Debut Novelist Emmy Grayson Dishes on the History of Polvorones

Mexican Wedding Cookies
These sweet treats have a long history. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Anyone who has followed us for any length of time knows that we have two great passions: books and food. So when a novelist writes about a dish in such a way that we can nearly taste it ourselves, their work captures our imaginations. Such is the case with debut author Emmy Grayson. In her new book, His Billion-Dollar Takeover Temptation, she writes about polvorones. Ever heard of them? We hadn’t either, at least not by that name.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll let the book speak for itself. In the following excerpt, you’ll see why Grayson has us licking our chops.


She had just congratulated Cora and Cole Owens on their daughter’s recent marriage when she passed by the dessert buffet. The table, draped in burgundy silk and lit with gold votives, offered up treats like gourmet chocolates infused with caramel and raspberry, chocolate soufflé bites and an elevated crystal tray stacked high with cookies dusted with powdered sugar. Polvorones, according to a black sign with gold cursive. Beneath it, in small print, she read:

“My abuela would bake up a batch of polvorones in her tiny kitchen every weekend. We include a dish of ‘dust cookies’ at every Cabrera Wine event to honor her memory.”

The signature at the bottom, written in a bold script, read “Adrian Cabrera.”

Surprise filtered through the adrenaline that still pulsed through her. She hadn’t thought of the man as sentimental. Curious, she picked up a cookie and bit into it. 

Oh, heavens.

Bursts of cinnamon and chocolate filled her mouth as the delicate treat melted on her tongue. Her senses quivered at the rich taste.

You have a hankering for these yummy cookies now too, don’t you? We told you Grayson writes food well. She captures the whole sensory experience of eating them in just a few brief paragraphs. But what are they? The author tells us herself:

Polvorone cookies play a small but mighty role in His Billion-Dollar Takeover Temptation. Adrian Cabrera, a powerful billionaire and head of Cabrera Wine, gives a glimpse into his past when he showcases chocolate polvorones at his merlot wine release party in New York City. Not only was this traditional holiday cookie a special treat he baked with his grandmother in Spain, but the cookie itself has a fascinating history. When the Moors, or Muslim immigrants, moved into Spanish territory in the 700’s, they brought a variety of treats to the region, including lemons, silk, ginger and polvorones. While these cookies underwent a sinister revision during the Spanish Inquisition (they were made with pork fat to help identify closet Muslims and Jews), the Spanish introduced the cookies to Latin America and the Philippines. Today, they’re made with butter, flour, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, salt and cinnamon (Mr. Noggin). In North America, specifically the United States and Mexico, they’re known as wedding cookies. Perhaps Adrian and Everleigh will serve them at their wedding!”

If you’re looking for a new author to read, give Emmy Grayson a try. Just make sure you have some polvorone cookies handy to nosh on while you enjoy the book. Your local grocer or baker probably has some in stock, or you can check out this recipe from Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid and whip up a batch yourself. Happy reading!

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In debut author Emmy Grayson’s sexy workplace romance, will the Spanish CEO be able to resist giving in to desire?

He will claim her company
But can he claim her, too?

Everleigh Bradford won’t simply hand over control of the family vineyard she expected to inherit. She’s lost too much already. If she must confront internationally renowned new owner Adrian Cabrera, she will! Even if she has to fight her red-hot response to the brooding Spaniard.

Bringing Everleigh home to Grenada to prove he’ll protect her heritage is essential to their working relationship—but it’s dangerous. Innocent Everleigh is intoxicating. And she deserves everything that Adrian’s past and his iron self-control won’t let him give her. No matter how tempting it is…

(Video courtesy Emmy Grayson, YouTube)
Emmy Grayson
Emmy Grayson


Emmy Grayson’s interest in romance can be traced back to her love of Nancy Drew books, when she tried to solve the mysteries of her favorite detective while rereading the romantic chapters with Ned Nickerson. Fast-forward a few years when she discovered a worn copy of A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss on her mother’s bookshelf, and she was hooked. Over 20 years later, Harlequin Presents made her dream come true by offering her a contract for her first book.

When Emmy isn’t writing or reading, she’s chasing around her baby boy, feeding her menagerie of fur babies or carving out a little time on her front porch with her firefighter hubby.

To learn more, visit, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

By Emmy Grayson
224 pp. Harlequin. $5.25

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Pre-order His Billion-Dollar Takeover Temptation direct from Jathan & Heather Books, or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Google Play, Half Price Books, Harlequin, Hudson Booksellers, iBooks, IndieBound, Kobo, Powell’s, Target, and Walmart.

His Billion-Dollar Takeover Temptation is brought to you in association with Xpresso Book Tours.



Want to win an autographed copy of Emmy Grayson’s The Billion-Dollar Takeover Temptation along with some other sweet swag? Click here to enter to win a copy of the book as well as an illustrated bookmark by Plum Tree Illustration, a wine tumbler by Paola Brown Shop, and a $10 gift card from Powell’s Books. But hurry, giveaway ends June 3.

Please note: Jathan & Heather, Jathan & Heather Books, and Jadeworks Entertainment do not sponsor, administer, or endorse this giveaway.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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