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Late Night Kisses
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
The Official Recipe for Nathan Benson:
2 cups cockiness
As a professional baker, I can tell exactly what a man is made of the moment he walks through my shop’s frosted glass doors.
So, the moment Nathan Benson showed up over half an hour late to our blind date (with no explanation), caught the gaze of every woman in the diner with his panty-wetting smile, and said, “I personally don’t think we should waste any more of our time sitting here talking,” after only five minutes of conversation, I knew he was one of the rudest concoctions ever created.
I also knew there was no way in hell I was going to see him again.
Or, so I thought.
Days after I abandoned him on our first date, he tracked me down with one hell of a way to get me to agree to a second one. (And a third, and a fourth.)
I swear if it weren’t for the fact that I was being blackmailed by the sexiest man I’ve ever met, I would’ve reported him to the authorities a long time ago.
Then again, holding out for a few late night kisses (and maybe a bit more) from his mouth of perfection may not be a complete recipe for disaster after all…
This is a steamy, contemporary romance novella.
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MESSAGE FROM MICHAEL: Happy Holidays, sexy. Been thinking about your body lately. Want to come over to watch Netflix and chill? (We can even bake if you like)
message from Austin: Happy Holidays, Kelly. Just remembering how much I enjoyed fucking you under the mistletoe last Christmas and I think we should do that again…
message from Austin: Shit, I meant “Christina.” You know how autocorrect is. I really wasn’t cheating on you last Christmas.
message from Blocked Number: Happy Holidays, Babe. I miss you so much. Just so you know, I’m willing to do that “thing” you always wanted in bed if you’ll take me back (& remove the restraining order) this season…I mean, I still don’t think real men should put their faces anywhere near a woman’s vagina, but I’m willing to put my face on yours.
I tossed my phone across the room and held back a scream.
I wasn’t sure why the start of every holiday season triggered a series of texts from ex-boyfriends, old flings, and guys I barely remembered, but today was the fourth day in a row that I’d woken up to the type of messages I hated to receive.
I made my way to the kitchen and pulled out the one thing that always made me remember exactly why each ex would forever remain an ex.
My late grandmother’s cookbook.
Inside the perfectly preserved pages, she’d left me a recipe for everything—leaving out the typical “Sweet & Sticky Cinnamon Buns” and “Grandma’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies.” (Those were bullshit) Instead, she had things like “When Motherfuckers Let You Down Shortcake (don’t you dare share a single slice), “Worst Sex of My Life Cannoli” (use only four inches of dough), and my personal favorite, “Cinnamon Cheater Croissants” (bake two dozen and leave his ass).
I flipped to the page for Caramel “Cut Them Off” Truffles and pulled out my pan.
I’d followed this recipe dozens of times, just like I followed all of her others. There was only one recipe in her entire three hundred treat collection that I’d never had a reason to make, one recipe that I preferred to leave unmade forever.
It was a concoction called, “Please Strangle This Cocky Bastard Pie.”
Even though I still dated my fair share of liars, cheaters, and assholes, I was grateful that I never dated a man who drove me to bake that particular treat.
As a matter of fact, I swore I would never make it unless I met a man who was so full of himself that he couldn’t see past his own damn ego. A man who was capable of pissing me off and turning me on at the same time—all while keeping a smack-able, sexy smirk on his perfectly chiseled face and acting like he could get away with anything.
I turned on my oven and hoped like hell this holiday season wouldn’t bring a man like that anywhere near me.
“RUN, HE’S A BUM” BONBONS
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup ground pecans or walnuts
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup butter, softened
“SO, JUST HOW WIDE DO you think your mouth can open?” The half-shaven guy sitting across from me smiled and licked his lips. “I’ve got something really thick to show you once this is over. If you’re interested in tasting it, that is …”
Beep! Beep! Beep!
“Alright, it’s time to switch!” The speed dating coach turned off the alarm just in time, saving me from my ninth dud of the night.
I immediately moved from my spot, not bothering to answer that jerk’s question. I made my way to the table that was next to the fireplace, in front of a man I’d been checking out since this event began.
He was the only guy in the room who wasn’t wearing one of Cedar Falls’ infamous ugly red holiday sweaters. He was wearing a black and grey suit, and he’d brought a bouquet of red roses—one for each of the women who was here tonight.
With his low cut black hair, almond-colored eyes, and infectious smile, I’d stolen glances of him during all of my dates the moment they went awry.
He seems so damn perfect…
“Five seconds before I reset the time, everyone!” The coach called out right as I sat down. “And go!”
“Good evening,” Mr. Perfect said, offering me a rose. “I’m Kevin.”
“Christina.” I blushed as his fingers brushed against mine. “Are you new to Cedar Falls?”
“You can say that. I’ve only been here for about five months. I live on the southern, touristy side. How about you?”
“I was born and raised here.” I realized that the rose was fake, made of cheap paper. “I left for college and culinary school, but then I came back to open my own business.”
“You own a business? What type of business?”
I smiled, silently reminding myself to keep it simple, since I could wax poetic about my bakery all day. “Well, it’s called Sifted Perfection, and it’s a—”