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Monday, March 23, 2009

Excerpt Monday

I'm struggling a little with my photo downloads, so no more on the Jackson/Austin trip for a bit. Instead, I'm hitching up with fellow Romance Divas Bria and Mel to offer you a short teaser from my book, Can't Stand the Heat, out in September of this year. If you like what you read, Can't Stand the Heat is already available for pre-order from Amazon.

“What’s your name?” Adam asked her.

She tossed her head again, the motion making her sway a little. He looked more closely. Her pupils were blown wide and dark, and her cheeks were flushed in a lovely contrast to her fair complexion.

“Miranda Wake, Délicieux magazine,” she said defiantly, as if expecting him to take issue with it.
Ah ha, he thought, somehow unsurprised, even though he’d always pictured the New York food scene’s most notorious critic as being considerably older and more dried-up looking than this fiery little piece.

Miranda Wake. You are blitzed out of your mind, on cocktails I designed, mixed with liquor I steeped with my own hands.

There was something weirdly erotic about it, and Adam covered the momentary oddness by stepping down and coming around the bar to shake her hand. The speech portion of the evening seemed well and truly over, now that the food was getting out.

“Adam Temple,” he said, taking her limp, warm hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Are you?” she asked, confused again, and Adam smirked. Her fingers were impossibly slender, making him notice the fine bones of her knuckles, the turn of her wrist. He wanted to force feed her something rich and decadent.

“Absolutely,” he assured her.

“Well,” she said, frowning. “Well, I’m not pleased to meet you. I didn’t even want to come here tonight. Restaurants that espouse a cause are trite and pretentious, and your food is bound to be atrocious.” She slurred over the twin shus sounds and wrinkled her nose, working her mouth as if stretching the muscles around it would help get it back under her control. “I’ve reviewed lots of ‘local produce’ restaurants, and it’s never been anything more than a stupid gimmick to cover the fact that the chef has no imagination.”

“Is that right?” Adam said, irritated beyond belief. Why did she have to be so gorgeous and snotty? “Damn. If there’s one thing I hate to be accused of, it’s lack of imagination.” Incredibly, she blushed at that. Fantastic.

“You know,” he said, “I don’t think I like the way you talk about my food without ever having tried it. What makes you the authority?”

Her cheeks pinked again, this time probably more due to annoyance than booze. “I’ll have you know I’m the top critic at Délicieux. I get more fan mail than any other columnist.”

“Yeah, but I bet half of it’s hate mail,” he baited her.

“Some,” she admitted with the careful dignity of the drunk. “I have exacting standards which few restaurants can meet.”

“Don’t your standards usually require you to at least taste the food before passing judgment on it, sweetheart?”

“I…” she paused, disconcerted. “Yes, of course. But it’s not my fault I haven’t had any of yours yet. And don’t call me ‘sweetheart’.”

“Sure thing, doll,” he retorted. “And you could’ve been sampling the wares for the last five minutes if you weren’t so focused on giving me a hard time. But I understand,” he went on. “The hands-on approach isn’t really your thing. You spend most of your time hunched over a computer in a cramped little office, right? All alone in your ivory tower, while the rest of the world struggles to meet your ‘exacting standards.’”

“I…I…” Her eyes were wide and shocked, and her chest heaved, giving tantalizing glimpses of the shadowy valley between her breasts as she strained the fabric of her dress.

He sneered. “You wouldn’t last a day in the real world. You wouldn’t last ten minutes in my kitchen.”

That soft, round chin shot up, and she took a step closer. Her eyes flashed with something, but at this point, Adam was too ticked to decipher it.

“Oh, wouldn’t I?”

He stepped in, too, until they were toe to toe. “Not a chance,” he declared. “In fact, I dare you. Spend one day in the kitchen at Market, work with me and my crew. See what it’s like from the other side. After that, review my restaurant, rip my cooking to shreds, I’ll take it like a man. Until then, sweetheart?” He leaned down close enough to see just how long and thick her eyelashes were. She smelled like raspberries and sugar, and something deeper, more complex.

“Keep your opinions to yourself.”


Great excerpt! I'm curious to see what happens next! :)

That was great - I'm definitely putting it on my To Get list for the fall!

This book rocks! Or should we say smokes? Maybe that's bad for a chef book. Sizzles? Yeah, that's the ticket.

Mmm, KP, I so wish you were a book reviewer, like maybe for PW or say, the NYT. Consider a career change?

Thanks Mel and Bria, for suggesting Excerpt Monday! This is fun!!

Love the excerpt! I feel all tingly inside.

Oooh, can't wait until this comes out. I'm so excited for you!!!!

Looks great Louisa! It's going on my TBB list -- it really appeals to my closet foodie. What a fun excerpt!

I jumped on the bandwagon too with mine. Stop by if you like!

Ooh...what a fabulous excerpt! You definitely have my interest piqued. I'm SO going to put this book on my list!


Ooh...what a fabulous excerpt! You definitely have my interest piqued. I'm SO going to put this book on my list!


“Yeah, but I bet half of it’s hate mail,”

LOL. Loved this line. Can't wait for your book to come out.

What a great idea! Keep it coming!

Fun teaser. :) Thanks for sharing. My excerpt is up if you'd like to come by.


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