Authors: Sorcha Grace
Tags: #sex, #a taste of you, #a sip of you, #erotic romance, #sexy fiction, #love, #contemporary romance, #billionaire
“With a deliciously sexy hero, a heroine with unforgettable spice, and mouthwatering sensuality, Sorcha Grace’s
A Taste of You
will have you begging for seconds. Absolutely delectable.”
New York Times
Bestselling Author of
“More than just a taste of sexy here. Scorching hot flames have burned up dinner! Witty and fun,
A Taste of You
by Sorcha Grace is a satisfying, sensual read not to be missed.”
New York Times
“Fans of Sylvia Day and E.L. James will find a lot to like about the mysterious William Lambourne and will root for a heroine who deserves a second chance at love. An intriguing start to a saucy new trilogy.”
—Roni Loren, National Bestselling Author of
Fall into You
“Yummy! Imagine Christian Grey with warm chocolate and you have William Lambourne. Add a complex heroine who gives love another try and you have
A Taste of You
. This steamy romance will take you through twists and turns and have you cheering for love to prevail. I can't wait to read what's next for William and Catherine!”
New York Times
Bestselling Author of
A Feast of You
Copyright © 2014 Sorcha Grace
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher, except where permitted by law.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
hicago looked like it had snowed pink and red. I’d never liked Valentine’s Day—men wearing silly red socks with hearts on them, the cheap drugstore candy, the ridiculous cards—but I had to admit, this year I didn’t mind it so much. Sure, all the hearts and cupids and over-the-top, once-a-year expressions of love were still kind of lame, but I was looking forward to celebrating in a few hours with William.
Maybe that’s why it seemed so fitting that I was on my way to Willowgrass. Chicago’s hottest new restaurant was where it had all began for William and me. Just five or so weeks ago—
had it really only been that long?—
I’d tripped outside the restaurant as I’d left a meeting. Who would have thought my clumsiness would set just about everything in my life on a totally new course? I couldn’t have predicted, much less imagined, where I’d be today. Or who I’d be with.
I remembered looking up at him as I’d scrambled to pick up the contents of my bag that had spilled all over the uneven patch of sidewalk when I tripped. Taking in his thick, wavy bedroom hair; his chiseled features; his eyes that seemed to change from smoky grey to vivid blue. He was the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen, and the entire package had just about rendered me speechless that first night. And now Stormy Eyes—William Maddox Lambourne—was all mine. I couldn’t help but smile at that thought.
The setting sun glinted off the windows of Willowgrass as the car came to a halt in front of the restaurant, and I allowed my gaze to drift up to the burnished W on the sign. It looked the same as the first time I saw it, even though so many things in my life were different now. Take, for example, my ride. The first time I’d arrived in a cab with Beckett. This time, I was sitting in the backseat of a very large, chauffeured, black Mercedes sedan. I wasn’t accompanied by my best friend, but by a private security officer who was my constant shadow.
Asa Singer was a member of William’s security team, and like the others William employed, Asa was a cross between commando and linebacker. I could see Asa’s reflection in the restaurant’s windows as we got out of the car. He was about six foot five, olive-skinned, and handsome. He was also built like a Mac truck and incredibly imposing in his
Men in Black
suit, which strained across his chest and huge shoulders. The guy looked lethal, which was exactly what William had been going for when he’d assigned Asa to me, I was sure.
Asa was friendlier than some of the other guys on the security team, which was to say he actually answered my questions instead of sitting in stoic silence when we were together. He’d told me he’d served in the Israeli Special Forces before turning to private security work. I knew he carried a weapon, but looking at him now, I wondered where he kept it holstered. Hopefully I’d never have to find out.
I’d definitely been on my guard since the break-in at my condo last week. I was lucky—nothing had been stolen—but a violation of privacy like that does things to a girl. Plus, there was the creep factor of receiving a mysterious envelope filled with surveillance photos of me. Just thinking about it made the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
William had seen the envelope of clandestine pictures of me going about my daily routine just hours after he and I had exchanged our first ‘I love yous.’ When he’d revealed that he’d received similar photos, that had been bad enough. I’d wondered what the fuck was going on. But once we got the call that my condo had been broken into, that had been it. William had insisted that I not only stay at his penthouse, but be guarded at all times until this whole scary mess could be sorted out.
I’d protested. I mean, I had my own place that I loved, but I’d known I didn’t stand a chance against William once his mind was made up. Truthfully, I was pretty freaked out, too, so I hadn’t argued with him all that hard. It was weird to know a stranger had been secretly watching me and following me, capturing my every move in digital.
William had said he’d do whatever it took to keep me safe and this past week, I’d tried to remember that his intentions were good, even when his controlling tendencies started to drive me a bit nuts. It was William’s way of showing me he loved me, that I was precious to him, and I loved him back for that. But his idea of safety wasn’t always practical. Right now it meant my Volvo was parked in his building’s garage and off limits, so Asa or another member of William’s team drove me around. I didn’t mind the chauffeur or the bodyguard most of the time, but I was starting to miss my freedom. Sometimes it seemed like I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without asking for permission.
There were perks, however, like William and I playing house in his luxurious 56
-floor penthouse. It was only temporary, but waking up next to William—or under him—every morning was the kind of feast for my erotic senses that I could happily indulge in indefinitely. I was loving all the little domestic things I hadn’t experienced for years, like taking showers together or watching William get dressed in the morning. Most of all, I loved waiting for William to come home every night. He never seemed too tired after work and he found plenty of time to exhaust himself in bed with me until we fell asleep.
Of course, I missed my condo, my runs along the lakefront, and walking through Lincoln Park. But I felt safe and protected at the penthouse and a little bit like a princess. William had given me complete freedom in his home and even set up a workspace for me in his study. His cook did all the shopping and cooking, unless William decided to whip up one of his own delicious concoctions. The housekeeper made certain the entire place was meticulously clean and as neat and tidy as a five-star hotel. If I wanted a run, I headed downstairs to the building’s top-of-the-line gym. If I needed something, Rajesh, the building concierge, was happy to make sure I got it. He called me Miss Catherine and behaved as though I’d been living there all my life.
After our disastrous trip a few weeks ago to William’s estate in Napa Valley, I’d expected to chafe a bit under this house arrest. At Casa di Rosabela, I’d beat my wings like a bird in a gilded cage, confused and abandoned. If I was being honest, I’d admit that I had freaked out and overreacted, riding on an emotional rollercoaster completely of my own making. But it was totally different this time—
was different—and so far, lockdown at the penthouse had been pretty awesome. It helped that I was sharing my cell with the man I loved. And all the incredible sex helped me forget why all the security was necessary in the first place.
Asa cleared his throat, and I realized I was still staring at the Willowgrass sign. Caught daydreaming about William,
, I gave Asa a sheepish smile and stepped into the warmth of the restaurant. It looked the same, but it had taken on an aura of success. As a photographer, I was an expert observer and I’d sensed Willowgrass was destined for greatness the first time I walked in back in January. And I hadn’t been wrong. Ben Lee’s restaurant was a huge hit now and the house was packed, lines out the door, night after night.
I smiled as Ben’s sister, Amanda, came forward to greet me. She looked as lovely as ever in a short red dress and towering black platform heels. As petite as she was, I was more than a head taller, and when we hugged I told her I loved her dress.
“You’re the one who looks fabulous,” she said with a genuine smile. In confusion, I glanced down. Nothing on me was red or screamed Valentine’s Day. I wore black skinny jeans and ankle boots and had on a long black sweater under my wool coat, but Amanda couldn’t have seen it. As usual, my brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail.
“Not your clothes,” Amanda said and laughed. “
. You look so happy.”
happy, though it was almost embarrassing that it was so obvious. “How could I not be happy?” I asked, unable to hold back my smile. “This place smells amazing. Ben’s cooking up something incredible, I bet.”
Amanda’s gaze flicked to Asa, and I turned to him. “This is Asa Singer. He’s keeping me company today.” I’d started explaining the security personnel that way because it invited fewer questions and seemed to put everyone at ease.
“Welcome!” Amanda said. Asa just nodded, his eyes scanning the restaurant as though an attacker might jump out at any moment.
“So where is he?” I asked Amanda.
She rolled her eyes. “Where do you think? The kitchen, of course. You know the way.”
I headed back toward the kitchen, pausing at the bar and gesturing to a stool. “I’ll just be a minute, Asa. Wait for me here?”
He frowned. I knew he didn’t like letting me out of his sight, but there was a fine line between protecting and smothering. Asa sat stiffly at the bar. Pulling off my gloves and stuffing them into the pockets of my coat, I continued into the kitchen, walking into the now-familiar space. This was the first place William and I had kissed, and I couldn’t stop my gaze from sliding to the walk-in freezer where we’d shared that hot embrace.
The kitchen was a hive of activity and line cooks bustled around doing prep work for the dinner service, which would begin soon. Valentine’s Day was one of the busiest nights of the year for most restaurants and no one seemed to give me a second glance amidst the purposeful chaos.
I turned at the familiar voice. It wasn’t Ben but my best friend Beckett, exactly who I was looking for. “Are you still here?” I asked mockingly, giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“Of course I am. I’m always here lately,” he joked, holding my shoulders and smiling down at me. “This is my home away from home.”
“I thought my place was your home away from home,” I said with a smile. Beckett loved using the AGA in my kitchen to test out new recipes.
He shrugged. “It gets lonely now that you’re not there. When are you going to have me over to that castle you’re living in?”
“How about this weekend?” I said. “I’ll give you the grand tour. Are you usually free for dinner?”
He nodded. “I’m here at dark o’clock and home by four or so.”
“Ah, baker’s hours, Ben is lucky to have you, even for a few weeks.”
Beckett had recently landed the job of his dreams as head pastry chef at Patisserie LeClerc, a Parisian-style bakery conceived by Emil LeClerc, a very famous French chef and restaurateur. Bistro LeClerc, the chef’s signature Chicago restaurant, and its sister
, were currently under construction in Lincoln Park. Until the opening, Beckett was using Willowgrass as his test kitchen to master Chef LeClerc’s recipes, and the lucky patrons of Willowgrass got to enjoy his efforts.
“It’s after five now,” I said with a glance at the black and silver Patek Philippe watch that William had given me. “I didn’t think you’d still be here.”