Genres: Christmas, Romance, women's fiction
With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.
Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.
Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?
Peggy Jaeger tells the story of Regina San Valentino and her large and somewhat overpowering and controlling yet loving Italian family. Having messed up big time in her teens, suffered tragic loss and endured a divorce, Regina is trying to turn her life around by running a bakery shop. She devotes her entire life to baking, ordering, planning, and designing everything from cookies to custom cakes for special occasions. As Christmas draws ever nearer, she finds herself totally immersed in orders for the holiday season and has little or no time left to even consider a social life, let alone her own wants and needs. Her life is totally consumed by baking.
Enter Connor Gilhooly, a businessman who has been let down at the last minute by caterers for a charity fundraiser and seeks to persuade and cajole Regina into baking one of her infamous crafted cakes. This poses several problems for Regina, not least of which is time – of which she has none. Add to this the fundraiser event which is for a cause which tears at Regina’s heart and she doubts her ability to be emotionally strong enough to cope with such a task. But the handsome and debonair Connor is desperate for her help, and the fact that one look from his dark eyes makes her skin tingle probably helps her decision to say yes.
As Regina battles with memories of her past, the feelings that are stirring within her, and a family that make wrong assumptions with awkward consequences, Regina and Connor try to make sense of their busy lives and make time for their growing feelings for one another, despite the efforts of an over-protective father to discredit Connor and to end the budding relationship.
The author, Peggy Jaeger, has woven a tale that encompasses emotion, tragedy, family love, tradition, dedication, faith, and passion, in Christmas and Cannoli’s’. Her writing is full of amazing descriptions of inner turmoil, powerful love, and strong emotion, and the way she describes the senses makes this story a delight to read. The reader is enveloped in the busyness of the bakery, tempted by the smells of the delights being baked, consumed by Regina’s inner sadness, and excited by the growing relationship between the two main protagonists. Add to this a touch of humor in the characters and situations, a story that is artistically written, emotions that hover beneath the surface at every turn of the page, and we have a story that is both enjoyable and memorable. If there was a bakery like Angie’s, I would go.
If there was a family like Regina’s I would crave to be a part of it. If there was a beau like Connor, I would be a stalker! Great writing, great story, and great author.
Get yourself a copy of Christmas and Cannoli’s’, by Peggy Jaeger, for this holiday season, you will love and revel in it. Highly recommended by Chick Lit Cafe
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