The Joy of Food
Don’t you hate it when a heroine is some little skinny-minnie who watches everything she puts into her mouth? I know I do. I love to eat, dammit!
I guess that’s why there’s always cooking and eating going on in my books. After all, taste is one of the five senses and after steamy sex, who doesn’t want dessert? Personally, I could do without the chocolate, but give me something almond or cherry flavored and I’m in seventh heaven.
Here’s a couple excerpts from my books that feature food:
From the Edwardian mystery/romance Suspicion of Love (Jacqueline, our erstwhile heroine, plays the part of a servant for handsome and rich Lord Derby’s decadent London soiree):
Jacqueline grabbed her first tray filled with tiny pieces of brown bread topped with caviar and dollops of cream as well as silver pitchers holding a pungent tomato sauce. She carefully ascended the stairs with her burden and resolutely pushed open the door to the dining room…and promptly ran smack dab into a broad wall of man’s chest.
The little pieces of bread slipped and slid about the ornate salver, but thankfully none fell off, Jacqueline noted with some satisfaction.
“Well, well, well. Who have we here?”
The man’s voice was low and melodious and husky. Jacqueline nervously licked her lips and turned her gaze upward to spy the gentleman she’d nearly bowled over.
He was the finest specimen of man Jacqueline had ever laid eyes on. Taller than any she’d seen, too. She craned her neck to find his face, her mouth falling open. Finely crafted features of broad eyebrows, narrow nose, and strong, square jaw accented by a closely cropped beard and moustache were topped by an upswept fringe of thick brunette waves interspersed with streaks of deep auburn. His melting chocolate brown eyes sparkled with amusement at some bit of humor known only to him. He was attired in the costume of a medieval knight, and his broad shoulders amply filled out a velvet tunic beneath a shiny shirt of chain mail. His long, long legs were encased in a pair of indecently tight hose and knee-length soft leather boots, and spread apart in a classic warrior’s stance.
“Lucky for me it’s a dab hand you have there with the tray, miss, lest I find my armor gone to rust with tomatoes and cream.”
“My apologies, milord, for such clumsiness. I did not see you there whence I made to enter the dining room. I promise to be more careful next time,” Jacqueline said breathily, mesmerized by the man’s handsome visage and twinkling eyes. Was she supposed to curtsy in the presence of one who obviously belonged to the peerage? She doubted she could perform that act and not spill the contents of her tray this time.
“Here now, all’s fine. Very, very fine indeed.” His voice lowered along with his eyes, which came to rest on the very low cut of her blouse.
This one is from the contemporary romance Full Throttle (due out October 1st from ChampagneBooks.com). This is the first part of ex-motorcycle racer Linc’s attempted seduction of Samantha:
“Have you eaten yet?” When Samantha shook her head Linc said, “Good.”
He uncorked the bottle, and while Samantha sipped champagne from a plastic goblet with a fresh raspberry soaking in the bottom, Linc proceeded to unpack the picnic basket. He’d assembled a virtual feast: shrimp cocktail, assorted cheeses and sausages and juicy raspberries, a crusty loaf of bread, chocolate cake.
Samantha dropped a plump raspberry into her champagne glass to accompany its twin, and Linc watched with fascination as she plopped the alcohol-drenched berry in her mouth. A trickle of sticky, red juice dripped down her chin. He couldn’t resist leaning over and running his tongue over it, gently licking and lapping up the juice before his lips rose and claimed her mouth in a hard kiss. He ended the kiss after only a moment, reminding himself to exhibit some patience. Seduction was best not hurried and, after all, this was only phase two in “Operation Seduce Samantha”. The best was yet to come, if he could just rein in his baser instincts.
After they’d gorged on the improvised dinner, Linc used his hands to break apart a slice of chocolate cake. His gooey fingers fed each crumbly piece to Samantha one by one until she moaned, complaining that she couldn’t take another bite or she’d explode. Linc licked off the chocolate frosting from his fingers but Samantha grabbed his wrist and brought them to her own mouth. He was the one moaning this time as her tongue laved and licked at his rough digits.
Samantha tossed back the rest of her champagne as Linc threw the leftovers of their picnic dinner back in the basket and set it aside. She leaned back on one of the big, silk-covered pillows, gazing at him as he moved with efficiency and grace, his thigh muscles bunching as he knelt on the blanket. She could hardly believe she was here, in the desert, under the soft illumination of the moon, on a blanket lying beside Linc Montgomery. The champagne was bubbling through her body, relaxing her limbs. Her eyelids grew heavy, and they started to close until she felt a tug on one boot.
Samantha’s eyes flew open and she tried to rise up on her elbows to see what Linc what was up to now, but he pushed her back down against the pillows. “Relax.”