Shortbread Cookie Princess (Highland Falls)

Zelda Benjamin

Sophia Porter is happy to have inherited her aunt’s cookie shop. However, Aunt Mary stipulated that the shop must be profitable in a year or Sophia will lose it. Though Sophia and her father adore Aunt Mary, Sophia’s nasty stepmother makes it difficult for them to visit. Referred to by Sophia as Mother Malevolent, the unhappy woman made the younger woman’s life miserable. When she receives a surprise visitor full of questions about her family and ancestry, Sophia resents his intrusiveness. Memories of her family were meant to be kept private – there’s just too much sadness with the death of her mother and father. Her stepmother constantly tells her the MacLennan’s history is evil. Ian Campbell, a forensic scientist and genealogist is hired by Aunt Mary to do the family genealogy, but he finds Sophia more interesting than her family.

This book is a double pleasure for fans of romance and history. The sparks between Sophia the baker and Ian the genealogist happen early and will pique readers’ interest quickly. Though there are hints of magic in their search for facts on Sophia’s lineage, the author never really comes through with what’s foreshadowed. Still, learning the history of the Scottish people and their immigration to the Adirondack Mountains does add another interesting layer to the story. Sophia has been welcomed by the locals, but when she begins looking for answers about her family, she and Ian find them to be less than completely honest. When unexpected trouble pops up, however, loyalties are tested to the limit. An entertaining tale from the very beginning! 

Leah Neale