In both books, AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN
and PRETTY MAN, I wrote a few scenes that combined food with romance. There are no kinky sex food scenes in either book, because the stories didn’t call for that. The food scenes were emotional and romantic, not sexy. But I’ve been amazed at how many readers have either commented on the food and romance angle, or bought the book just because there are scenes that combine romance and food. In PRETTY MAN I wrote about cupcakes and chocolate, but in AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN I went into great depth about food because the main character’s profession is in the food industry. Below is an excerpt from a food scene that some readers have commented on with various blog posts. So I thought I’d share it here.
Chance was usually awake by five each morning and down in the kitchen by five-thirty. This was his creative cooking time. Sometimes he baked large blueberry muffins with buttery golden tops; other times he prepared rich loaves of pound cake, or puffy glazed cinnamon rolls, or delicate foccacia bread. Each morning he cooked something special for the day, a recipe he’d designed and created himself that he displayed magnificently in a massive wooden bowl lined with a black and white striped cloth at the end of the deli counter.
At first, Dan had been completely against the idea of having a “special” for each day of the week; his idea of running a market was to put out the basics (cans of baked beans and ketchup) and collect the money. But when he saw how the customers flocked to the black and white striped cloth and were willing to pay twenty dollars for one of Chance’s pound cakes, or four dollars for one of his blueberry muffins, he shut his mouth. Half the time he couldn’t even pronounce the specials, like when Chance baked loaves of bread and topped them with olive tappenaude; but the people knew and they bought whatever he cooked. And by the end of the day the wooden bowl was always empty. It was rumored there were people who only went to Dan’s market to see what the special for the day was. And it was always something they couldn’t get anywhere else but there.
That day he whistled on his way down the back stairs. He’d been so inspired by his dream that he decided to create an original Buffalo chicken spread, something hot and spicy you could either spread on a cracker as an appetizer, spread on a sour dough roll for lunch, or even place on a bed of baby greens for a light supper…the possibilities were endless. He’d done Buffalo chicken wings before; he’d even created a special Buffalo chicken calzone; but never a hot, spicy spread. He decided to use two extra, special ingredients: Marscapone cheese and just a hint of capers. He liked to layer different flavors, to combine an overall effect, which would add a delicate, pleasant under taste to an original recipe. With blueberry muffins he always added a hint of lime; no one knew, but the combination created a taste sensation that people couldn’t resist. The special ingredient didn’t have to be exotic and expensive either. With his remarkable Mac and Cheese special, the two ingredients that made it taste exotic were nothing more than mustard powder and nutmeg.