Five Courses is a contemporary ménage romance. Trent and Mike are chef’s extraordinaire who own their own successful catering business. At one event last summer, they offer an empty flat in their building to a woman stranded and heartbroken. For months the three have lived and worked together happily, but each wants more. The men want to take Melissa for their own, but she seems too timid and fragile to handle their style of lovemaking. Melissa craves the chefs—either one—but they are so big and sexy and confidant that she’s intimidated by them. When the chefs return home early one evening, they discover timid little Melissa is more than she seems, and Melissa discovers the joy of submitting to two men’s attentions.
What made you fall in love with historical romance so young?
I have always been an avid reader and in my pre-teens, I loved to read a popular historical romance series for young girls. I think the series was called Sunfire, where each title was the name of the heroine. My future sister-in-law, seeing what held my interest, passed along a couple of her “adult” historical romances. With regret, I don’t remember the title of the first one I read, but I do know that I instantly became hooked.
Why as you have got older have you not let go of the notion of happy endings?
Interesting question associating this notion with age. I don’t believe happy endings are a fantasy and they are not only a child’s wish. As we mature, we need to understand that happy endings take work, and effort, and do include the bad with the good. For me, a happy ending (as regards romance) means having that person (or people) you trust above all others. Having someone in which to confide. Having someone to hold you when you’re down or celebrate with you in your joys—and you would do the same for your partner(s). But more importantly than this, is having someone who will be with you, equally happy, in the simple, content days. Is this truly possible? With the right person, yes, it is.
Why do you love stories that strip love?
Now I don’t mean strip love as in the absence of love. What I mean is that love is messy. Period. And there are always layers. It’s easy to say “I love you.” Truly, it is. Too easy, in fact, as I’m sure there are many out there who can attest to this. But to really mean the words is scary as hell. I enjoy stories that show the characters vulnerabilities. Characters that seem completely unlovable or completely unbreakable. Put these kinds of characters together with all their various walls and over time, make those walls crumble and crack to see the honest person beneath. To find love in that honest state makes for an unforgettable tale.
Please tell us a bit about the characters of Trent and Mike.
Trent and Mike are celebrated chefs. They met at a pastry competition, in fact, and tied for first place. They continued to be competitors for a while, then discovered they had many interests in common, besides food. This included their natural personalities as Dominants. As their friendship grew, they began to share recipes, then flats and eventually, women. By the time Melissa entered their lives, they owned their own building, ran their own catering business, and enjoyed weekly visits to their favorite BDSM club. The more time they spent with Melissa, however, the more they realized they needed her to make all their shared dreams come true.
Why is mixing food and sex so appealing for the reader and the writer??
Simple. Our senses. We love food. Especially the decadent ones like chocolate and creams and sweet fruits. The tastes burst upon our tongues and the smells tickle our noses. Not to mention that the sight of some foods immediately cause our mouths to water. Hmm, just like sex. When we are attracted to someone, we want to reach out with our senses and taste, smell, touch. Combining the two is like sensory overload, in the best possible way.
What is next for you?
More stories of love, of course! For Valentine’s I have an intense, short story coming out called Raspberries and Wine, as part of Totally Bound’s Paramour Collection. In this tale, the heroine discovers a younger man can give her not what she thinks she wants, but exactly what she needs.
On another note, I’m also working on a couple of longer, contemporary tales. I’ve been feeling the itch to delve deeper into the characters, make them more complex and have their relationship explode (in the best ways) when they finally dig down deep enough to find that honesty and trust with one another.
Oh, and as for more ménage? Absolutely! You know, in doing this interview and looking back at those teen romances, it hit me that maybe this is where my initial love of multiple-partners began. In those stories, the heroine always had to choose between two love interests. I can remember thinking even then, why did she have to choose?
Five Courses is available from Totally Bound.