Derek Dunne is a Cordon Bleu-trained food critic for the prestigious New York Monitor, whose scathing review of a popular Italian bistro has driven away all but the most loyal neighborhood patrons.
Lucrezia Serafina DiCicco is a clumsy business school drop-out, working as a chef and scrambling to keep her family’s restaurant afloat, after her father develops diabetes and is banned from his kitchen for his own good.
Now, with The Monitor folding, Derek is searching for his next career path and longing to get back to his first love—cooking—while Lu is desperate for an influx of cash to save the struggling restaurant…even as her father puts his foot down about non-family employees.
Derek and Lu embark on a marriage of inconvenience to save the restaurant. But can Lu ever really trust the man who nearly destroyed her family, who once noted her initials spelled “LSD,” and her food was like a “bad trip?”
Or will it be their hearts on the chopping block?
You may be wondering from the blurb how any relationship can evolve from a marriage of inconvenience to love. Well let me tell you, it’s gonna take some work. Derek’s scathing review decimated the restaurant and Lu is falling apart trying to save it. Derek being the chef could save it all, but can she bring herself to trust him. This is part of how this strange relationship begins.
“So, do we have a deal?’
She shook her head again. “I’m only half-owner now, as you know from your background search. And, like I said, my dad will never agree. You’d be wasting your breath.”
“Unless I was family?”
She laughed. “What are you going to do, claim you’re my long-lost twin brother? My parents would probably not fall for that. They’ve kept pretty good track of their offspring.”
He picked up her hand and stroked his thumb over the back of her fingers, drawing little patterns over her knuckles. Whoa. She nearly stopped breathing. Then he flipped the palm up and lifted it to his lips, his tongue tracing her love line. Shivers of arousal crept up her spine. “Well, no. I don’t want to be your brother.”
He paused and slanted a look at her from beneath sooty lashes, a look so frankly sexual she melted on the spot. “Meeting you tonight….” He shook his head. His rich voice curled around her, sent little tendrils of desire skittering into forgotten places like kudzu emerging in a post-apocalyptic world. “I don’t know what it is, exactly, Lu. But I’ve been kinda hard since you tossed my drink in my face.” He frowned. “It’s not just the restaurant I want anymore.”
“It isn’t?” she squeaked. Because the heat in his startling eyes, his hand holding hers, the stark pleasure of his lips caressing her flesh, and his deeply masculine voice had turned her as mushy as a failed risotto. She studied his face, searching his earnest expression for any hint of mockery.
“Not by a long shot.” His gaze met hers, honest and candid. She detected no whiff of insincerity. Could he really want her? Could she trust him? After what he’d done, could she ever trust him?
Kincaid, Taryn. If You Can’t Stand the Heat (Kindle Locations 711-725). Decadent Publishing. Kindle Edition.
With a whirlwind marriage with her father’s blessing, Derek starts to win over all of her family, everyone but her that is. What was explosive becomes non-existent once their vows are spoken. Each day becomes a trial as Derek fights to win over his bride.
A story filled with food, family, love, laughter and tears.
5 Contented Purrs for Taryn!
Taryn Kincaid writes hot and sensual paranormal, historical romance and contemporary romance, sometimes spiced with a little humor or a lot of snark. She enjoys pinching and tickling words, and writing stories to warm the heart.
Love wolves? AMBER’S ACE is her third Black Hills Wolves story. The first two, WOLF’S SONG and ANOTHER CHANCE are now on sale for a limited time for 99 cents! WOLF’S SONG introduced the Northridge family of Los Lobos, SD, featuring hunky wolf Brick Northridge. His older brother, Chance takes center stage in ANOTHER CHANCE. And now, with AMBER’S ACE, it’s their twin sister’s story!
Also on sale for a short time now, HER CAPTAIN. Romance is definitely in the signs when a steady-as-she-goes Capricorn Navy SEAL, tangles with the impulsive Aries out to win his heart. They are as combustible together as they are incompatible!