Book: A Chef Apart
Author: Teresa Crumpton
Release Date: June 17, 2021
About the Book
Four years ago Trey Griffin lost the love of his life becoming a widower. After losing Joe, he swore off relationships, only pursuing hookups. But with his friends and business partners all finding love and urging him to try again, he’s opening a door he’d thought would stay closed.
Abigail Grace Saintsbury, Grace, is an event planner, more specifically a wedding planner. She co-owns BDSM – Brides, Diners, Socials & Mixers her event planning business with her twin sister, and business is booming. One of her most memorable weddings to date was Trey’s best friends and business partners. In fact, she just got hired by another one of his friends and business partners.
After two previous encounters, one dance, and a blind date, Trey can’t deny his attraction to Grace. The only question is will their differences bring them together or push them apart?
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Exclusive Excerpt from A Chef Apart
It’s been a hell of a few days. One of the brides I’m working with has turned into a bridezilla, and I’m not exactly sure the other one still wants to get married. After this latest round of cake tastings with Bridezilla, I don’t think she’s going to be happy with any of the bakers here in Austin.
Why can’t all my weddings be more like Calla and Wes’s?
Granted, they were down to the wire on planning, but they made it feel effortless.
Not to mention, the eye candy wasn’t bad, I muse. My lips tip up into a slight smile as I remember the dance with a particular sexy chef.
“I don’t like this one either,” Bridezilla whines, and I barely stop myself from rolling my eyes.
“Can you tell me what you don’t like about it?” Mic, her fiancé––and possibly a saint––asks.
I seriously want to know how he hasn’t killed her yet, but I guess when you truly love someone, you’ll put up with a lot. And boy does this man put up with a lot.
“The frosting is all wrong, and it’s too chocolaty,” she complains, making me do a double-take.
Glancing at the plate in front of her, I notice there isn’t a single slice of chocolate anything to be found. I even flip through my notes for this bride, who specifically said she didn’t want anything chocolate. I know I told Marybeth no chocolate, so what in the hell is this crazy chick talking about? My gaze rises from the cake to the groom’s puzzled face, then higher where I spot Marybeth herself, eyebrow raised, standing behind the bride and groom.
“Babe, there isn’t any chocolate on the tasting plate at all. We tasted carrot cake,” the groom corrects her in a gentle tone, and surprisingly enough, it doesn’t come across as impatient or condescending. Which is honestly a miracle.
“Why don’t we cut this tasting short?” I suggest. “Then, y’all can take the rest of the day to discuss what you’re precisely looking for in a cake. Okay?”
Saint Mic gives me a grateful smile. “I think that would be best. Thanks, Grace. We’ll call you in a few days.” Mic takes Bridezilla’s hand and leads her out the door.
Marybeth stands there with her hands on her hips and a stunned expression on her face. “That did not just happen, did it?! The bride has a few screws loose.” She adds an eye roll for good measure.
“I told you she’s a bridezilla,” I remind her, gathering my things to go.
“Girl, that is an understatement if I’ve ever heard one,” she mutters, stepping up to the table and picking up the dirty plates. “Let me know when––or if––they want a different tasting.”
“Will do. Thanks again, Marybeth,” I tell her as my phone rings.
“I’ll see you later, sweetie.”
I wave at her, lifting the phone to my ear. “Grace Saintsbury,” I answer as I exit the bakery.
“Grace, it’s Calla. I know this is short notice, and you probably already have plans. But if you don’t, how about coming to Belladonna tonight for dinner?” she rushes out, and I pull the phone from my ear to look at it.
With a quick glance, I verify the date.
“Calla, it’s Valentine’s Day, and while I don’t have plans, I don’t care to be surrounded by people in love who are on romantic dates. Besides, isn’t Belladonna booked solid?” I half wonder if Calla hasn’t hit the sauce a little too early today.
“Perfect! We’ll expect you around 6:30.” She plows ahead like I didn’t tell her no. “You’ll have a seat waiting for you in the bar, and you’ll have a date meeting you there. Oh, and Grace? Wear something hot.” Calla hangs up before I can even get another word in.
What the hell?
Shaking my head, I send my sister a quick text.
Me: It seems I’m expected to dine with an unknown date at Belladonna tonight. I was told to wear something hot. I don’t have anything hot. Help, please!
Instead of tossing my phone in my bag, as usual, I keep a hold of it as I make my way to my car half a block away. This way, when Eden responds, I’ll be ready. I’m at my car by the time she messages me back.
Eden: Hell, yes! This will be so fun! Maybe she’s setting you up with her hot friend. The one who kept watching me at the chili cook-off last fall.
I reply as I’m about to unlock my car and get in.
Me: Trey. He’s the one I danced with at her wedding, and the one you sent me the picture of during the cook-off.
Eden: Right. Trey. He is freakin’ handsome! You definitely need something hot to wear if this turns out to be a date with him. I’ve got you covered. It’s a good thing you got curvy. Otherwise, I’d tell you we’re going shopping. But you’re in luck because I think I have the perfect dress. I’ll bring shoes too.
Me: I’d say hell no to the shopping. I’ll leave the door unlocked. I’m supposed to be at Belladonna at 6:30.
Eden: I’ll be at your place around 4. Love you!
Me: Love you too.
I toss my phone onto the passenger seat, buckle in, and head across the city to my townhouse.
About the Author
Teresa Crumpton is a hybrid: she grew up in the Midwest and the American South. She writes dark supernatural thrillers and contemporary romance. She loves classic horror movies and Shakespeare. She never thought she’d turn her passion for writing into a career, but here she is!
When Teresa isn’t writing, you can find her at book signings or traveling the world with the perfect man for her. She’s living the dream and keeping a promise she made to her father before he passed.
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