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Rock Hard Boss
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If you can’t take the heat, get the h*ll out of my kitchen.
I’ve only cared about three things in the world:
She’s got serious talent but she needs my direction – I just hope I can keep my di*k in my pants long enough to show her the ropes.
**This is a full-length 50,000 word novel, standalone Single Dad, Boss Romance. No cheating or cliffhangers. HEA guaranteed. Included in the Kindle Version is an exclusive older man younger woman romance!
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Rock Hard Boss
A SINGLE DAD, BOSS CHEF ROMANCE
CHAPTER ONE – LUKE HARRISON
The dinner rush was in full swing and I felt that old, familiar thrill surge through me. I’d been running my own restaurant for the last few years, but that excitement never faded. Orders flew in and food went sailing out, my line cooks bustled around the kitchen, following my every command. The air was filled with the exotic scent of menu items designed personally by me.
It was barely controlled chaos, and it was my job to hold it all together somehow. Everything had to be perfect. Every dish. Every night. Every day.
Danny, my second-in-command, slid a plate of sizzling steak onto the counter in front of me, signifying it was ready to go out into the dining room. I could tell it was overcooked just by looking at it. A quick probe with my finger confirmed my thoughts.
I yanked the plate off the counter, barely suppressing the urge to smash it on the floor. I kept my kitchen spotless, and I wasn’t going to fuck up the floor because of one less-than-stellar plate. Instead, I thrust the charred steak in Danny’s face.
“Are you seriously expecting me to serve this?”
Danny eyed the steak warily, as if it might come to life and bite him.
“Is it undercooked?” he asked, not meeting my gaze.
“Undercooked? Are you fucking insane? It’s burned all to hell like a piece of old shoe leather. I wouldn’t feed this shit to my dog!” I growled loudly as the rest of the kitchen seemed to stop around us.
Good. They could learn a lesson too; cook the best food possible, or get the fuck out.
“I’m sorry, Chef Harrison,” he said, not meeting my gaze. “I’ll make a new one.”
I tossed the plate on the counter next to him. “I don’t want your apologies, I want you to do it right the first time.”
“Yes, Chef,” he mumbled. I turned to leave when he spoke again. “It’s just that we’re understaffed. I’m working two stations, Chef.”
Anger boiled up inside me and I got in his face. “Look at me. I don’t want to hear excuses. You’ve got two hands, two eyes, and you can handle two goddamn stations.”
“Boss, please. Ever since Gloria left, we’ve been short-handed.”
He was right, of course, but there was nothing I could do about it tonight. I’d already chosen a new chef to join the team, but I hadn’t shared the news with the rest of the brigade yet. I didn’t want them slacking off in the meantime.
A new chef tomorrow wouldn’t help them today.
“You’re right,” I said. “Gloria’s not here, but you are. Now, we’ve got a packed dining room out there, and none of them give a damn that we’re down a chef. They expect the same high-quality food we serve every night. So, I need you to focus and get the job done. Can you handle that?”
He nodded. “I think so.”
“You think? If you can’t do it, tell me right now. Tell me right the fuck now. I’ll take over your stations, and you can give Sergio a hand washing dishes. I’ll ask you again, can you handle it?”
The threat of busting him down to dishwasher lit a fire in Danny’s eyes. He glared at me like I’d just run over his mother. “Absolutely, Chef. I can handle it.” His voice was strong and steady, a complete reversal of the way he’d been just seconds ago.
“Don’t let me down. Period.”
He turned back to his stations with a renewed energy. The pan sizzled as he dropped a fresh steak in. Danny was back. And this was why I was so hard on my crew.
Sure, he was beyond pissed at me. He was probably cursing my name under his breath and wishing all kinds of terrible things on me, but that was good. It meant he’d work three times as hard tonight just to prove me wrong and throw it back in my face.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager he wouldn’t mess up another meal for the rest of the dinner service.
A few minutes later, Danny brought a freshly cooked steak over. He stood watching me, waiting for my assessment. I took my time looking it over, not because I wasn’t sure if it was done correctly, but because I wanted him to sweat a little.
I could tell immediately that it was cooked to perfection.. I couldn’t let him off the hook so quickly, not if I wanted the fire in him to keep burning for the rest of the dinner shift.
When I finally turned to him, his jaw was clenched so tightly the muscles in his neck stood out in thick cords.
“All night, Danny,” I said, pointing at the steak. “Like this. All night.”
He nodded curtly and hustled back to his stations.
I slumped into the sagging leather chair in my office at the back of the restaurant. Dinner was over, the kitchen had been cleaned, and the staff had gone home for the night.