Rocket's Red Glare

Rocket's Red Glare

Sandra Sookoo

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Their second chance at love could turn deadly.

 

Jamison Rocket is a food critic who rarely gives a 5-star rating. His palate for food is flawless. Trouble is, he's a vampire, and even though he enjoys his job, he's been haunted by memories of the love he left behind years ago--the woman he can't forget.

 

Meredith Kirby works as a sous chef in a brand new bistro. She's given the chance of a lifetime to prepare a meal for a renowned food critic and seizes the opportunity. The meal is a success. As the critic arrives in the kitchen to meet her, Meredith's pride sours into confusion when the critic ends up being, Jamison Rocket--the man hwo ditched her at the altar and stole her heart.

 

Neither one has been able to forget the love they once shared. Over the Fourth of July weekend, their romance is rekindled into an inferno they once thought impossible. Though the need for acceptance burns bright within Jamison, it's Meredith who'll ultimately need to decide which ingredients she'll need in order to whip up a happy ending and add fireworks to her life.


 

 
PUBLISHED BY: Eirelander Publishing
ISBN: 1452855838
PUBLICATION DATE: 2010
WORD COUNT: 31000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 3 3 3
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Contemporary, Paranormal, Vampires / Werewolves
KEYWORDS: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Vampires
 

EBOOKS BY Eirelander Publishing

EBOOKS BY Sandra Sookoo

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Sandra Sookoo/2010

Chapter One

Excited whispers floated through the dining room and spilled over into the kitchen. High energy crackled among the staff as aprons were tied and chef’s jackets were donned. Silverware clattered. China clinked. Pots and pans jangled together. All this activity provided the soundtrack for the night’s performance.

Meredith Kirby’s day had deteriorated in one-hour increments. She couldn’t check her email or pay the bills that loomed due because the internet was down for some inexplicable reason. Next came a ninety minute jaunt at the local DMV where the quest to renew a driver’s license took on horror movie qualities. After they’d jacked up the photo on the retake, she was so annoyed, it looked like she was about to kill someone.

Maybe she was.

Last, but not least, after being home for all of twenty minutes because she’d forgotten the dry cleaning she needed to drop off, when she attempted to start her car to come into work, nothing happened. A sick, death gurgle which resulted in a call to the local emergency auto assistance place and “I’m so sorry for your loss” looks from the mechanic at the garage where it was delivered.

Just another day in the life of Meredith Kirby. Was it a case of bad luck? Not likely. Maybe the Fates had a vendetta against her for some reason. Maybe she’d ticked someone off in a past life. Whatever it was, Meredith wished it would move on.

Now, on the single most important night of her life to date, the head chef of Algernon was tossing her cookies in the restroom down the hall, a by-product of the worst case of morning-noon-and-night sickness Meredith had ever witnessed.

And they had a dining room full of first time guests.

On opening night.

The bustle in the stainless steel kitchen ebbed and flowed around her in a complicated dance of frenetic energy. As much as she loved cooking, Meredith admitted that her nerves were frazzled beyond the norm tonight. Steam swirled above bubbling pots, waiting for pasta orders while the savory aromas of cream sauces blended with the earthier smells of grilling meat.

Showtime.

Deciding to take a quick peek at the diners she’d have the pleasure of cooking for, Meredith cracked open the connecting door. With one innocent sweep of the room, her world wheeled then crashed and burned in a blaze worthy of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

What the hell was he doing here? Her insides clenched with remembered hurts and new resentments as she stared.

She narrowed her eyes. The dark-haired man who’d just entered the restaurant was Jamison Rocket. The man who’d walked out of her life ten years before. Bile rose in her throat as she recalled the haunted look in his eyes as he told her he needed to leave. It was the same look her mother had when she abandoned a fourteen-year-old Meredith.

* * * * *

Jamison Rocket gently pushed open the glass door to Algernon, a brand new bistro-style café. Immediately, tempting aromas assailed his nostrils: roasting meats, savory vegetables and a subtle undertone of caramelized sugar, no doubt from some sort of confection.

Typical fare and in what would most likely be a boring, uninspired meal, but then, if the food let him down, there were other ways of getting his required nourishment.

As the door swung shut behind him on silent hinges, the soft buzz of conversation surrounded him, punctuated by the delicate chime of crystal and a metallic clink as silverware scraped against china plates. A couple of black-clad waiters shot past, the white of their Parisian-style aprons contrasting with the somberness of the attire.

Before he’d gotten three steps into the ridiculously small foyer, Jamison was greeted by an older gentleman, distinguished by the gray at his temples and the lines of seriousness crisscrossing his face.

“I assume you have a reservation this evening?”

Jamison’s lips twitched at the highbrow treatment. “I do, indeed. Jamison Rocket.”

The man’s whole demeanor changed, typical of anyone in the restaurant industry upon hearing his name. “Follow me, please. We’ve set aside the best table in the house and please indicate your favorite wine as the bottle will be a gift this evening.”

Of course it would. Little “on the house” gifts filled his guest bedroom. As if those freebie offerings would sway his opinion on the eateries he visited. He didn’t exactly consider them income, but had a hard time convincing the IRS that they weren’t. One couldn’t spend a bottle of wine or gift basket of jam like currency, but then, if it weren’t for the perks, he wouldn’t be in such high demand. Silly mortals. If only they knew their offerings had no affect on the outcome and in this case, his pen was mightier than the sword. Jamison focused his gaze on the man’s stiff shoulders as they navigated through intimate round tables covered with black linen.

“Here we are, sir.”

“Thank you.” He waved off the man’s assistance and pulled out his chair. “I’d like a bottle of Merlot, please.” Dismissing the host as soon as he sat down, Jamison glanced around the smallish dining room. Probably no more than fifteen or twenty tables cluttered the rustic, cobblestoned floor. Lights dimmed, soothing music tinkling in the background, the soft flicker of votive candles on the tables all created an atmosphere of calm.

Jamison nodded. The place was packed and chances were, as the evening dragged on, there’d be a waiting list. Algernon passed the first test. A crowded eatery was a happy eatery. Now, the challenge would come in the food itself. A tiny part of him hoped the start-up would succeed, but the practical man he was knew it would be an uphill battle. This economy didn’t lend itself well to yet another restaurant in an already saturated area.

But that wasn’t his problem. He couldn’t let empathetic feelings for an underdog cloud his judgment. He was a food critic. If the food passed his palate favorably, they’d be lucky. If not, he’d have no regrets when he left the establishment with a less-than-glowing review in his pocket.

Strictly business. That was all.

A bark of mirthless laughter passed his lips. Nothing in life was that easy. Being a food critic was definitely not all he was. The funny thing? Only a handful of people knew the truth.

He wanted to keep it that way.

**End Excerpt**
 

 
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