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Rock Hard Boss

Rock Hard Boss

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Rock Hard Boss

Lunghezza:
229 pagine
3 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 15, 2020
ISBN:
9781393893585
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

If you can't take the heat, get the f*ck out of my kitchen.
Cooking and sex are what I do best.
But loving a woman is where I fall short.

I've only cared about three things in the world:
My daughter.
My restaurant.
And bulldozing any *sshole that gets in my way.
That was it for me - until I hired Amber Foster as my newest chef.
HOT would be an understatement. She's a spitfire and she's got more balls than all the men in my kitchen combined.
I want to flip her over easy and scramble her until she screams my name.
Today's special? Sausage with a side of Grade A beef.

She's got serious talent, but she needs my direction. I just hope I can keep my di*k in my pants long enough to show her the ropes.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 15, 2020
ISBN:
9781393893585
Formato:
Libro

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Correlato a Rock Hard Boss

Leggi altro di Rye Hart
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Anteprima del libro

Rock Hard Boss - Rye Hart

ropes.

CHAPTER ONE - LUKE HARRISON

The dinner rush was in full swing and I felt that old, familiar thrill surge through me. I’d been running my own restaurant for the last few years, but that excitement never faded. Orders flew in and food went sailing out, my line cooks bustled around the kitchen, following my every command. The air was filled with the exotic scent of menu items designed personally by me.

It was barely controlled chaos, and it was my job to hold it all together somehow. Everything had to be perfect. Every dish. Every night. Every day. 

Danny, my second-in-command, slid a plate of sizzling steak onto the counter in front of me, signifying it was ready to go out into the dining room. I could tell it was overcooked just by looking at it. A quick probe with my finger confirmed my thoughts.

I yanked the plate off the counter, barely suppressing the urge to smash it on the floor. I kept my kitchen spotless, and I wasn’t going to fuck up the floor because of one less-than-stellar plate. Instead, I thrust the charred steak in Danny’s face.

Are you seriously expecting me to serve this?

Danny eyed the steak warily, as if it might come to life and bite him.

Is it undercooked? he asked, not meeting my gaze.

Undercooked? Are you fucking insane? It’s burned all to hell like a piece of old shoe leather. I wouldn’t feed this shit to my dog! I growled loudly as the rest of the kitchen seemed to stop around us.

Good. They could learn a lesson too; cook the best food possible or get the fuck out.

I’m sorry, Chef Harrison, he said, not meeting my gaze. I’ll make a new one.

I tossed the plate on the counter next to him. I don’t want your apologies; I want you to do it right the first time.

Yes, Chef, he mumbled. I turned to leave when he spoke again. It’s just that we’re understaffed. I’m working two stations, Chef.

Anger boiled up inside me and I got in his face. Look at me. I don’t want to hear excuses. You’ve got two hands, two eyes, and you can handle two goddamn stations.

Boss, please. Ever since Gloria left, we’ve been short-handed.

He was right, of course, but there was nothing I could do about it tonight. I’d already chosen a new chef to join the team, but I hadn’t shared the news with the rest of the brigade yet. I didn’t want them slacking off in the meantime.

A new chef tomorrow wouldn’t help them today.

You’re right, I said. Gloria’s not here, but you are. Now, we’ve got a packed dining room out there, and none of them give a damn that we’re down a chef. They expect the same high-quality food we serve every night. So, I need you to focus and get the job done. Can you handle that?

He nodded. I think so.

"You think? If you can’t do it, tell me right now. Tell me right the fuck now. I’ll take over your stations, and you can give Sergio a hand washing dishes. I’ll ask you again, can you handle it?"

The threat of busting him down to dishwasher lit a fire in Danny’s eyes. He glared at me like I’d just run over his mother. Absolutely, Chef. I can handle it. His voice was strong and steady, a complete reversal of the way he’d been just seconds ago.

Don’t let me down. Period.

He turned back to his stations with a renewed energy. The pan sizzled as he dropped a fresh steak in. Danny was back. And this was why I was so hard on my crew.

Sure, he was beyond pissed at me. He was probably cursing my name under his breath and wishing all kinds of terrible things on me, but that was good. It meant he’d work three times as hard tonight just to prove me wrong and throw it back in my face.

If I were a betting man, I’d wager he wouldn’t mess up another meal for the rest of the dinner service.

A few minutes later, Danny brought a freshly cooked steak over. He stood watching me, waiting for my assessment. I took my time looking it over, not because I wasn’t sure if it was done correctly, but because I wanted him to sweat a little.

I could tell immediately that it was cooked to perfection. I couldn’t let him off the hook so quickly, not if I wanted the fire in him to keep burning for the rest of the dinner shift.

When I finally turned to him, his jaw was clenched so tightly the muscles in his neck stood out in thick cords.

All night, Danny, I said, pointing at the steak. Like this. All night.

He nodded curtly and hustled back to his stations.

***

I slumped into the sagging leather chair in my office at the back of the restaurant. Dinner was over, the kitchen had been cleaned, and the staff had gone home for the night.

Danny hadn’t spoken to me for the rest of the evening, but that was fine. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. He might, but I wouldn’t.  I’d done what I had to do for the good of the restaurant.

Things had been going well for me. The reviews had been great, and the dining room was booked solid for the next few months. That didn’t mean I could sit back and relax, it meant that I had to work even harder to maintain the restaurant’s reputation. As part of that, I had to bring on a new chef to replace the one I’d lost.

I hated to let the old one go, but the woman was delusional. There was a lot of shit I would put up with, but someone in my kitchen batting her eyes at me and whispering my name seductively during a dinner rush was fucking out as far as I was concerned.

I’d given love a try in the past, and the bitch had stabbed me in the heart and kicked me in the balls. I was done with it. Period.

Now, I would have been more than happy to bend the cute blonde over a kitchen counter and work her silly, but she didn’t want that. She wanted a relationship. That shit wasn’t happening on my watch.

I leaned forward and grabbed the new chef’s application off my desk. Amber Foster. She was the one. With the restaurant’s success, I’d gotten an avalanche of applications; more than I could properly review without pulling my eyelids out. But for some reason, Amber’s stood out among the rest.

The thought of bringing in another female had me doubting my sanity, but maybe she would be different.

Doubtful. She’s young and probably quite confident in herself. I brushed my fingers over my lips. How could she not be?

I read through the numerous awards listed on the page. She’d been top of her class in culinary school, best pastry chef, and on and on. It was impressive, but I was starting to doubt my decision to hire her even more.

At just twenty-two, Amber might know how to cook, but she didn’t have much practical experience. It was one thing to whip up a tasty dish in the classroom. It was quite another to produce that kind of quality in the middle of a dinner rush when all hell was breaking loose around you.

I’d find out whether she could handle it tomorrow. For better or worse, I needed someone else with skills.

And for fuck’s sake, I tossed the resume back on my desk, don’t be a crier. Anything but a crier. I cupped my face and let out a long sigh.

I was about to throw her into the deep end and find out if she could swim.

If she couldn’t, well then, her ass was out too.

***

Marla was sitting at the kitchen table tapping at her laptop when I got home. In addition to being my daughter’s nanny, she went to college part time. It was difficult for her to juggle school and this job, but I respected the hell out of her for doing it.

It was nice to have an older, respectable woman in the house with me. Hiring a nanny had been about as hard as hiring new chefs. Something about being an asshole seemed to turn women into needy whores, willing to throw out just about anything to get my attention. It was getting old, and so was I.

Evening, Marla, I said.

She turned to me with a warm smile. Hello, Mr. Harrison.

Please, I’ve told you a million times to call me Luke.

She closed her laptop and stuffed it into her bag. And you can tell me a million more. It won’t change anything.

I smiled as I sat down at the table across from her. Any problems tonight?

The smile faded from her face, replaced with a slight frown. Emery was a little, um, difficult tonight.

I shook my head. If you’re saying she was difficult, she must have been a nightmare. You’re way too good to my daughter.

Oh, no. Nothing like that. It’s just, you know how she gets sometimes; a little defiant.

I rubbed my hand across the stubble of my cheek. I’ll talk to her. She’s been acting out a lot lately.

Marla zipped up her bag and slung it over her shoulders. I’m sure it’s just a phase. She’s a sweetheart most of the time.

I smiled. That she is. I stood up from the table with a sigh. As always, I appreciate the help.

Sure thing.

I won’t keep you any longer. Be safe going home.

She nodded and headed out of the kitchen. See you tomorrow, she sang out over her shoulder as she left.

I made my way upstairs where soft pink light glowed from Emery’s open bedroom door from her unicorn night light. She couldn’t sleep without it.

I stood in the doorway watching her. The slight rise and fall of her little chest beneath the covers gave me a moment of serenity that I probably didn’t deserve. Her tiny angelic face looked peaceful in slumber. My days at the restaurant were hard, but it was all worth it when I came home to her.

I crept into the room, careful not to wake her. A pang of guilt stabbed at me, knowing that I couldn’t be there to tuck her in at night. Late nights came with the job. At least I got to spend time with her in the mornings, but in a perfect world, I could be there for her all day.

Fuck, in a perfect world, she’d have a mom. One that stuck around and loved us both. I swallowed the same sick sadness that rose up in my chest every time I thought about Jennifer, the sorry excuse for a human hadn’t even stuck around to watch Emery take her first steps.

Somehow it felt better to point my anger at Jen leaving and hurting Emery. The truth was too painful to face. She hadn’t just left my princess; she’d left me too.

I bent down over her and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. Emery was a good kid. Whatever problems she’d been having recently, they weren’t her fault. With Jen out of the picture, Emery was missing a maternal influence in her life, and it seemed she needed one - badly.

Marla did a great job taking care of her, but she was no substitute for a real mother. Unfortunately, I wasn’t about to look for a replacement. The days of me loving a woman and hoping that I was enough for her to love me back were long gone. Besides, Em needed stability, and as far as I was concerned, I was the only one capable of giving it to her.

I would figure out a way to make things work with just the two of us. I had to.

Just you and me, kiddo, I whispered. You and me against the world.

CHAPTER TWO - AMBER FOSTER

I pulled into the staff parking lot behind the restaurant for my first day of work. The place looked deserted; only one other car sat in the lot. I was about a half hour early, but I didn’t expect to be the only one there.

Oh well, better to be early and wait than show up late. I only had one chance to make a first impression and I didn’t want to screw it up. Besides, I’d waited as long as I could before leaving my apartment.

First day jitters had made sleeping impossible. I had tossed and turned most of the night. A little bit before dawn, I’d finally given up and gotten out of bed, not sure if I’d slept at all. After a shower and a few cups of strong coffee, I was as ready as I was going to be.

I double checked my appearance in the rear-view mirror. Dark crescents hung beneath my eyes. I scrounged through my purse for some concealer. Kitchen work was hot and sweaty, so I hadn’t bothered with too much makeup. Still, I couldn’t show up looking like an extra from The Walking Dead.

I smeared the flesh-colored goo under my eyes. Much better. I wasn’t going to impress my new boss with my looks, but it couldn’t hurt to look decent.

Chef Harrison had a reputation in the industry. Some people praised him as a perfectionist, the kind of chef who demanded every detail be flawless. Some denounced him as a dictator in the kitchen, pushing his staff beyond the breaking point. Others just plain called him an asshole.

While opinions differed, the one thing everyone agreed upon was that his restaurant, Emery, produced amazing food. No matter how difficult working there might be, the experience would be invaluable. I could learn a lot from Harrison, if I could endure his famous temper.

The back door to the restaurant burst open, so hard it slammed against the building’s exterior. The sound of it made me jump, leaving me to feel a little foolish. I was just glad no one else had seen my reaction.

An incredibly handsome guy with thick shoulders and a well-trimmed beard emerged from the doorway with trash bags gripped in both fists.

The garbage must have been heavy because I could see his muscles flexing beneath his thin white t-shirt. A dark tattoo decorated his left arm, and I could almost make out the image of wings across the top of his chest.

He threw the bags easily into the dumpster, and they landed with a sound like thunder.

He must have been the owner of the other car in the lot. I guessed the busboy must show up early to get things cleaned up before the chefs arrived.

He pulled his arms behind him like he was stretching his back, and i had the pleasant effect of making his shirt cling to him like a second skin. His broad, masculine chest lit a pleasant warmth inside me.

Fuck. How long had it been since I’d been close to a well-built guy? Shit, any guy for that matter? I sure as hell hadn’t ever been with a guy that hot or ripped. Only in my dreams.

My eyes followed the hard lines of his torso down to where the hem of his shirt had risen above his stomach. His jeans hung low on his hips, exposing the v-shaped muscles of his abdomen.

My mouth watered at the sight of him and I couldn’t help but wonder how he looked with the jeans thrown in the corner and his undies

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