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Mason Stewart is in a pickle. He and his brother are the co-owners of the Black Elkhorn Lodge and Resort. Their dream stands at the precipice of utter ruin because their previous chef embezzled every last dime of savings they had for the lodge. In a last ditch effort to save his business from the brink of annihilation, Mason hires a new chef for their restaurant; sight unseen.
Nothing can prepare him for Emily, the red-haired siren who waltzes into his resort, carting a set of chef knives and demanding to see her new kitchen. She challenges his authority. She inflames his every wicked desire. She is everything he has ever wanted. And he can’t touch her. He’s her boss. And it would be wrong to give in to the incendiary heat between them… wouldn’t it?
Read an Excerpt:
Well, if those numbers didn’t just chafe his ass.
Mason checked and re-checked the account ledgers. He’d been over them more times than any sane person would, but he wanted—needed—to be certain they were correct. The loss they’d sustained three months ago had been substantial. With what was left, they’d be lucky if the Black Elkhorn Lodge and Resort didn’t shut its doors by Christmas.
“Are you sure about the numbers?” Cole asked.
Mason glanced across the expanse of his mahogany wooden desk at his brother. There were lines of tension in his shoulders and tanned features that were so much like their dad’s, including the dark chocolate shade of his hair that he wore past his shoulders and his brown eyes nearly the color of soot. Whereas Mason took more after their mom, with his lighter shade of brown hair and eye color—in a manly way, of course.
His gut twisted. Despair and dread seized him.
Mason detested himself for their current plight: the lodge nearly bankrupt. And it was all his fault.
Before all this, Mason had prided himself on reading other people. He’d been cocky about it. As a Dom, he’d considered his ability to size up a person to be top notch. But their last chef had proven him wrong. His arrogance had cost them. Mason hadn’t seen the fraud and deceit behind the chef’s apron before the no-good piece of trash had embezzled nearly every penny the lodge had.
He could still remember when he’d discovered the theft. The disbelief, the anger. His normal fun-loving personality had vanished overnight. The lodge, the dream their parents had conceptualized and that he and Cole had actualized, had tail-spun out of control. They had gone from having excess capital with savings to spare, to barely limping along and teetering on the brink of collapse.
In the last three months, they’d had to liquidate their investment portfolio just to keep their noses above water. But the costs of running the lodge were considerable. It took capital to make this place run.
“I’m sure. We are well and truly fucked. If we make it until Christmas and are able to pack guests in, maybe we can string things along enough to begin rebuilding,” Mason replied. But word had spread about their legal woes no matter how much damage control they’d tried to do. Without a functioning restaurant on the property, the Black Elkhorn Lodge and Resort had received cancellations in droves. The once prosperous getaway hemorrhaged funds daily.
“Well, with the restaurant currently closed, we’re losing a stream of revenue right there,” Cole said, telling Mason something he already knew. Still, he was glad they were both on the same page.
Frustrated, he slammed the account ledgers shut and irritably ran a hand over his face. The irritation was all self-directed. Mason couldn’t remember the last time he’d genuinely smiled. In the three months since the bottom had been yanked out of their business and a person he’d trusted had robbed them blind, there hadn’t been much reason to smile. When he observed himself in the mirror every morning, he no longer recognized the person in it. The haggard expression and grim line of his mouth. The permanent scowl and self-loathing.
Life, for Mason, had once been a bountiful banquet, and he’d never given it deeper thought than the fun to be had. Now, it was a steaming pile of horse manure. He replied, “I realize that. While you were leading the fishing expedition trip this past week, I contacted Le Cordon Bleu on the west coast for a recommendation. We need a chef running the restaurant if we have any hope of staving off further losses. I figured we need all the help we can get at this point. Not to mention, it could be a potential draw in our advertising to have a fully trained chef from such a reputable institution. As much as we adore her, Tibby can’t handle the load or full responsibility. Not that she’s not capable, but she balances her time here with her daughter’s needs. I can’t make a single mom give me more time than she’s able. Our new chef should arrive today.”
About the Author: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com/. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/
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