Savory and SweetAuthor(s): Julian Keys
(Available in epub, mobi, and pdf)
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
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Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Tags: baking, cooking, f/m, interracial, Novella, person(s) of color, Short Story
Rosemary folded her arms before her, and her eyes resentfully slid away, like he’d reminded her of some forgotten insult. “I don’t cook.”
Don’t cook? Chef’s daughter?
His thoughts must have shown in his expression, because she qualified herself, “I mean I don’t cook like my mother does—did. Professionally or for others.” Her full lips tightened. “Mother… kept family and work very separate. She almost never cooked at home and she never gave me any lessons. She didn’t even like for me to come to the restaurant.”
Jake could almost taste the bitterness. He winced. That explained why, in the four years he’d been here, Rosemary had never visited. He’d imagined her as some kind of ivory tower brat, an intellectual snob with no interest in her mother’s hands-on profession. It had never occurred to him that Chef Davis might have been to blame.
“If it hadn’t been for my grandfather,” Rosemary added, “I wouldn’t even know what a kitchen was.”
“Oh.” Jake managed. “Um. So, what did your grandfather teach you?”
She shrugged. “How to bake.”
Jake straightened, suddenly aroused in a whole different way. “You mean pastries? Desserts? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Chef never made any of that stuff. She always ordered in the breads and sweets.”
“Ah.” For the first time Rosemary’s gaze softened. And for the first time, Jake saw a resemblance between her and her mother. It was there in that same, amused expression.
“That’s ’cause Momma spent her childhood and adolescence slaving away in grandpa’s bakery. It was one of the most famous bakeries in Oakland,” she added in that bluesy accent common to certain parts of the East Bay. “They made cobblers and monkey bread, rice pudding and such—all without air-conditioning. They just had big fans blowing the hot air around. Grandpa and grandma did all the baking, which left Momma stuck behind the counter filling orders.”
“Um-hmmmm.” Rosemary agreed. “She hated it, so much that when she left for culinary school she made a vow to never make sweets or baked goods, not ever.”
“That… explains a lot.”
“My dad died around the same time that Momma finally became a head chef,” Rosemary went on. “Grandpa, who was a widower by then and having trouble with arthritis, sold the bakery and came to live with us.” She shrugged. “I got a different view of baking from him than Momma did. It was an activity we could share, like making things out of clay. It was fun, not work.”
Jake felt that his eyes must be nearly falling out of his head, he was staring at her so intently now. “So you do cook.”
“I bake,” she insisted, “and usually only for myself. That’s different.”
“All right, then. I’ll make the savory, you make the sweet.”
“Huh?” Her arms dropped to her sides. “No. Oh no”
“Yes!” He grinned. “Come on. I’ve got all this fresh produce that will just go to waste. You can help me figure out what to do with it, or better yet, you can show me.”
“Jake, I don’t want to spend the day making pies.”
“Two quick breads and a dessert,” he cut in. “That’s all I ask. And I’ll make three savory dishes in return. The only rule is that we have to use at least one ingredient from the garden. Whoever makes the most delicious item wins.”
He waggled his brows. “We’ll think of something, unless you don’t believe your homey baking skills can match my culinary expertise?”
That got to her. A spark came to her eyes. So, she did have some of Chef Davis’s competitive edge.
Rosemary stepped forward and snatched the pails of boysenberries from him. “These are mine,” she announced. “And I’m going to want some peaches. Where do you keep the flour?”
Love Stories by Julian Keys
The art of romance is that of a locksmith, carefully crafting the perfect key that will fill the unique hole in each individual’s heart, opening them to a world of intimacy that fills the imagination and speeds the pulse. A tightly closed opening unfolds itself at the touch of the right shaft. Secret feelings are locked deep within, just waiting to be released. Revealed here are some of life’s most treasured moments, crafted into stories of men and women finding themselves – and each other – in love.
In this volume, award-winning author Julian Keys gives us seven love stories where sharing is caring, truth is daring, and a one night stand might last forever. Witness the evolution of the human heart, students on the market for romance, lovers cooking up something special, and a beautiful photographer realizing his big dreams. Take up the Keys to Romance, and unlock worlds of love.