Forever Wilde in Aster Valley | Lucy Lennox
Release Date: November 16th, 2021
Universal Link: http://mybook.to/foreverwilde
When Miller Hobbs finds himself on a winter vacation in Colorado with the giant, exceedingly loud, Marian and Wilde families, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. He’s not really a Marian or a Wilde despite having DNA ties to both.
So every morning before the rest of the family wakes up and fills Rockley Lodge with holiday merriment (and noise), he escapes to the quaint downtown of Aster Valley where he spies a man through the bakery window kneading dough and dancing to music only he can hear. Miller is entranced by the dancing baker, and when Darius looks up and catches Miller staring, the interest suddenly goes both ways.
Can two strangers find love among the quaint chaos of an Aster Valley Christmas? Even if it includes the two most overwhelming and meddling families vying for the title of greatest matchmakers of all time?
Forever Wilde in Aster Valley, an all-new MM romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Lucy Lennox is available now!
I found a parking spot on a side street and walked up the shoveled sidewalk to the bakery. A large plate-glass window revealed the baker himself kneading a giant blob of dough on a well-worn wooden table in the back of the shop.
Something about the sight stopped me in my tracks and caused me to watch him a little longer than I should have. A little longer than was probably polite. Maybe it was the rhythm of his movements or the fact he seemed to be talking to himself. Maybe it was the way he fit the landscape—solid as the mountains, warm as sunlight, simple and magnificent at the same time. Maybe it was the way his big hands kneaded the dough with such total competence that shivers danced up my spine. Whatever it was, I couldn’t look away.
After standing still a few moments, I realized he was singing. He had headphones on and nodded his head to a silent beat. The man’s face broke into a wide, white grin as his hips began to sway, and his whole body moved with the music as he went about his work.
The baker had a messy brown bun on top of his head and a short beard with dark brown eyebrows over an expressive face. I wondered idly if he had dimples I couldn’t see from this far away. His smile was breathtaking.
He looked to be around my age, mid-to-late thirties, but it was hard to tell through the window. He wore a denim button-down shirt under a beige apron sprinkled with flour. The rest of him was hidden by the table.
I couldn’t stop watching him. I felt like a kid outside of a candy store with sticky hands pressed to the glass and big eyes filled with want.
I liked to think I was a fairly practical sort of person, a person who made the best of what he could have and didn’t spend his time yearning for things he couldn’t, but the baker had me captivated.
This one, a voice in my head whispered as I watched the baker’s biceps bunch and flex under his shirt. Yes, please.
“You have to try the melomakarona,” a woman said from behind me, startling me out of my weird, lusty fantasy. “I can’t believe this place hasn’t been overrun with people clamoring for it. It’s only a matter of time. Or…it would be if they’d do a little advertising or start a mail-order business for them. The only other place I know of that had Greek treats as good as these was a bakery I went to once in Chicago when I was in college. That place had people lined up around the corner this time of year, just to get the melomakarona.”
I turned to face the stranger, finding it harder to look away from my baker—the baker, I silently corrected myself. The baker, who was in no way mine—than I could have imagined. The woman was bundled in a puffy purple jacket with a gray wool hat over blonde hair and had a baby strapped to her chest. She smiled at me way too brightly for this hour of the morning.
“What’s melomakarona?” I asked politely.
“It’s a Greek Christmas cookie made out of honey, walnuts, and orange juice. You have to try it. Come on,” she said, grabbing my elbow. “I’ll get you one.”
I couldn’t help but laugh when I realized I’d left my own meddling family just to find myself being woman-handled and managed by someone else’s, but I was more than willing to go along with any scenario that got me closer to my—the—baker. “Okay, if you insist. I hope they have good coffee, too.”
“Definitely. And they also do an incredible kourabiethes cookie that melts in your mouth. The only reason I let myself come here so often is because I’m nursing. Surely that earns me some extra calories to spend at the bakery, right?” She continued her friendly chatter as she led me around the corner to the front door.
When we entered, I immediately felt at home. The warm space was extra cozy with an old brick fireplace in one corner and deep, comfortable-looking sofas and chairs clustered around it. Holiday music played softly from hidden speakers, and it was noticeably different from whatever up-tempo beat the baker himself had been playing in his headphones. The air was fragrant with sweet cinnamon and a dozen other spices I couldn’t name but wished I could.
A young woman smiled from behind the counter. “You’re up early, Tessa. Is Hoss teething again?”
The lady who’d brought me into the shop groaned. “The baby’s name is Conley, dammit, Hannah,” she said with a laugh. “Don’t listen to his Uncle Declan. And yes, he’s teething, so he’s been up for hours. It was a good excuse to come grab what I wanted before the crowds turn up and take all the good stuff.”
I had no problem believing that they’d sell out quickly, considering how tempting the pastries looked and smelled. But I was still focused on something far more tempting than sweets.
While the young lady behind the counter began filling a bakery box, I moved to the side to try and catch a peek through the arched doorway into the back of the bakery.
I could hear the clank of metal sheet pans, and I spotted a glimpse of the baker’s denim sleeve rolled up over his thick forearm. His thick, tattooed forearm.
Oh, man. Tattoos, too? Hngh. My palms went sweaty, and I had to swallow past a lump in my throat. I was a sucker for a man with ink.
I tried to tell myself firmly that this baker was none of my business. That I didn’t know a thing about this man. That I was a tourist, for heaven’s sake, and I was already dealing with a ridiculous number of new people in my life on top of all my work stress at home. But none of it seemed to matter. Something about this total stranger called to me, and I was dying to get a closer glimpse of him.
About The Author
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because she is a sucker for a good story.
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