Today I am very excited to welcome author Lily Grace to the blog. Lily is here to talk to us more about her new release, Analyzing Emory, and has brought an excerpt to share. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Is the way to a man’s heart really through his stomach?
When I began writing Analyzing Emory, it was never my intent to explore this particular topic. But I hadn’t gotten too far into my first draft when one of my MCs, Kyle, politely cleared his throat and informed me that he was quite an excellent cook. Well, what can I say? If I have learned anything it is to always pay heed to what my characters tell me.
While Kyle learned to cook from his mom, Emory didn’t have anyone to cook for him growing up, let alone teach him. The first time Kyle cooks for Emory, it’s breakfast after their one-night stand. Kyle attempts to woo by way of an omelet. The excerpt below is the first time Emory and Kyle cook together. And, there are several other scenes throughout the book that center around food in the way of dinner parties and holiday gatherings.
Why all the cooking and food in the book, you might ask? Maybe Kyle simply wanted to show off? Maybe I was just really hungry when I wrote it…lol? I think the real reason is that I personally associate cooking with comfort and family and spending time with loved ones. I’m always far more touched when someone cooks for me than if they take me out to a restaurant. And there is something I find very heartwarming about preparing a meal with another person and then sitting down together to enjoy it.
Apparently the way to my heart is through my stomach and that certainly seemed to transfer to my characters. But what about you? Do find it romantic when someone cooks for you? Do you like spending time in the kitchen with your significant other? Do tell.
Instead of moving to the fridge, Emory took a hesitant step toward the center island where Kyle had resumed working.
“Mind if I watch? I’ve never made lasagna before, and Sara already has it in the oven by the time I come over. I’ve always wanted to know how to make it.”
Kyle pulled the bowl of tomato sauce closer to the lasagna pan, his lips twitching. “Yeah, I do mind.” Before Emory’s face could fall, he reached for the man’s hand and pulled Emory next to him. “You’re going to put it together.”
One side of Emory’s mouth curled up as he tucked his hair behind his ears and pushed up his sleeves. “Making me work for my supper?”
Emory rubbed his hands together and surveyed the various bowls in front of him. “Alright, Mr. Chef. How do I do this?”
“It’s pretty simple. I’ve already added oregano and basil to the ricotta cheese and sliced the mozzarella. The tomato sauce is there.” Kyle pointed to the bowl. “And the beef has already been spiced and cooked and is in that pan there. Now it’s all about layering. Sauce first, then a layer of noodles.” Kyle set down the package of lasagna noodles next to the large pan. “Then a layer of ricotta, layer of mozzarella, layer of beef, layer of sauce, another layer of noodles….” Kyle bumped against Emory’s hip. “I think you get the point.”
“Gotcha.” Emory shot him a grin. “I think I can handle it. But if I screw it up, I’m still totally blaming it on you.”
Kyle laughed and squeezed Emory’s arm before turning to make sure he had the oven pre-heating at the right temperature. God, he loved spending time with Emory. It was so fun and comfortable, and felt so… right. Like everything had fallen into place and everything was exactly as it should be.
Kyle stepped back to give Emory room to work and contented himself with watching those lean hips sway unconsciously as Emory spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan and then a layer of noodles, a sliver of his tongue poking out between his teeth as he carefully lined up the rectangular pasta, as if precision was of vital importance.
His fingers clenched against the granite of the kitchen counter as waves of want and longing crashed around Kyle.
When a family friend offers him the job of resident psychologist at Chicago’s GLBT Center, Kyle Michelson jumps at the chance to reinvigorate his career, move on from his recent breakup, and get his life back on track. Kyle hopes returning to the familiar territory of his hometown will do him good, but meeting Emory Brenner at a club changes everything.
Anything but familiar, Emory leaves Kyle breathless from the start. There’s just one problem: Kyle wants more than a one-night stand, Emory doesn’t do relationships, and neither man can resist the other. Luckily for Emory, he never has to see Kyle again. Or so Emory thinks until he runs into him while volunteering at the GLBT Center.
Kyle makes Emory want things he never thought he could have and chips away at secrets Emory has kept locked away for years. On the surface, Emory’s recovered from his past: he has a job at a record store and a roof over his head. But putting his trust in another person, having a relationship, means opening himself to more pain—and that is a risk he can’t take.
Available from Dreamspinner Press
About Lily Grace
Lily Grace hails from the Midwest but currently resides in the DC metro area. Her background is in public health and the life sciences and she spends her days working as a health care consultant. When she’s not busy being a nerdy scientist she curls up with her laptop and dreams up romantic stories about beautiful men.
She’s a fan of loud rock concerts, cooking, shoe shopping, and strawberry ice cream. She loves love, hates cleaning, and is still amazed that when she decided on a whim to try writing a story a few years back that it would lead to having her works published.