Published by Harlequin on June 1st 2016
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
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The sweetest merger of all… Triple chocolate cupcakes can help get a girl through the tough times—especially after Mariah Drayson's dream marriage ends in heartbreak. Now the gifted baker has been handed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: running the Seattle branch of her family's legendary Chicago patisserie. The competition is stiff. Until high-end coffee importer Everett Myers comes up with a sinfully tempting proposition. The finest ingredients. Limited distribution. Everett knows the secrets of success. Joining forces with the alluring pastry chef is making the millionaire widower believe in second chances. And when Mariah unveils her secret weapon—a decadent new dessert—he knows they're a winning team. But the single father can't coast on sugarcoated fantasies. Is Mariah prepared to reveal the secret that could cost her a future with Everett?
I took a trip to Seattle to visit the Grayson’s in Yahrah St. John’s latest novel, Cappuccino Kisses.
I have to admit that I’ve missed a few Grayson novels so I was eager to jump back in.
Mariah and her brothers are expanding their great aunt’s famed bakery in Seattle. Lillian’s is a household name in Chicago but these Draysons have a bit of work cut out for them to replicate the success of the family’s flagship location. Competition is stiff but uber successful Everett Myers has a way of helping them get a leg up on the competition.
Everett Myers is a household name in Seattle. In addition to running his father’s famed hotel business, he’s a high-end coffee importer who makes the Draysons an offer they can’t refuse. In addition to being a sound business move that is beneficial to both of them, it’s another excuse to get closer to the beautiful Mariah Drayson who thus far had been spurning his advances. A widower of 5 years with a young son, Everett hasn’t had a strong attraction to someone in a very long time. He knew that Mariah was someone special and was willing to do what’s necessary for her to see it as well.
Everett was a gentle and loving man who was definitely persistent. He knew what he wanted and was willing to work hard for it.
Mariah had a huge secret that almost destroyed their relationship. It was ultimately the cost of her first marriage’s demise and if Everett wasn’t a better man, their relationship would have soured as well. I can understand Mariah’s hesitation though. She was carrying a huge burden and while it didn’t make her any less of a woman, it was hard a pill to swallow.
However, I will give her wrong for waiting so long to tell Everett and then bolting when he professed his love to her. She was almost insistent about the need for him to open up to her about his wife’s death but she wasn’t willing to do the same. He openly bared his soul and re lived that pain to make sure their relationship was on the right path but she couldn’t reciprocate.
I love that Yahrah St. John didn’t neatly tie up the story. Sure, Everett and Mariah got back together but the initial hesitations didn’t just go away. While Everett was accepting of Mariah’s secret pain, he didn’t try to gloss over the importance of what that meant for their relationship. He remained compassionate while still stating his wants and needs to make sure they could find a way to make the relationship work. I appreciate that because too many times in novels, we’ll see a secret come out and the person is just automatically accommodating and boom! Whatever was nearly impossible is now possible almost instantaneously. I’m glad that didn’t happen here.
The only thing I did wish we had read more of was Mariah’s relationship with her mother. They obviously have a very contentious relationship but we never found out the real reason why. Mariah even mentions to Everett that she wasn’t sure of her mothers attitude towards her. Mariah met Everett’s parents and I was hoping we would get to see the same with Mariah’s parents.
Another solid addition to the Drayson family series. I’ll be tuned in to see who’s next to fall in love. Something tells me Cupid’s arrow will point towards Jackson, Mariah’s brother and Amber, the barista at their newly opened cafe.