In the kitchen of the restaurant he owned in New York City, he had young apprentices to do much of the chopping and prep work. For the restaurant it worked, after all his sous chef and executive chef were responsible for crafting each evening’s menu. No two nights were alike. Though he took less personal chef roles these days, and when he did, he often brought assistants with him, for his mate, he wanted to expertly prepare everything himself. Even the cut of a grape tomato had to be perfect to bring out the most flavor. The exact ratio of tomatoes to mandolin slices of the purple and yellow carrots he’d brought, to the size of the lettuce, everything worked together perfectly. He refused to have a single thing out of place.

In the back of his mind, he knew he had three days to convince his mate that they were fated to be together. The logistics, of her being the CFO of a firm, and his traveling schedule, those would work out for themselves. His beautiful Italian estate, though his family had come from Greece, provided a European home away from home. While in the states, he stated in the city, bouncing between the coasts depending on his taping schedule and the supervision of his restaurant. That he’d been offered a TV program, his for the taking, if he wanted it, only added to the complications of his life. And yet, he knew, once his mate realized that they were meant to be, it’d all work out. Between his attention to detail and her grounded focused nature, wherever they were, it was sure to be a palace meant just for them.

Already he imagined sliding the silk blouse from her shoulders, followed by the thin straps of her bra to reveal the globes of her breasts. His body responded, tightening with need at the vision of her long, bare legs, and her body naked and ready for his exploration.

Effie Daniels left nothing to chance. A determined CFO of an internet startup, she counted numbers, weighed the cost against the benefits, and always made the argument for the more frugal option. Which meant she hadn’t made her decision to hire a personal chef lightly. However being pampered the weekend before Valentine’s Day would give her the strength to deal with the endless parade of chocolate and flowers that always invaded the office, and would fill her freezer so she wouldn’t have to cook for a while. If she happened to hire sexy star chef Nessos Aragnos, well don’t let anyone say the company wasn’t doing well. She just had to remember, she’d paid him to be there and when the weekend was over, he’d leave only his delicious creations behind.

The instant Nessos had seen Effie’s picture on her company’s website, he’d known she was his fated mate. That she’d hired him proved it. Plus, it’d provide the perfect opportunity to seduce her with his food and with his body. He was more than ready to take on the challenge of convincing her they were mates.

When she discovers he’s also a centaur, Effie’s wondering if there’s a little magic, or something, in the food Nessos is cooking for her. She’s willing to accept that Nessos isn’t human. That they’re mates? Well that’s going to take a little more convincing, one delectable dish at a time.

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