“Ginger and Gentlemen”, the third novella in the Recipe for Romance series, is coming out next week! It’ll be out July 24 from Torquere Press, and we’re hosting a chance to win a free digital copy here. Enter to win between now and July 24!
Some of our readers have mentioned their fondness for our snarky executive chef, Stephen Pierce, so his fans may be glad to know that while this isn’t his and Robert’s story (that’s “Cinnamon and Seduction”, which will be coming out November 6), Stephen plays a larger role in this story than he has in the previous two.
In “Ginger and Gentlemen”, Stephen is filming a special for the Gourmet Network with Max Boyd as his director, and he’s suggested featuring his little brother’s restaurant. Ian Pierce owns his own diner, The Filling Station, in Hickory Bend, SC, which specializes in classic Southern comfort food like chicken and pastry, collards, and seafood boils. The food and the setting are both perfect for Stephen’s show, but unfortunately, the brothers haven’t been on good terms since… Well, ever.
Nine years apart, they had little in common while growing up, and their father drove a wedge between them when he focused all of his time and attention on molding Stephen into the perfect chef to continue the Pierce legacy and ignored Ian. Now Ian has to try to put aside all of his anger, jealousy, and resentment in order to work with Stephen because he’s in danger of losing his diner, and he desperately needs the money that doing the show will bring.
For Ian, the diner represents more than a means of earning a living. It’s his lifelong dream, and it’s his way of thumbing his nose at his father and brother. After a lifetime of being compared to Stephen and found lacking, he’s desperate to prove he’s capable of emerging from under Stephen’s shadow and succeeding as a chef in his own right.
Meanwhile, Ian’s best friend, Matt Davis, is working his own angle, convincing Max to add a bonus to Ian’s contract and putting up the money for it himself because he’ll do anything to help Ian avoid losing his diner. But Ian is fiercely proud and independent, determined to succeed on his own, and if he finds out that Matt has gone behind his back like this, it could spell the end of their friendship — and Matt will lose the man he loves.
For this story, I wrote Ian, and I have to say, he’s one of the most fun characters I’ve ever written. Ian is snarky and outspoken, and he constantly surprised me with the uninhibited dialogue that popped out of his mouth. That may sound weird, but I’m sure there are plenty of writers out there who know exactly what I mean when I say Ian is one of those characters who has a mind of his own, and I didn’t so much write him as hand over the keys, sit quietly in the passenger seat, and hold on while he took over the ride.
This boy knew what he wanted, and he made sure to tell me as well as the other characters in the story. Fortunately, Matt is much more easy-going, and he didn’t mind Ian’s forcefulness. Like Stephen and Robert, they’re very much a yin-yang match, but even if Matt had balked, Ian knows all he has to do is whip up a batch of gingersnaps using his own secret recipe, designed and perfected just for Matt, to make Matt come running.
As an aside, I’d like to point to our various social media accounts. Some of them see more use than others, because hours in the day, etc. but we do try to keep fairly involved!
I’ve also added widgets from Goodreads on our short stories, novellas, and novels pages so that each individual entry has a button that will let you add that story/novella/novel to your Goodreads shelf right from our site!