As a writer I’ve often heard the phrase write what you know. This has led to stories with themes of secret babies, second chances and my personal favorite, food.
One of my goals in life was to be a pastry chef. THe closest I came to that goal was a cake decorator for a small grocery store and catering from my home. While I no longer do either of those, the experiences have lingered.
Take the Cake, releasing September 7 from Sugar and Spice Press is a product of being a caterer and cake decorator. I love that what-if factor. What if a wedding cake could predict the outcome of a marriage?
Here’s a quick look at Take the Cake.
Liz Washington can’t believe her good fortune when she’s asked to cater one of the biggest and most prestigious weddings of the year. Not only is the location perfect, but working with the bride is a dream. When she realizes the bride’s brother, Keegan, is an old flame, her dream job quickly turns into a nightmare each time he pushes to change the cake. Yet, whenever she’s in his presence, all she can think about is being skin-to-skin.
Keegan Murphy is determined to make his sister’s wedding the talk of the town, but that can’t happen with a plain and unimaginative cake. He doesn’t anticipate the sizzling attraction he still has for Liz, but he has no problem seeking out every opportunity to seduce her.
Liz is not there for pleasure. She has a wedding to save, but will salvaging the wedding cost her a relationship she shouldn’t have started in the first place?
She rose on tiptoe and still couldn’t reach the can on the top shelf. A hand appeared next to hers on the silver rack while a hard body heated her back. A familiar cologne, woodsy musk, wrapped around her and tightened her nipples. She closed her eyes and tried not to inhale. Why in the world didn’t this man leave her alone? His sister was a delight to work with, no fuss, no micromanaging. It was like Caroline was planning a garden party for her friends instead of the most important day of her life. Heck, even the groom was docile, a bit of a doormat in Liz’s opinion, but she wasn’t the one saying “I do.” Keegan acted like this was his wedding and he was the one paying the bill.
Liz shook her head. They’d come so close to having a happily ever after, danced around the issue of some form of commitment, and she finally tired of waiting for that all-important question. Even now, almost a year later, she yearned to hear that question from him. She drew a stuttered breath. Maybe they just weren’t meant to be, but here they were thrust together again.
She couldn’t live her life in a continuous limbo of parties, training, and soccer games, especially when her career was going so well. She needed—no, wanted to put down roots and start a family. At the time, Keegan seemed to be focused on everything but her feelings and goals. Yet whenever he was in the room, she went all sappy.
It also didn’t help that he conjured images of new uses for a chocolate fountain or even a quickie in the pantry. A ripple of awareness washed through her. This man made her think of what they could’ve had, of the wedding that could’ve been, but first she had a job to do before she thought of them in any context. He placed a hand at her waist. The gesture seemed intimate and a tad possessive. Maybe forget the wedding and go straight for the honeymoon. They’d never had a problem with intimacy. Their sex life had always been sizzling. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d had any sexual gratification that didn’t involve her fingers or batteries.
“Does this help?” He set the can on a lower shelf. “There seems to have been quite a bit of noise coming from the kitchen, and Martha looked positively frazzled when she left.”
Liz furrowed her brow. Martha was upset? That was news to her. Liz had simply thanked the event planner for the update, nothing more. Maybe one of the other cooks had said something to her. “I can’t imagine why.” She stepped back and into Keegan’s masculine form.
He was so close his warmth seeped into her clothes. A rigid swell met the curve of her behind and sent awareness trickling through her veins. Desire dampened her panties while she sucked in a breath. This man could not be aroused by her, could he? Not after all this time. She didn’t think she was ugly, far from it, but with her unruly curls tucked beneath a bandana, her face devoid of any cosmetics, and her hands covered in dye, she wouldn’t win any beauty contests.
Keegan was deceptively thin. Tall and muscular. She glanced at the well-tanned arms on either side of her. Toned forearms and chiseled biceps trapped her between his body and the shelving unit. She faced him and wished she hadn’t. He had the clearest hazel eyes she’d seen in a very long time, and right now they were more green than brown or grey. A lock of auburn hair curled over his forehead, and she had the uncontrollable urge to push it back into place. Well, forget pushing it back into place. She wanted to run her fingers through the reddish-brown waves free of any gel or hairspray. Loose and carefree. Even his clothing reflected an easygoing manner with the untucked polo barely covering the telltale bulge in his baggy, blue cotton shorts. She swallowed, and tried to look away, but she was drawn to his arousal. She longed to stroke him through the fabric of his shorts. Where had that thought come from? She twisted her fingers in her apron to keep from acting on impulse.