Given that most of my free time is spent reading, writing and hanging out with my family, I don’t watch much television. But when I do get to watch TV, I can’t resist the Food Network. I’m completely obsessed with all of the “challenge” cooking shows, as well as with Iron Chef. There’s just something about two (or three, or four) chefs going head-to-head in the kitchen that is super exciting…and hot! The focus and concentration required to create those incredible dishes under intense pressure is seriously inspiring.
Which leads me to wonder: Why are chefs so sexy?
For me, it comes down to three things: intensity, drive and passion – all of which are solid traits of an alpha hero.
Now think about that same intense, driven, passionate alpha male preparing food for you. Let that sink in for a moment. The idea of creating something edible and beautiful and presenting it to be consumed is amazingly sexy.
In DEEP AUTUMN HEAT, two impassioned chefs with very different personalities meet and fall in love – after lots of sparks fly, of course! When Sebastian Grayson, chef-owner of the New York hotspot Helena returns to his hometown of Star Harbor, Massachusetts to recharge, the last thing he expects is to find professional inspiration. But when he steps foot into the Lexie Meyers Kitchen and takes one bite of Lexie’s delectable coconut cake, he immediately gets hooked – on her.
Yet from the get-go, he challenges her – both in the kitchen and out – and she challenges him right back. It was wickedly fun to see which character was going to blink first. His arrogance and her feistiness were so much fun to write, as were all of the cooking scenes! Cooking (and in Lexie’s case, baking), is integral to who these characters are. Because Lexie works just as hard as Seb does, she’s not impressed by his entitled attitude. And when they fall in love, they fall in love with each other’s food as much as they do with each other.
One of my favorite scenes in the book is where Seb has just made breakfast for Lexie, and it causes them both to reveal a bit more about themselves:
“I like cooking for you. You appreciate everything about a dish, from the way it’s prepared to how it’s presented.”
“Let’s not forget the way it tastes.”
“The most important part, of course. So,” he said, a picture of male grace as he crossed his arms behind his neck and stretched his legs out under the table, “Why’d you choose to become a chef?” His gaze met hers evenly, and she didn’t look away.
“I love the idea of bringing things from land to table. I guess I was influenced by the sustainable foods movement, but really, I was always interested in cooking. My parents were really supportive of me. I remember one absolutely awful dish I prepared when I was eight—something involving acorn squash and mayonnaise. They told me it wasn’t one of my best efforts, but they ate it anyway.” She laughed. “I was lucky that they encouraged me to pursue my passion. What about you? Why’d you decide to go into this line of work?”
“Necessity,” he said flatly.
She cocked her head. “Really? I can’t believe that. You have such fire.” Both in the kitchen and out.
He shrugged and studied the ceiling. “Life wasn’t so easy for my mom once my dad died. With four boys to support and feed on her own, she was stretched pretty thin. I started cooking to help out around the house. Turned out I had a flair for it.”
“But that doesn’t explain why you kept doing it,” Lexie probed. “You dropped out of college to do this. Something was driving you.”
His gaze dropped back to hers, hot and fierce. “I’ll tell you what was driving me: payback. I wanted to make my mark on the world. To have everyone who said I’d never amount to anything sit up and take notice that Seb Grayson, hell-raiser, could raise some hell of his own—and make good doing it.” He swallowed. “I’ve never told anyone that before.”
“I’m glad you told me,” she said quietly.
He leaned forward in his seat. “I am, too. I used to be able to talk to my dad. He’d come home after a long day of fishing, crack open a beer, settle in on the couch, and tell us stories about the pirates who roamed up and down the Eastern seaboard. We all loved the legend of the Lorelei the best—even Val, though he was a couple of years older than us and he pretended like he was too cool to care. We hung on his every word. Then after our homework was done, he’d take us to the beach and we’d roughhouse and watch the harbor lights. He told me I could be anything I wanted when I grew up and I believed him. Then he died.” Seb’s voice was throaty now, and he swallowed. “I think Cole took his death the hardest, but I sure was a close second. I caused my mom all sorts of grief, and learning how to cook to make her life easier was just one way I tried to make amends. But I didn’t count on how it would make me feel. In the kitchen, I had control. I had power. I liked it.”
It’s more than just the food talking, don’t you think?
About Deep Autumn Heat
In this sexy new Star Harbor romance series, featuring the too-tempting Grayson brothers, a celebrity chef turns up the heat for a local café owner—and things start to sizzle.
Lexie Meyers decides there’s nothing sweeter than watching Sebastian Grayson’s perfect, wicked mouth devour her coconut cake. He’s hot, he’s hungry, and he’s sizing her up like she’s the best thing on the menu. But she’s been burned in the past and flings just aren’t her thing. Too bad Sebastian can’t resist a challenge.
Worldly, famous, and notorious with the ladies, Seb had planned a weekend of fishing and relaxation with his brothers. Until Lexie, with her kissable lips and frosty “get lost” attitude, makes him want to forget his culinary empire and create some magic with her. After he fires up his charm—including challenging her to a televised cook-off to break through her resistance—it’s now hotter in the bedroom than it is in the kitchen and Lexie isn’t sure whether she’s lost her mind . . . or just her heart.
About the Author
Who is your favorite celebrity chef, and why?
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