Playing perfect daughter at her mother’s parties isn’t Alexis Arnette’s idea of a good time. She always leaves grumpy and hungry. Unimpressed with the spread laid out in the living room, she sneaks off to the kitchen to find something a little more satisfying. What she discovers is chef Morgan Crane, a man who is even more delicious than his baked goods. When one taste of his creations leads to more and her good girl demeanor dissolves, would the boring evening turn into one she’ll never forget?
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Copyright © 2011 Emily Cale
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“Can I help you?”
Alexis jumped, sending the box in her hands spilling onto the floor. Her mouth dropped when she turned around to see a man wearing a red apron in front of her. “Who the hell are you?” She tilted her head upward to see his face.
“I might ask you the same thing. You’re not allowed in here.” He crossed his arms tightly across his chest. His square jaw stiffened as his dark brown eyes focused in on her.
She could play that game, too. Placing her hands on her hips, she shifted her weight to one foot and stared him down. She never backed away from a challenge, unless it was her mother. “It’s fine. I live here.” Taking a better look at him, she tried not to laugh. The bits of flour speckled through his short wavy hair reminded her of the powdered sugar she saw sprinkled on top of chocolate cookies.
“You’re Mrs. Arnette?” He cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrow.
“I’m her daughter.” Alexis bent over and began collecting the fallen strawberries. “Who are you?”
“Morgan Crane, the caterer.” He leaned over and picked up a berry from the floor. “You live here?”
“Not exactly.” She stood up and tossed the container into the wastebasket.
“I see.” He threw out the berry and took a step closer to her. Even with her heels on, he was at least three inches taller than her. “I specifically asked to be given full use of the kitchen without any interruption. There are some delicate items in here and the smallest disruption could disturb them.” The fire in his voice spread up to his eyes, flecks of green streaking across the brown background as he spoke.
“Don’t get all worked up. I’m just here to peek in the fridge and see if I can find a snack.”
His pupils dilated. “The appetizers are gone already?”