Dec 20 2012 12:00pm
Sugar and spice and everything…naughty?
Pastry-chef-to-the-stars Daniela Rossi wants one thing: the abandoned building South of Market. Turning it into a soup kitchen for the homeless is the only thing that's excited her in months. And Daniella needs to feel again. Until she finds herself feeling too much - for the man who's competition for the property.
Ruthless entrepreneur Nico Cruz wants one thing: the abandoned SOMA building he grew up in, where his brother was killed. Destroying it is the only thing that will set his brother's soul at peace. And Nico always gets what he wants. But Daniela's sweet temptation makes him question what it will take to soothe his own soul.
Fortunately, in this bidding war, all's fair..
Get a sneak peek at Kate Perry's Sweet on You (available December 16, 2012) with this special excerpt.
The man in front of her looked like a thug in sheep's clothing.
He had all the ingredients for danger: powerful build, dark hair, expensive clothing. The barest hint of sweetness, with his curious gaze. And a dash of spice: the sort of five o'clock shadow that'd rasp the skin of your inner thighs.
He was a recipe for ecstasy.
If he were cake, he'd be Devil's Food—rich and dark. Forbidden. A guilty pleasure you wanted to indulge in secretly.
Daniela licked her lips. Delicious, really.
And insane. Here she was: in a dark, condemned building, at dusk, and she was getting it on with him in her head. Tony would have ripped her a new one over her lack of sense.
But she couldn't help it. Something inside her went gooey looking at the stranger.
She shook her head. “I have a death wish.”
He tipped his head, watching her carefully. “Why do you say that?”
“You're obviously a threat, but I'm mentally undressing you.” She looked him over thoroughly. “Silk.”
He blinked once, as though she'd taken him off guard. “Excuse me?” he said in rough voice that was street with a thin veneer of Park Avenue.
“Boxers. You've got rough edges, but I bet you like silk underneath.”
He smiled like a wolf. “Want to find out?”
“A woman would have to be stupid not to want to get into your pants.” She sighed regretfully. “But I'm busy right now.”
“Busy doing what?”
“None of your business,” she said tartly, pushing past him and climbing out the window.
She'd expected him to follow her, but he just leaned in the window and watched her.
She lifted a box of small quiches. She'd gone overboard with the food, making way too much for just three people, especially since she doubted they had a way to store any of it. But maybe they'd share it, and she'd wrapped the bread so it'd keep regardless.
Her arms complained as she carried the smaller box back to the window. She glared at the mystery man. “You could help.”
“I could, if I knew what I was helping to do.” But he took the box from her anyway.
She studied him. “You won't call the police?”
“Why would I?” He sniffed the quiches. “Have you baked pot into these?”
“Of course not. I'm leaving food for the homeless.”
He was silent for a long moment, staring at her. His gaze was probing and direct, but it didn't bother her—Tony looked at people the same way. Besides, she had nothing to be ashamed of.
Finally he said, “You're here in the dark, leaving food for homeless people?”
“It's not completely dark, and don't say it like I'm a fool.”
“You are a fool, to risk your safety. This is a dangerous neighborhood.”
“Please.” Pushing her hair over her shoulder, she made a dismissive noise. “I grew up in New York.”
He looked like he wanted to argue, but he just said, “Hand me the rest of what's in your box.”
She did, quickly, before he changed his mind. When he had it piled in his arms, she told him to go down the hall and leave it where she'd already set the loaves of bread.
He was back quickly, crawling through the window with a grace and ease she wouldn't have expected from a man his size. He brushed off his hands on his expensive jeans and then gesturedtoward the street. “Let's go.”
She sighed, disappointed that he didn't take her hand. “Are you leading me to your lair?” she asked hopefully.
“I'm taking you to a cab.” He glanced at her. “You have no sense. You should be scared of me.”
“I can't help it. You're all bark. I think you're a marshmallow inside.”
He scowled as if the description were distasteful. “No one's ever called me a marshmallow.”
“Then no one's ever really looked at you.” If they did, they'd notice the sadness under the intelligence and steadiness of his eyes.
Who cooked for him? For some reason, she doubted he'd had a grandmother who taught him about life as she fed him.
It made her sad, too.
She cleared her throat. “What do you like to eat?”
“Your favorite food? I bet it's something warm and mushy, like you are on the inside.”
He glared at her.
“See?” She grinned. “I was right, wasn't I?”
“You're playing with fire, baby,” he said in what was probably his best gangster's voice.
Daniela rolled her eyes. “Please don't say I'm going to get burned. Besides, I know how to handle heat. I'm a chef.”
He said nothing, silently contemplating her.
“This is where you say who you are and what you do,” she prompted as they walked around the corner, away from the building and onto Mission Street.
“You didn't tell me who you are.”
“Daniela.” She held her hand out.
He took it and pulled her closer.
Her breath caught as she steadied herself against his chest. Her senses overloaded, with the hot feel of her hand engulfed in his and the hardness of his pecs under her palm. She knew she probably looked like she was caught in headlights.
She had no idea what to do.
It wasn't like she didn't get hit on. A few of her customers, and sometimes their guests, tried to corner her. But she'd never wanted to be cornered quite as badly as she did now.
She'd never felt as wild.
Copyright © 2012 by Kate Perry
To learn more or to pre-order a copy of Sweet on You by Kate Perry:
Kate Perry has tangoed at midnight with a man in blue furry chaps, dueled with flaming swords in the desert, and strutted on bar tops across the world and back. She’s been kissed under the Eiffel Tower, had her butt pinched in Florence, and been serenaded in New Orleans. But she found Happy Ever After in San Francisco with her Magic Man.