The authors of Craving One Night will be stopping by this week to bring you more about their stories featured in this anthology.
Let’s start by getting to know Rosanna Leo a little better…
Rapid Fire Interview with Rosanna Leo:
Tea or coffee? Coffee! Can’t live without it.
Paperback/Hardcover or ebook? Ebook. I used to swear by print books but ebooks are so much friendlier for my eyes.
Vampire or shifter? I’m a greedy girl. Both!
Cop or fireman? Hmm. Tough choice but I’ll say firefighter.
Snow or sunny skies? Sunny skies, especially if I’m on a Mexican beach.
Beach or mountain ski resort? LOL. Beach!
Coke or Pepsi? Neither. I don’t drink pop anymore.
HEA or a more realistic ending? HEA…a must!
Chick flick or action movie? Actually, I’d prefer a moody period piece.
City or country? Country.
More beautiful: Sunset or sunrise? There is something very tranquil about early morning, so I’ll say sunrise.
Car or plane? Plane.
iPhone or Android? Android.
Mac or PC? PC.
Kindle or Nook? Neither for me. I use a tablet.
Listen to audiobook or read? Read.
Ocean/Lake or pool? Ocean. No lakes, please. There are squishy things in lakes.
Eggs or pancakes? Pancakes, especially maple walnut pancakes.
Shower or bath? Bath.
Cable or satellite? Cable.
Handwrite or type? Type.
Introvert or extrovert? I’m a bit of both. I’m not shy but I’m not totally out there either.
Morning person or night owl? Morning.
Camping or luxury hotel? Luxury hotel.
Passion Flix or Hallmark? I haven’t had a chance to check out either, unfortunately.
You can learn more about Rosanna by visiting her website: https://rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com/
Excerpt for Al Dente by Rosanna Leo
“You must be Ruby.” A tall woman in stilettos approached, her hand extended. “I’m Jennifer Nielson, Chef Matteo’s manager. Congratulations on winning the contest.”
Ruby didn’t see the chef. Perhaps he was in back. “Thanks. I was very excited when I got the news.”
“You beat out hundreds of contestants. Is, um, your partner joining us soon?”
“No. I’m on my own tonight. My partner just became my ex-partner.”
“How dreadful. His loss, I’m sure. You’ll have Matteo all to yourself, then.”
Ruby cleared her throat. “Awesome. I’m his biggest fan.” She popped a breath mint into her mouth.
Jennifer’s smile said Aren’t you adorable? No doubt every woman said she was his biggest fan. “He’s just in the kitchen. Would you like to meet him?”
Ruby nodded, worried any words from her lips might emerge as a frenzied scream.
His manager led her through a swinging door into the kitchen. The chef stood at a counter, dressed in his pristine uniform, black pants and a white double-breasted jacket with cloth knot buttons. His severe outfit did nothing to disguise the strong, lean body underneath. His cuffed sleeves allowed her to glimpse toned forearms. There wasn’t even a hint of a beer belly under his jacket. She wasn’t surprised he was in good shape. He often showcased healthy options in his recipes.
What did surprise her was his height. He’d always appeared tall on TV, but she assumed it was because everyone looked larger than life on screen. Rinaldi easily stood over six feet tall.
When he turned to her, Ruby held her breath. Dazzled by his dark brown eyes, thick hair, and brilliant smile, she had to remind herself to breathe.
In the pages of his cookbooks, he was gorgeous. Up close, he was as delicious as his Deconstructed Italian Rum Cake.
He extended his hand before Jennifer could do the introductions. “Matteo Rinaldi.” Because of his accent, his rolled “R” sounded more like the purr of a Ferrari. “I’m pleased to meet you.”
“Ruby.” Did her voice always sound so high? “Ruby Zhang.” When she touched his hand, warmth spread across her chest.
Whoa. That smile. She’d seen it a hundred times before, but it had never been aimed directly at her. Perhaps it was just the rawness of her breakup that made Chef Matteo so appealing. Then again, it might also have something to do with the way those brown eyes assessed her. Appreciation shone there, clear as day.
Shut the front door. Is he checking me out?
His gaze dipped, ever so slightly toward her blouse buttons.
“Zhang. Is that Korean?”
“No, but I get that a lot. It’s actually Chinese. My parents were born in China, but I was born in Canada. I’m a Toronto girl, through and through. Go, Blue Jays.” Oh, my God, you’re rambling.
“Well, Ruby who was born in Canada, I’m glad you entered our contest.” The chef chuckled.
“I’m glad I won.” She laughed like a lunatic. Quickly, she covered her mouth.
His smile only grew wider. “I think we’re going to have fun tonight.”
“If it’s all right with you, Matteo,” said Jennifer, “I’m going to do some work in the office here. Unless, of course, you need my help in any way.”
“No, grazie, Jennifer. I know my way around a kitchen.”
“Indeed you do.” She turned to Ruby. “Have a lovely private class. You’re learning from the best, darling.” With a wave, Jennifer headed down the hall to an office at the back of the restaurant.
She was alone with Matteo Rinaldi.
He put his hands on his hips. “Here we are on Valentine’s Day. I appreciate you coming. I much prefer to spend the occasion with a beautiful woman.”
Ruby sucked so hard on her breath mint, she almost swallowed it. “Thank you. I’m a bit nervous. I work in the industry, but I’ve never assisted a chef in the kitchen before.”
“Really? What do you do?”
“I’m a food blogger.”
“Ah, a critic then,” he teased in his accented, but perfect English.
“No, more of an enthusiast. And I love your recipes. I’ve seen all your specials.”
He touched his heart. “Grazie. That means a lot to me. I hope you like the menu I’ve chosen. We’ll begin with pomodori ripieni. Our pasta will be linguine al nero di sepia and we’ll finish with zabaione alla frutta.”
“Mmm. Stuffed tomatoes, squid ink linguine, and zagablione with fruit.” He’d chosen fun foods that wouldn’t require hours of work, but that still offered enough of a challenge to those who understood the basics of cooking. “Sounds perfect.”
“You know Italian?”
“Only the words that deal with food. I’ve read your books cover to cover.”
“Then I have an expert on my hands. I will have to be on my best behavior.”
“I promise you, Chef, I’m an amateur. I’ll still need you to tell me exactly what to do.”
“I look forward to it.” Brown eyes darkened to black. “But perhaps we should cook something first, eh?”
Craving One Night is available on Amazon for .99¢ or FREE with your KindleUnlimited subscription. Get your copy here.
Don’t miss our release party going on this week! You can join the party here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504144716264565/