Announcing my newest book: Recipe For Love: A Sweet Romance.
Check out the summary:
One restaurant to save.
One review can make or break her dreams.
Eliza is fighting tooth and nail to keep her father’s dream alive: running a successful restaurant in the heart of Houston. Bleeding money every month and out of options, her last hope is a positive review from a popular food magazine.
Traveling all over the world, Bryan has been focusing on furthering his career as a prestigious food critic. Staying in one place too long isn’t exactly his thing. Once he visits this small restaurant in Texas and writes his last review of the trip, he can head back to Chicago to rest before the next round of globe-trotting.
Neither of them are looking for love, yet they’re immediately drawn together. It’s too bad a kitchen fire interrupts their plans, forcing them both to make a tough decision.
Between their growing attraction, separate lives, and competing dreams, the kitchen might not be the only thing going up in flames.
If you enjoy sweet romance stories with happily ever afters, no cliffhangers, and no cheating, then you’ll love Recipe For Love. Get your fix with a story that hits the spot and doesn’t take all year to read.
You can find it here (free if you have Kindle Unlimited):
(and all other Amazon websites)
Here’s a sample portion of the story:
Recipe For Love: A Sweet Romance
In conclusion, that’s why I’ll never look at Risotto the same way again. I leaned back in my chair and cracked my knuckles. I’d been typing and editing for the past three hours, and I was ready for a drink before bed. A six-ounce rocks glass with blended grain scotch and three ice cubes would hit the spot right about now. I could head down to the hotel bar, but I didn’t feel like getting dressed and, more than likely, interact with other people. I’d been interacting with more than my fair share of people the past month.
It had been a whirlwind tour, visiting a long list of restaurants in the central Texas area. It wasn’t my first trip to the state but certainly the most in-depth. My boss had been compiling a list of restaurants for a while now, in an effort to save costs of sending out a food critic to only a few stops per trip. My company was still doing well, but the economy was putting a squeeze on everyone, and costs were going up.
I shut my laptop and moved from the chair to the bed. This hotel featured a quality mattress, not the cheap kind I’d slept on when I first started in this business. My boss recently tried to get me to downgrade the quality of hotels I stayed at, but I swatted that away. Best to nip that kind of thing in the bud before it starts. I hadn’t been the best in my industry for the past ten years without knowing my worth.
Although sleep called to me, I decided to check one last thing, the folder with my next assignment. It was the last stop on my month-long trip, and I looked forward to heading back home. Not that Chicago had any better weather than Texas, but it would be nice to sleep in my own bed for a little while before my next trip. I actually preferred the dryer weather down here, and I wouldn’t complain about never seeing a snowflake again. I’d talked to more than a few Texans who had never seen snow before. The luxury.
The place was simply called Warren’s, located in the heart of Houston. It hadn’t been in business long, just under two years, but they already had made a name for themselves with grill items, but they were mostly known for their elaborate, upscale burgers. One in particular was titled “The Monster” and almost had more onion strings than burger patty. I already knew I’d skip that one. I didn’t come all the way to Texas just to have a heart attack. I was only forty-four, so too young for that mess, but still…it was best not to tempt fate.
I shrugged. It would be just like the rest. An average meal, an overbearing owner, wait staff hovering around me every minute, and a review that wasn’t exactly glowing. If I had a bigger head I’d enjoy it more, but usually the fuss was more trouble than it was worth. If I could work out a way for the restaurant to ship the meal to me, where it could remain just as fresh as if it had just come out of the kitchen, I’d do that in a heartbeat.
My eyes scrolled down the page to pick out the highlights. The establishment was owned by a woman named Eliza Carter who had run the place for just short of two years. Not much surprised me anymore, but that made me raise my eyebrows. Usually the youngest restaurant my company sent me to was a decade old. Either the place was doing something right, or she’d begged every day to get an appointment with me.
I flipped the page. It didn’t really matter either way. I was going there to do a job, and I did it well. Most of the restaurant owners thought the reviews were too harsh, but to that, I’d say they should up the quality of their food and service. It could hardly be my fault if their guest experience was less than stellar, and the readers of our magazine needed to know that.
Picking up the remote control, I turned on the first channel that came up. A man walked behind a woman in what I presumed was a movie, and he kissed her neck. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, offering more of her skin to his ravishing lips. He wasted no time in taking advantage of it, raking them along her shoulders in a way that appeared to give her goosebumps large enough to be seen by the viewers at home.
I pressed the button and the TV went dark. With a sigh, I turned over. I didn’t expect a scene from a cheap movie to have affected me that much, but it only served to remind me how long it had been since I’d held a woman. God, has it been that long? I tried not to think about it, and that made it easier.
I didn’t have time to focus on dating. Or maybe because I didn’t make time, but either way, it wasn’t really happening. Sometimes I felt like a lone wolf, best roving solo. Besides, life out on the open road was rarely a boring one. I’d worked hard to get to this point in my life and career, and I had no plans to be distracted from it.
“Hey, did you put in that order of pretzel roll buns?” Dakota hollered back to the office. “We only have six and a half left.”
“What?” I said. “Who seriously only used half a roll? Even if someone messed up an order, that’s still an entire bun used.”
She shook her head. “Who knows. Maybe one of the new line cooks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new guy is stuffing them in his back pockets when he leaves.”
“Unbelievable,” I said. “You give someone a job and they’re already stealing from you.”
“Hey, you’re the one who hired him.”
I stood up and walked closer. Even though nobody else was around, this probably wasn’t the conversation to be had across the room. “So, we’re really out of them?”
She nodded. “Just that handful and that’s it.”
“Wait, let me grab the inventory truck order.” I snatched a clipboard from the office, and she followed me. “Yes. I ordered another few cases of it. We seemed to be going through more of them lately, so I want to keep them on hand.”
“That, and for the critic tomorrow. You haven’t forgotten about that, have you?”
I gave her a look. “Very funny. It’s been on my mind for the past month and why I’ve been working twelve-hour shifts for days now getting everything put together. I swear by the time he comes, this floor will be clean enough for him to eat off of. I even have a floor scrubbing crew coming in after hours tonight to make sure of that.”
She opened the next drawer and reached for her pen. “Oh yeah. I remember you mentioning that at our management meeting. Are you going to have to stay late to lock up after them? Because you know I won’t be here until five in the morning.”
“And to think you’re my best employee,” I said.
We both laughed. It felt good to relax, even if just for a few minutes.
“I don’t blame you,” I continued. “I wouldn’t either. No worries, though. I was told the crew can take care of it, as long as I arm the back door so that it self-locks on their way out. They’ll finish up right by the door and have their truck pulled up next to it, so all they have left to do is load up and go.”
“Works for me,” she said. “Do food critics usually visit the back of house area? I thought they just ate in the front and left.”
I shrugged. “Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve never done one of these before, so I’m just trying to be prepared for anything. Even if he or she doesn’t, these floors could use it anyway. The grout lines haven’t been white for a long time.”
“Why did you set all this up, anyway?”
“I mean, publicity. There are people who make a point to eat at the restaurants this magazine writes about. At least the ones they speak well of. Who knows how we’ll do, but it’s worth a try.”
She tucked her pen behind her ear. “What did you have to do to get them to schedule one here?”
(end of sample)
Read the conclusion here (free if you have Kindle Unlimited):
(and all other Amazon websites)