When I think of “Tasty Treats” I think of the specialty/gourmet food store near where I live. The owners are from Europe (either Austria or Germany I’m not certain which) and what started as a single store has opened 5-6 branches spread around the city and neighboring towns. They make their own sausage, pates, meat pies, various frozen dishes, and liptauer—an extremely addictive cheese spread that includes chopped green onions and anchovies and tastes great on crispy breadsticks. They also have things like caviar and truffles and cherries in liqueur, smoked duck, and the list of imported and domestic goodies goes on and on. At Christmastime, the store is filled with European chocolates, stollen—a white German fruitcake that’s made with yeast and filled with marzipan, and my all time favorite—dominos which are one-inch square cubes layered with gingerbread, apricot preserves and marzipan and then dipped in chocolate. Oh, yum…
A store like this has always been the dream of Pete Letouche, the main character in It’s Complicated. With this in mind, he’s spent the past ten years away from home. First, training as a chef and then working in all the big hotels, learning food from the ground up and saving what he needed to launch his dream.
When the story starts, Pete is back home in Peninsula Heights. The store has been open for several months and business is much better than he expected. He’s on top of the world. Life couldn’t get any better. That is until an unwelcome blast from the past walks into the store and asks to speak with him.
“Excuse me, sir?”
I turned my attention to one of the young college students I’d hired part-time to hand out samples.
“Yes, Patti. What’s the problem?”
“There’s no problem, Mr. Letouche. See that guy over there wearing the bandana?” She pointed to a man with his back to us, standing just inside the main door. “He says he’d like a word with you.”
I looked to where she was pointing and frowned. “Who is he?”
“No idea, sir.”
Whoever the guy turned out to be, between the inked arms to the way he was dressed in ripped blue jeans and a leather vest over a sleeveless tee, he would have looked more at home hanging out on a street corner than he did here. “He asked for me but didn’t give his name?”
“No, and I didn’t think to ask. Sorry! He just said, ‘Is Pete Letouche in?’ then said he wanted a word with you. I figured he must know you. Unless maybe he’s delivering something.”
Or he could be applying for the job I’d advertised in the local paper. I needed someone to make home deliveries, stock shelves and fill in for anyone who was off sick. I don’t usually judge a book by its cover, but if first impressions were anything to go by, he wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I was looking for someone younger, such as another student or even a high school dropout.
I went over to where the man waited. “Hi. I’m Pete Letouche. Is there something I can help you with?”
He turned to face me. “Hi, Pete. Long time no see. Nice place you have here, by the way. Very nice indeed.”
There was something familiar about the guy I couldn’t quite put a finger on. Now that I was closer to him, I could see that he was good-looking, with one of those hard, sexy bodies you see on guys in magazines. He was also a few inches taller and several pounds heavier than me. I had a feeling I knew him from somewhere. As a business owner I met a lot of people in the course of any given day. I also did my share of socializing. It could have been anywhere, here at the store, at a charity function, a friend’s house, or even in one of the local clubs. “If you’re here about the job…”
“I’m not. You really don’t remember me?”
“I don’t know. Maybe not. It was a long time ago. I haven’t forgotten you, though.” He shrugged, then followed it up with a sexy grin that caught me by surprise.
The grin fixed my memory lapse. It made my heart race and my libido pay attention as it fast-tracked me back to the night of my high school prom and the hotel where the event had been held. My head was ready to explode with the sudden rush of memories, of scents and sensations. A dark room that smelled of aftershave, sweat and sex. The feel of cool hands on my hot flesh… A hot, very eager mouth taking possession of my swollen, aching dick, and then—
Oh, my God! This could not be happening.
Note: This is the first book in a new series, Peninsula Heights. The sequel will be out shortly.
Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: IT’S COMPLICATED http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
It's Complicated by Christiane France is now available at Amber Allure.
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