Title: Taste on My Tongue
Author: Beth Bolden
Release Date: August 15th 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Almost pop-star Landon Patton has just turned a corner on the worst two years of his life: dropped by his label and dumped by his ungrateful ex-boyfriend. However, his new agent's brilliant plan for Landon's superstardom doesn’t have anything to do with his music – it’s called Kitchen Wars, and it’s the hottest new reality show on TV.
Landon wishes he could have nothing to do with it.
Since the first morning he mixed flour and water, Quentin Maxwell knew he wanted to be a baker. After becoming the pastry chef at a popular LA bakery, anyone else might be satisfied. But Quen wants to call his own shots. Going on Kitchen Wars to win the money for his own bakery seems like a huge risk, but maybe it's worth it.
They’re an unlikely pair. Landon can’t even figure out how to turn an oven on, while Quentin makes his living with one. But with each passing week on Kitchen Wars, they discover what a great team they make – on set, off set, and between the sheets.
Winning should be everything, but what happens when the tastiest pairing is their own?
Ian calls a few hours into Landon’s studio time.
“What,” Landon answers. “I’m busy. You know. Making music. Doing the thing for which I’m actually famous.”
Ian ignores Landon. Landon thinks that’s pretty unfair; he’s supposed to be the client, and technically in charge. “Jessa had an interview with Ryan Seacrest on KISS today. When asked about you, she said you looked pretty close with Quentin.”
“Is there a question in that statement?” Landon asks.
Per usual, Ian cuts right to the point. Ian and a sharp knife have a surprising amount of things in common. “Landon, what’s going on with Quentin?”
“We have good chemistry. I did mention that.” Landon doesn’t feel like he’s ready to tell Ian that he and Quentin have kissed or that their first date is this week. Eventually, he’ll need to tell him, but he’s just not ready yet. For now, Landon feels like it’s perfectly acceptable to focus on how cute they look together on the show.
“You did.” Ian sounds quite testy.
“Maybe that’s what Jessa meant.”
Really, Landon is just a terrible liar.
“Landon,” Ian warns, and it all just tumbles out of Landon’s mouth.
“I really like him. He’s sweet and kind and funny and we kissed and we have a date this week.”
“Landon,” Ian says and it’s practically an exclamation point in verbal form.
“I know, I know. I’m not supposed to date my partner.” He doesn’t care; he’s not giving up Quentin. End of story.
“Actually, that’s not necessarily true. But it’s risky.”
Nobody needs to tell Landon that. Of course, he thought he’d been cured of his annoying tendency to fall too hard, too fast, but Quentin appears to be the exception to all those rules he’d made for himself last time everything fell apart.
“I just want you to be sure you’re not making a mistake,” Ian says gently.
“Quentin’s not a mistake.” Landon isn’t sure of a lot of things, but that is one thing he is almost certain of.
“Just be sure.” Ian pauses. “And try to keep it PG on the show please.”
When Landon walks into the studio for his first day of cooking bootcamp and sees his chef, he has to instantly revise every expectation. The man in front of him is all long lines, lean legs, and this sculpted torso that literally nobody that cooks for a living should have, all topped off by a wild curly mane that Landon’s fingers itch to touch, wide blue eyes, and a pair of lips that send his mind straight to the gutter.
It turns out there is most definitely a man out there that will interest Landon in learning to cook.
The topper is when Landon saunters over, eyes flicking over those long legs in tight jeans and the little glimpses of tattoos he sees through his mostly transparent white t-shirt, the man actually blushes.
“Landon Patton,” Landon says, extending a hand. “Unfortunately, it’s gonna be your miserable job to teach me to cook.”
The man flushes even pinker as he takes Landon’s hand. “Um, Quentin. Quentin Maxwell.”
For one rather breathless moment, they stare at each other, Quentin’s hand clasping Landon’s, his palm warm and soft and slightly damp with nerves, and Landon feels his heart start to beat faster. He feels almost breathless with the possibilities, and it’s hard to deny that Quentin looks equally blown away.
Quentin reluctantly releases his hand. “I’m a huge fan,” he adds. “Really, you should have won your season. Can’t believe you only got third place.”
Landon can definitely believe it. Third place was far better than he ever thought he’d end up. But you can say all you want about Landon—and many, many people have—he’s driven to succeed even when the cards are stacked against him.
So Landon just shrugs and leans back, all carelessly but purposefully arranged curves as he tries to figure out if the way Quentin’s fluttering his eyelashes at him means he’s actually interested in flirting or if this is just Quentin’s natural state of being.
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About the Author
Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband and their beloved cat. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn't have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She's a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn't a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She's published two novels, The Lucky Charm and Getting Lucky, and a short story, Eye of the Storm. Her next novel, Summer Attractions, will be released in August 2016.