A Recipe for Romance
Wes planned a drive by trip to Marietta, Montana to help his dad close a business deal and then to head back to his life in New York. But when his dad volunteers him for the Bachelor Bake-Off to commemorate a local fallen first responder, Wes can’t say no, even though Marietta holds painful memories and baking eludes his skill set.
After an accident sidelines Noelle Olsen’s career as a dancer, she moves to Montana to pursue a new dream: opening a dance studio in Marietta’s historic and charming downtown. When one of her students suckers her into helping the handsome Wes St. Clare whip up some winning recipes, Noelle finds herself dreaming about more than teaching dance.
Falling in love wasn’t part of Wes’ plans, and definitely not in Marietta, and as Noelle learns more about Wes and his business dealings, she fears she’ll lose her business along with her heart. Will cozy kitchens and a nudge from the St. Claire family help Wes and Noelle find the love they didn’t know they were looking for?
“A Recipe for Romance is a Hallmark movie-ready story. It’s sweet, has picture-perfect characters, and the story has a reliable, satisfying plot.”
“An absolute joy to read. ”
“Lara Van Hulzen gave us a hunky businessman and a beautiful dancer. It’s nice reading a true romance where love conquers all and honsety and trust are center stage.”
—GUILTY PLEASURES BOOK BLOG
“This is one of those stories that you just don’t want to end. It is the perfect romance and full of surprises.”
“If Ms. Van Hulzen writes a book for Wes’s widower brother, Mike, I will definitely be first in line for that tale. Mike stole the show for me every time he appeared on the page, and I hope Ms. Van Hulzen has a happily ever after waiting for him.”
—WIT & SIN
“A Recipe for Romance by Lara Van Hulzen is a wonderful well written 5 stars book.”
“I was torn between rushing to the end to see a happy ending, and wanting the story to last forever.”
“A Recipe for Romance by Lara Van Hulzen stays true to the overall theme of this heartwarming series of helping a great cause with a side benefit of giving each man who has entered the Bake-Off a surprising Happy Ever After.”
Noelle stared at the door. Cute Guy from the other night stood there, Annalise now propped on one of his arms. His rather muscular arms. A detail she was aware of because of how he’d held her when they’d danced. The arms that had moved them across the floor with ease.
“If that’s the uncle, I say you definitely need to consider a baking class. Or two. Or three,” Franchesca whispered beside her.
Noelle couldn’t find words. She’d thought about him, sure, but most of the time ended up convincing herself he wasn’t real, that he wasn’t as good-looking as she remembered. Anything to put him out of her mind and move on. Seeing him now in her doorway, it pained her to admit, he was even more handsome than she remembered, and all-out drop-dead gorgeous with a tiny, pink dancer in his arms.
Noelle had never considered herself one to settle down and have kids. She loved children, but her lifestyle before would never have meshed with motherhood. And she couldn’t risk her body changing while dancing professionally. A harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless. However, watching Cute Guy with his niece as he listened to her every word as she rambled in his ear, Noelle’s ovaries stirred something fierce.
“Good Lord. If the uncle looks like that, just imagine what that little girl’s father looks like.”
Still unable to form words, Noelle nodded. Seeing them together, Annalise almost had more of her uncle’s coloring than her dad’s, the sandy hair and blue eyes matching. Her dad’s coloring was darker. But Noelle could see the resemblance. She could see they were brothers.
His long cashmere coat was camel colored, as if custom made to match his hair. Beneath it he wore dark dress slacks and a crisp white button-down. A Burberry patterned scarf hung from his neck. His black leather shoes looked untouched by the elements, almost like the weather wouldn’t dare try to muss him up.
He looked like he’d stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. Maybe more like Fortune Magazine. A twinge of guilt hit Noelle at teasing him for being dressed so nice at Grey’s. The man shouldn’t dress any other way. He looked away from Annalise and made eye contact with Noelle. For a brief moment, his eyes flickered with the same shock that still coursed through her system. Handling the situation much better than she, however, he smiled, the gesture softening his face and making her sigh.
“Did you just sigh?”
That snapped her out of her trance. “No!” Although the protest sounded lame, even to her.
Franchesca laughed. “Damn, girl. You’ve got it bad. And you’ve only just seen this guy for like thirty seconds.”
Franchesca put a hand on Noelle’s arm. “Wait. What? What does ‘Well…not exactly’ mean?”
“It means we sort of, kind of, danced at the saloon the other night but we never got each other’s names.” Noelle spoke to her friend beside her, but didn’t take her eyes off of Cute Guy. He set Annalise down and she scampered over to her cubby for her things.
“You danced with this guy?”
“Yes. And he’s coming over here so be quiet.” Noelle didn’t mean to hiss, but darn it, she was trying to whisper and make a point at the same time.
“So, I was right.”
Oh, dear Lord. His voice was even better the second time around. “Right about what?”
“You’re a dancer.”
Noelle nodded. “I’m a dancer.