Ryan Callahan’s parents died in a boating accident off Sutter’s Bay when he was five years old. Now, Ryan is back in the bay and ready to live in the Victorian reproduction house his father built for his mother. And he’s also ready to get his dream job as a chef. The job of head chef seems to fall into his lap when the bay’s newest restaurant, Mabry’s, is short-staffed, but when the sexy-as-sin owner, Chris Mabry, returns from vacation, he fires the inexperienced Ryan on the spot.
Ryan’s dream seems to be over before he gets a chance to prove himself. Yet when Chris quickly realizes his restaurant is truly failing without the help of a creative and talented chef, he rehires Ryan.
As Mabry’s prospects for success take a turn for the better, things start to sizzle between Ryan and Chris. And soon, Ryan is cooking for Chris...personally...
NOTE: This story is part of the Sutter’s Bay series.
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (13k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...The lunch shift thrived around Chris as he entered the restaurant, nearly every table already filled, and Chris felt a sense of satisfaction. He’d taken a big chance opening here in Sutter’s Bay. Especially since he knew a local favorite, Adam Colfer, had just months before opened a restaurant. Fortunately it seemed as though Sutter’s Bay had become popular enough to handle it.
“Hi, Chris,” Sophia, one of his hostesses, greeted him.
He smiled at her. “Everything going all right?”
“Yeah, everything’s good.” She lowered her voice. “The new chef is hot. I hope he’s straight.”
Chris realized he actually had no idea. And he certainly shouldn’t be hoping the new chef was gay. No. Definitely. Not.
He shrugged. “No clue. His sexual orientation was not on his resume.”
There was no resume, of course. But whatever.
Deciding to check on the hot new chef himself, Chris went through the swinging door into the kitchen.
Ryan, already wearing an apron, was talking to the short, dark-haired woman he’d hired as a sous chef. Her name was Rosie. He shot a glance at Chris before going back to his conversation with Rosie.
After a moment, Rosie moved away and offered Chris a smile. “Hi, Mr. Mabry.”
“I told you, it’s Chris. We’re very informal around here.”
“Right.” She smiled. “I’ll be back in a second, Ryan.”
“Sure, no worries,” Ryan said as she left the kitchen. “Hey, boss man.”
Chris rolled his eyes. “Chris will be just fine, thanks.”
Ryan smirked. “We’ve got things in order here.”
“Did I ask?”
“You want to. Don’t sweat it, Chris. I may not have been a chef before but I managed to keep things together the night you fired me and that was without much help. I have more now. It’ll be all right. I can handle it.”
“Okay.” Chris nodded and started to turn away. But something made him stop and ask, “Your wife didn’t move to Sutter’s Bay when you did?”
Ryan chuckled and Chris felt himself turn red.
“Is that your not so subtle way of asking my sexual orientation?”
Chris frowned. “No. No. Um. I just wondered.”
“No wife, no girlfriend. I like guys. No boyfriend though either.” Ryan winked. “Got all that?”
He cleared his throat. “Yeah. Well, I should go back to the dining room. I’ll check here later.”
He stopped just before he went through the swinging doors. “Yeah?”
“You got a wife?”
Still feeling like he was blushing, he didn’t turn around. “No, I’m the same as you.”
And then he left the kitchen...