grace’s husband, Brent, is held hostage by an angry, suicidal man at the nearby crisis center. Youngest sister Tessa races to help, but she’s stopped by handsome new police officer Colin Phillips.

Colin moved to Mount Ridge from Atlanta to escape the heartbreak caused by his sister’s brutal murder. But just when he begins to believe that he can get his life back again—with help from headstrong Tessa—she tells him of her plans to get away from Mount Ridge and take a job in New York.

Now that she’s met Colin, though, even Tessa has her doubts about pursuing her dream of moving away.

Like earlier books in the series (like Grace’s Gold), Tessa’s Teacakes is an oh-so-sweet story about romance and pastries.

The simple story is filled with language that’s folksy and flowery—and not entirely realistic (at least not for a story set in the present day). The characters, too, are a little too good to be true. Sure, they all have their minor flaws—Tessa is headstrong and impulsive, and her older sister, Mattie, is bossy—but they’re all just too perfect. They’re loving and generous and supportive—and the four sisters are somehow able to run a business and spend their time free time laughing and chatting and helping each other out. As Colleen would say, they’re a family full of Mary Sues.

Still, no matter how unbearably perfect the characters may sometimes be, they make a lovable family—the kind that you’d love to join for coffee, just for a chance to sit and bask in their pure happiness for a little while. Fortunately, the story is just the right length. Though it’s a little too short to develop the characters fully, it’s short enough to give you a warm, fuzzy glow—and it ends before it overstays its saccharine-sweet welcome.

Of course, some readers might find that the quaintness of Tessa’s Teacakes is a bit too much to stomach. But at this time of year—a time of sweet treats and good cheer—it’s an enjoyably cozy little story.

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