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READ: Review, Always the Baker, Finally the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker (Emma Rae Creation Series)

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized | 15 comments

Like a bride waits for her wedding day, I waited for Always the Baker, Finally the Bride(Abingdon Press; releases April 1, 2013). My heart overflowed with anticipation, excitement, and a healthy dose of fear.

In this case, the fear came not because of the potential for fainting bridesmaids or other forms of wedding disaster, but because I knew ahead of time that the Emma Rae Creationseries would end with this fourth offering and the long-anticipated (but by no means certain) wedding of Jackson Drake and Emma Rae. 

As I mentioned in this review of Always the Designer, Never the Bride, I’ve grown to know and love The Tanglewood (a wedding destination hotel) and its quirky-but-wonderful family: Emma Rae, the diabetic pastry chef; Jackson, hotelier extraordinaire; Sherilyn, wedding planner and best-friend-for-longer-than-forever; and so many more. I don’t want to see the enchantment end.

Finally lives up to the high standard set by author Sandra D. Bricker in the previous Emma Rae novels. Here, Bricker pulls together characters and plot threads in a romantic, soul-satisfying read that, like the other three books in the series, left me longing for more.

Now that I’ve finished the book, I no longer fear the future without Emma Rae and her friends. Thanks to Bricker’s excellent characterization, realistic dialogue, and love-with-a-twist plotlines, I’ll hold her books—and The Tanglewood—always in my heart.

Watch for a “Words with Friends” interview with author Sandra Bricker, coming soon!

I haven’t done a giveaway for some time, so since it’s Valentine’s Week, let’s try one. Leave a comment below (sorry, Facebook rules prevent me from using those comments in a contest) with a special wedding memory, either your own or someone else’s.  I’ll receive comments through this Friday, February 15, at midnight EST and post a winner (chosen at on Saturday, February 16. Include your email or a link so I can contact you if you win (U.S. addresses only, please).

The winner will receive a sweet Valentine’s Prize Pack: 
  • Sandra’s Love Finds You in Carmel-by-the-Sea California
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love, which contains another one of her stories
  • a special Valentine treat (think chocolate). 

(FTC disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book free from a friend. I was not required to post a review or a positive response.)

Preorder the book on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or at Christian Book Distributors


  1. One of my favorite memories was during my own wedding. 🙂 Aside from my husband crying his eyes out, when it was time to exchange rings, the best man had arranged for one of my hubby’s friends to dress up like Kurt Rambis from the Los Angeles Lakers back in the day. (we’re big Laker fans). Anyway, “Kurt” came running up with the ring in his hand and my husband gave him a high five. The ring went flying! 🙂 We had an outside wedding, and thankfully, the ring was found pretty quick. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even concerned. I loved that we had “Kurt” at our wedding! 🙂

    • I love it, Joi! Thanks for sharing that story. And I’m glad it had a happy ending as far as the ring reappearing. Blessings, and I’ll enter you in the contest.

  2. You know it is true love when hours after you elope, your newlywed husband is fired from his job. When you ask him what happened, he said they told him if he married you, they would fire him, but you were worth it. True story, 9/1986

    • Wow, I don’t even know what to say about that. True love indeed!

      “Unknown,” I can enter you in the drawing, but if you want to win, I’ll need an email or other way to contact you. You can send it to marti (at) martipieper (dot) com if you’d prefer not to post. Blessings!

  3. When my oldest son was 2 he was the ring bearer in his Aunt’s wedding. As he walked down the aisle behind the flower girl, he stopped and picked every rose petal up and handed them to the person closest to him and kept on going. He continued like this all the way down the aisle!

    • Precious! I wonder if he continued his clean-up-after-others ways. Thanks for the story, Lela–I’ll enter you in the Valentine’s drawing. Blessings!

  4. My marriage didn’t have a happy ending unfortunately but I still have a favorite memory from my wedding. It was when I heard the song ‘Butterfly Kisses’ playing over the sound system & seeing my Daddy at the door to the room I was in. I started crying and then we had to repair my makeup some after that beautiful song.

    • You’re right about that song, Sherry. Music touches our emotions, and especially at a tender time like a wedding, the tears can (and often should) flow. Thanks for sharing. You’re in the drawing!

    • Sherry B, you’re the winner of the Valentine Prize Pack! Leave me another comment with your email address, or email me through my website and send me your mailing address. Thanks, and CONGRATULATIONS!

  5. My sister got married on October 30 (many years ago now) and I was very pregnant. I had been on bed rest for the 2.5 months before her wedding and was nervous I wouldn’t be able to make it to the wedding. I was due 2 weeks after her wedding with my 3rd child. I had a history of early births too. I got off bed rest about 5 days before her wedding. The doctor asked me what would I do if I had the baby just before her wedding. I told him I would be at her wedding no matter what. I was the Matron of Honor. I made it through the long day of the wedding (up early for makeup, hair, getting my kids who were in the wedding ready too). Did all the wedding stuff, had to sit instead of stand in the wedding. Afterward, I was tired. Went home sore and miserable. Husband had to take my daughter to the ER as she wasn’t feeling well at all. I slept. Woke up feeling the best I had felt in a long time. Went to a brunch for the bride and groom. That afternoon went shopping to get last minute baby things. Came home and felt off. Called doctor and had to go into hospital. My mom took me so my husband and my father could do Halloween with my kids. I was having a baby. Called my husband to come to hospital. He had just gotten home from trick or treat. They waited for him to get to hospital (my dad stayed with my other 2 children). My sister and her new husband came to the hospital. As soon as my husband arrived, they broke my water and my son was born about 30 minutes later. Quite a Halloween weekend, he waited till all the wedding was done and trick or treating and came Halloween night. He is still my special little man!

    • A son makes a wonderful treat, and so glad his arrival didn’t spoil your sister’s plans (although you were a trouper to endure those busy days). I hope his good timing continues today! Blessings, and I’ll enter you in the drawing, too.

  6. My special wedding memory would be at my own wedding. My husband was crying and he is not one to cry often. I could just look in his eyes and see his love for me. Wonderful! Awesome! Amazing!

    BTW loved your review and look forward to reading this book as soon as it comes out!! I shared the link for your review on my blog as well.
    ~ Mrs. Lopez of

    • Thanks so much, Mrs. Lopez! I have seen grooms cry at weddings and it always touches me, too. I’ll enter you in the drawing, and thanks again. Blessings!

  7. My favorite memory from our wedding was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing all of our friends and family gathered. Dad turned and looked at me and I turned and looked at him and we both had tears in our eyes. The photographer captured that picture of the two of us and it to this day is my favorite picture of me and my daddy.

    • What a precious story, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing. My Valentine’s Day is sweet already just from the stories posted here today. I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing. Blessings!

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