Jorden Demetri cooks up delicious dishes night after night as head chef in Albero’s Restaurant and keeps Maplehaven’s diners well fed. He also feeds the hungers of interested women whenever the opportunity presents itself. Or at least he did, but lately that hobby feels more and more empty. He’s been considering taking himself off the menu ever since he’s developed a thirst for something—or someone—different.
Diana Rosalen serves cuisine to Albero’s customers with a smile when she’s not caring for her baby girl, Camilla. Ever since she left her abusive boyfriend in Paris, she’s enjoyed the welcoming embrace of the Vermont woods, thanks to her brother taking her in. She’s determined to give her daughter the best life possible and that includes starting her own organic baby food company. It might even include finding a good father for Camilla if someone wants the job.
When Jorden is at the right place at the right time to help her, Diana sees another side of the sexy chef. Maybe there is more to him than his vast dating history suggests. Perhaps he can handle a single mother and her daughter, and the three of them can build the family they all deserve.
Is one kind wish enough to make dreams come true?
“You don’t want to come in? We can hang out for a bit. I’ll make us some coffee.” At Diana’s laugh, Jorden grew confused. “What’s so funny?”
“Violet told me to ask for the special blend. No cheap brew.”
Jorden put his hand to his chest in mock offense. “Baby, I wouldn’t think of serving you the cheap stuff. You are special-blend-worthy all the way.” He rested his hand on her arm. “Seriously though… this night only has to go as far as you are willing. I would never force you to do something you don’t want to. In fact, if you told me you wanted to go home right now, I’d reverse out of this driveway and drive you home.” He turned his lips down at the corners. “I’d come back here and cry myself to sleep, but hey, no worries. I want you to have fun and not be concerned about what I expect.” He squeezed her arm. “I only expect you to tell me what you want.”
She rested her hand atop his and leaned over the center console between them. “Come here.”
He moved within kissing range. Hoping. Wishing.
When she brushed her lips against his in the softest hint of a kiss, he felt that whisper-light touch absolutely everywhere. “Take me inside.” She kissed him again, this time with a little more pressure, more intensity, her palm resting on his cheek. As she backed away, she opened the passenger side door. “Let’s see how special the special blend is.”
Christine DePetrillo can often be found hugging trees, conversing with dragonflies, and walking barefoot through sun-warmed soil. She finds joy in listening to the wind, bathing in moonlight, and breathing in the fragrances of things that bloom. If she had her way, the sky would be the only roof over her head.
Her love of nature seeps into every story she tells. As does her obsession with bearded mountain men who build, often smell like sawdust, and know how to cherish the women they love. Today she writes tales meant to make you laugh, maybe make you sweat, and definitely make you believe in the power of love.
She lives in Rhode Island and occasionally Vermont with her pack–a husband, a cat, and a big, black German Shepherd who defends her fiercely from all evils.