KITCHEN GODS BOOK 1
RELEASE DATE: 02.12.17
COVER DESIGN: AngstyG
Talented pastry chef Miles Costa is bored. Working at the celebrated Napa Valley restaurant Terroir is supposed to be the cherry on top to a promising career, but instead it’s a creative desert. So when he gets an offer to turn his online video series into a career, he leaves his three best friends in Napa and swaps Terroir for Los Angeles.
With the resources now at his fingertips, turning his pastry series into a hit should be easy. Then Miles meets his producer, Evan Patterson, and realizes he’s screwed. And not even in the good way.
It’s not a meet-cute . . .
Evan lives to work and loves every minute detail Miles loathes. Not only that, he seems hell bent on micromanaging every aspect of Miles’ show despite the fact he knows nothing about the culinary arts. Evan doesn’t even like sweets—until Miles seduces him with a rainbow of delectable confections he can’t resist.
. . . it’s a collision.
With every confrontation, the intensity between them flares even hotter until they’re not sure if it’s hatred they feel . . .or something else. Is it possible for two people with nothing in common to discover common ground and romance?
“I’ve been looking for you.”
Miles looked up to see his brand-new partner standing in the doorway of his cubicle. He still wasn’t sure how he felt about the cubicle thing, but he definitely knew how he felt about Evan. Miles gave himself a little mental pat on the back for the annoyed edge in Evan’s voice, and then another that he was ignoring how incredible Evan’s ass looked in those tight jeans.
Maybe it was petty or childish, but it felt so satisfying. Miles had spent time around lots of egotistical perfectionists over the years, but none of them had ever had a stick up their ass quite the same way Evan Patterson did.
“I’ve been sitting right here. For at least an hour.” Miles leaned back, and enjoyed the way Evan’s face struggled to find control. He also just plain enjoyed Evan’s face, but those gorgeous brown eyes or his blond hair, and not even the slim, cute body he was showcasing in those skinny jeans could entice Miles to get in bed with someone so uptight.
Evan walked into the cubicle, and glanced down at Miles’ laptop screen. He pointed to the left of the laptop, where a neon-green Post-it note read, “Join me in the kitchen when you get here,” in what must be Evan’s neat handwriting.
Miles thought Evan could have sold his handwriting to some font website, and hipsters would be falling all over themselves to buy it.
“Oh, I didn’t see that.” Miles didn’t even attempt to sound convincing. Anyway, they both knew he was lying.
Evan crossed his arms and his eyes shot bullets. It made him look cuter—and also more terrifying, if you were into that sort of thing. Which Miles was not. Definitely not. He’d told himself last night that he wasn’t going to try to seduce Evan to control him. This morning, the prospect looked a lot more appealing.
Or maybe that was just Evan.
“What have you even been doing?” Evan asked.
This was the opening Miles had been dying for. “I’m so glad you asked. I decided to do a little show-and-tell experiment.”
Evan didn’t look convinced. Or amused. Which only amused Miles further. He wasn’t usually such an asshole, but he wasn’t going to share control of Pastry by Miles with anyone, especially a marketing “expert” like Evan. He’d only had to be in his new partner’s presence for approximately ten point two seconds to realize that Evan was the kind that didn’t give up easily. Thus, Miles’ attitude shift to being as annoying as possible. Miles had a little sister; there was no way Evan could hold out against the pain and suffering Miles could bring him.
Miles clicked on the video he’d been working on. Evan watched it soundlessly and Miles watched Evan. Other than a very subtle eye twitch, Miles gave Evan a handful of points for reigning in his explosion of annoyance.
“You filmed an episode of your show in your apartment last night,” Evan stated.
“I did,” Miles said unrepentantly.
“You made a Twinkie.”
“Actually,” Miles drawled, “it’s better known as a Ding Dong. And it’s a homemade Ding Dong. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried the store-bought version, but this one is infinitely better. Tastes a whole lot less like cardboard.”
Evan’s eye was twitching harder.
“A Ding Dong,” he repeated in disbelief. “How did you even film this? With your phone?”
“Yep,” Miles admitted happily. “Rigged it up on one of those fake house plants with some duct tape. Had to drop by Reed’s office this morning and let him know how much I appreciated such a stocked apartment. And not just the fridge.”
“That was me,” Evan said. “I stocked your apartment.” He was looking like he’d love to march right over and un-stock it. Miles was delighted. He’d anticipated how this might go, and it was going better than even his wildest expectations. He ignored the little voice that said just how much he’d enjoy it if Evan lost it and threw him down on the desk.
He also ignored what came next in that little fantasy.
Miles shot Evan his most charming smile, but the recipient did not look particularly charmed. “Oh, thank you. It all came in handy, as you can see.”
“I can definitely see that.” Evan leaned down, and Miles caught a whiff of his cologne. Something tart and lemony. It suited him. “Now you’re going to come with me to the kitchen, and we’re going to figure out how to work together. On a video of you doing something impressive that isn’t a Ding Dong.”
“You don’t think that would be cute?” Miles asked, and thought maybe he’d taken it a step too far because the look on Evan’s face was suddenly not playing around. Having worked in very tough kitchens and then Terroir, Miles was used to people wanting to kill him. He was not used to people who looked like they wanted to kill him slowly, and might enjoy it the whole time.
“Okay,” Miles added. “I can do that.” He was still chalking this up as a win because anything that put that look on a man’s face was worth the effort it took to rig up a phone on a fake ficus tree.
Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.
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