Friday, 14 December 2012
Author Spotlight - Excerpt for: Recipe for Romance
Reeve removed the jacket of his dark business suit, and hung it up on a hook next to Chef's desk. Kirsty licked her dry lips at the sight of the muscles rippling under his brilliant white shirt. He tied on a fresh apron, tutting under his breath. He strode across the room to the kitchen sink while rolling up his sleeves. Kirsty heard him sigh when he saw how many dishes were hidden in the murky depths.
"Can I assume you've engaged temporary staff for tomorrow?"
"Of course. I've booked two people for the rest of the week." Kirsty blinked in astonishment. The immaculately dressed man pulled on pink rubber gloves and plunged his hands into the greasy water. He presented such an absurd picture she had difficulty suppressing her laughter.
"I would have thought a kitchen this size would have invested in a dishwasher," Reeve muttered in annoyance.
Kirsty quickly turned the laughter which escaped her lips into a strangled cough. A shiver ran down her spine as he glanced at her across the intervening space. With her features composed she pointed to the stainless steel monster lurking in the far corner, then turned her attention to her own work.
A loud clatter of pots and pans sounded behind her as Reeve loaded the dishwasher.
Kirsty tried to forget his presence and carry on with her own duties, but found it difficult. A strong temptation built up to peek and see how the arrogant executive coped with the enormous pile of breakfast dishes, some of which had to be washed by hand. Her thoughts drifted, and she wondered what he meant when he said his group now owned the hotel. Did he mean he represented them? Or did he own the Garden Group? No, not at his age, she decided. Besides, rich bosses didn't get their hands dirty with the day-to-day running of their properties, figuratively or literally. Yet this well-dressed executive had not hesitated to become elbow-deep in dirty dishwater. No doubt he was an accountant here to check up on the turnover.
"What's next?" His voice sounded close as she finished the seafood platter and placed the final savory flan into the oven. She set the timer before replying.
"Vegetables." Kirsty indicated the sack of potatoes sitting inside the doorway of the cool room. "The salad ingredients need washing, and the dessert trolley has to be laid out."
"With what?" He glanced around the room.
"What are you going to put on the dessert trolley?" Reeve asked.
"When everything else is finished, I'll raid the freezer." Kirsty kept her amusement hidden as he looked at her in astonishment. "We're a small hotel. If anyone's absent, it throws the kitchen routine into complete chaos. Chef always makes sure we have plenty of desserts in the freezer for an emergency. It's replaced on a regular basis. Which reminds me, today's menu will have to be altered."
Kirsty watched in amazement as Reeve displayed a good knowledge of food handling. In her experience, most up-and-coming young executives came straight from business college, and didn't have a clue about the practical side of things. This man knew exactly what needed doing. He surprised her further when he set up the dessert trolley on his own, his speed proving he'd done it before. By the time the restaurant staff arrived, the soup and main courses were ready, and the delicious smell of baked quiche drifted through the kitchen. Reeve had altered the lunch menus and he placed them in their folders.
"I'll get one of the waitresses from the restaurant to help with the lunchtime rush." He pulled down his shirt sleeves and fastened his cufflinks.
"Thank you. I'd appreciate the help."
Kirsty realized Reeve hadn't heard the sarcasm in her voice. He frowned in a preoccupied way as he shrugged his broad shoulders into the jacket of his suit and straightened his tie. Menus in hand he strode purposefully through the restaurant doors. Kirsty couldn't help herself. She had to see how he handled the pompous head waiter. As she pushed the restaurant door ajar, she peered through the narrow gap and eavesdropped on their conversation. Relief flooded through her when she saw Reeve had his back to her. She had difficulty suppressing her laughter when she saw the dismayed expression on the face of Henri, the head waiter.
"One of your staff will have to help out in the kitchen during the lunch hour. Two of the kitchen maids are ill." Reeve Stuart's deep voice carried easily to the kitchen doorway.
"No! Such a thing is impossible!" The head waiter's face flushed a deep red, and he stared at Reeve in disbelief. "I cannot possibly manage without a full complement of staff."
"Nonsense! If it becomes necessary, I'll step in and wait on tables. No!" He held up a hand to silence Henri. "The kitchen won't be able to cope without help, and your diners will go hungry. I leave it to you to choose which waiter or waitress you can spare."
Buy Link: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-388/Recipe-for-Romance-Sue/Detail.bok
Review by Maria Sadowski https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=394396763975022&id=187981637917791&comment_id=64891361¬if_t=share_comment