Love on the Sweet Side by Mariah Ankenman

(about this author)

  • Maggie Evans is back in Peak Town, Colorado to take over her grandmother’s cupcake shop, but problems keep arising. Is it rotten luck…or something more nefarious? To top it off, her former best friend/childhood crush, Colton Denning, won’t leave her alone. He’s sexier than ever. But Maggie has no time for love.

    When his best friend comes back into town all grown up, Colton finds his feelings for her go far beyond friendship. Unfortunately, the pretty baker only sees him as the town playboy. He plans to convince her otherwise, but may not get the chance when someone starts threatening Maggie's life.

    Whether she likes it or not, Colton plans to take her safety into his own hands.  How will Maggie keep her shop afloat with a madman after her? More importantly, how will she keep her heart intact when Colton admits her safety isn’t the only thing he wants in his hands?


    “Colton Denning, get out from behind my counter this minute,” Maggie admonished and smacked him on the shoulder.

    Ouch. The tiny woman packed quite a wallop.

    He put Jamie down and turned. “Oh come on now, Magpie. I was just caught up in the excitement of the news.”

    “Yeah well, catch up on that side of the counter. You’re going to violate my health codes.”

    He looked down at himself—dusty, faded jeans that may have been worn one season too long, a relatively clean, long sleeve flannel over a black T-shirt, and cowboy boots caked in dried mud. Okay, she might have a point. Not that he would ever tell her that. One thing Maggie did not need to hear was that she was right, again.

    Besides, it was much more fun to tease her.

    “I’m not that dirty.”

    She rolled those pretty green eyes of hers. “You’ve got hay stuck in your jeans.”

    A quick glance revealed a short stalk stuck in the waistband of his wranglers. Not surprising. Working on a horse ranch, you were bound to get a stray piece of hay here and there.

    “Why, Magpie, were you eying my unmentionables?”

    She snorted, a very unladylike snort, but adorable as hell.

    “Oh please. You probably put it there on purpose to draw attention to your unmentionables. You’re a shameless flirt, Colton Denning, and you know it.”

    No denying the truth.

    “What’s wrong with a little harmless flirting? Especially when it’s with such a pretty lady.”

    “Go peddle that charm somewhere else, cowboy, and get back on the other side of my counter.”

    “You are just no fun, Magpie.”

    He appeased her by hopping back over the counter. Jamie followed, opting to go around to the small opening separating the kitchen from the dining area rather than jump over the three-foot ledge.

    “Thanks for the day off, boss.”

    Maggie smiled. “You deserve it. And don’t go home to study. Go out, have fun, get a little wild.”

    The young girl rolled her eyes the way teenagers do when adults try to sound cool. He remembered giving his parents a few of those himself back in the day. Some things never changed.

    “I promise to be totally reckless tonight.”

    “Good. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Maggie called after her as her college bound employee left the shop.

    “I thought you wanted her to have fun?”

    She glanced at him, her brows pinched together in confusion. Time for his favorite past time: tease the cupcake maker.


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Love on the Sweet Side

Love on the Sweet Side

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