I am so delighted to debut my cover for my late Regency-early Victorian, HIS DELECTABLE COOK. Don’t you think this is wonderful? Lickable? Tempting?
The story stars a young woman who answers an advert for a position as cook to the new earl.
Does she know he is such a rogue?
Does she anticipate that he likes to share his women with his staff and his younger brothers?
Might our little cook relish the very idea?
This released July 30 as a single but is in the anthology, AT YOUR SERVICE, for Total-e-bound.com released June 30!
Copyright, Cerise DeLand 2013.
“Bess Deveraux stood before her new employer, prim as a blushing bride, which she most definitely was not, and proud as the virago she wished to become. And all because the man she faced was precisely the type of master she had yearned for since she first discovered the joys her body could give her six long years ago. He embodied all the essential qualities she desired in a lord and master: He was handsome, self-possessed, filthy rich and scandal-ridden. At the moment, he was also astonished at her appearance before him. The tick in his left cheek told that tale.
“Mrs O’Brien assures me you are qualified for my household.” Lord Taryn Wentworth sat, loose-boned, maddeningly louche, in a large leather chair examining her from across his sun-dappled library.
Betty flushed with pride at her accomplishment to jump the gauntlet of the acerbic housekeeper and appear before him as the woman’s choice for the cook’s position. The servant had riddled her with questions for hours about her previous experience and her employers.
“She informs me you are experienced with supper parties and balls.” One long well-muscled leg across the other, Wentworth pursed his full lips together as his searing sapphire eyes assessed her chin, her throat and her bosom in the cook’s shapeless white attire.
At his gravelly base voice, Betty refrained from shifting on her feet as her nipples peaked high and hard against the rough cotton of her new uniform. She was so right not to have donned a corset this morning. Nor worn any pantalets. After all, she had taken this position to be free of all social restraints.
“Betty!” Mrs. O’Brien chastised her to respond to the man who had recently inherited this Mayfair house, an older pile in Dorset, an earldom and twenty thousand a year income. “Do answer his lordship.”
Betty locked eyes with him, the rogue. “I was not aware it was a question.”
“Careful, girl,” O’Brien growled.
Betty caught his lordship fighting a smile. “Yes, of course. Pardon me, Went— “ No, not so familiar, Bess! “Sorry, my lord. I am very accomplished at preparing party menus. Game, beef, puddings.”
Betty suppressed a chuckle at his lewd reference. How like the scoundrel to try to make her laugh. “I have it on good authority that my fish is superbly prepared. Always in a savoury sauce.”
He rubbed his lower lip with the tip of one index finger. “How are your sweet things?”
When properly prepared? “They melt in your mouth.”
“Tempting,” he conceded with a tour of her body from generous breasts to tiny waist and the length of her legs. She had heard his eyes could scald and titillate. Her cunny swelled with the proof. “And what of your cakes? Do you work with chocolate?”
“I can bake one for you, my lord.”
Irritable and commanding this morning, are we, my lord Wentworth? Hmm. “Of course. Marzipan. Vanilla glaze. Whatever you—“
“What do you do with strawberries? Peaches?”
The devil. Her nipples pebbled like strawberries. Eager to have those luscious lips of his sucking them. And her peaches? She squeezed her pussy walls together. Yes. Her peaches were plump and ready to be bitten into. “Such delicacies, I offer ripe and sugared with—”
“Ices?” he cut her off with a narrowing of his sparkling eyes and a shift in his chair.
Uncomfortable, my lord? This is your fault, you realize. You did ask. “Yes. Sculptured, my lord. Swans, birds and—“
“I see,” he said though what he was looking at was her nipples peaking against the muslin uniform. “Where did you learn to carve ice?”
“In the house where I grew up, my dearest friend was the cook.”
His cool façade fell from his face at hearing this tidbit. “Was your friend, the sculptress, also expert with her dishes?”
“A fine chef, my lord. My father became enchanted with her finesse and claimed no one could make a soufflé that compared. I learned much from her.”
Ah. You taunt me at your own risk, Wentworth. “She declared if one fed a man what he loved, he would return, hungry forevermore.”
“Astute of her.” He, over the shock of gazing at her heart-shaped face and limpid eyes, grew more relaxed. Even jovial.
“True, my lord.” Betty rocked back on her heels, bolder now that she had him in conversation. “She was most particular instructing me on how to prepare any organ from a large animal, most especially his brain.”
He arched a brow at her. “For example, what?”
“How to tenderize a big piece of meat.” She used her hands illustrating her passion to pull and draw on one specific part of a male animal.
O’Brien cleared her throat.
Betty clasped her hands behind her back, rising on her toes and thrusting out her heavy breasts. “I roast a succulent duck, as well. Do you like duck, my lord?”
“I appreciate all things succulent, Betty.” He flashed a smile at her, a rueful twitch of that libertine’s mouth. One Bess had to trace and taste very soon. “Leave us, Mrs. O’Brien.”
“My lord, I depart here in the morning for the house in Dorset as you requested,” the housekeeper bit off her words, miffed at her dismissal from this interview, “but I have not yet discussed the menu with her for tomorrow evening and with a new butler and footman—“
“I will tell her what to serve.” Wentworth waved the woman toward the door, though his gaze locked on Betty’s. “She will inform you after I am done with her. You may go to your duties, Mrs. O’Brien.”