Contemporary Fiction, Review

Cookies & Candlelight by Elizabeth Maddrey

Brace yourselves for another yummy installment of the Baxter Family Bakery series! We return to the Arcadia Valley Romance collection for book 2, Cookies & Candlelight by Elizabeth Maddrey!

about the book

Cookies & Candlelight by Elizabeth Maddrey

Cookies & Candlelight by Elizabeth MaddreyWhat will it take for a former starlet to find love with an average Joe?

After the accident that killed her husband five years ago, Serena Johnson left Hollywood—and her stage name—behind to set up shop as a potter. Her online business keeps her occupied and fulfilled, but she misses having someone special to share her life.

Micah Baxter has enjoyed the year he’s worked in his family’s bakery in Arcadia Valley, even if his siblings are all finding love, leaving him the odd man out. When Micah delivers the cookies Serena ordered for an event at her pottery studio, the attraction between them is hard to deny. But so are their differences.

Having been a fan when he was younger, Micah knows all about Serena’s bad-girl history. So how can he trust the feelings that grow between them? And if Hollywood comes calling, will Serena be content to stay?

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my thoughts

Y’all know how much I love Idaho, right?! Well, it’s a good thing Arcadia Valley is fictional or I’d have to pack up our family and move there right now! There’s so much to enjoy in this small tight-knit community, fresh food, talented artisans, compassionate neighbors, diversity, and a strong foundation of faith.

The Baxters are one of my favorite families in Arcadia Valley. I love their work in the bakery (mouth-watering!) and cozy inn as well as their loving sibling relationships. Micah is the traditional bookish brother of the bunch and as much as he adores his family, I could absolutely relate to his need to get away from time to time.

New-comer Serena Johnson has mostly kept to herself since leaving her former life behind. Her journey of healing and blossoming faith completely touched my reader heart. I found myself fascinated by the contrast of her previous life and profession with her current less glamorous yet more fulfilling situation.

Overall, I must highly recommend this book! The characters are authentic and their story beautifully illustrates the power of God’s grace and love. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the Baxter Family Bakery series (Jonah’s story, YAY!) yet I’m reluctant to say goodbye to these sweet characters!

I requested the opportunity to read this book through the author. The opinions expressed are my own.


about the author

Elizabeth MaddreyElizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who loves a good happily ever after. She began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back.

Though her practical nature and love of computers, math, and organization steered her into computer science at Wheaton College, she always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. This continued through a Master’s program in Software Engineering, several years in the computer industry, teaching programming at the college level, and a Ph.D. in Computer Technology in Education.

When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

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Baxter Family Bakery series

Loaves and Wishes by Elizabeth Maddrey Muffins and Moonbeams by Elizabeth Maddrey Cookies & Candlelight by Elizabeth Maddrey Donuts & Daydreams by Elizabeth Maddrey


Arcadia Valley Romance

Welcome to Arcadia Valley, Idaho, where a foodie culture and romance grow hand-in-hand. Experience the community with a new book release every month set in Arcadia Valley. You’ll enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones as each of the six authors’ books intertwine with the previous stories in this Christian romance series. Get started with Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley and follow along at the Arcadia Valley Romance website to make sure you don’t miss any installments!

Currently Available

 Summer's Glory by Mary Jane Hathaway       

goodreads | amazon
spotlight book 1 | author book 2 | review book 3
review book 4 | review book 5
Arcadia Valley Romance website


What is YOUR bakery weakness, reader friends?
Fresh breads, sweet rolls, cookies, scones, coffee?

9 thoughts on “Cookies & Candlelight by Elizabeth Maddrey”

  1. There is nothing better than homemade bread right out of the oven with butter. Well, my husbands homemade cinnamon rolls do but they are so rich I don’t need them very often. 🙂


  2. This sounds like such a fun book (and series) to read and enjoy! My weakness would be scones. They go perfectly with a hot drink!


  3. Anything from the bakery is good, but in my hometown, Carroll’s Bakery makes a yummy O’Boy which is a chocolate bismark with whipped cream filling. And they make a raspberry Chantilly cake that is one of my other weaknesses! I enjoy reading Elizabeth’s books, and hope to get to this one soon.


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