Take one sassy Harland girl…
Shaye Harland, sous chef de-awesome, desperately wants the role of Due South’s head chef. Though a little out of her depth, she can totally cope with the extra demands if she can resist her future brother-in-law when he muscles in on her kitchen. The Hollywood wannabe is nothing but a troublesome distraction and he fries her sex-ometer to a crisp. But as far as romance? Forget it. Love, when she finds Mr. Perfect, will be as sweet as her to-die-for cookies.
Add a bad-boy from LA…
Del Westlake swore he’d never again set foot on the island he calls the “ass end of New Zealand.” With his reputation as a sous chef in one of LA’s hottest restaurants trashed, and his estranged father’s restaurant needing a head chef, Del wants nothing more than to go in, get the job done, and get out. Except his feisty second-in-command carves herself a spot in his heart and completely incinerates his plans.
Watch the sparks fly as they burn it up in the kitchen…
Winning a spot on a TV reality show is just what Del needs to jumpstart his career back in the States. Nothing can get in the way of him winning—not even the woman whose trust he’d destroy if she discovers his secrets. But with a film crew capturing the explosive kitchen chemistry between them, will his bad-boy ways rear up and ruin his shot at becoming Shaye’s Mr. Perfect?
Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.
One second Del stood beside her all moody and mysterious, and the next, his hands gripped the railing on either side of her hips. He moved fast—fast enough that she made an embarrassing little eep-ish squawk. Nowhere to go unless she became flexible enough to do a flip over the wooden railing.
Shaye yanked her hands from her pockets and gave his chest a shove. “Back off.”
Even after she added her sous chef do it now or die glare, he stayed, big and bad and way too close. He continued watching her with dark and unreadable eyes, his nostrils flaring slightly as he breathed.
Her hands didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t put them back on those two hard pecs, since every single nerve-ending had soaked up the heat burning through Del’s shirt and transmitted swoony, oh yeah sighs into her brain.
Stupid nerve-endings. Stupid brain.
She wriggled her bottom, so she half sat on the railing, arching away from him. “What are you doing?”
“Showing you the reason.”
The rough timbre of his voice stroked over her. Wickedly dark, decadently rich, scarily addictive. Like chocolate, the quality stuff made of eighty percent pure cacao.
He leaned forward, his face level with hers. “It’s a compelling reason.”
Shaye’s hand shot out to grip his biceps—that or topple backward—but God, he felt amazing. All hard, sinewy muscle and why the hell couldn’t she unhook her fingers?
Her breathing hitched, high and ragged. “My sister’s a cop, and I know how to defend myself.”
“So, show me your ninja moves.”
“Daring a cornered woman to hurt you isn’t very bright.”
One of his hands rasped off the wooden railing and touched the end of her ponytail. He selected a strand and stroked it down her jaw. Shaye licked her lips, unable to suck her gaze from his mouth, which angled closer. Close enough that she could tell the flavor of the last handful of potato chips he’d eaten.
Salt and vinegar. Her favorite.
She strained upward to see if he tasted as good as he smelled…Freaking hell—
Shaye reared back a little, hair slipping from his fingers, her chin narrowly missing his. “Are you going to kiss me?”
Her heart gave a little bunny-hop at the thought and leaped around her ribs.
“Not unless you ask real nice.”
“Ask you?” There was that damn smirk of his again. She should’ve guessed he was playing with her. “When pigs fly.” A muscle ticked in his jaw, but the smile didn’t falter. “Now you’ll have to say, ‘Please, Del. With a cherry on top.’” “I’d jam that cherry up your nose before I’d kiss you, Hollywood. Get outta my face.” His gaze dipped once to her mouth then flicked up. “I can’t go anywhere while you’re grabbing onto me.”