Today I’m premiering a new feature which will appear at this blog every once in a while. I’d love to be able to say that I’ll post a Monday Munch every week, but I’m sure I won’t! So I’ll get to it here and there
Why a Monday Munch, you ask?
Preparing food for someone is a very loving act, and all the more so when such an act is contrary to character. Our concept of an alpha male excludes food preparation as a normal activity. We don’t think about big manly men cooking food anywhere except at a barbecue, so when one of my heroes fixes a meal for his lover, well–that makes my little heart go pitter-pat because he isn’t afraid to show her his softer side. He isn’t afraid to go out of his way, against his macho character to show her he loves her.
So a number of my heroes prepare meals for my heroines.
Here’s one of my faves, from Spy Game. The setup is that Ani Sharif, a low-level operative for a secret security agency, is trying to get to a laptop on millionaire software tycoon Richard Rexford’s boat; he’s suspected of selling secrets to the Chinese, and her handlers believe that proof might be on the laptop.
Appetizers: lox, cucumber and sour cream on a cracker with chardonnay
Main course: Bouillabaise
Dessert: Strawberry shortcake
Here’s a snippet from the scene:
Ani followed Richard into the galley and watched him rummage in the refrigerator. She couldn’t figure him out. He’d arrived at her house looking like a vagrant, but kept an immaculate boat. He’d taunted her at the pizza parlor, but tonight, treated her as though she were a duchess. He’d opened doors, pulled out her chair, and served her a perfectly prepared meal.
He tried to act like a vicious T-Rex but had gone to the trouble of fixing the mess his father had made, not once but
As hard as she tried, she couldn’t label the evening a disaster, especially since she now knew where he kept his computer. On top of that, she and Richard had a lot in common. A love of freedom, for one thing. Computers, for another. Maybe she’d see him after she’d completed her assignment. Maybe.
Richard straightened up and smiled at her, each hand holding a dessert plate filled with a pile of sliced strawberries atop shortcake. His laser-blue eyes glinted.
Their gleam hit her like an electric shock, zapping her back into reality. What was she thinking? He wasn’t a cute little guppy. This was Richard Rexford, one of the biggest, baddest great white sharks around.
No doubt his father had a completely different story of the start-up of Richard’s firm. Gossip said that Richard had ruthlessly stolen every talented programmer in the place, leaving CompLine reeling. Rumors still abounded; apparently Thomas and Sundeen plotted to destroy Richard for his alleged crimes against the family firm.
He was her target, maybe even a traitor. Get with the program, Ani, she reminded herself.
She swallowed, her mouth parched. She was definitely in over her head. Thinking that she could play games with Richard Rexford was crazy. She needed to get to his laptop computer and get out. She wasn’t sure how to do it, though, but hoped to figure that out before the end of the night. She had to minimize contact with Rexford. Another date would be insane.
She cleared her throat, which felt thick and dry. “I don’t want to like you too much.”
“You’re right.” He put the desserts onto a counter and crossed the galley to stand in front of her, mere inches away. ”So why don’t we stop this right now?”
His heat radiated, igniting every cell in her body. The raw sexual tension between them, thicker than the stew she’d eaten, unnerved her. That dangerous flutter started again, but this time it made her tingle from head to toes.
She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t look away from his unfathomable blue eyes.
Taking her chin in his hand, he brushed her lips with his. He didn’t break eye contact, and neither did she. The intimacy created was unbearable, as though he’d reached inside her and caressed her soul with the gentlest of touches.
The brief kiss wasn’t nearly enough, but sharpened her appetite for him. She wanted more, and took it, digging her fingers into his shirt front to bring him closer so she could flick her tongue over his lips, deliberately enticing him.
He pulled her into his arms, drawing her to his male heat. He dipped his head again to kiss her and this time, he didn’t hold back. He slid his tongue between her lips, making love to her mouth with an insistent rhythm. Desire pounded at her in waves, intense and powerful as a high tide. Her body throbbed with passionate hunger.
“It’s going to be very good between us, you know that?” he whispered into her ear.
“Mmmm, yeah.” Too good, maybe. She’d never experienced anything like Richard’s kiss. Hot and deep and all-encompassing, like a desert whirlwind, he threatened to sweep her away.
But she couldn’t let herself be swept away. She couldn’t take what he offered, no matter how much she wanted it.
If you like what you read, you can find it here:
The bouillabaise recipe can be found here, in a FREE cookbook full of romance writers’ favorite recipes:
Your blog hostess:
Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift, a.k.a Suz deMello, has written over fifteen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Ai Press, Liquid Silver Books and Etopia Press. She also takes private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in PW, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.
A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.