Her Centaur Chef
Centaurs of New York Book 2
centaur erotic Valentine’s Day romance
Release Date: 01/28/2019
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.
According to her schedule, Effie had arrived home with an hour to spare before her cook was supposed to show up. Nessos Aragnos headlined all the major cooking magazines, his own YouTube channel, and even guested on several cooking shows. Rumor had it, he’d be bringing his Mediterranean-Fusion style to the Food Network soon. Known for his exacting ingredients and perfection in the kitchen, A-listers demanded him for their parties and others wanted him. And she had him! He’d taken the commission the weekend before Valentine’s Day even, because…she didn’t know. And now she needed to make sure her kitchen was perfectly ready for a chef of his caliber.
Thankfully her commercial oven and convection stovetop were up to the challenge. Her refrigerators, both for food and wine, as well as her freezer were stocked with the list of ingredients he’d given her. Some things he’d purchase himself, and of course all of that had been included in the cost. She’d pay far more than the five grand a day if it meant getting to taste his food in a personal, intimate setting. She wiped a rag over her counters, though everything was spotless, then went to her office to get a little work done before he arrived.
The doorbell startled her out of focusing on next quarter’s forecast. He was here! She saved her work, then glanced down at her loose charcoal gray trousers and silver silk blouse. Monochromatic gray hadn’t been the look she’d been going for; she’d worn a black blazer at the carnival, and with her feet in her black ballet slippers, she realized she’d have to make do.
She glanced through the window and sucked in a quick breath. In person, Nessos was far more handsome than he’d been in the magazines or on television, not that she followed his career…much. His thick dark blond hair was sun kissed at the ends, and just long enough to make her wonder what it would be like to run her fingers through the silken strands. Beneath his coat, his broad shoulders made her think of a safe harbor, and when she opened the door, his jeans were worn in all the right places.
“Hello,” she said, hating how breathy her voice sounded. “Come in.”
“Hello, Effie.” His slightly accented voice rolled across her senses with the softness of a caress. “I’m pleased to be able to cook for you this weekend. If you’ll show me the way to your kitchen, I can bring everything in.”
She realized she was staring at him, though he probably got that a lot. She gestured for him to follow her, and he closed the door behind him. She led him from the foyer into a large living space divided by a bar into a dining area and the kitchen, and the living room. She loved the open room, liked being able to visit with friends while she worked in the kitchen, and from the smile of approval that reached his eyes and made them sparkle, he did too.
“What a marvelous place for me the create a canvas of edible masterpieces. You have a lovely home.”
His praise warmed her. “Thank you. Do you need any help—?”
He quickly waved her away. “Oh no no. I am the chef and it is my goal to pamper you, to make you feel like a princess. Please, relax. Would you like me to pour you a glass of wine?”
Oh, she hadn’t expected to be waited on like this, though maybe he’d have staff with him who would do that sort of work. “I’m fine, thanks. If you’ll excuse me then, I have some work to finish.”
“Pericles said what you leave behind is not engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. Work should be a part of your life, not your entire life.” Nessos smiled. “And that is enough philosophy for today. I shall have dinner ready at six and then we shall begin our grand adventure together.”
“Those sound like very wise words. Alas, the board will still want to see the financial projects I’m preparing. We knew this would happen when we went public.” With a bit of laughter, she hurried into her office and away from Nessos’ magnetic presence.
What was she thinking indulging herself like this? And who was she? She wasn’t an A-list celebrity looking to impress guests or some tycoon with more money than he could ever spend in a hundred lifetimes. Suddenly her idea for a grand, indulgent weekend seemed foolish, selfish even, and as she listened to the sounds of Nessos bringing in whatever he’d brought with himself, she also realized it was too late to cancel.