Book Title: Sweet to the Core
Author and Publisher: Amy
Cover Artist: Natasha
Release Date: May 17,
Genre: Contemporary m/m romance
Tropes: Friends to lovers, cousin’s BFF, small town, forced proximity, mini
age gap (5 years)
Length: 64 000 words/ 250
Heat Rating: 3 flames
It is book three in the
Lighthouse Bay trilogy, but it can be read as a standalone and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Dev has pined for his cousin’s best friend for years, but no
matter how hard he wishes, Clark sees him as nothing but a friend. And it’s as a friend that
Clark comes to him for help.
Clark’s father is on the brink of losing his house and
the fastest way to make a quick buck is to win the $10,000 prize in the inaugural Sweet to
the Core apple baking contest. Only problem? He’s never baked anything that hasn’t come
out of a box.
But Dev has. As a baker, he’s Clark’s best
For the first time, Dev has something Clark wants.
Only problem? Dev needs the prize for himself. The only thing he wants—besides Clark—is
to buy the local lighthouse where he last spent time with his parents before they
Working together means opening a lot more than a
barrel of apples, though. They may have found the recipe to love.
But will Dev have to give up the only connection he
has left to his parents in order to have it? Or will Clark let his father down? They can’t both
Or can they?
“I wanted to talk to you about Sweet to the Core.”
“I already told you I’m not entering.”
“What if you had a partner and entered as a
Dev swirled the beer in his bottle. “Why would I do that? I
“As they say, two heads are better than one.”
“Don’t you want to know who it is?”
“Are they an expert in baking with apples?”
“Uh . . . no,” Clark said. “They’re not really an expert in
baking . . . anything. Except homemade pasta. And cock croissants.”
“Then again, I ask, why would I want to do that?” Why
would he split ten grand with someone who couldn’t actively contribute? “Wait.” An expert
in making homemade pasta? Cock croissants? “You want to compete?”
Clark crossed his arms and squinted against the sun. “I
looked the rules up online. That social media component? It’s all about documenting your
journey through the competition. Whoever gets the most cumulative likes at the end gets a
thousand bucks, six months of free advertising, and web design consultation.”
“Yes, I know all this. That’s why I’m not competing. I don’t
have time for all the social stuff.”
“Right. That’s where I come in.”
Dev regarded him through narrowed eyes. What universe
had he been dropped into that Clark wanted to partner with
for a baking contest? There wasn’t a single part of that sentence that made sense.
“What if I take care of the social media stuff?” Sitting
forward, Clark braced both elbows on his knees and regarded him. “Whenever you’re doing
contest-related stuff, I’ll tag along, take photos, and post them with a catchy caption. Easy. I’ll
have everyone eating out of the palm of your hand. Which leaves you free for the baking. If
we win, we split the prize fifty-fifty.”
Dev pursed his lips. Fuck, it was tempting. So very, very
tempting. Half the prize would speed up his timeline for acquiring the lighthouse and light
keeper’s cottage by months. He could be out of Holland and Zach’s hair that much faster.
Within the year if the one-story cottage could be renovated quickly.
The prospect of spending all that time with Clark, though . .
. Dev both dreaded it and ached for it desperately.
“Why?” he asked. “Why would you do this? There’s a lot of
prep that goes into this kind of thing. It’s not about submitting my bake and hoping for the
best. There are two rounds of—”
“Judging. I remember.”
“It’s not just that,” Dev stressed, trying to drive the point
home that this wasn’t something that would take an hour of Clark’s life before he went on
his merry way. “Whatever I enter in the contest needs to be test-baked several times to
ensure it’s as perfect as it can be. That means I need to check my personal inventory to
determine if I have enough ingredients to cover multiple bakes. If it’s not, I need to buy
some—flour, baking powder, whatever. And this is an apple baking contest, which means
going apple picking to select the best apples. I also need to research other countywide
contests to see what kinds of bakes have won. Granted, I’ll be doing all of this in the
evenings after the bakery has closed, so if we do team up, it won’t interfere with your job.
But it’s still going to take up a lot of your time in the next four weeks. This isn’t one of your
hookups; there’s a time commitment involved.”
Clark opened his mouth to speak. Snapped it closed, brow
furrowing. “You seem to have a very low opinion of my character.”
About the Author
Amy’s lived with her head in
the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages
means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade
when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates
eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She
writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the
planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert,
Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with
readers. Join her Facebook Group to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to
early teasers, find her on Instagram, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.
Social Media Links
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