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Rialto (Unbreakable Bonds #8)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Jocelynn Drake

Rinda Elliott

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B081X4V2HH
Book Information:

Someone has it out for Rialto.

Ian Banner is loving his hectic life. He’s newly married, ready to start a family, and opening a new restaurant. All his dreams are coming true.

The last thing he needs is a problem with his restaurant.

But when one attack after another comes, he grows convinced he has another enemy.

Ian tries to handle things by himself, but his friends are soon drawn in when the attacks become violent. That’s when Ian realizes the target isn’t Rialto. It’s him.

Rialto is the final installment in the Unbreakable Bonds series and features sexy times, Daciana snuggles, overprotective family, fire, and of course, code names.

Books in Series:

Unbreakable Bonds Series by Jocelynn Drake

Books by Author:

Jocelynn Drake Books

Rinda Elliott Books

Chapter One

Ian stood back, chewing on his bottom lip. Every instinct was driving him to jump in, to offer a bit of advice, to tweak how he was holding the knife a tiny bit. But this was about letting go. He was the chef de cuisine, the Head Chef, and the chef de cuisine did not worry about training the new commis.

That was the job of the chef de partie, and Isabella was a fantastic line chef. Technically, she was one of his chefs de tournant, which meant that she was skilled and experienced enough to work all the various kitchen stations. She dove into each of Ian’s new recipes and creations with amazing enthusiasm, eager to wow Rialto’s guests.

But she also had amazing patience and a great way of clearly explaining things. She’d trained two other commis who had come into Ian’s kitchen, but this one was different.

A gentle hand landed on Ian’s shoulder, and he twisted to find his sous chef, Sean, smiling at him with a knowing amusement in his gaze. “He’s going to do great.”

Ian gave a little sigh and rolled his eyes at himself. Sean was right. Sean was pretty much always right.

But it was Wade Addams’s first day as a junior member of Ian’s kitchen at Rialto. The young man had been among the first he’d hired as a server nearly four years ago when he opened. Wade had suffered through a rough childhood, something Ian understood all too well, but he’d flourished at Rialto. Ian had watched the young man’s confidence soar as he excelled at his job and became friends with everyone in the restaurant.

And in the evenings when the restaurant was quiet, Ian and Wade had bonded over a love of cooking. They swapped recipes and talked about new ideas and techniques.

Ian knew it was only a matter of time before Wade finally agreed that he was ready to move out of serving and into the kitchen.

Today, he was beginning his formal training. He was going to start as the garde manger, the pantry chef. It wasn’t exactly an exciting position, since the garde manger was responsible for only cold dishes such as salads, but Ian had added a special duck pâté to the menu for that evening to give Wade a little variety.

“Of course he is. He’s already a great cook without the formal training,” Ian said stiffly, as if anyone could doubt Wade’s skills.

“I was thinking that he’s determined to impress you, Chef.”

Ian could feel embarrassment heat his cheeks lightly. Okay, he had to admit that he had something of a fatherly relationship with his staff at Rialto. He’d met other chefs who ran their kitchens like militant dictators and expected the same brutal manner from their sous chef, but not Ian. The staff at Rialto were a second family to him.

And yes, he was younger than nearly everyone in his kitchen, but no one seemed to blink an eye at it. Cooking was his life. He’d proved himself time and again with his unique meals and by having the top-rated restaurant in the city of Cincinnati every year since they had opened.

“Have you decided whether you’re going to keep him here at Rialto or move him to your new restaurant?”

Ian shook his head. “Wade is staying at Rialto. This kitchen is more formal and will give him the excellent experience he needs to expand his skills. The new place will be smaller, and most of the chefs will be accustomed to working multiple stations. I don’t want to throw that at him yet.”

Sean nodded, his eyes on Wade and Isabella. “I’m loath to suggest this because she’s amazing, but have you considered Isabella for the sous chef position there? She’s got the experience to handle whatever’s thrown at her and knows when to crack the whip.”

Grinning, Ian gave his own sous chef a little side-eye. “You’d be willing to give up your right arm so my new restaurant can flourish?”

“Oh, I plan to bitch and moan endlessly about it,” Sean reassured him and Ian chuckled. “But she is amazing. She’d have your new place running efficiently. Plus, it would mean Rialto would finally have some real competition in this old town.”

“I agree.”

He loved having Isabella in his kitchen at Rialto. Sean and Isabella made a formidable team, keeping the entire kitchen working like a well-oiled machine. On the nights Sean was off, either Isabella or Ian slid into his place. Ian had to admit, things tended to be calmer on the nights that Isabella was in charge. Ian’s presence seemed to put everyone a bit on edge; they all wanted to impress the Chef.

“I’ve been making up my final list of who I might consider moving to the new place and who I’d definitely prefer to keep at Rialto,” Ian continued. “After the dinner rush this evening, can you stop by my office? We can go over it. I’d like to get your thoughts.”


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