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Great-Grandma Rose’s Secret Lemon Cake

When I first met my husband, my culinary skills were limited to Hamburger Helper (Tuna Helper, if we wanted to be fancy), chicken breasts covered in Italian dressing, and Chicken Paprikash (my grandmother’s recipe, which is still a favorite in my house). He, on the other hand, had a wealth of kitchen knowledge to draw upon thanks to his mother. And thanks to her, I slowly learned to broaden my repertoire and become more comfortable in the kitchen. Since those early newlywed days, I’ve become much more creative and savvy, and it’s primarily thanks to my mother-in-law. Also Gordon Ramsay.

Writing Juliet and Nate’s story, Love Me Harder, was so much fun because I got to indulge in my foodie-loving side. For research purposes, of course. I also wanted to pay homage to my mother-in-law in a small way. Mom Tayler loved lemons, so when I had to come up with a recipe from Nate’s family to incorporate into the story, I chose a lemon cake.

In the story, it’s Nate’s Great-Grandma Rose’s Secret Lemon Cake. It serves as his brother’s wedding cake and Nate bakes one for Juliet to show her his love. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to properly present it to her and is forced to leave it cooling in her kitchen. It’s the one thing of his Juliet keeps after their “black moment”. (You’ll have to read for yourself what happens!)

Here is Nate’s Great-Grandma Rose’s Secret Lemon Cake with Lemon Butter Frosting. I’ve adapted the recipe from a couple of different sources, including the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. See if you can guess Grandma Rose’s secret ingredient. And no, it’s not love.



  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs limoncello
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Lemon zest or candied lemon peels for garnish. Can also use sliced almonds or ground nuts, or crushed graham crackers, for a little crunch.


  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Add eggs, oil, lemon juice, and limoncello. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add sour cream and beat until smooth.
  5. Divide and pour batter into two 8-inch pans.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely on rack before frosting. Garnish with zest or peels.

Lemon Butter Frosting

  • 6 Tbs butter, brought to room temperature (real butter, no margarine)
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided and sifted
  • ¼ lemon juice, plus ¼ more set aside if needed
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla


  1. In a mixer, beat butter until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add half the sifted powder sugar, mix well.
  3. Beat in lemon juice, zest, and vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the rest of the powdered sugar, mix well. Add the additional juice, a little at a time, until frosting is of a spreadable consistency.

Bon appétit!

99 Problems but a Book Ain’t One – The Book Fair is Open

Visit the 99@99 BOOK FAIR


September 6-12

If your wallet is feeling the pinch, but you’re looking for some awesome new reads, visit our special 99 Books @ 99 Cents Book Fair. Almost 100 books ON SALE in all genres, romance, sci-fi and fantasy, paranormal romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, mysteries, thrillers, and more. All books less than a buck!

Plus, check in daily for a chance to win Amazon gift cards or play instant ebook giveaways for one of 12 books being awarded to lucky winners each day.

Look for Books from Me and More of Your Favorite Authors!

Alexa Aston • Alexia Adams • Alicia Dean • Alina K. Field • Allyson R Abbott • Alyssa Breck • Amanda Tyler • Angel Lawson • Angela Sanders • Anna Hub • Anna Santos • Anne McClane • Anne Stone • Aubrey Wynne • Aurora Springer • C L McGrath • Caitlyn Lynch • Candace Blevins • Cara Marsi • Carlyle Labuschagne • Casi McLean • Cecelia Mecca • Charmaine Ross • Cherie Claire • Christi Barth • Colleen L Donnelly • Constance Phillips • Crystal Dawn • Debbie White • Debra Jess • EG Manetti • Elizabeth Rose • Emily Selby • Erica Ridley • Gemma Snow • Grace White • Heather Hambel Curley • Iris Blobel • J. Rose Allister • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jayelle Morgan • Jeanne St. James • Jennifer Allis Provost • Joan Reeves • Joanne Dannon • Jody A Kessler • Kallysten • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kathryn Knight • Kayelle Allen • Keke Renee • Kim Carmichael • Kristy Tate • L.E. Harrison • Lara Ward Cosio • Laura Scott • Laurel Black • Leeann Betts • Lindsey R. Loucks • Liz Long • LJ Swallow • Lori L. Robinett • M.C. Cerny • Marianne Rice • Marlow Kelly • Mary Abshire • Meg Ripley • Mila Young • Morgan K Wyatt • MV Ellis • N.D. Jones • Naomi Bellina • Natalie Ann • Rachell Nichole • Rose Pearson • S K Gregory • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Siera London • Sotia Lazu • Stephany Tullis • Susan Jean Ricci • Suzanne Jenkins • Tamara Ferguson • Tina Fausett • Tracey Cramer-Kelly • Tracy Krimmer • Victoria Saccenti • Aileen Harkwood

Cate Reads: Wedding Edition

Cate Reads: Wedding Edition

My oldest stepson is getting married in a year and that has me in a wedding mood. A wedding is the perfect sort of romantic set-up, don’t you think? Except when it’s not… and those stories in which the wedding goes all wrong (jilted at the altar, runaway brides, bridesmaid knocked up by commitment-phobic best man) are my favorite.

Here without further “I do” (ha ha, see what I did there?) is a list of my recommended wedding-related reads, in no particular order:

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Part of her Wynette, Texas series, SEP hits is out of the park with this fun, emotional read about a bride (who happens to be the daughter of a former US President) leaving the town’s golden boy at the altar and find adventure and love on the back of a sexy stranger’s motorcycle. Don’t worry about the jilted groom… in fact, you should read his story (which technically comes before this one in the series): Call Me Irresistible.

The Art of Running in High Heels by Rachel Gibson

It’s a runaway bride-hockey romance. Loved the tension between the main characters!

The Best Man’s Baby by Victoria James

This is one in which the inciting incident (I’m sure you can figure out what that is!) happens at a wedding. So maybe not technically a wedding-themed book, but I really enjoyed this one. It has a not-so-secret baby and everything!

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

It’s nice to read a story where it’s the HERO who needs a date for his ex’s wedding. This won multiple awards and was on several lists of best reads, and for good reason.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

“Mah-widge. Mah-widge is what bwings us togethah today.” Okay, maybe it’s not a romance, but it’s one of the funniest, sweetest stories ever told. You’ve probably seen the movie (and if you haven’t, WHAT?! Drop what you’re doing and watch it NOW!), which is awesome on its own. But the book has more and Goldman’s sunny, snarky side shines through.

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

I’m not normally one for regency romance, but Janna is such a wonderful writer. It’s a pleasure to get immersed in the world of dukes and ladies and glorious ballgowns.

The Wedding Promise by Melinda Curtis

A chocolate heiress with a penchant for being a runaway bride meets a gorgeous, flawed man. Two fractured souls drawn together to complete each other. Nothing sweeter. Oh, and it has a trio of funny meddling nuns! This is also a very short story, perfect for reading in a waiting room or those precious few moments when the kids give you peace.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

A great kick off to the Reluctant Royals series. It’s a classic trope (prince pretending to be a commoner) with a bit of a twist (the woman he’s after doesn’t know she’s supposed to be betrothed to him). Swoony!

I Only Have Eyes for You by Bella Andre

Another bridesmaid-knocked-up-by-groomsmen premise that I absolutely loved! Your heart will break with Sophie and you’ll want to throttle Jake, until you get to know him and understand his motivations. Then you’ll fall in love with him and his fierce devotion to Sophie.

Love Will Always Remember by Tracey Livesay

The bride-to-be ends up with amnesia after an accident and doesn’t remember anybody, including her fiance. Ah, but there’s a twist… one you’ll have to read to find out!

Add your recommended reads in the comments!

Happy Reading! 

*I do use Amazon affiliate links when linking to my recommendations on Amazon*

Cate Reads – June 18, 2018

You may or may not have heard about #Cockygate. In a nutshell, an author trademarked the word “Cocky” and then threatened other authors with lawsuits if they used the common word “Cocky” in their book titles. She even went so far as to have Amazon take the other books down, thus costing those authors revenue and threatening their livelihood. In protest, a group of authors contributed to this anthology. Forgive the editing issues in some of the stories… this was done very quickly so that all proceeds could benefit the legal funds of the authors fighting the trademark. Not all the stories were my cuppa tea, but I did enjoy the variety and it’s all for a good cause: protecting artistic freedom.


I love Whitney G. She’s a seriously underrated author! This one actually had be choked up. And wanting to knock some heads together. A sexy best friends-to-lovers story.


I was lucky enough to read an ARC while this one is on pre-order. It’s sexy and adorable, with a little danger thrown in. Preorder now so it’ll be in your hot little hands on July 24th!

This is the next book in Alyssa’s Reluctant Royals series. It’s the perfect dreamy read for those hot summer nights!

Previous Recommendations:

5/7/18 – Andie Christopher, Kerri Carpenter, Judy Blume, Robyn Neeley

4/2/18 – Alyssa Cole, Darcy Burke, Tracey Livesay, Maisey Yates

3/12/18 – James Rollins, JL Lora, Damon Suede, Sha Renee

2/27/18 – Bella Andre, Sherry Thomas, Adriana Anders, James Rollins, Stoni Alexander

Happy Reading!